American poet Langston Hughes asked, “What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore—And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over—like a syrupy sweet?” After many decades, very few people have been able to answer these questions. Even so, everybody knows what happens to a dream when the dreamer dies—the dream dies with them. Gone with former Governor of Oyo State, Otunba Alao-Akala, are his dreams.
A few days ago, the hearts of prominent Nigerians everywhere shook on account of the news of Alao-Akala’s demise. People scampered here and there to verify the news, many certain that it was an ugly rumour that ought to be quenched by legal action. Alas, a few hours later, it was confirmed and the heart of the Oyo people broke.
According to reports from insiders, the late Alao-Akala had not been in good health for quite some time. Nevertheless, very few people were aware of his ailment, which is why it was so difficult to believe that he had passed on. Although he was 71 when he died, many people still think that he had much to offer the All Progressives Congress (APC), his native Oyo State, and Nigeria in general.
In truth, these people are not wrong. Not too long ago, it was reported that Alao-Akala was training his son, Olamiju, to follow in his footsteps. The now-late former Oyo Governor allegedly wanted Olamiju to begin serving Oyo State as a member of the House of Representatives. Furthermore, because of Olamiju’s business acumen, onlookers believed that he stood a chance at actualizing his father’s dream. Has all that gone to smoke? Only time will tell.
So, to Hughes’s question, we do not know what happens to a dream deferred. But Alao-Akala’s dream is forever broken because of his death.