For the first time ever, he had no message for me to pass on to the powers that be. What pained him most was the realisation that this is not the same country for which he and his generation strove to build on the tabernacle of justice and fairness.
Bashorun J.K. Randle
(Chief M.A Majekodunmi ) via newsdiaryonline.com
Papa was genius, greatness and humility personified. He was first and foremost my father’s friend and ally – in building bridges across race, tribe and religion. However, he graciously transferred that mutual affection to me to the extent that I sometimes wondered what I had done to merit his trust and confidence. Alone, in his bedroom we talked for hours – just like father and son. I could not but marvel at the vastness of his knowledge about virtually every subject – from medicine to politics, philosophy, culture and above all his sense of history combined with his great sense of humour.
From the age of twenty – six when he qualified as a doctor he ran the marathon of distinction in several areas of human endeavour for almost seventy more years. He was truly a legend and an icon.
His optimism about Nigeria and its immense potentials was boundless and on numerous occasions he mandated me to pass on his wisdom to the powers that be. Sadly, they were not listening!!
For me, the defining moment was when after the June 12, 1993 election he put his life at risk by leading twelve other eminent Nigerians to protest against General Sani Abacha’s subvertion of the democratic process.
Sadly, a few weeks ago when I last saw Papa , he was very subdued and somewhat melancholic about the state of affairs in our dear Nigeria and the litany of woes – no electricity; no security of life; bombs going off everywhere ; Muslims versus Christians, north versus south, east versus west and vice versa ,corruption galore ;impunity and oppression.
For the first time ever, he had no message for me to pass on to the powers that be. What pained him most was the realisation that this is not the same country for which he and his generation strove to build on the tabernacle of justice and fairness. Others have decided that there will be no peace until the country is broken into pieces. He reminded me of how he and the Late Chief S. O. Adebo, Nigeria’s former Permanent Representative to the United Nations, had ended up with tears in their eyes lamenting what had become of Nigeria late one evening at Ibara in Abeokuta over a decade ago – but not much has changed since. Instinctively, both of us knew that it was time to say farewell. Back in my car, I could not hold back the tears, what a great life he has lived .Success and pain came in equal measures but he was always at peace with his loving wife Auntie Katsina, devoted children, grand children, great grand children and above all his creator.
(Bashorun J.K Randle) via nationalmirroronline.net
The great doctor that he was he reminded me that when my father died in 1956(at the age of 47) life expectancy in Nigeria was 47. Here we are in 2012; our average life expectancy is still hovering around 47!! The good Lord in His bountiful mercies endowed the great man whom my father, Chief J.K. Randle, Lisa of Lagos fondly called “Young Majek” with a double portion. He lived to be 95 and deserved it.