*Forwarder’s comment and my conclusion
It was this morning of Sunday May 14, 2023 that I opened my Samsung android phone and made to the platform of my old school mates, Anglican Grammar School (AGS), Iju/Ita-Ogbolu, Akure North, Ondo State that I saw a forwarded post.
Although it looks more to me like a fiction than real life experience, the post, with no known author, entitled “SO TOUCHING” truly ends on very touching nerves revealing much of evils of breached trust, corruption that people do as public or private officials, family, community members, religious and political officers.
Forwarded by Famusi Abiodun by her school days name but now married, the story has been adopted as my WAKE UP opinion article for today for the lessons of it which I, on my own volition, have entitled, ‘The evil of corruption that you do’. Excerpts:
In my office, I receive more than 1,000 letters and mails every month. All these letters and mails pass through my hands. I stay awake almost all nights reading and responding.
After my promotion, I had to move into a new office and take over some special duties in addition to my schedule of duties.
In the new office, I saw letters that were dumped somewhere. No one has touched or open the letters nor read the letters. I wondered how the letters got there.
The envelopes used for the letters were very dusty. About nineteen letters from the same person. It has same name. Same phone number. Same address. Same request. And same handwriting.
When our cleaners wanted to dispose them, I stopped him and requested him to bring them to me.
I opened and read one. It was a letter written to the accounts and finance department of our company by a labourer in November 2019. The letter was a request.
The worker was humbly requesting the head of accounts department to pay him, his salary that he is critically sick and needs the money for urgent treatment. In the letter, he stated that he had hepatitis which affected his liver.
I read the second letter. It was the same request. Looking at the letter, one will know that it was written in tears. The drops of tears were still visible on it, since the letter was inserted in an envelope. I read the third letter and saw the same thing. I read the fourth letter, it was still the same request.
He has been writing and sending in letters since November 2019 and the last letter was written on 10 August 2020, in which the writer stated that the accounts department should have mercy on him and his family and unblock his line and answer his calls.
It was confusing. Who blocks people’s lines here? I decided to call. I used my phone and dialed the number on one of the letters, which was the last letter written on 10 August 2020.
It ranged. No one picked. I redialed it. It ranged again. Someone picked. I spoke first. “Hello,” I said, “Good afternoon.”
“Good afternoon.” a female voice answered. It was the voice of a middle aged woman. I told her my name and where I was calling from. She kept quiet. I told her that I am calling to speak with the person who bears the name on the letters.
She started sobbing over the phone. “He is lying down here.” She cried. “Who?” I asked to reaffirm. “The person you want to speak with.” (And I asked): “Can I speak with him, please?”
(She replied): “He can’t talk anymore. He is only breathing. He can’t move. He doesn’t even know that someone is sitting beside him. I am his wife. We have been writing letters and calling but you people said we should not disturb you anymore. Our lines were blocked. His money was withheld. We sent people to you people’s office but they came back with nothing.” She cried, “We are just waiting for him to go and rest.”
I couldn’t say a word. I was just dropping tears because of the way she spoke. She continued.
“He is dying day by day. The person receiving our calls and letters threatened us not to write or call again. My husband have been a worker in you people’s company for more than seven years. He laboured there. He worked as if the work was his life. He didn’t miss any day even when he was sick. But see how he has been abandoned. What has he done to deserve this treatment? God sees everything. We have been going around to ask for money but no one wants to help. We have to leave town and return to the village. No money to treat him. No money to eat. No money to pay rent. I spent my business money and nothing…” She sobbed.
I guess there was an error somewhere. Maybe something I am not aware of. The company I work for are not known for this narrative. I asked her their village and home address.
She told me.
I went to the village. It is a village between Osino and Begoro. I lost my way several times before getting to their house. I saw the man.
He was lying down on a mat in front of their house. The wife was sitting next to him on the mat. She was chasing flies around him. She just finished cleaning him up in front of their house.
He was looking dried and tired. No emotion. No movement. He can’t talk. He can’t hear. His eyes were just opened, eye balls were merely rotating. He is a middle aged man. At his early fifties.
The sickness have taken the greater part of him and has left him dropping tears bit by bit which his wife constantly cleaned.
I guess he noticed that a stranger was around.
I didn’t know him when he was working with us. I did not think it was only the sickness his wife told me that brought him down to this state. What I saw was more than liver disease.
His wife in tears spoke to me saying; “Even if he dies today, I am already comforted. He needs to go and rest. He has suffered a lot. Maybe, I will join him later. I have nothing else. I just came to this world to bury people I love.”
I left there with tears and heavy heart. On getting home, I sent foodstuffs and beverages from my house to them because I had no money with me.
As I got to work next day, I told my boss about the man. I also met the head of accounts department concerning the sick man. To my dismayed, the head of accounts department have been approving the man’s salary every month non stop but the accountant in charge of payment was not sending the money to him, since he noticed he was not coming to ask for it. The accountant was embezzling the money. Sadly enough, the accountant was also close to the man, so the letters and calls were going directly to him. The sick man and his wife trusted him and they were using him as a middle man to reach the head of accounts on their behalf. My pain arose more when I found out they were even from the same community.
He has been signing and collecting the man’s money for about two years now without delivering the money to the sick man.
He was arrested and charged.
He payed off the money in a day from his life savings. He was then suspended. But I have made an enemy. An enemy that doesn’t know that he is an enemy of himself.
Two of our Directors visited the sick man and his wife. They arranged for him to be taken to the hospital for better treatments. He was admitted into the hospital last weekend for better treatments.
This morning. I received a call. It was the man’s wife. Her voice choked on the phone. She was sobbing. Bitterly. She then spoke.
“Thank you so much. Thank you so much for fighting for my husband. Thank you so much for your efforts. At least I heard his voice again. He smiled at me. Now that I am speaking with you sir, he is gone to be with the Lord. God bless you, sir.”
Today, the unknown author passed a comment, saying:
My take: Who are you sitting on his/her salary, progress etc.
who are you assassinating his character, because you’re envious of him?
This speaks volumes about who we are, as individuals (Pastors, Imams, Elders, Mosque Committee, , Church members Jama’), as a Nation. The problem is not all about the President, Governors or government but all as a people. Some are more wicked than the devil himself. The change needed must begin with individual. God bless.
My concluding comment
And my own comment goes thus, that even those who had stood on the rights of others to life in the past and have struggled their way in the present to hold positions of authority in government, they are themselves part of the evils bedevilling the society.
A lion that has killed a human being has tasted sacred blood and must not be allowed to continue to live anywhere in the forest. It must be killed to its root. That is how to stop such evil from spreading in human society.