MAMA gracefully and affectionately pronounced his name with a stock phrase: “Seyi Omo Makinde,” – Seyi the son of Makinde, and majestically combined it with a fitting motherly eulogy and prayer, as I observed with keen interest, the inspiring manner in which Mama Abigail Makinde greeted her governor-to-be son in late February 2019. His response was with such a calm, humble, friendly and happy demeanour. Status means nothing when you know how to respect your parents. She had just returned to her residence in Ibadan from an outing, and mama ensured she greeted every one of us with warm affection. Interestingly, Mama’s house was where Engr Seyi Makinde had scheduled to meet a small group of communication experts sent by his friend from Abuja, and I was an observer in the team that included my dear brother, Ose Anenih. Writing about it means I did not take that happenstance lightly. As an Ekiti boy, it triggered something special in me. That beautiful encounter left me with a lasting mental impression and made me to understand that Mama Abigail Makinde was a special woman knowledgeable in the mystery of the word of God and one who understood times and seasons. Mama must have known that “God does not deal with mankind as a loosely disordered aggregation of individuals,” and that “lineage is thus a cardinal component in God’s continuation of His covenant with mankind,” explained Gic Serry. The Makinde lineage meant a lot to her and it must be preserved.
So, in addition to the fitting and beautiful celebration of the life and times of Mama Makinde, a quintessential mother, grandmother and great grandmother, who died at 81, there is something unique that young mothers and aspiring mothers or parents can learn from her to propel their children to greatness: “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Deuteronomy 6:7. Indeed, the prayer of a righteous woman avails much and it is the Lord’s secret weapon. Noticeably, she never stopped calling him “Seyi Omo Makinde,” even after praying him to the governorship seat of Oyo state and until her death. It was an encouragement that will constantly remind him to “always remember the son of whom you are.” You never can tell how much the majestic eulogy and fervent prayers of a mother can make a man to pursue limitless possibilities. That is why you often hear from people talk about a successful man as one “who has his mother behind him like a hunchback.” It is a popular talk in African communities.
Mama Abigail Makinde knew the importance of adopting this elegant approach to greeting her son (I supposed all the children), for them to possibly: “understand the worth of the lineage, develop a sense of honour and pride, and also to bring out the best in them.” When the blind beggar called: “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me!” in Luke 18:38, our Lord Jesus Christ stood and attended to his need. The Canaanite woman cried and said “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed” in Matthew 15:22. He answered her. The manner of these calls were very special to Jesus. According to Wikipedia, “Matthew begins by calling Jesus the son of David, indicating his royal origin, and also son of Abraham, indicating that he was an Israelite; both are stock phrases, in which son means descendant, calling to mind the promises God made to David and to Abraham.” This is significant, and it is a virtue every mother, father and parent should learn to adopt. Definitely, Mama Makinde must have made a success of her family by learning from the life of our saviour Jesus Christ and other historical contexts in the Bible.
When you look at how Governor Seyi Makinde has handled governance and how he has consistently dared to be different, you cannot but see that motherly touch of kindness and love, which has continued to inspire him to be outstanding. Although I have refrained from writing to praise his efforts and governance style, because to whom much is given much is also expected, however, I cannot in good conscience write about Mama Makinde, without saying the obvious about his son, the beloved governor of the Pace-setter State. He has been truly remarkable. This one is about Mama. I will certainly write about him in the nearest future, especially about the enviable leadership role he provided during the #EndSARS protests. Let us celebrate the Majestic Mamam Makinde, a truly remarkable and quintessential mother whose transition, like the Comet, was equally majestic. I have read more about her from a few tributes in the media. She was truly an inspiring mother who made her home open to everyone, while her hospitality gave a sense of belonging to those who crossed her path. As a family-oriented woman, she was a beautiful soul, most loving and caring, compassionate and humble, understanding and frank. She is a mother of mothers.
Although the loss of a loving mother is a painful loss to bear, the Makindes must take heart and find solace in the understanding that death is inevitable, while Mama’s departure must be seen as the ascension of a saint. Mama lived a focused and fulfilled life with the gracious hope of eternal life. She gave her family exceptional memories too beautiful to forget. On behalf of my family and the Ajoro Ekiti group, I write to convey to the entire family of the Makindes our heartfelt condolences on the passing unto glory of your dearly beloved matriarch. No matter how old we get, we still need our mothers. My thoughts and prayers are with you. May God Almighty grant the entire family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. Good night Mama Makinde. Eniyan bi Iya ko si….
- Ariyo-Dare Atoye writes in from Abuja via firstname.lastname@example.org
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