A day to the popular Ojude Oba celebration, I visited an elderly uncle in Ijebu Ode. He was throwing a feast in celebration of the recent achievement of his only child, Bosipo. He had just graduated with a First Class Degree in Medicine. As soon as I picked a seat close to the VIP row, the Master of Ceremony called on Bosipo to give his speech. He was dressed in a smart Buba and Sokoto. He walked gracefully to the podium. He looked more handsome. Tall and dark skinned, just like his father. His command of the English language was perfect. He spoke with joy and enviable pride.
“I was 17years when my mother died. She died in a car crash. She was heavily pregnant. The news of my mother’s death was a shock to everyone; especially my father. He worked with the Oil Company in Port-Harcourt. When the mourning period was ended for my father, he had to go back to Port-Harcourt. I couldn’t go with him because I had just begun my O’Level examination. He didn’t want me to miss the exams. So, he made me stay with his ‘trusted’ uncle. I cried every night because I was mostly home alone throughout the nights I lived there. The only person that kept me company was an ‘Aboki’ whose kiosk was opposite the uncle’s house. My father always called but I was always too scared to tell him what I was going through. Spending time with the ‘Aboki’ exposed me to drug abuse. I started gradually until it became an almost unstoppable habit. It was not difficult for me to find drugs spot by the time I joined my father in Port-Harcourt. I would sneak to smoke the smokeables, sniff the sniffables and drink the drinkables. Every day, my desire for more grew. My father never knew I was into drugs until one night.
One of my close drug-abusing friends came around. We had a bet over who could smoke the entire marijuana in the brown table-size vase. My father had gone to work as usual. He told me he wouldn’t be back until the following morning. Fortunately, a cousin came visiting. We left my cousin in the living room and went into my room which was far from the living room. The last thing I remembered was that I lit a stick of matches.
When I opened my eyes, I saw my father weeping. I was in the hospital. I had been there for two days without opening my eyes. I had smoked too much that I was almost running mad. It was 10pm. My father rushed to my side. He held me by the hands. I could read his pains in his eyes. He was blaming himself. I couldn’t help but cry. I never wanted to make my father cry. I loved him and I still do and will forever do.
My cousin later told me what happened. He said he saw my friend rush out shouting my name and seeking help. He told me I had undressed and was stack naked. He said I was smiling and running in and out of the bathroom like a mad fellow. He rushed to call on the neighbours for help. My friend ran out of the house in fear. By the time my cousin came back, I had passed out on the floor. My father came to time and I was rushed to the hospital.
That day, that night, I promised my father I would make him proud. Today, with the help of God, I am glad I did. I only pray to God to give me the grace to make him more proud. I love you dad! Thanks for being my saviour.”
He walked up to his father who was already full of happy tears. He prostrated to thank him. His father helped him up and gave him a long loving fatherly hug. We all stood up clapping.