BY FUNMI PETER-OMALE
Don’t feel sorry for me, I don’t need or want it. Save it for those who crave attention and validations from others. 😉
Thank God for everything, He’s not sharing His glory with inglorious people, who over the years made empty promises. 😁 😁 😁
Thank God, that the grasses are green everywhere, and everyone has stayed in their lanes to the glory of God. 😃😃😃😁
December means different things to many people. It’s the month of Jesus’ birthday. 🎄 ❄️
My best friend from childhood, Fatimoh; my baby sister, Odunola and my late dad, Oyehan Akinboade all have their birthdays in December.
Oh, and I got married in December.
And the husband sadly, passed to eternity in December. 😔 😢 😩
Basically, it’s been 20 Christmases and 20 New Year celebrations, without Peter Omale Snr.
I’m sitting here reliving those last few weeks together, as I always did. Unknown to either of us, God was ordering our steps to have those your last remaining weeks here, together. Just the two of us. No children, no attachments, as you used to joke about them 😅😅😅
Started off December 8th to the RCCG camp for the Holy Ghost Congress aptly titled “WIND OF CHANGE”, then to Ibadan to see my mum; then back to Lagos, to Abuja, to Ayetoro-Gbede for Eni B’s sister’s wedding then to Abuja and then you shooed me back to Jos for Christmas preparations.
I remember vividly, as soon as you arrived on Boxing Day, you didn’t even waste time sitting down. You were in an inexplicable hurry to distribute the bags of rice, turkey, drinks and other things you normally give out to less privileged friends, colleagues and church people. I didn’t understand the impetus, the need to start going round Jos dropping stuff off on Boxing Day! But if you knew Peter, you’d know and understand exactly what I’m saying.
It never occurred to any of us, he was doing this for the last time. He was doing his final goodbyes.
Of course, 27th, 28th, 29th December all went in a flash. My husband was still going shopping buying more bags of rice, chicken, and other groceries to give a little bit more even to the manual labourers that help us when building – gardener, cleaners, etc. Let it not surprise you, Peter knew the places of all these artisans, and regularly went to check on them. 😃
30th of December, we were relaxing, watching TV, and somebody rang our land-line phone asking for my husband. One of the children picked in the lobby and transferred the cordless to Peter. From his side of the conversation, he’s to proceed to Abuja to attend and cover “baba’s” (then President Olusegun Obasanjo) end of and new year speech or assignment or whatever. I remember him, negotiating with the person to “get and send him the speech” as they normally did.
But whoever was at the other end resisted and after few minutes, Peter stated OK, he’d go back to Abuja the next day, 31st December. Our wedding anniversary o! I was furious. That’s even an understatement.
I used every weapon a woman could humanly and possibly use on her man; cajoled, begged, enticed, threatened, prayed and cried.
Just to discourage this guy o. Ina, Peter said he didn’t wanna miss story and get queried and/or surcharged. (Nduka Obaigbena suspends and surcharges Thisday staff anyhow!)
Until today, I have not been able confirm who placed that call, calling Peter Omale to his death.
Of course God allowed it. His injuries from the auto accident wouldn’t have been fatal, by today’s standards. But the fact was there were no medical personnel to attend to him and others at Keffi Hospital A&E. They were all on Christmas and New Year holidays.
No visible injuries on Peter, I guess he had internal bleeding which nothing was done about and his body went into shock. Even when I got there, there were only two nurses, attending to dozens of patients and family members making enquiries about loved ones.
Thirty years of knowing and loving the most selfless man and friend, the best father any child could ask for. He wasn’t a perfect man, but was a perfect love, friend and father I needed.
He was the husband of my youth.
Married for only 10 years, but thankful to God that I chose him and him me, to be parents to our children. He was a thoroughbred journalist, every editor’s dream reporter and the best person to have as a colleague and friend.
With Peter Omale, one was always in good hands. Because he’d lay down anything of his, even his life for others. He used to give everything away, everything. For him, everyday one is here, is a rainy day. So when he passed, there were no saved money or properties or extra assets anywhere. Nothing.
So, the children and I, started from the scratch, building and rebuilding from the bottom to up.
And we thank God for His faithfulness, loving kindness and for those very few friends that have been with us on our journey for the past 20 years. May God reward your kindness, support and help measure for measure. And we have and are still paying it forward, because kindness is a necessity.
Thank you all. Merry Christmas and Happy New year to you and all of yours.