Monday, 5 May 2014

BABA’s SECOND SCION, ENGINEER OMOTAYO OGUNLADE | Why I wont advise anybody to be like my father--- 2nd Scion, Omotoayo | Recounts last Xmas experience with Dad

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Engineer Isaiah Omotayo Ogunlade, a Covenant University trained Computer expert is Baba Ogunorunalayede’s first son from his second and surviving wife, Madam Olufunmilayo Ogunorunlayede. This very intelligent and techno-savvy Computer genius who was one of the last few who shared moments with the legendary man of God during his last Christmas celebration at his home town of Idi-Emi and the CCC Holy City of Imeko in Ogun state South West Nigeria  gave some very insightful accounts of the life style of his larger-than-life father and how a reluctant decision to follow him to his hometown of Idi-Eme last December 25th, 2013 turned out to be the last opportunity to know much about a man he described as “My Living Abraham”.
Tayo is not only intellectually gifted but like the real son of a man of God, he exhibits a high level of wisdom that gives him out as a very mature personality. He opened up to this blog few days to his father’s funeral and it was an insightful encounter.
Baba's children (L-R) Tayo, Gabriel, Bose Imafidon and Sunday Ogunlade
You are one of the scions of the great man, Papa Joshua Akande Ogunorunlayede, how will you define your father?
My name is Isaiah Omotayo Ogunlade, first child of the second wife. Defining my dad? If we are looking for an Abrahamic kind of person in our generation, that will be my dad. Because I grew up knowing faith practically, not reading faith or studying faith in books, I lived by faith, I ate by faith. I went to school by faith. Whatever success I can actually record now, my life time with him over twenty years now had been run by faith. And I believe as a Christian, our Christianity itself is by faith. He is not just my dad, he is my role model. And apart from being my role model, there are so many mentors you read about in books, you have seen something about them or you talk about them but this is one mentor that I have lived with; that I directly know him. I had a direct mentorship from him. I am not saying one man somewhere is my mentor based on what I can say about him but he is my mentor because I have known him deeply. Everybody make mistakes, everybody have their own shortcomings but with all the shortcomings in the world, I have not seen one person like him.
“I had asked him something about me and my fiancée and what I thought I will like to do then and that was the simple response he gave me. I didn’t need any further explanation. He said “To’o bati ready, ma’a redi”. ….. And as regards church, if my father has N500, he will rather spend N499 naira on church and spend the remaining N1 naira on his children. Because he knows after he has gone, that church or that work of God he has provided for would provide for his children”.
How would you describe him as a father; strict or gentle dad?  
I won’t say he is strict and I won’t say he is not strict, he would just tell you the truth. He has his own measures. He will tell you the truth the first time, he would tell you the truth the second time and even up to the third time. He won’t impose the truth on you. I found out that if you impose the truth on people they will follow you only because you are there, once you are not there, they will turn their back on the truth. But if you can persuade them and let them sincerely know that this is the truth without forcing them, even when you are no longer there, they will stand to realize what you have told them. It is not about telling them to kneel down and flogging them; far from it. Most of the children that are spoilt today, their parent have at one point or the other flogged them but that didn’t change them. And that is what I have learnt from him, my dad will never beat you up but he will just tell you the truth and with time you will get to know that what he is telling you is the truth.  
Are you saying he has never spanked you for once over a wrong?
I can recall only once and even at that time, he didn’t spank us. He just warned us, I think he came to the house and he was resting, we were still very, very young then and we were just making noise all around the house. He only yelled at us saying ‘all of you come here, kneel down there’ and even after that he gave us drinks. That is the kind of father he is.  So, he was not a father that really fathoms caning but he will set standards for you and if you fail, then you have yourself to blame.
What other things do you think makes him unique from other fathers?
I will mention two parts. One is spiritual and the other is physical. The spiritual part is when you know why God has called you and when you are actually sure of the call you won’t have any reason to doubt Him and any reason to jettison His creed. You won’t have any reason jumping from denominations to denominations. You will sit down where God has called you because you know whoever called you will be responsible for your upkeep.  That is the spiritual aspect of my dad. Then physical is that no matter what is coming down, my father will never panic; if someone comes and tell him ‘hey, this person that want to help you tomorrow is dead’, he will say ‘give me my food’. Or if you say ‘Daddy, Nigeria is going to fall apart tomorrow or something is going to happen tomorrow’, he will say ‘Really? Ok, put it on Channels’. That is him, nothing bothers my father. I remember there was a time my younger sister said her school fees is so, so amount. It was a big money and I said to her ‘we can’t go and face this man with this o’. But immediately we summoned the courage and told him; he just said “Agbara Olorun gbe” (God is able). Even most time that I will not go to school and my colleagues would have resumed, he will still be playing with us and we will be jittery that ‘is this man serious about us?’ but you will discover that the payment will come at the appropriate time and we would still make class. So, that is why I said my father is a faith crusader by work, by thought and by action.
What are those things he kept telling you that has now become your philosophy?
In Yoruba he will say to me “To’o ba’a ti ready, ma’a reedi” (which simply translate to ‘If you aren’t ready, don’t court a cunt’). I had asked him something about me and my fiancée and what I thought I will like to do then and that was the simple response he gave me. I didn’t need any further explanation. He said “To’o bati ready, ma’a redi”. That is one; then secondly, praises. You can know how to preach, you can know how to do so many things, and you can bow down for God two hundred million times a day but one thing you should never forget doing is praising God.  You will see my dad dancing, you play one song and he dances to it and the next day he will tell you to go and look for the tape. Even if the tape is in Germany and it is for a hundred naira he doesn’t care if you use five hundred thousand naira to board a flight to go and look for the hundred naira praise tape. So, for him, praising God was a worthwhile venture. He took it so serious. I have learnt that one and it is part of my life. And as regards church, if my father has N500, he will rather spend N499 naira on church and spend the remaining N1 naira on his children. Because he knows after he has gone, that church or that work of God he has provided for would provide for his children. So, if my dad has N500 Naira, he will give N1 to his family and persuade them to manage it and give God N499 Naira, so when he is no more or when his children are where he is not present; for instance if I had to go to Canada or a distant country where my dad is not there physically, you know that God that he gave N499 Naira in Nigeria is everywhere, the God will repay his children in double fold wherever they are because He is a Universal God, that is my dad’s belief and that is what I also believe.  Wherever I go, I sow seed not because that person will repay me but because I know that the God I am doing it for sees me and He is everywhere and will pay me back anywhere I find myself in the world.

Are you looking at being like him in the future? 
It is not about someone taking after him it should be about God calling somebody. God called him, God did not call me. So, if God call me I will certainly be what God wants me to be.
Can you recall your last encounter with him and what were the signs that show that he knew he was going?
Even till death, just like Jesus he was not faithless; even when he was not talking, even when he was in coma, I will go and meet him. I will be singing then and he will be moving his hands and be moving his legs because he couldn’t talk. That ‘I am listening to you’, perhaps that is what he was saying. I will be singing those his favorite songs, in fact we took a radio tape to his bed and we started playing all the songs he likes like Imole Ayo, we started playing everything because he really likes Imole Ayo. We play, play, play everything for him; so at least, wherever he is, he will be hearing those songs no matter how far. We were thinking that will bring him back from the coma. But even though he couldn’t make it back it was a splendid moment with him as all my elder brothers, elder sisters and younger ones were around to make him happy. And I am sure wherever he is, he is very happy to have seen all of us together.  I am sure he will be very, very happy now to see that we are all together celebrating his life and not fighting ourselves.

Can you recall your own last personal encounter with your dad; were there signs that he was going?
Ok, he went to the hospital on January 3rd, before that time I saw him but the very last time we were together was December 25th Christmas day when we went to the village together. I didn’t want to go actually because we have always been going to the village. My dad likes to go to his village, go to Imeko  (Celestial Church of Christ Holy City) and pay homage and all those things. And I was not ready to follow him this time around because once you are there you just spend the entire Christmas occasion there and you wont enjoy it in Lagos.
(Cuts in) Did he force you to travel down with you?
No, my dad will never force you. He won’t force, he will ask if you want to go? If you tell him yes, ok; if you tell him ‘no’, his own is if there is a  driver that will take him down there even if there is no one that will cook for him, he will go. He will say he knows he will eat. I didn’t know, something just told me to go. I told my brothers, they didn’t want to go but something just pushed all of us to follow him not knowing that will be our last journey with him. When we got there, myself and my senior brother (Sunday) he took us around, he showed us properties, he showed us the lands in his place. When we got to Imeko, he said he wanted to see Oschoffa (Pastor Emmanuel Mobiyina) by all means. He said he want to see Oschoffa by all means and we were saying “Daddy, your health, you can’t trek from here to Oschoffa’s place because of the crowd of worshippers’ but he said ‘No, I want to see Oschoffa, I want to see Oschoffa’. So, I just quickly saw it as a great privilege to also be under the same ambience with the Pastor. Because I knew normally I might not be privileged to see him (Oschoffa) on my own strenght. So, Daddy said he must see him that night. But that night we couldn’t see him and everybody had to trek because of the crowd, we went back to the house. But before we went back to the house, he sat down for a long time before we left for home due to the crowd. Then the next morning, I even reminded him and he said ‘we are going’. That was Boxing Day, 26th. He gave me some money…he has some money with him. A huge amount of money and he took a huge part of the money and gave it to me that we are going to give this to the Pastor when we get there. People were saying ‘Daddy, we need money to buy this and that’ but he said ‘no, don’t touch that one’. ‘This one I have already said I am giving it to the Pastor because whenever people come and see me in Lagos, people bring their own parcel to me and since the beginning of the year people have been bringing it to me all through, this is my own turn at the end of the year to pay it back’. So, we all drove down there to meet the Pastor. But on getting there, the person handling the Pastor’s private schedule said “Pastor can’t see anybody again, that he has seen a lot of people in the early part of the day” and my father said “I am not leaving here today until I see the Pastor. I must meet the man, I am not leaving here”. Immediately, one of the Pastor’s personal aide rushed down, I am sure the Pastor overheard the argument downstairs and ordered them to bring us upstairs. When we got upstairs there were so many people that were waiting to see the Pastor, he just called us and we went in together. As my dad was about offering the gift, he knelt down and held a bottle of water that Pastor should pray on the water, after Pastor finished praying on the water, he handed over the envelop to the Pastor but Pastor said ‘No, that he was not going to collect that envelop’. ‘That rather the gift is for my dad, that he knows why he is not collecting it’. I don’t know what that meant but Dad just gave back the money to me that I should keep. We got up and we left. So, that was the last time we actually had such a memorable outing with him before his demise. For me, it was a blessing to stand before the Pastor and receive his prayer and blessings.
So, what other things did he do after that?
I think another remarkable experience that showed his intention was during the 33rd adult harvest of the church last year when he tagged it “Jesus at Golgotha” because before then I have known the meaning of Golgotha. So, when I saw it I just kept quite hoping that it wont arose more curiosity. I was like ‘Golgotha? 33 years? So he wouldn’t tell anybody; and if God tells him this thing is black and the whole world is telling him it is white, my dad would not answer the whole world. He would tell you ‘this is black’. And you will later realize that it was actually black. Even if half of the world has died then, he will come back and tell you ‘Sebi I told you? It is just a pity that those people that joined you then are no more’. 
With all these red-light activities by him could you say that your father had a premonition of his own death?
What I will say is that he didn’t know when he would go but he knew it was about time. He didn’t know maybe it was January 3rd or February or March but he was doing a lot of things that showed that he knew it was at hand but he didn’t know the day. I am sure God didn’t tell him, that ‘this is going to be the day’ but you would have known with his actions, discretions and initiatives that he knew the time was at hand and he was fully prepared for his place in the bosom of his maker.
What happened to you the day he passed away?
Funny enough I went to see him in the hospital that night (January 11th) before he passed away. In fact I went in the morning; that was when he shouted Halleluyah; he rose from coma and shouted “Halleluyah”. He just kept on shouting.  So, I went back home and I returned in the evening with a friend, my friend has not seen my dad before so I came to the hospital with him. He was even telling me that his own dad was in that kind of state (Coma) and that the man came out of it; so, I left. Just about 30 minutes after leaving the hospital I got another call that he has passed away. So, I rushed back to the hospital and I saw him and I was very perplexed. I didn’t know if it was actually true, I have never seen a dead person that close before. I only hear that that person there dies or read it in the paper. So, I moved closer and tapped him, I said ‘Daddy, stand up’ but he couldn’t respond again. His eyes were still opened so, I closed his eyes and that was the last episode.

So, what is going to be your advice to his numerous fans and admirers in the entire Christendom and the Celestial Church fold?
I will not tell anybody to take after his foot step.
I will not tell anybody to be like Baba because you can actually not be like anybody. I can’t be like him; my brothers can’t be like him. We are all created for specific purposes. But I will tell you to emulate the person he served. Follow the person he served and he (Ogunorunlayede) followed Jesus, he served Jesus. He followed Jesus, so you follow Jesus. Don’t try to follow him, if you follow him, you might marry two wives. If you follow him, he might have some bad characters and you pick it. So, don’t bother to be like him. Just follow that person he served, that is the Holy Spirit, just follow that Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit will allow you to be yourself and He will teach you how to manage your personality and get to where you are going. Life is not all about the years you have lived, churches you have gone to or the number of the time you drove a car or the number of times you wore ear rings or the number of times you didn’t put on slippers or the number of times you went to church in rain or the number of times you bowed down, it is not all about all of these. It is simply about truly knowing this God because at the last day, it is going to be only you and this God, not you and the Sultana, you and the staff or as the case maybe, you and the loin, it is just you and God.

Gbenga Dan Asabe

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