HOW IT HAPPENED
It had been a long week, all packed up for Lagos as I had missed the Christmas and new-year holiday I was very restless, needed to be home. Bussy had just boarded.
The phone rings and luckily, it’s just beside me, ‘Who is Dr Chioma again oh, I must know because her number was stored on my phone’. It was disturbing news, “Your brother was attacked by an armed robber in traffic just right after work, and he has been rushed to Lasuth for treatment. Please I would like any of your parent’s numbers?” “Wait please; calm down what happened and where was he shot? You need to talk to me because I am the only one you can talk to”
Confused, but tried my best to comport myself for clarity “Where is he now? Can he talk? Are you with him in Lasuth?” “Dr Ojia, please I really don’t know the true picture, but I know he has been rushed to Lasuth, I will call you as soon as the hospital MD and I get there we are on our way”. “I am on my way to the airport, Dr Chioma and I would also call my colleagues in Lasuth to find out what’s going on. Thank you” said I.
On my way to the airport I made some phone calls, one to my cousin Funmi who was just right by my mother’s side, she was to inform my mum that she would be running an emergency errand for me in Ikeja and to also disable internet services on all of her gadgets till she returned. “Funmi, when you leave the house call me on your way downstairs” “Oj wassup? I’m on my way what happened? “Funmi, Irawo has been shot by a robber but I need you to head to Lasuth and call me I am on my way to the airport, should be with you soon by God’s grace” “Ahhhh shot? Oh my God where in Lasuth? Il use a cab now please God let nothing bad happen”
My next phone call was to Dr Diya, a friend and colleague of ours he was not working so he called his boss who was not available to pick his call. Dr Sanmi Obajuluwa, colleague and friend too, he was with me in Abuja at the time and also made his series of calls to no avail. Funmi calls right back at this point, upset beyond belief that she was not allowed seeing him that they demanded a parent or elderly person from the family.
Calming her as much as I could I asked her to give the doctor the phone “Hello sir, Good afternoon, I am Dr Ojia Adamolekun and I would like to speak to you about my brother who was rushed into your emergency unit about 15 minutes ago” “Good afternoon Dr Adamolekun, I am so sorry we would not be able to speak to you on the phone. He was rushed in, shot at point blank range in Anthony traffic. He is in the ICU presently, we are doing our best” “Doctor, please I am his only sibling left and my mother is alone at home, my dad is an Ortho Surgeon (COL) in Sudan so I am the only person and you need to tell me right now what is going on, we are colleagues and we do this everyday” at this point my calm was unbelievable and only God could have been responsible for it. “ Dr Adamolekun, I am sorry, he was BID (Brought in Dead) at 3:40pm TOD was 3:15 pm he was shot a point blank range to the left temporal region. May the lord Grant you the fortitude to bear this heavy loss. I will keep your cousin here till you arrive but I will not break it to her”, “Thank you Doctor, for not making this any difficult for me God bless you. “
I was dizzy, how I manage to whisper “God please take control I leave it all to you” is still a mystery to me. “Funmi, please I need you to put yourself together, who is there with you? “ “Grillo from school, wassup is he responding to treatment?” “He is in the ICU, I will call uncle Ken right now so they can allow you in” “ok I will wait outside”
My Third phone call was a strange one, it was DEJAVU, “ Uncle Ken, please something bad has happened”, narrating in a summary he understood but refused to believe me as he also set out to the hospital. Almost at the airport and I needed to do this ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
I wailed like a mad black woman, screamed, and spoke to God saying “If this is what you want, let your will be done ok” I begged God to start his work by comforting my parents even before I got to them. It was only yesterday we both buried Imole; I was just beginning to deal with that loss God, How do I fix this?
“God what do I do next? Jesus Christ have mercy stay with me Jesus stay with me, protect me yourself, only you can comfort me, start now already. My friend, Sanmi took me to the airport, he had no idea or clue as to what to do next so, he held my hand as soon as he pulled over.
However, the moment Sanmi stepped out of the car I continued my conversation with God maybe because at this particular point nobody could comfort me but him, I managed a couple more prayers and then my fourth phone call.
The time was 5:45pm, it felt like time was slowing down, my mum at this point would be wondering what was going on so I called her “ hello mom” “Ojia how na small girl” I manage to giggle “I hope we are seeing you tomorrow? We miss you plenty” “mummy, definitely by God’s grace you will see me first thing in the morning” “I cant get through to Irawo oh, he told me he would be home this evening so we could go to the tennis court together” “oh, maybe he is still working e ma binu, you know how we do now!” laughing at this point my mum informs me about the nepa situation and how it was time for her to go jogging. I hang up the phone and yes that was my fourth phone call.
It was almost 7pm I dialed Timi Dakolo informing him of the situation and how his role would help me buy time. Timi Dakolo was at my house to pay my mum a visit to keep her company as soon as she arrived home from her jog. On his arrival, my mum had also thought to inform Irawo who was also timi’s good friend that he was in the house unfortunately she didn’t get through.
In Lasuth …… my uncle had arrived and was informed of the bad news, he refused to believe them so he asked them to take him to the ICU, his next phone call to me was subtle, reassuring and asking God for direction and divine comfort.
Bussy had landed, I broke the news and she too didn’t believe, she headed straight to Lasuth also confirmed the story and that was when I was sure Irawo was gone.
My heart broke, I wasn’t sure where to continue from and the delayed flight made it even more painful to deal with. As doctors, we certify people everyday and everyday babies are born in dozens in yet another wing of the hospital. Knowing that my brother was transported in the back of a police van to the hospital in a pool of his own blood just like the BID (brought in dead) we certify everyday was outright sickening. Millions of things went through my head, till I felt numb, my tummy felt poisoned from pain that throbbed at every interval, how do I break this news to my Mother?
I had to stop thinking when my phone rang out, it was Panshak Zamani, at this point we were boarding, he had called to console, encourage me that things would be in God’s control now, and how I had to be a strong woman through this.
Bussy was at the Lasuth Morgue with my uncle and cousin who was still shaken at this point Segun Shonowo, Toluwalase Marquis, and some other friends were there to make the pain less painful. A couple more phone calls came through before take of and I remember the last call vividly, it was Jude Abaga, he had asked me where I was and I said I was boarding to Lagos “ who is travelling with you?” “No one, I just need to get to Lasuth first” “Oh my God you are by yourself? You will be fine just land in Lagos. Is anyone picking you up?” “Not sure, can’t remember but I’m sure Bussy will work something out?” “Ok let me know when you are in lag please I will call you back, just put yourself together and God will do the rest. Do you need anything to be done ASAP?” “Jude, I just need my friend” that’s all it took.
Alone in the row I chose the window seat and I drifted for the first 15minutes with only blank cards in my head. You should get to know me a little at this point, I grew up being the fix-it person of my family and friends and subconsciously tend to want the best results from situations even if they seem impossible to every one else. Somehow, I had solutions to little problems amongst my friends always choosing the right words to bring calm, warmth and smiles. As human as I am too, I had my own seasons of situations I’m not perfect but at this point I was still blank.
Finally, the pilot announced that we would be landing and “boom” my head spun back to reality. I wept inconsolable till the passengers all left, I was in some sort of fit crying, just crying. The hostesses were so warm and understanding even before I summoned the courage to tell them what was wrong they just held me, hugged me and yes, I was prepared for life.
Getting to pick up my luggage almost lost in thought again I heard my name, the hostesses had helped with my luggage and a guy in knickers and a singlet rushed towards hug me, “I’m so sorry you had to travel alone, I’m also very sorry about Irawo” it was Jude Abaga, I was getting stronger so I mustered “thank you” he had helped with my luggage walking me to the car pack. Bussy was waiting too, Segun, lase, Funmi they all made the pain less painful.
“Bussy how e take happen?” she just hugged me, she had never been a woman of many words but this time she really didn’t have anything to say, she just rocked me and cried with me. We were on our way to the morgue and all I could do was worship, like I had never done before, the songs made me stronger even if it had just dawned on me that I was running on worms.
I am not a fan of the morticians maybe because I saw them as the bad guys, they were cold in nature had few or no friends, antisocial, and most of all the death doctors. “Good evening sir, please I would like to identify a body BID this evening” “good evening ma, we cannot open the mortuary at 10pm it would have to be in the morning, you would also need a police report” “Ok, thank you” my head was almost turning red even if I had a red weave on, I needed to be sure this was my only brother for Christ sake.
Where to go next was the next puzzle, “ Ok Funmi, please you will go home, and when you get there please keep the internet data off on mum’s gadgets, apologize on my behalf for keeping you out late and first thing in the morning, do not open the door for any body but me, or uncle ken. Do you understand? “ Sobbing , she nodded and I knew it wasn’t enough. I was giving her a huge responsibility. “Hey! You can pull this through you are an Adamolekun Woman and we were born strong and tough. Mummy cannot deal with this tonight it has to be in the morning and please don’t allow her use your phone for Linda Ikeji blog because its already there I need to sort out arrangements for Irawo’s body to be brought to the compound morgue ok!?” “I’m so sorry’, she said, “I don’t know what to say to you if I feel this way, they will take me home now.” “Good send me a bbm when you are in the house and please wash your face and think of me please” we hug and split while I continued to make phone calls to my family.
Jesse’s House was my next point, I needed to think of a plan even if it had actualized and most of all, I needed to worship at the top of my voice to God Almighty he was already giving me the strength of a million soldiers. Phone calls doubled as much as sms and emails till I got the latest on Linda Ikeji blog.
Ring ring!!! This time it was my Dad “Blue rosé, how are you? Is everything ok? I have been trying to call you and it has been busy, I can’t reach Irawo too have you spoken with him? “These questions were my very nightmare and I had to lie? It was truly an awful experience. “Dad, I am fine, sorry I was on the phone for a bit then network hit my radar. I have not spoken to Irawo today but I will reach him and reach you back” “my Blue rosé take care and speak to you shortly” “ ok dad, good night” another stream of tears and pain hit me, my world had fallen apart and it became clearer to me by the minute that this was not going to be easy. Silence filled the atmosphere as we all starred into the atmosphere, not knowing what tomorrow morning would be like.
Jesse and Brymo had cleared up their guest room for Busola and I, as we rolled restlessly till the sunrise talking about how we had to accept and deal with this. Efe Omorogbe was my first call, he had promised to take me home very early to break the news to my mother and he showed up before I could blink. Lolade Adamson,
She was there the first time and yet again we were mourning, it was like DEJAVU yet again as she hugged me tight. We were off to Ikoyi.
Efe was a cushion through the ride, he kept reminding me to keep calm and draw strength from God, what was more pressing on my mind was my mum and how God would pull through a miracle for us all. The compound was quiet, people had gathered by the gate and it wasn’t clear at first why they had been there till I remembered the instruction I left Funmi. We were on the 6th floor now and I had to be the first to go in.
“Mummy, I’m home!!!”, “Ahan Ojia”, hugging me “ why are you home this early did something happen? You don’t travel this early are you ok?” kissing my cheeks and wondering why I was in a scarf I had to break the news “Mummy, something happened” “Oh my God, what happened to Irawo” she knew right away. “Mummy I am so sorry” “what happened to him?” then it hit me, what really happened! “Mummy he was shot by an armed robber yesterday” Like a flash, the lights went out in my mother’s eyes what hurt the most was I could do absolutely nothing to prevent this pain I was unleashing, the sadness that filled her eyes made me whine silently in utter agony. At this point we were no longer alone, she tried to be as strong as possible and she went on her kneels straight to God, I joined her and then the wailing started.
My dad was the next phone call, “Dad good morning” “Hello Doctor, how are we today?” “Dad, I am not calling you as a doctor but as a daughter lost for words, a daughter who is frail but needs her father to understand and be strong” “Is something wrong? You know you can talk to me right? What is wrong?” “Dad, it is Irawo”, “what happened? Did you have an argument? I really didn’t know how to do this, who was he there with? I had never been to Sudan or a peacekeeping mission; this was sensitive and difficult especially over the phone. “Daddy, he was murdered by an armed robber in traffic yesterday afternoon. I am so sorry I had to tell you this over the phone there was no other way Dad. Please be strong there” “Ojia what happened? My God have mercy God please have mercy” crying at this point “Dad please be strong for me I need you and I will wait for you to get back before I make any decisions. “May God protect you my Blue rose, where is your mother and how is she? Where is Ken? Where is Irawo’s body? What do I do God? Ok I will be in Nigeria in 2days, will pass through Addis Ababa “ “Dad please be strong God will see us through these dark days in Jesus name, Mum is here, broken and that kills me, I feel lost but I’m sure we will pull through “ “ Oh my God! Give the phone to your mother” “Ok Dad”…
Dr Lawanson, a general surgeon and my Dad’s good friend and neighbor walked in and just then did we start to make plans to bring Irawo’s body to Creek Hospital Morgue. In an hour and half, I could not recognize my compound anymore as it was filled with dark clouds and mourning. Friends and families had arrived and they were with my mum and I when I got another phone call that his body at arrived from the morgue.
Fortunately, my mum’s sisters had arrived and were in charge of her wellbeing while I snuck out of her sight to the morgue unnoticed. My baby, oh my love, he was there, cold lying on that stretcher on the morgue floor, mortician ready to clean his body up again and there my world stopped for a minute. I had no care for the world, someone murdered my baby in cold and nothing happened. It was over, he was really gone, his lifeless frozen body lace from head to toe in formalin.
I remember the day Irawo was born, I was 2+ and my mum arrived from the hospital with my dad and Irawo, he was light-skinned and pretty I thought, and my mum gave him to Imole and afterwards to me saying “this is your brother Irawo, carry him you must always take care of him he is your baby too” I still remember even if I could barely spell my name. He was so little and fragile he also cried a lot.
Before 2004, he was the baby of the house always in one argument or the other with me or Imole we loved him dearly, there was no dull moment with him around. He was a light bulb and made jokes about almost anything. He had a nickname for everyone and was pleasant even when displeased. One day, he was in primary 3 by the time, he was asked in an examination to write his name and his daddy’s name and he simply put it as “Irawo Daddy” when asked by my dad and his teacher why he felt his daddy’s name was daddy? He casually replied, “My daddy’s name is long oh”. Sometime in 1999 I was in boarding house when Irawo wrote his first letter to me and I remembered laughing till I had tears in my eyes. He was asked to “put rice on fire” by my mum on a Sunday afternoon and just as my parents were waiting on him, my Mum had decided to check on him herself, he had been playing ball downstairs when the kitchen and living room were soothing with smoke. He claimed “I put the rice on fire as mummy said but she didn’t ask me to put water”. “I miss you when are you back on holiday”? “Mummy beat me silly and Daddy just kept laughing at me”. “Please come home soon love you.”
These memories streamed through my head as I held his cold hands, he was quiet, no jokes, no smiles, he was there yet without spirit or life my eyes were hurting and I had no words still then I decided it would be best to pray.
Holding his hands I said a prayer “God please he was yours to give and now he is yours to take, please protect him now and give him eternal rest. “ I could think of nothing more as I turned to walk away, breathing and crying became difficult because of the formalin, my baby was gone.
“Be thankful in all things Mummy, he is resting in God’s warm bosom and he is free from the hustle and bustle of life, you told us growing up that when good or bad things happen to us we should say thank You Jesus for everything, you told me there would be days where I would be tempted to question God but I should never give in to it, you also told me it is darkest before the end of any tunnel, Mummy I need you to be that woman right now, however impossible you may think my request is, we need to survive this together” “Where is Irawo?” “Mummy his body is in the MHL morgue now but you cannot see him I am so sorry mum” “Ojia I need to see my son I need to see him myself” “Mummy I hate to refuse you anything in the world but I will not put you through that because I want your last memory of Irawo to be as pleasant as it was before today please forgive me on this mum but I wont let you see him. If you see his body you will be forever stuck with that memory and that would be a scar you are not going to bear as long as God keeps me alive” we hug and the rest of the day was a blur.
Naked in the midst of strangers, family ripped of any form of understanding the situation at hand. Completely torn apart yet appearing almost put together, an actress some would insist but what would you feel? You’d never know.
Each wall building in an endless repetitive Lego-order set at difficult mode, in an illusion as real as real could be. Giving automated responses seemed default enough.
How did he just become a memory? How did this happen to me two times in one-lifetime phases apart? How does anyone recover? They never do perhaps they just adjust each day.
Timid, yet I felt like a lioness ready to pounce at anyone who was overly suggestive or suspicious, scared yet trying not to let my pains get the best of my soul. There would be time for emotions I thought to myself however, it was time to stay strong and make plans I’d never imagined I could be signed up for. It was time to be brave for my Dad and Mom, for a brother, colleague, friend, and soldier.
I tore at everything, spoke my mind freely without fear of conviction, it had become clearer that we have one life to live and it would be ok this time to be very honest about how I was feeling.
Irawo Isaac Adamolekun was born on the 13th day of August 1986, a perfect gentleman and this is putting it mildly. Irawo, a star, a son, a grandson, a brother, colleague and friend.
A Doctor, humanitarian, soldier of love, a music lover who nurtured all in his path and saw the humor even in the most unnerving situations. He was the last of 3 children.
I can never be grateful enough to the world for their warm prayers, my family and I felt God’s comfort on all your requests and we love you always.
Most of my friends wonder till this day how I feel and I must say its not a feeling I can ever fully comprehend enough to share.
Irawo was the kind of guy that would cheat no one but would never allow anyone cheat him. He was neat, cautious and sometimes annoying but never enough to want him dead.
He spoke the truth even if no one would believe him initially he would hold on to his truth till we all got the memo.
He loved great music, he never bought into bad or vulgar symphonies and made it compulsory to purge the house of any distasteful sounds replacing it with lets just say a frank Sinatra? Lol
As a child, he would never eat fish or meat if he saw the blood on it while fresh. He couldn’t stand blood or violence and had sympathy for humans and animals alike. It was super amazing when he filled out medicine on the school forms.
Extremely talented and skillful, he was no first class student however; he was outstanding in all that he got involved with. He was a good student, never got suspended nor expelled and never got any school he ever attended invite my parents.
Hard work, one of the many things instilled in us as kids. Irawo could do at least 5 different jobs in one day and still long for more work, it was an amazing experience growing up with him.
Watching him sprout his first tooth, nursery school, primary school, secondary school, puberty, university, first love, girlfriends, and in between most of these things he grew up, even faster than I anticipated. 2004 had somehow played a major role in how Irawo perceived life and how the world had come to function.
Furthermore, I had witnessed his first heart break as he cried endlessly in my arms screaming “Women are horrible” I remember laughing a little and whispering in his right ear saying “ darling you were conceived of a women and crying in the arms of another woman, how horrible can we possibly be? Don’t worry, this is just one bad situation, you will find love soon” and I remember he burst out laughing saying “I cant believe a woman can make me cry” we both laughed and the rest of that day was a blur.
I don’t know why anyone would want to hurt anyone deliberately on a normal day, then that wont be enough, you take a life just like that, in broad day light while the world watched and no one did anything about it. My guess is they were all in shock? Ok let’s go about it in another way, no one took a picture of this guy with the gun? Mrs Ngozi Braide of the police force is still giving my family a report and leaving no stone unturned? Taste the sarcasm yet? What are they still investigating till now that there is still no sketch? Did I read at any point that Lagos had their roads covered with CCTV?
What I still don’t have: CLOSURE
I don’t know who or why he killed my brother in cold blood and I cannot hold a ghost accountable for anything. My government as I was told growing up in a military home is supposed to protect me. My government is supposed to account for my life, responsible for security, health, e.t.c. I pray for a better Nigeria in 2014, I pray we all get better at loving each other, I also pray that God protect the helpless himself because I cannot imagine what would happen if the next helpless youth relied on his/her government to protect them. My government failed me one to many times.
Dr Irawo Isaac Adamolekun was murdered at point blank range by an unknown gunman this day 11.01.2013. He will be forever warm in our hearts. Our world has not been the same without you for who could loose a rose that grew from concrete and feel whole again? It’s been one year already and all I can be is thankful to God for everything. Rest in Peace my love, may the Angels keep watch over you always Amen.
If you can do anything to make your space and neighborhood a better and safer place, please do what you can, it takes one man to move and another follows behind are you that somebody?
Special Thanks to the:
- Adamolekun's Worldwide
- Gregorians Worldwide
- Chairman Sports medicine
- Kelechi Ohia
- Olamide Phillips
- J Sleek
- Henry Knight
- Ikechukwu Ononaku
- Edi Lawani
- Cecil hammond
- Adebola Omoshehin
- Igoche Mark
- Tunji Okunsanya (MIC) RIP sir. Thank you for everything.....
- Lagos Lawn tennis club
- Civil Service club
- Femi Osibodu
- Panshak Zamani
- Grip Boiz
- Tosyn Bucknor
- Bola Sonusi
- Banji Afolabi
- Toluwalase Yusuf marquis
- Oladipo orairu's
- Asokoro district Hospital
- Military Hospital Ikoyi
- Military Hospital Yaba
- Rose okechukwu
- 2face Idibia
- HNAUB Worldwide
- Osi Ebhaleme
- Toyin Lawani
- Toyin Super
- Chinomso Ibe
- Bukola Afariogun
- Lolade Adamson
- Olarenwaju Ogunmefun
- Osa Osifo
- Bidemi Obanikoro
- Ebere Thomas
- Amaka Okwonu
- Chikezie Daniel Onwuchekwa
- Omawumi Megbele
- Nnenna Ojoi
- Gomes Adebayo
- This List is endless and i may not remember every single name, please forgive me if i have not mentioned your name and you have been more than wonderful. Thank you again for all your prayers and may God never let us meet in sadness anymore amen.......