Death, they say, is inevitable and a necessary end to every mortal, notwithstanding any premonition about its coming, as in the case of the Kogi strong man, late Prince Abubakar Audu, who is rumoured saw the expected lurking around, writes correspondent, Labaran Tijani.
All roads led to Ogbonicha, a sleepy town in Ofu local government area of Kogi State, last Monday. It was not the usual calling to celebrate a festival with the star of the town. It was not also the mandatory courtesy call on the giant of the town, anytime he retires to his country home.
As people were trooping into the town in their thousands from various routes, they wore hard and mournful looks, with tears all over them. The giant, which was the star attraction in the town, that had ever been the reason for their calling, all this years, had fallen. The star, who opened all routes to Ogbonicha, was no other person than late Abubakar Audu, the former governor of Kogi State and the All Progressive Congress, APC, candidate in the inconclusive governorship election last penultimate Saturday.
Late Prince Audu was not known to have a terminal illness, except that he was involved in a fatal accident twice which nearly ended his life. He had no history of life threatening illness. The only thing one could refer to as a sickness of the late Audu was politics.
Records show that since he left the corridors of power in 2003, he never ceased to contest the governorship election, anytime the opportunity presented itself. It’s a known fact that since 1999, when he won the governorship election that catapulted him to Lugard House, seat of government of Kogi State, he had contested and lost 4 gubernatorial elections consecutively; 2003, 2007, 2008 re-run and 2012 respectively.
With this profile, it did not surprise anyone seeing him on the podium in 2015. And as he was smelling victory in this very outing, which would have crowned him as the third- time executive governor of Kogi State, he dropped dead under a mysterious circumstance, a situation that has set tongues wagging in the state and beyond.
A reliable source in the family positioned that the deceased politician was aware of the impending disaster. It was said that the family got wind of the diabolical plot to eliminate him at the verge of his success, weeks back and told him to be careful. A source in the family had admonished him against eating with people for now, even as they sought his permission to do something about it before it manifested, a move he was said to have warded off with a wave of the hand. The source also told the Nigerian Pilot Sunday that the political associates of the late politician who got the spiritual knowledge of the looming danger were said to have advised him against getting close to certain people until after the election.
According to this source, the late politician was said to have assured his family and close associates who were worried about the sad revelation that nothing will happen.
As the dust of poison revelation lied in the offing and the noise about it began settling down, a spiritualist from Kaduna was said to have visited him and told him to avoid taking food in his house till after the election, if he wants to live and enjoy his victory.
The Kaduna spiritualist was said to have told him point blank that henceforth, he should not even eat with people, and that his source of food should only be known by him alone for now.
There was also an unconfirmed report that the present Ata Igala, HRM Micheal Idakwo Ameh Oboni 11, once told him to stay clear of the governorship contest, that the spiritual signal to that effect was not heartwarming.
But by Friday afternoon, a day to the d-day, the Late Audu was reported to have complained of stomach ache, few hours after taking food with some close friends at his Lokoja home. It was said that he was eating the said food when somebody called his attention to certain issues. “He shifted position to attend to the friend, and resumed eating later,” the source positioned.
An account posited that before he left for Ogbonicha to cast his vote on the election day, he started vomiting blood.
At Ogbonicha, the pains was said to have intensified despite all effort to stop it. He was said to have died on Sunday around when the family was about moving him out of the village for treatment.
Notwithstanding the varying account about his death, however, his burial ceremony was full of drama. At Ogbonicha on Monday, it was like the world stood for him. The late Prince Audu teeming admirers, political associates, business friends and family members converged in the ancient town to pay their respect.
No sooner had people started trooping into his compound that some started fainting. To the chagrin of everybody, within few hours, five people (3 ladies and 2 women) were carried out from his compound for fainting and while the drama of fainting was unfolding, the news of his resurrection was also gaining ground. In short, the news of his resurgence was celebrated heavily within and outside Ogbonicha. The sighting of Muslim undertakers with the coffin of the deceased politician ended the celebration.
By 1.30pm on that black Monday, late Abubakar Audu was finally lowered to the mother earth according to Islamic rites to complete the natural injunction of every immortal, in a prayer led by Sheikh Salman Adams, the kogi State chairman of Council of Ulama.
In his sermon, Imam Kashim said Prince Abubakar Audu died when he was supposed to die, saying it iSs only Allah that gives and takes life.
To many, Prince Audu saw and conquered ,even in death, as he will always be remembered for his legacies that are everywhere in the state.