Another touching account of the charitable works in The SCOAN…
The story of Job in the holy book sounded like a fairy tale to Mr Ezekiel Ayodeji until the cruel hands of nature and man unleashed deadly blows on him in quick succession recently. Within two weeks he lost his wife to typhoid fever, his shop that was full of goods he had just purchased to fire and duped of the sum of N240, 000 by a close friend.
The physically challenged indigene of Ondo State had lived up to his dream of not being liability to anybody by acquiring skills in rewinding coils. In Year 2000, he married a fellow artisan, Medinat Omokeinde. Within five year of marriage, the family was blessed with three children. His business was also thriving. Consequently, he said they lived a life of paradise on earth.
Filled with the joy of having a peaceful home and without any premonition of early exit of either of the couples to the world beyond, he averred that they drew out plans for projects they would execute over a period of time. But this was not to be as the wife fell ill along the line. She was diagnosed of typhoid fever and all effort by medical doctors to cure her of the sickness proved abortive.
According to him, she passed on a few weeks after, precisely on June 5, 2009. With the sudden exit of his wife, Ayodeji’s life was shattered. The sorrow of losing his heartthrob barely 9 years after marrying her and the pain of becoming a single parent of three children shattered his whole existence.
As a strong adherent of traditional statutes, he observed 7-days confinement at home as a mark of respect for his beloved wife after the burial. As the end of the confinement period drew near, he braced himself up for a return to his business in order to have the wherewithal to cater for his three children and other pressing needs.
Suddenly, another arrow was thrust into his heart when he got a call on his mobile phone informing him that the shop he just stocked with goods had been razed by fire. Having lost his wife and means of livelihood within a week, his every hope was instantly lost and committing suicide became the best option but for the love of his children.
Speaking with National Life in Lagos last Sunday, Ayodeji tearfully recounted how joy and contentment that defined his life gave way to sorrow and gloom. “As you can see, I am physically challenged. But I resolved never to be a burden to anybody in my life. To live up to that, I learnt electrical rewinding and thereafter, carved a niche for myself in the job. My dexterity drew many customers to me and as a result, I delved into selling electrical wiring parts. When I had made enough money that I was certain would empower me to cater for a family, I married my late wife Medinat. She was such a nice wife that brought me good luck. Because of my turn around in my fortune, we started making plans for the future of our children and ourselves. But the whole plan suffered a serious setback when my wife fell sick. I took her to the hospital and spent so much all to no avail. One day, I was asked to go and buy drugs for her but when I returned, they told me that she passed on. The news devastated me a great deal. I got her family informed of the development and got no resistance whatsoever from them in going ahead to bury her.
“After the burial, I stayed back in the house for seven days as a sign of respect for her. When it was the seventh day, I heaved a sigh of relief that I would at least go back to my business to get money to feed my children. It was not long I thought about that that I received a call from my colleagues in the market that my shop had been razed by fire. When I heard the news, my whole life completely collapsed and various thoughts crossed my mind. Because I love my children so much I jettisoned all the unholy thought”.
His hope of living a meaning life again was rekindled when Governor Olusegun Mimiko visited the scene of the fire incident and promised to give financial relief to all the victims. What that, smile returned to his face. He then relied on a close friend who was saddled with the responsibility of giving details of each victim’s business financial worth to collect the governor’s monetary promise for him.
Even though, the governor made good his promise by approving the sum of N250, 000 for Ayodeji, the story became the third sojourn into another life of sorrow. He narrated that his friend who was very much aware of his predicament, collected the money on his behalf but merely sent him a token sum of N10, 000 and bolted with the remaining.
Confused over what could have informed his friend’s inhuman action, Ayodeji explained how all efforts he made to retrieve the money from his friend proved abortive.
“I am very surprised by my friend’s action. He was put in charge of giving the government details of our loss to the inferno but after collecting N250, 000 on my behalf, he only sent N10, 000 to me and ran away with the balance. This is a person who was duly informed of my pitiable plight but still went ahead to confiscate the money that the governor approved for me to start up after the fire incident that razed my shop. I called him severally but he would not act accordingly. At a stage, he stopped taking my calls. I went and reported him to the Commissioner for Environment but all efforts to get him to return the money falied”.
Left with no money to make both ends meet, Ayodeji said he had his children sent out of school while his landlord threatened to eject him for unpaid rent. To save his children, from pangs of hunger, he stated that he had to take to the street to beg neighbours and privileged members of his community for help. “When I didn’t have money to feed my children, I resorted to begging people for help. I bought food on credit for a period of time and such opportunities closed I started begging people around for both money and food”.
Now a silver lining seems to have appeared at the end of his dark cloud. Besides being financial empowered, Ayodeji is now a proud owner of a Mercedes Benz and has fast forgotten his past. He explains to sudden turn around in his fortune to National Life.
“I must confess to you that I was terribly weighed down by all those bitter experiences. One day, while ruminating on the way out of these problems, my mind went to Synagogue Church of All Nations. I had heard and seen how people who had problems were helped there. With faith, I went there and as God would have it, Prophet T.B Joshua revealed the whole problem in his prophecy.
“Thereafter, he gave me the sum of N300, 000 to start my business all over and also gave me a Mercedes Benz. Somebody had presented him with the car, but he gave it to me and made provision for the maintenance. Now my children can go back to school and I can live a meaningful life again”.
Written by Innocent Duru
SOURCE: National Life – VOL.2 NO. 68