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Chief MKO Abiola's Generosity Is Second To None

By Olusegun Ogundipe

Exactly 34 years today, it was few days to the resumption date. I was just given an admission to the Unilorin. I needed N400 to proceed from Lagos to Ilorin to start the registration. I looked up, no help, no one to call. I had only N60 as savings. I had lost my dad 3 years before then.

The Account department in the company I worked for Radio Communications Nigeria Ltd, Yaba just bought a big cash iron safe. The Security Guards and few Drivers were called to push it to the 3rd floor where the department was located. I joined them so that I could share in the N500 the department promised the emergency labourers.

As we were pushing the big safe upstairs, a careless Security Guard miscalculated and the safe landed heavily on one of the wooden planks we laid on the floor to prevent the tiles from breaking. The plank raised up and hit my toes, severed the nail and blood gushed out.

I was rushed to the staff clinic at ITT Headquarters, Jibowu Yaba. Few minutes after, my Head of Department arrived and saw blood stains. He was told what happened. Whilst he was listening, Chief MKO Abiola, chairman arrived. He too was briefed. MKO got annoyed and promised to query my HOD. The HOD issued query to the Chief Security officer to explain why he allowed me to join them. That was how I created isu ata yan-an yan-an (what we jokingly called 'yam pepper scatter scatter').

I was treated and I returned back to the office only to meet Chief MKO coming down from his office at the 5th floor. He wondered why I didn't go home straight instead of coming back to the office. Not knowing he had heard the story, i told him I came to collect my share of the money we worked for. He took me back to my department and instructed that my resignation letter should be cancelled and my salary restored till the end of my course in the University.

My HOD gave me a cheque of N2000 immediately Chief MKO left. Unbelievable! I nearly fell down because my annual salary was N1800. The following morning MKO called me to report to ITT head office. He gave me another N2000 cheque. As I was going out of MKO office, his secretary called me aside that 'Mummy' (that was what we called Alhaja Simbiat Abiola) directed him to give me N2000 naira cheque.

I didn't know that MKO heard his secretary, he called me back inside that he wouldn't be at the same level with Alhaja. His must surpassed what a woman gave me. He called the MD, Abiola Bookshop that "allow Segun, once in a year to enter the Bookshop and pack as many books as he can. He will do this once in a year for four years"

That was how I left Lagos as a mini 'millionaire' for Ilorin. Up till today, I didn't know how the N500 we laboured for was shared.

Mr A.O Oyeniji, you will live long to reap the fruits of your labour. You're a grand father already, you will see more of your descendants. Goodness and mercy will not depart from your home.

I celebrate Chief MKO Abiola and his wife today as always. May your gentle souls rest in perfect peace. In as much as no force can prevent the dawn of every new days, none of your descendants will know poverty.

It was the eve of my birthday and I was extremely happy. Today, I thank God once again.

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