Demola Seriki in Debt Storm at 60

Demola Seriki

That life goes on irrespective of happenings is one of the truest maxims ever published. In the words of the American poet, Walt Whitman, “The body, sluggish, aged, cold – the embers left from earlier fires, the light in the eye grown dim, shall duly flame again…” This is an awfully long way to say that life goes on even when the contrary is the only reality visible to the mind. For Demola Seriki, those embers from earlier fires do not remain embers for long but are being fanned to flame, contrary to recent events.

Ademola Rasaq Seriki is the spitting image of a Nigerian civil worker and a neighbourly chic grandfather. Born in Lagos Island, Seriki started his career as a clerical officer and has since stood in full capacity as a politician, teacher, businessman, accountant, and public administrator. His journey in public service portrays him as a resilient individual capable of upsetting tables and giving vent to his charges.

His pilgrimage in politics is not altogether different from those old days when he was the chairman of the Lagos State Sports Council. He has served as the Honourable Minister of State for Agriculture and Water Resources, as the Supervising Minister for Mines and Steel Development, as Minister for Defence, and even as the Honourable Minister of State for Interior. And from most reports, he ministered quite well.

Most remarkably, however, Mr. Seriki earned himself a chieftaincy title, Otun Aare of Lagos, conferred on him by Oba Rilwan Akiolu, the Oba of Lagos. This royal lieutenant status set him far above his peers at the time but did not ultimately save him from the bane of the wealthy – debt.

Recent gist from interested eyes and bulletin is that Demola Seriki joined the objectionable company of the Unwilling Friends and Companions of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), the establishment making mincemeat of many an owing – but debatably still-affluent – Nigerian. The alleged joining fee for the Otun is nearly N1 billion in the absence of which two landed properties have been kept in custody.

That is, however, old news. The new news is that Otun Seriki has clocked sixty and all that alleged indebtedness is water under the bridge. Age is a forerunner of wisdom and finality after all, and all debts – alleged or otherwise – will be sooner left behind.