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Adieu, Colonel David, my soul mate & brother

As is evident in all my articles in this column since inception on December 19, 2007, apart from providing information on my subject matters, I also write for lessons to be learned from my pieces. This one is no exception as it showcases what is true friendship for people to imbibe and gives health advice from the demise of my bosom friend, Colonel Henry Afolabi David and two other buddies of ours, Major Abiodun Doherty (Monday, December 25, 1944 – Monday, October 31, 2016) and High Chief Anthony Abiola Johnson (Sunday, April 20, 1947 – Friday, November 20, 2015), the Apesin of Lagos and a one – time Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Commerce and Industry (1999 – 2002).

And what a fitting coincidence that Wednesday when this column comes out every week is the day chosen for the Christian songs of service and wake keep ceremony for my soul mate at his Omole Phase 1 Ikeja residence in Lagos! The farewell service takes place tomorrow at the Christ Light Cathedral Alausa, Ikeja near the Lagos State Government Secretariat, after which he would be laid to rest at the famous Ikoyi cemetery. While reception follows immediately at the Command Officers Mess of the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Marina opposite the Onikan Stadium.

Of Igbaja, Kwara State origin, Colonel David was born on Lagos Island on Saturday, October 7, 1944 and went to glory on March 18, 32 days ago, which was also a Saturday, and spent all his life in the great city of excellence, except for the five years he was at Fiditi Grammar School in the Western Region, where he had his secondary education and along with Senator Olabode Olajumoke and others were taught by renowned world class poet, Mr. Chris Okigbo. And the four years from 1965 – 69 he was at the University of Ibadan for his prelim (preliminary or advanced level certificate) and degree course and the years of his military postings in Kaduna, Ilorin and Benin.

Colonel David was a rare breed of a person and a complete gentleman all his life. His father was a very wealthy merchant and one of the leading entrepreneurs in Lagos and Nigeria in the 40s through the 70s with houses in Ikoyi, Apapa and Ikorodu Road in the Jibowu to Igbobi axis of that highway. But he was such humble and well behaved that his non – Lagos – born or bred friends and associates never knew he was from an opulent family background. He was also remarkably one of the few children of the rich men in the Lagos of our generation who was brilliant and had university education and degrees and had a highly successful professional career.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts English Honours Degree at the University of Ibadan in 1969 and a Master’s of Art Degree in Education Administration and Planning at the University of Ife known as Obafemi Awolowo University since 1987, when it was renamed in honour of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the Leader of the Yorubas.

His military accomplishments in the Nigerian Army Education Corps (1972 – 96) include being decorated with such medals as Force Services Star (Fss), Meritorious Service Star (Mss), Republic Medal (RM), Distinguished Service Medal (DSM), General Service Medal (GSM) and National Service Medal (NSM).

Afor, as Lagosians refer to anyone with the name Afolabi and as friends fondly called Colonel David, was someone who made friends easily with people and sustained it until the end of his life with each person. As a matter of fact, he behaved like a brother to all his buddies, showing loyalty and commitment to everyone. I do not know of any pal he had a tiff with for one day let alone falling out with anyone in my 52 – year – long association with him.

To be continued next week Wednesday.


God bless Pastor Lazarus Muoka (8)

The second issue Pastor Nwodu raised during his telephone call was what he regarded as an error in my statement that only the Nazarites were banned by God from taking wine or alcohol (Numbers 6: 1 – 4). He said Bishops (which according to him include all priests and prophets) were also prohibited from doing so in 1 Timothy 3:3. Of course, at the time I wrote my article I was aware of the point he raised, but I didn’t use it because it is only in the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible that the clergy were banned from drinking wine or alcohol.

What is in the Good News Bible (GNB) is that a church leader (as a bishop is referred to) must not be a drunkard. And I believe this is what is correct because as can be seen in the story on the Last Supper in Matthew 26:25 – 29 and Mark 14:22 – 25, Jesus blessed bread and wine and took them with his disciples. Ending with the statement in both KJV & GNB: “I tell you (say unto you) I will never again drink this wine (fruit of the vine) until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”

So, how could Jesus who drank wine on that occasion, have told bishops or church leaders or the clergy not to take wine as Apostle Paul is reported to have said in the King James Version? What happened during the Last Supper is what makes me accept the version in the Good News Bible that what Paul must have said was that a bishop or church leader must not be a drunkard. Not that they should not drink wine at all. Because saying that the clergy must not take it as it is in KJV means they should not partake in the Eucharist (Holy Communion) because it is the drink used during that sacrament. For this reason, I take it that the authors of the KJV must have misinterpreted the words in the original language which they translated from.

NEXT WEEK: The concluding part in which I will give suggestions on what church leaders should do to stop people bringing money made from crime and rituals as tithes or thanksgiving offerings. After it, the Professor Anele series will return.

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