• Wednesday, February 21, 2024
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A hearty toast to Prince Francis Oluwole Awogboro “VQB”

Bashorun J.K. Randle

 

  • Continued from last week.

I cannot thank them enough, especially as victory is in sight.  I am not at liberty to say too much as one of my opponents has taken the matter to court.  It is now “sub judice”. Unfortunately, his fellow judges are too pre-occupied with mundane matters such as the removal of the Chief Justice of Nigeria; disputation over the last Presidential election (Atiku Abubakar versus Muhammadu Buhari); Governorship elections in Osun, Kano, and four other States; State Police; Dame Patience Jonathan versus Economic and Financial Crimes Commission etc. to grant accelerated hearing and deliver their judgement on a matter that is clearly of national interest.  My candidacy is anchored on the doctrine of necessity!!

I hope that, in twenty years’ time the old boys of St. Gregory’s College would have consigned to distant memory an event they would not let me ever forget.  There we were at the Lagos Motor Boat Club and a Minister who happens to be an Old Boy of King’s College came by.  He barely said hello to us.  After he departed, the St. Gregory College guys descended on me as if I was the one responsible for what they considered to be a clear demonstration of aloofness combined with haughtiness by the Minister.  Their gripe was that no Gregorian would ever conduct himself in that manner.  He would certainly have exchanged warm salutations of “Up GREGS!!” followed by what they consider to be the “Gregorian hug” – mafia style!!

Indeed, he would have seized the opportunity to avail us of the challenges of the Government and the strategies/options being considered.  According to them, a Gregorian would have felt obliged to tarry awhile longer just to connect with his own kith and kin (so to speak) in a genuine endeavour to welcome suggestions and feedback as well as feel the pulse of eminent citizens.

Till today, the Gregorians who witnessed the event keep asking:  if the Minister could treat a table overflowing with billionaires with such disdain, what will he do with peasants or jobless youths?

I urge you to start preparing in earnest for the celebrant’s centenary birthday.  Tokunbo has already commenced vigorous prayers.  Her husband deserves at least twenty more years.

We can all testify that in all the years we have known him, we cannot ever recall him ever losing his temper or uttering an unkind word except when he lashes out at the deplorable state of King’s College, Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos and the tardiness of its old boys in either equalling what the old boys of St. Gregory’s College have done for their college – or even surpassing it.

The celebrant’s son Kayode has just posted the photograph of his dad on instagram with the caption:  “The best-dressed 80-year-old I know.”  Well son, you ain’t seem nothing yet (as Americans would say).  In twenty years’ time, your dad “Awo” will still be looking dapper and the swagger will still be there!

Longevity is in the family genes especially on the maternal side.  Awo’s mother passed away peacefully two years ago at the ripe old age of 104 years and until the very last, she was still in good nick with all her senses intact.  Her own mother was similarly fortunate; she died at the age of 98 years.  She did not show any signs of wear and tear.

By every yardstick Awo has demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that he is a man of destiny.

We have just witnessed Tokunbo lovingly interrupting Awo’s lengthy response to a toast that has not even been proposed yet!  Her excuse was, to quote her:

“I just want you to know I love you.”

She did not need to repeat what had been captured on the video which we have just watched:

“My prayer for you is that you will be around when our grandchildren start getting married.”

By my reckoning that should be around 2039.  So we are on course.

The Almighty always answers the prayers of those he has chosen and we are entitled to look forward to savouring yet another sublime manifestation of his loving mercies and unlimited glory.  Tokunbo has promised Awo that come 2039, she will still be delectable and radiant for him.  Those who know Awo would readily confirm that such an offer cannot be resisted regardless of the size of the insurance premium.  It is only in Nigeria that insurance companies belch out the mantra: “No payment no cover.”

In any case Awo is more than ready to pay.

Let us conclude matters by reminding Awo that for entirely different reasons the police sealed up the office of Oando Plc, Wings Towers, Ozumba Mbadiwe Street, Victoria Island.  Awo’s party was on the ground floor within the same complex on Friday night (28th June 2019).  However, here we are on Monday (1st July 2019) morning and the police who came fully armed in riot gear are astounded that amongst those who have just responded to their orders which were delivered by microphone, megaphone and loud-hailers – to evacuate the building immediately are revellers from Awo’s party.

When the police demanded their proof of identity, their response was:

“We are old boys of St. Gregory’s College.  Prince Francis Oluwole Awogboro VQB is one of us.  On the invitation card it was boldly stated:  Bar inexhaustible.  The only information we are willing to give the police is that at 80 he is a great guy and we are already planning his 100th birthday on Saturday 25th June 2039.  Again, on that occasion, the Bar will be inexhaustible.

In addition we want to publicly declare our support for the candidacy of Bashorun J.K. Randle as the next president of our old boys association.  This has nothing to do with the marathon boozing.  Drunk or sober, we remain steadfast.  It is a matter of principle.”

 

Right in front of Wings Towers, the leader of the police squad, Assistant Commissioner of Police ArinzeAgbim (not to be confused  with his famous namesake, the geologist/petroleum engineer) proceeded to launch an impromptu press conference:

“Everybody calls me Yellow.  Even when I was a sergeant, I would not see black and call it white; or vice versa.  I always tell the truth. I never mince words.  We are here to carry out orders from above.  (At that point he was interrupted by a scatato message on his walkie-talkie.  It was from the Inspector General of Police Mr.AbubakarAdamu Mohammed with Deputy Inspector General, Chief TaiwoLakanuand  the Assistant Inspector General of Police of Zone 2, Mr.LawalShehuon the speaker phone.  The message was cryptic: All officers remain at alert.)”

 

Mr. “Yellow” proceeded to explain that on May 31, 2019 the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] released findings from the forensic audit of OandoPlc conducted by a firm of Chartered Accountants (not J.K. Randle Professional Services).  SEC imposed sanctions and set up an interim management team and Board of Directors with Eng. MutiuSunmonu as the Chairman.  That was the point at which the police became involved and sealed the premises.

We have now been given orders to withdraw.  However, before we leave let me repeat what I have told my bosses.  Nigeria cannot have a worthy police unless you pay policemen and women well enough so that they can afford to send their children to St. Gregory’s College.  This was the case in the olden days.  The police barracks in Obalende is an eyesore and national embarrassment but it is directly opposite the pristine St. Gregory’s College.

 

Bashorun J.K. Randle