Life is in stages and men in sizes, twenty children they say do not play for twenty years and I must confess the days of playing around is over for me and many of you as we all gather to celebrate friendship and different voices stoically speaking as one and saying a huge thank you to OJO’ODOBAOGAGO for his grace and unmerited mercy upon our lives and mine in particular. I must admit at this point that am the least qualify person for his grace, truth be told, I have tried my best somewhere along the road and am at peace knowing that he loves me unconditionally amid my fallibility to have added this day to my sojourn here on earth and I pray you all at the altar of his mercy to do same.
I have seen and heard the saying of prayers in English and tongues. I have seen decency of a loving, giving and accommodating people who have made my grief their own and turn to celebrate my joy and see through my eyes a hope for better tomorrow. My relationship with everyone on this table is one that first openly defined itself in terms of both spirituality and human liberty coated in humanity. It is that unique self-definition which has given us an exceptional appeal to tolerate our differences and daily five minutes madness. But it also imposes on us a special obligations to take on each other’s moral duties which, when assumed, seem invariably to be in our own best interest.
Whether I turn to my satirical comments of the past or to my sarcastic humor of the present in relating with you guys, the conduct of my relationship with you all seems equally welcoming and revolting. I might have been false to the past, false to the present but seeing you guys seated here today to celebrate me, I am solemnly binding myself to be truthful to the future. I will use the severest language I can command, today and yet not one word shall escape me that any of you here, whose judgment is not blinded by prejudice or who is not at heart led by emotions shall admit to its truism.
You all have humbled me and given a great responsibility – to me to stay close to you, to be worthy of you, to be grateful to God for your friendship and to exemplify what you are as we shall hence create together a spirit of unity and trust. Let our past mistakes and inadequacies brings a resurgent commitment to our continuity- your strength can compensate for my weakness and your wisdom can help to minimize my mistake. Let us learn together and laugh together and work together and pray together, confident that in the end we will triumph together in the right direction.
Finally, whether you are my friend, adversary, client, I ask of you that with the same high standards of strength and sacrifice. That with a good conscience our only sure reward, with history and final judge of our deeds, let us go forth in friendship to exploit the world, asking his blessings and his help but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be reflected in sincere friendship, brotherhood, neighborhood and humanity…………………..
Thank you all for using your time, resources and inexhaustible voice through satire, irony, hyperbole and sarcasm with compassion and sacrifices and endurance, and tolerance to help me endure the mundane suffering by lifting my heart, by reminding me of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which has been the glory of my past and the hope of my future…………….thank you for humbling me, I pray this day among other things that God will humble men before you.
OJO’ODOBAOGAGO: An expression in Igala Exalting the supremacy and omniscient nature of God