Life is a stage upon which one plays one’s roles and departs. In it, God could provide one the opportunity to play multiple roles at different stages, in different robes, but no mortal ever gets to play the same role twice in the same life episode.
My father used to tell that I was born on 14th August. My older siblings quoted 10th August, but my elderly brother officially declared me as having been born on 10th September: and this is the one I adopted.
I am 58 years old today, and God has been merciful in granting me the rare privilege to act in different scenes, wearing different robes at different times.
I have seen the bright and the dark sides of life. I have survived too many hard tackles and have had many brushes with death. I have every reason to thank God that I am amongst the living, and healthy at that.
When I look back and reflect upon my life, I often wonder how I am still a living mortal. But as a Christian – though not a very good one – I take consolation in the fact that God has a purpose for me in life, and that is why He has spared me thus far.
On the dark side, I have known death: having lost all my elderly siblings to death at tender ages; I have known hunger, poverty, and deprivation, having grown up in them;
I have laid sick on several hospital beds, often with slim chances of survival, and I have experienced detention in military, Police and DSS dungeons; I have been to the four walls of a prison, as inmate; I have experienced the worst betrayals, denials, and humilations from people I trusted.
And on the brighter side, I have built on my family heritage, and I am today a successful farmer. I have struggled and acquired education beyond what everybody thought my family should ever attain. I have made fame and wealth beyond what everybody thought my family could see. I have attained the zenith of my chosen career, rising from a cub reporter to a publisher. I have ventured into other businesses and have made relative success.
I have traversed many other fields, including politics, in which I had the opportunity to work closely with four state governors and had connections to presidents, vice-presidents, senators and other key political actors in Nigeria.
I have been the pioneer Senior Special Assistant on media twice, even outside my own state of origin. I have been Commissioner of Infornation twice under two different governors and I have been local government chairman twice.
Under normal circumstances, I should be planning my exit at 58, just even, so that the younger generation could grow.
When people approached me with the offer that I should further contest to return as the local government chairman in Hawul, I politely declined. I did so not because I no longer want to serve humanity, but rather in obeying the logic that the older generation should give way at that level. Also because I feel that whatever plans one has to execute, one year should be enough: depending on how one utilises it.
Even if no one wishes, I am happy on my birthday. Happy birthday to all those born on the same day with me.