It's Been 20 Years My Biological Father Passed On By Segun Coker - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

It's Been 20 Years My Biological Father Passed On By Segun Coker


Late Chief Akitoye Akinbowale Coker:
He was a Senior Advocate  of Nigeria, Chairman of Nigerian Reinsurance corporation, 1st Ambassador of Western Nigeria to the UK, Savannah Bank Plc, National Social Insurance Trust Fund, Apena of Egbaland, Ogun State Gubernatorial candidate, Baba Ijo St. James African Church, Life Patron: Abeokuta Chamber of Commerce, etc.

Most prominent title of all he had was that he was my father!!

While growing up I had the privilege of seeing many great men usually seen only on TV coming to our house in the dead of the night. Baba Obasanjo, Augustus Aikhomu, Baba Jakande, MKO, were a few among many names I saw live in our front yard. I was there when Baba Adeboye came to preach salvation to him in that same house. He was surrounded by the mighty and the poorest. He was father to everybody so much that we didnt even know who is who again.

A Director in my first workplace once told me, "I lived in your father's house for many months and your father could never know how many of us were living and eating in that house". 

He was generous. I once walked up to say "Daddy our neighbour's daughter has not paid for Jamb form and he just rolled out the money asking no questions". I brought home any close friend whose parents couldn't accommodate and some lived in for years.

I grew up in a house where all manner of people brought their problems from the chambers to the house ..like it was a general hospital. In fact after the burial, a group came to ask me to put in a word for them with the family as my father had promised them a drum set... Imagine!!

He stood up to defend the helpless even at his own cost. It was just a thing of the heart. His first case was to defend an hausa man who a British official ordered his dogs to bite.and he won the case. I have witnessed his lawyers at the chambers complaining that he is being too kind to people who are not doing same.

I gave my life to Christ and became very committed to the things of God so much that my father noticed and he would kneel down when he asks me to pray. Humility unparalleled even at home. Honest... I can say that as he would rather leave the pot than drag his name in the mud. He was always willing to let it go... I remember Savannah Bank.

He had wisdom (widely consulted) and rather than amass money...he gave it out severally and in turn gained influence which made him a king maker in many fronts. A great lesson to many simply amassing wealth today. The truth is that even where some of those who benefited so much from him had done nothing in return, none can deny the impact he had made in their lives and this (not just heavy bank accounts) is the reason for his long lasting memorial and golden legacy.

He lived in one house and was content with his Mercedes 200. He helped the weak (at times strangers) even to his own detriment and would give that precious listening ear to the most undeserving considering his status.

The winds changed on this same faithful day in the year 2000. The pigeons in the house began to fall down and die, one after the other, of their own accord. We all knew something was going on though he was in the hospital in the UK. I went back to school only to pick the newspapers..and there it was on the front page... The eagle had gone!

A child that would go far must pay due respect and tribute to his father. Great respect to the late Akitoye Akinbowale Coker... So many lessons to learn. This is my short TRIBUTE to one of the great gifts Nigeria ever had. The legacy now takes a new high turn in Christ the solid rock on which we stand!

Segun Coker (Pst)
seguncoker@schoolofvirtue.org
21st September, 2020.

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