A Novel Written By: Kolade Segun-Okeowo (KSO)
Morakinyo hearkened to the counsel of Barrister Wole Olaoye and went straight to the parsonage. He met pastor and his wife at the entrance. They were about stepping out of the house as he drove his BMW into the church compound. Pastor Kalejaye was already in the car, waiting for his wife.
“Good morning Daddy…Thank God I met you” Morakinyo prostrated and greeted the Senior Pastor. Just then, Pastor Mrs. also came out of the house.
“Ah…Brother Morakinyo…Thank you Jesus”
“Mummy, good morning Ma. Good to see you Ma. Thank you for yesterday”
“We thank God” Mrs. Kalejaye replied.
“We were about coming to meet you at your Sister’s house…”
“Ah Daddy, you would have called her to give the message to me”
“I have tried calling her telephone line severally, but it was dead all the while” Pastor Kalejaye explained as he alighted from the vehicle.
“Ah that’s true; the criminals who attacked her house destroyed the phone lines. NITEL people promised to come and repair this morning”
“No wonder…Ok. Let’s go in” Pastor led the way as they returned back into the house.
The discussion with Pastor Kalejaye was brief. He listened to Morakinyo say all the things he earlier told Barrister Wole Olaoye. Although Pastor Kalejaye was shocked, he did not show it. He simply sighed at regular intervals. He was surprised that Morakinyo could be talking of marriage when the crisis he caused via his “unholy union” with Oyinkan has not been sorted.
“Brother Morakinyo, I am not used to giving hard and fast standing instructions to my children especially when it comes to personal issues like relationships, marriage and Gods dealings. However, in this case, I am going to be hard on you a little…I have seen that you probably do not understand the gravity of the situation at hand… You do not!”
Morakinyo was already sweating; the words were hitting him hard.
Pastor Kalejaye continued. “You married a stranger at Onigba-Iwofa in the most questionable manner. Ideally, the church should have placed you on immediate suspension, but we decide to rescue you first before the Church board will even meet to deliberate on your misdemeanor. Here you are talking of perfecting and formalizing marriage to the same lady”
Pastor Kalejaye was visibly angry and could not hide it. This was the first time Morakinyo would be seeing him in such a mood.
“I am no longer going to take this issue with kid gloves like before. I was convinced that you were matured enough to know the right things to do… But I have been wrong. Henceforth, the issue of marriage and related matters are hereby suspended for now. You have never been married to that woman and even if that has to be, that will be later. Thank God she is now a child of God; let her return to her relations as soon as she is discharged from the hospital. If the Lord wants you to marry her, that will be an issue for some other day. You must concentrate on your spiritual revival and recuperation”
Morakinyo bowed his head. He could not bear to look up. Pastor Kalejaye was not sparing him at all.
“That lady must return to her people first. She has to!!! What you need to do is to get in touch with her people…and that has to be immediately. Once she is discharged, she returns to her people…is that taken?”
“Yes Sir” Morakinyo raised his head for the first time since Pastor Kalejaye started the bombshells. His eyes were soaked in tears.
“Go to her in the hospital and get all the necessary information you should have got from the onset about her relations. You must contact her relatives at once and get them aware of her present condition. I will instruct Pastor Joju to escort you to meet her at UCH. Get this very clearly brother Morakinyo…That lady is not your wife…!!! Mark my words, I did not say you can’t marry her…I am not God. I only said for now, she is not your wife!!! You are not married…You are a bachelor!!! Do you understand?”
Pastor Kalejaye was raising his voice. He was completely pissed off with what he considered to be Morakinyo’s shallow understanding, timidity and inappropriate behaviours.
“Yes Daddy, I understand” Morakinyo replied, amidst sobs.
Pastor Kalejaye picked the intercom telephone beside him and dialed a number.
“Hello Pastor Joju, please come over, immediately”
From the other end, Pastor Joju replied and left his office immediately.
Since Saturday evening when Mrs. Paseda led Oyinkan to Christ, she had become an evangelist of some sort in the hospital. Right from the Accident and Emergency ward, she started preaching the gospel to the nurses on duty. The nurse who attended to her last on Saturday evening had suggested to the Matron that Oyinkan be moved to the Female General Ward when she saw the way Oyinkan ministered to her.
“Madam, have you given your life to Jesus…? He will give you peace and take away your sorrows. He just did for me…I am happy and completely free from all burdens. That is why I can testify about him… Please surrender your life to Jesus” Oyinkan had said beaming with smiles.
The nurse smiled and replied. “Thank you, I give God the Glory for your life. What you have just shared with me now is timeless truth. I am grateful to God for bringing me out of the darkness of the world into His marvelous light. I am a Child of God, born again and washed in his precious blood”
The Nurse had suggested the relocation of Oyinkan from the accident and emergency unit to the Female General Ward. According to her, Oyinkan’s condition had improved. Dr. Gilbert Goriola, head of the Accident and Emergency had approved the relocation based on the judgment of the Matron.
On Sunday before Mrs. Paseda and her team arrived, Oyinkan had gone round her new ward to pray for all the occupants of the 32-bedsapace ward. She spoke to each of the co-patients one after the other about Jesus and led twelve of the inmates to Christ. Eight claimed they were already born again while seven insisted on clinging to their former religion. Five of the bed-spaces were empty.
The journey from Ibadan to Lagos was shorter than Morakinyo expected. It was the voice of Dasofunjo who asked Pastor Joju to get the two naira toll fee ready that jolted him back to reality. It was then Morakinyo realized that the bus had reached the Lagos Toll Gate. He was completely engrossed in the thoughts of the meeting with Oyinkan at the hospital just before they left for Lagos.
He and Pastor Joju had secured special permit from the nurses on duty to meet Oyinkan for a few minutes. They had entered the ward only to meet Oyinkan praying with some inmates of the ward. The meeting was brief. Morakinyo sought for the contact of her relations. Oyinkan gave the contacts of her Uncle in Lagos without hesitation claiming her Uncle in Lagos is in the best position to relate with her as she had lost contacts with Ayenuro, her hometown since her Uncle came to take her to Lagos at the age of eight.
Thank God for the geographical and navigational skills of the “travel map” Dasofunjo; they were able to trace the address of Mr. Bamidele Oyero without any difficulty. From the Lagos Toll Gate to Palmgrove however took more time than the journey from Ibadan. The traffic from to Maryland was thick and only subsided after the Anthony Bridge.
The bus packed in front of number 25, Shipeolu Street in Onipanu where Oyinkan Uncle lives. A few enquiries led them to the first flat on the second floor of the building. Mr. Bamidele Oyero was not at home when Morakinyo and Pastor Joju arrived. A woman who later introduced herself to them as his wife welcomed them. She explained to them that her husband had gone to work. When they explained to her that they had come to meet Mr. Bamidele Oyero in respect of his niece Oyinkan; the countenance of the woman changed. She become hostile and told them her husband will not return from office until around 11pm.
When Morakinyo requested for a phone number through which Mr. Bamidele Oyero can be reached in the office, the woman insisted she had no access to any of such phone numbers.
“Okay, madam, can we leave a message for your husband. We are sure you will help us deliver the message to him when he comes back home today” Pastor Joju explained.
“That am not sure of, because I just remembered now that he said he will be going for a conference in Port-Harcourt from the office… So I don’t know!!!” Mrs. Oyero explained with a standoffish attitude.
Pastor Joju smiled and said “That’s okay madam, do you mind if we drop a line or two for your husband so that he will get to know why we are here whenever he returns. We are sorry for disturbing you Madam”
The woman stared at Pastor Joju and Morakinyo with hatred, then she disappeared into one the rooms and soon came out with a pen and paper which she handed over to Pastor Joju. He smiled again, thanked the woman and handed over the paper to Morakinyo who quickly sat and scribbled a note.
When he finished with the note, Morakinyo handed over the note to Pastor Joju who read through, nodded and gave the note to Mrs. Oyero. She collected the note from them and dropped it carelessly on the table. Pastor Joju smiled again and signaled to Morakinyo to set to leave.
“Once again, Madam, kindly accept our apologies for infringing on your privacy and please forgive our bad manners” Pastor Joju said and moved towards the door. Morakinyo followed him immediately.
As soon as they entered the bus, Morakinyo fell on the chair and sighed deeply. “What kind of woman is that? Has she heard something about us before…Such hostility…Such hatred!!! Habaaa!”
Pastor Joju smiled again and fixed his glance on Morakinyo.
“Hear me, Brother Morakinyo, that woman possess a strange spirit. The moment we entered that flat, my spirit repelled hers. Did you notice that the moment you mentioned Sister Oyin was when she changed her attitude towards us. I started speaking in the tongues from that moment. I have a conviction in my spirit that she has something to do with the past that Sister Oyin is trying to overcome”
Morakinyo sighed again. “My goodness Lord… So, Pastor what do you suggest we do now”
“Let’s look for the nearest phone booth to call the man!”
Surprised, Morakinyo looked at Pastor Joju and wondered if something had gone wrong with him.
“Look for the nearest phone booth… to call the man? Which man Pastor?”
Pastor Joju smiled again and repeated what he earlier said.
“Yes…We look for the nearest phone booth to call the man; Mr. Bamidele Oyero…I have his telephone number!”
Morakinyo stared wildly at Pastor Joju and wondered if the man had gone nuts. Pastor Joju was known in the whole of Jesus Assembly to be a psychedelic preacher and full of easy moments. His manner of preaching with several comic reliefs endears him to the heart of the entire congregation. On many occasions, he applies comic reliefs to calm down members who go to him for counseling with heavy burdens. No one with burdens goes to meet Pastor Joju and comes back the same. He knows how to make light of every difficult situation.
Morakinyo stared at Pastor Joju again and wondered why he would choose to make fun out of this very critical situation; one that is bringing him to tears every moment.
Dasofunjo had already moved the vehicle out of Onipanu and entered the service lane of Ikorodu Road via the Palm Grove bus stop exit.
“Brother Dasofunjo, please be on the lookout for any phone booth…We need to make a call urgently…”
“Pastor Jay, I don’t know what you’re talking about. How did you come about Mr. Oyero’s number? His wife did not tolerate our presence for a minute, so how come you got his number” Morakinyo was becoming worried at Pastor Joju’s attitude.
“His number is 01-2340472”
“Pastor, see one phone booth here” Dasofunjo called the attention of Pastor Joju to a phone booth in front of the Baptist Academy, Obanikoro. He pulled into the bus stop.
“Do you have some coins with you Brother Morakinyo” Pastor Joju said as he stepped down from the vehicle.
Morakinyo merely nodded sheepishly as he kept wondering what magic Pastor Joju was trying to do. He brought out some few coins from his pocket. They both moved to the booth which was virtually empty. Only a woman was making call when they got to the booth.
Morakinyo moved closer to Pastor Joju as they waited for the woman in the booth to finish.
“Pastor Jay, please tell me, how you came about the number and are you sure it is the man’s number”
Pastor Joju stared at Morakinyo mockingly and smiled again. “I will tell you as soon as we hit the road again. Meanwhile let’s try it first. Hopefully, it will work”
The woman in the booth finished making her call and stepped out of the booth. Pastor Joju quickly entered the booth; dropped two ten kobo coins, dialed the number he had off hand, and waited. Morakinyo stared at him in awe. Pastor Joju smiled again. The phone rang on the other side.
“Hello…Good afternoon” The voice from the other end answered.
“Yes good afternoon, am I on to The African Petrol Filling Station, Oba Akran Avenue, Ikeja?” Pastor Joju reeled out the details, smiling.
“Yes, this is African Petrol Filling Station, Oba Akran Avenue, Ikeja…How can we be of help”
“I like to speak with the Manager, Mr. Bamidele Oyero”
“Speaking, this is Bamidele Oyero speaking… Who am I speaking with please?”
“Thank you Sir. You have a message from your niece, Miss. Oyinkan Oyero”
“What!!! Oyinkan, where is she?” The speaker from the other end was almost screaming. Pastor Joju quickly handed over the receiver to Morakinyo to continue the conversation with the man on the other end. Morakinyo collected the receiver almost half heartedly staring at Pastor Joju with wonder.
“My name is Dr. Morakinyo Olagunsoye…I am the…” He had wanted to introduce himself as the husband of Oyinkan but quickly paused. “Well, let me cut out the details… God in his mercies saved your niece Mss Oyinkan Oyero in a fatal accident between Oyo and Ibadan”
“Oh my God what is this girl looking for in Oyo, she is supposed to be on Campus at Ile Ife!!!” Mr. Oyero lamented from the other end.
“Although she is recovering fast at the UCH in Ibadan, it will be good if you show up”
“Oh definitely….Thank you Doctor, I will surely be on my way….You said UCH?”
“Yes UCH…Female General Ward One!”
“Oh good. I know UCH very well… Female General Ward. Thank you very much Doctor!”
“Thank you too” Morakinyo dropped the receiver and stepped out of the booth. Three persons had already formed a queue outside the booth waiting to take their turns to make call. Morakinyo stared at Pastor Joju with amazement. He was already moving towards the bus.
Once they were inside the bus, Morakinyo opened the issue of the mystery phone number again as Dasofunjo eased the bus to join the slightly building up traffic of the Ikorodu Road towards Anthony.
“Pastor Jay… Please tell me, how did you get the man’s phone number…How?”
Pastor Joju burst into laughter this time around.
“Okay, I will tell you now…”
To be continued in episode 38