LOUD WHISPERS : A Time For Psalms

I am in a joyful mood right now. Yet I also feel very sad. I will start with the happy part, there are three reasons all in one here. First,I am happy because inspite of the fact that the second lap of Nigeria’s elections which took place on Saturday March 9th turned some States into war zones, the election in Ekiti State was very peaceful. No one was shot. No elections had to be cancelled or unduly delayed. There was no siege. People went out to quietly cast their votes, and even though there is no such thing as a Nigerian election without drama, if scores were to be awarded, Ekiti would score 100%. Second, my party the APC made a clean sweep of all the State House of Assembly seats. 26-0. Third, and this is the truly joyful part for me, all the four women who contested on the platform of the party won their seats. On February 23rd, Hon. Wunmi Ogunlola representing Ekiti Central Federal Constituency won her election to the National Assembly as a member of the House of Representatives. Ekiti State now has five women at the State and Federal level. It is a shame that we are celebrating just one out of 9 Federal seats and 4 out of 26 local ones, but we have to be thankful for small mercies. These numbers are some of the best in the country. For now I choose to celebrate and be happy for my sisters Hon. Yemisi Ayokunle (Ekiti South West Constituency 1), Hon. Kemi Famuagun-Balogun (Ado Constituency 2) Hon. Teju Okuyiga (Gbonyin Constituency) and Hon. Bunmi Adelugba (Emure Constituency). Electoral fortunes are also seasons. They come and go. There was a time when my husband Governor Kayode Fayemi took an inexplicable political beating. He lost his re-election bid in June 2014 in all the 16 local governments of Ekiti State. The winners taunted us endlessly with the ‘16-0’ loss. The State Assembly elections that took place a few months later in March 2015 was another bloodbath, with our low spirited party members putting up very little resistance. Our party did not win a single seat. During the 2018 re-election campaign these losses weighed heavily on the minds of even close supporters, with the other side threatening a repeat of the total routing.You have to be a saint not to gloat at a political win, especially one that is in the ‘Shell lacking’ range. Now in 2019, we are even. 16-0. 9-0. 26-0. Gbam!!! Yet gloating should only last for seconds, praise singing and back slapping a few minutes,  and the hard work of justifying the various mandates given demand long hours. The success or failure of a political office holder depends on the amount of time devoted to each of these phases. Congratulations to my sisters, to all the candidates who won their seats at State and Federal level, to the good people of Ekiti, and to our ‘star boy’ Governor who delivers with minimum fuss and maximum efficiency.

Now for the very sad part. Two eminent Nigerians died in the recent Ethiopian Airlines crash, Professor Pius Adesanmi and Professor Abiodun Bashua. When I first heard of the crash, I panicked because it is a route many of us who attend meetings in Addis Ababa take, I have flown that leg many times. I prayed silently that there would not be any friends of mine on the flight.That prayer sadly went unanswered. Professor Pius Adesanmi was a very passionate writer, teacher, communicator and respected public intellectual. He mastered the use of satire, humour and a vast range of anecdotes to run blistering commentaries on the complex nature of our communities across Africa and in Nigeria in particular. His voice was a consistent and clear one in the search for shared humanity and social justice for all. The loss of someone like Pius at a time like this when we need voices such as his to keep speaking truth to power and help inspire the next generation to greatness is a terrible thing. As Pius sat at the Bole International Airport in Addis waiting for his flight, perhaps something told him that his task of communicating using various modes of expression, was about to come to an end. He sent out a message:

If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me and thy right hand shall hold me (Psalm 139: 9-10)

Why did Pius send this last message quoting a Psalm? Why this particular one? We will never know. His family, friends and colleagues in the literary community will discuss the import of these final words from a man who always had so many profound things to say for a long time to come. These were words of acceptance, trust and faith in the power of God who controls all fortunes and destinies. He of course could not have known that they would be his last words, but in writing them, he taught his last class and gave his last lecture. Nothing ever lasts forever, and certainly not mere mortals. Pius packed a massive amount into his short time on earth. He made very good use of the gifts he had been given by God, and in his final words inspired by the book of Psalms, there is a certain amount of accountability. It was as if he was saying, ‘I have delivered on this assignment. I am ready for whatever else you have for me’.

Rest in peace dear Pius. Your stay has been brief but immensely impactful. We all struggle along different paths and accomplish things great and small then we take a bow for others to replace us. May we all be guided and supported down the right paths and may we all receive the grace to do the best we can so that we can give a good account of ourselves when the time comes, either here on earth or in the world beyond. For my sisters who have just won their elections and are about to begin an incredible journey, I leave you with Psalm 121:

I lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help

My help cometh from theLord, which made heaven and earth

He shall not suffer thy foot to be moved, he that keepeth thee will not slumber

Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep

The Lord is thy keeper, the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand

The sun shall not smite thee by day nor the moon by night

The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil, he shall preserve thy soul

The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth and even for evermore.

 

Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi is a Gender Specialist, Social Entrepreneur and Writer. She is the Founder of Abovewhispers.com, an online community for women. She can be reached at BAF@abovewhispers.com

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Above Whispers

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17 Responses to LOUD WHISPERS : A Time For Psalms

  1. Femi Diipo March 15, 2019 at 7:34 am

    There is something about the bible that can suddenly cheer the heart in the midst of unbelievable circumstances.
    I read this with mixed feelings, the historical victory in my state and the unfortunate loss of the people on the Ethiopian flight. But after the psalm I’m left with only the feeling of praise, that he who has created us is always in control and understands our grievous pains.
    May the souls of the departed rest in peace.
    And Ekiti shall be great, I’m filled with much joy anytime I think of how blessed we are to be in such hands like yours. Ma’am, you’re such an icon.

    Reply
  2. George Philips March 15, 2019 at 7:40 am

    Seriously, the news of Pius Adesanmi broke me. I wasn’t expecting it at all. It is painful. very painful.

    Reply
  3. Olumide Adegboye March 15, 2019 at 7:44 am

    It’s a normal thing in life, when there is rejoicing, there is also sadness going on somewhere. I know how it feels to have both in one day. You don’t want to be overjoyed and then be so sad that you become insensitive to the joys of other people. God will give the families of the bereaved the fortitude to bear the loss and thank you ma, for supporting women indeed.

    Reply
  4. Amarchi Joy March 15, 2019 at 7:48 am

    God help us to understand the times. The pain, the joy. I was broken when i heard the news of the crash especially when they said no one survived. Oh God. It’s a continental disaster. Seriously, it’s out time for psalms as a nation.

    Reply
  5. Femi Bod March 16, 2019 at 4:30 am

    What will be said of me when I die.

    Reply
  6. Olakunle Olajide March 17, 2019 at 11:47 am

    Last week was a week filled with mixed feelings. Good news and bad news flowing at intervals. We mourn the irreplaceable ones and try to console the bereaved. And congratulations to you and everyone in Ekiti for the flawless victory.

    Reply
  7. Victor Udoh March 18, 2019 at 7:39 am

    It’s always a case of bitter-sweet experience in life. Congratulations to the women and the new lawmakers. May God also give the families of the bereaved, the fortitude to bear this loss. God bless you ma.

    Reply
  8. Lucy Attah March 18, 2019 at 7:42 am

    It’s such an overwhelming experience I must say. The grief. The pain and also the joy. I just wished that tragedy never happened. There were a lot of young people on that plane. People going to save the lives of other people and then, it happened. They couldn’t save their lives. It is such a painful incident but at the same time, we will not let go of the joy of winning after such a great hardwork. We ill not be ungrateful to God for crowning your effort and that of the team with success, good success at that. May God help us.

    Reply
  9. Omoboriowo O.B.O March 18, 2019 at 7:43 am

    May God help us. Even as we rejoice, we mourn with those that mourn.

    Reply
  10. Sheila Luke March 18, 2019 at 7:45 am

    I love Pius Adesanmi a lot. The man was just so good with so many things. His words, his intellectual capacity and all of that. I hoped to see him someday but as it is now… That dream cannot come to pass. May God help his family through this moment.

    Reply
  11. Chinedu March 18, 2019 at 7:46 am

    One tragedy, One Victory. We are mindful of the times. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  12. Veronica Imaseun March 18, 2019 at 7:49 am

    I actually thought that was no article o. Jeez! I have missed. Sincerely, I think as humans, we should be ready for anything at any point in time. In Ecclesiastes, there is a time to laugh and a time to mourn and it takes wisdom when both falls on the same day.

    Reply
  13. Bisi Alawode March 18, 2019 at 7:51 am

    I was happy to see that we won all the seats and gave them a taste of their own medicine but at the same time, when I heard the news of that plane crash… I was broken. No survivor, nothing to rescue. May God help all the families of the bereaved.

    Reply
  14. Esther Aderanti March 18, 2019 at 7:52 am

    Life and blows it gives…

    Reply
  15. Dom Dom March 19, 2019 at 2:55 am

    It is always very important to do the best we can with life, for no one knows tomorrow. This is a perfect article for these days and may the souls of the departed rest in peace

    Reply
  16. DSEED March 19, 2019 at 9:22 am

    The yoruba adage is fact. The good trees in the Bush never last. Rest on Pius. And to all the winning political women, we believe you will represent us well. Congratulations.

    Reply
  17. Eric Onuoha March 24, 2019 at 2:57 am

    Congratulations to the women of Ekiti State who won a seat at the State and Federal house of assembly.
    What a great loss. It will be good to do whatever we have been called to do on Earth with the best of our ability so that when we take our exit, we will be remembered for good. Rest in peace Professor Pius

    Reply

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