I was invited to attend St Mathew’s Anglican Church in Maitama on Mother’s Day. The invitation came via Professor Manny Aniebonam, the President/CEO of the AfriHUB Group of companies. AfriHUB is into ICT and engaged in building ICT resources and capacity building at Nigerian Universities. Prof MANNY as he is fondly called is also the Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Alumni Network (NIDAN). He nominated me for the award to celebrate Mother’s Day at the Church. He nominated me for the award to celebrate Mothering Sunday at the Church. Mrs. Tayo Otoki, Head of the Women in St Matthew’s Church, Maitama, had requested the various groups of women in the Church to nominate awardees for the Mothering Sunday. The Beryl Group, under the leadership of Hon. Justice Okaisabor, Ph.D , presented my nomination along with Mrs. Nkechinyere Iheme, Mrs Chinyere Oranezi and Mrs Charlotte Tam George. There was no choice. Therefore, off I went to church with some members of my crew. The Brain and Spine Surgery (BASS) Consortium is a team and we move powerfully in Abuja. So, I had a nurse and two physiotherapists in church on Sunday supporting the BASS ministry.
The church was full with all looking great in resplendent attires. The women especially, were radiant and happy, after all it was mothering Sunday. Mother’s Day is the day you spoil your mother or the mother of your children. As they say, ‘Mother is the name for God on the lips and hearts of all children’. The service was prayerful, musical, enlightening and uplifting. The key message of the day was ‘Child parenting: in times like this’, delivered by the Vicar’s wife, Mrs Otoki. The truth is that bringing up children is a real job and demands serious commitment. Children must be brought up to respect God and their parents. They must be instilled with discipline, good character and a sense of pride. Channeling their lives and direction to become worthy members of the community, contributing to the service of mankind is the reward for good parenting.
It was poignant for me as my own mother died many years ago. Poor girl, she died in my arms but that was no comfort whatsoever. A child should not have to bury his mother: the only person who truly loves you, unconditionally. Even on her sick bed, she was understanding and appreciative in ways that no one except a mother can be. I remember my mother’s death like yesterday and certainly remember her life, full of unfulfilled promises and expectations. She gave so much without really enjoying the fruits of her labor. But, of course, that’s not why mothers do what they do. A poem to mother Ah, no! the thought I cannot bear, And if God please my life to spare I hope I shall reward thy care, My Mother. When thou art feeble, old and grey, My healthy arm shall be thy stay, And I will soothe thy pains away, My Mother.
It turns out I was the only male awardee. How embarrassingly delightful? The award was called, ‘The Gideon Award’ and apparently offered in light of the successful management of the President’s son, Yusuf Buhari, following his road traffic accident in December 2017. He has of course, made a miraculous recovery from his injuries and recently returned to the country following rehabilitation in Germany. Truth be told, we were extremely lucky and blessed that Yusuf made a good recovery following what could easily have been a fatal accident. To be sure, it was a great opportunity for us to give glory to the Almighty God for sparing his life and then, glorifying our efforts in managing him in Nigeria. One should be grateful that God made it all end well. This therefore made the award a special one and an opportunity to give praise to God for healing Yusuf. Other awards on the day were given to 16 women who had excelled in service to the Lord and the community in general. There were awards for Mother of Zion award, Women of Valor and Women of Virtue that went to women of exemplary character and métier.
I must not fail to mention the music and dancing at the St. Mathew Maitama church service. Goodness, it was really fabulous and a wonderful sight for the eyes to behold. Everyone danced and sang with sonorous voices. Further, the dancing was committed, energetic and full of vigor. Some of the special dance on display were aesthetic, symbolic, as they navigated through the different languages and cultures in Nigeria.
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