Mrs. Ebun Gbonigi, the woman always next to Bishop Bolanle Gbonigi, retired Bishop of Akure Diocese (my Diocese), is dead. She died at her Oba-Ile residence, a residential estate on the outskirts of Akure.
While Bishop Gbonigi has continued the life of social activism he embarked upon while in Church Ministry, activism that earned him the name NADECO Bishop during the evil regime of late General Abacha for always raising his voice without fear of what could happen to him – NADECO being the well-organized opposition group – Mama ‘manned’, pardon the wrong selection of verb, the home front. Even as many Nigerian so-called top “men of God” (church heads and top hierarchies) live their “serving” period and/or retirements in luxury, life-styles they prepare for while answering God’s “call” to service by having palatial homes built for themselves and luxury vehicles and jets bought as “gifts’, including many in old churches, Bishop & Mrs. Gbonigi live contented lives in a neat little bungalow at the housing estate developed by Late Ondo State’s governor, Adekunle Ajasin. The bottom “90%” of Nigerians refer to these “men of God” who are always in tandem with those in power as AGIP – Any Government In Power.
As with most wives of pastors of old CMS – now Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Mama’s children – apart from her own uterine offspring – were all the young boys and girls who were sent by their families to live with the Gbonigis so that they would be properly trained not only in education but especially for moral purposes, and they were many.
Mama will be missed not only by the Bishop and their many children but by many in Nigeria’s Anglican Family, Mama’s friends and associates in the many places where Bishop Gbonigi worked all over Western Nigeria but by the Bishop’s associates in the movement to have a better Nigeria and other friends and family, especially in his native Akoko in Ondo and Ekiti States as well as all over Nigeria.
This blogger commiserates especially with Bishop Gbonigi because the two of them were always at each other’s side even when physically not exactly in the same place and we all pray that God will continue to strengthen the Bishop so that he can continue his work on social and political change in Nigeria, and I do look forward to being in Nigeria before Mama’s obsequies.
Mrs. Gbonigi was 81 years old. May her gentle soul find eternal rest with the Lord.
MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2014.
I really must mention a fact at this stage. When related essays were first used, I would rack my brain and search – sometimes fruitlessly – for essays I had written that I’d like to include. These days, the people – um, the computers – at wordpress.com simply fish them out. When I saw the essay referred to below, it’s heartening that what I couldn’t come up with was at the tip of the hands – pardon ne – of the computer.
I do not want to go on taking the credit! TOLA.