The Michael Opeyemi Bamidele Story By Bimbo Daramola
Every time I remember this close shave, shrills go down my spine, I break out in goose bumps.
When the story broke I was hysterical! I did not know what to say? The questions to ask? The person to ask?
My hands were shaking, I was shaken to the last vertebrate, I tried to reach Ahmed Salami the SA media to MOB, my own dear diligent, respectful and loyal aburo, initially he could not pick and later he said, “he is stable now”, I said; “praise the Lord”.
I kept calling and monitoring till he left Ekiti, and as soon as he got into the lagos hospital, I was there the next day, couldn't see him, I went back to Abuja and was back just in time before he went to London.
And today I went to see him! MOB, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele is back, strong, fit as fiddle, agile on his feet.
When I stepped into the sitting room, I said; “Lord thank you because "mi o ri Bata ofo lenu lekun"; I thanked God that I was not ushered into the house with wailings and sobs and tears, no men with bloodshot eyes from crying and heads supported by their hands, and no women rolling on the floor with loud curses on whoever could have caused us grief!
Immediately he came into the room in his characteristic white buba and sokoto with the traditional Awo"s white cap to match, I could not help saying Lord you are worthy to be praised. I remembered three songs: and I sang them under my breath but while my stay lasted they were loud in my spirit.
I remember: "Biko se pe Oluwa loti wa ni tiwa, ki lawa ba ma wi.... I remember: Ti mba so pe Olorun o se to, abara Moore ni mo je, I sang this on his arrival earlier in the week.
Lastly "what a mighty God we have" and "To you Lord be all the glory"....
Today , Tonight, not only on behalf of the immediate family of MOB, nuclear and extended family, Sons, Daughters, Kabiyesi of Iyin Ekiti, or his friends and associates , political co-travellers within and without, but I had to thank God on behalf of Ekiti State!
In all fairness, how many are we in the emerging and successor generation that we will be losing God forbid anyone, the Baba Afe, Baba Fasuan generation is gradually shifting from the stage, and the Otunba Niyi Adebayo is there, and few notches below that are the Dr.Kayode Fayemis, MOBs taking the baton of leadership etc
Imagine the dark pall that fell on Ekiti with Bunmi Ojo!! May this never ever recur again, we will live all to our old ages.
It was an emotional evening for me, but intermittently laced by gratitude to God. In all the whole incident had the manifest hands of God right from his evacuation from the scene of the incident all to the first private hospital, to EKSUTH, to Lagos and to London! At every point the fourth man in the fiery furnace was there.
Testimonies of God's faithfulness, If anyone is still in doubt about our God or that a God exists, wait till you hear the survival of the man I call leader. He said the doctors in the UK kept saying Michael you were lucky, and he said that was "Godluck".
In all , I was led to tell him that there must be a purpose for this manifest hand of God, it may be in politics, faith, to encourage, to be the conscience of the society, etc he agreed and he summarised it in the phrase "saved to serve". So apt. God must have saved him for His purpose.
I later joined him at sumptuous dinner and washed down with chilled drink. We chatted some more. When he escorted me to my car, I also thanked God for Dr.Fayemi, who superstitious people will forever tag with all kinds of funny interpretations of this unfortunate incident if anything untoward had happened.
In his soft spoken manner he also reiterated his gratitude to all those who rose up to the occasion, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed, Baba Akande, Otunba Niyi, Gov Elect Dr kayode Fayemi and his wife, Gov Tambuwal, Gov Amosun, and several others , he acknowledges with gratitude the Doctors and Consultants at EKSUTH.
As I pumped his soft hands, stepped into my car, and drove into the cold night, with the wafting breeze from nature, accentuated by the surrounding dark street, his words kept rechoing in my head "saved to serve", purpose rediscovered, the story of MICHAEL OPEYEMI BAMIDELE.
I wish he will let me shoot a documentary of this incident someday, If only to glorify God's name and to encourage others that indeed there is a God who rules in the affairs of men.
To GOD be all the glory.
Congressman Bimbo Daramola, is a former member of the Federal House of Representatives