By Alex Kalejaye
You had many plans. Some at advanced stages, while others at conception. Certainly, going the way of the ancestors so soon, wasn’t one of them. Tosin Ogunbodede, the amiable and jolly good fellow, fare thee well.
You were terrific, meticulous and very calm, even till the end. It was not part of you, I think on account of personal development, to lament or complain about situations; you simply approached them with uncommon equanimity to get solutions. Heavens can attest to how painful your exit is to me personally.
I was, arguably, one of your confidants, dear egbon, judging from the confidence you reposed in me as your junior at Methodist High school, Okitipupa. You told me about some of the steps you undertook to avoid the slippery contours of the path of life, but, “what has been ordained by the gods, who can change”? So the unavoidable end came when we least expected.
In October, you took ill, like any other mortal. I jokingly teased you of being a victim of COVID-19, for which we jointly served Ondo State as channels of food distribution. Some called it the Palliative Committee.
You dismissed my joke, and we laughed it off.
Thereafter you approached an Hospital, where you were being treated for stress-induced malaria, before the unusual protest beckoned. The END SARS agitation gathered momentum and snowballed into a scary and destructive phenomenon. Insecurity everywhere was the song. As usual, you drew from your well of wisdom; asked to be discharged, and moved to a hideout, somewhere in Akure North Local Government area. There you took abode till the calamitous moments were over. We later rejoiced over cups of fruit juice together.
I have no doubts that the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, whom you have served diligently in the last couple of years, and with an unwavering heart, would have paid in whatever currency to keep you alive. He appreciates your commitment and sense of responsibility. He adored your person. You were as plain and unambiguous as he is.
I forgot to hint you of the remarks of the Chairman, Caretaker Committee of Ondo APC, Engr. Ade Adetimehin, the day he met us together around your lodge. He said, “Alex, I am happy you are keeping a good company. Tosin is a very plain and straightforward person. He is a good man. With him, you have no problems.” The remark only reinforced my thoughts and assessment.
You were nice and reliable, in actions and conducts, from feelers around. Many had wished you never embarked on the trip that, on the surface, paved the way for the endless journey so early, but Shakespeare differs from them. His argument: “Death is a necessary end that will come when it must”.
Adieu, Mr. Tosin Ogunbodede, a terrific, diligent, and dependable soul, by popular assessment.