My wife died after foretelling her death

Ahead of the silver jubilee anniversary of the death of his wife in an auto crash in Israel in 1995, the special adviser to Lagos State governor on chieftaincy matters, Prince Bayo Osiyemi, has revealed that the deceased spouse had a premonition of her death.

Esther, his late wife of 19 years, and 11 others had died in the accident at the conclusion of the 1995 Christian pilgrimage to holy sites in Israel and Egypt, and the news came as a rude shock to many. But Osiyemi said the tragic incident was revealed to the deceased woman in a dream three days earlier.

Osiyemi recalled that his late wife narrated “the dreary dream” to her fellow pilgrims in one of the group’s morning devotions at their base in Nazareth, saying that she saw the pilgrims in a pool of blood and urging them to raise their voices in prayers to avert the imminent calamity.

He said: “The dream came to pass the day the pilgrims concluded their spiritual journey to Mount Sinai and were returning to their hotel in Elat, the border town between Egypt where Mount Sinai was located and Israel, from where they were to prepare their return through Jerusalem and then Tel Aviv, back to Nigeria.

“Esther was a born dreamer and visioner whose spiritual acuity began to manifest in her teenage years when, in a dream in their ancestral home in Sagamu, Ogun State, she revealed to her mother in the early 60s that she was in the same aircraft with the most venerated politician in the then Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

“Her mother was said to have viewed the dream as blasphemous, given the reverence and awe in which Awo was held, wondering how the lowly family could ever get near such a great political personality to the extent of being in an aeroplane with him.

Osiyemi wife
•The late Osiyemi
“According to the story narrated to me by Esther in our early courtship years, she was spanked by her mother for being audacious enough to dream something she thought might put the family in political trouble if made public.

“But that dream manifested in 1978, two years after her marriage to me and 13 years after she had it, when I resigned from my comfortable reportorial job in the prestigious Daily Times, then Nigeria’s newspaper flagship, to join Alhaji Lateef Jakande’s campaign team as he bided to contest the governorship of Lagos State under the Unity Party of Nigeria, led by Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

“Given my role in the Jakande governorship struggle, I became one of LKJ’s “errand boys” to Awolowo either in his Park View residence at Apapa in Lagos or his expansive country mansion at Ikenne in Remo division of Ogun State.

“I became an habitue of Awo’s homes, during which period Awo became fond of me that he nicknamed me “Agun-ta-so-lo” – the one whose height edified any dress – the actual name of one of his long standing associates in Ijeshatedo area of Mushin, who was rotund but was of average height.

“Awo, reputed to wear stoic mien most of the time, could be humorous and jovial in some other moments. When in bearing LKJ’s errand to him for the first time in his Apapa residence late in 1978 he sized me up and asked if I knew one of the political leaders in Mushin called Alhaji Aguntasolo and I responded in the affirmative, he quipped: “Ire gan lo ye ka ma pe ni Aguntasolo (you are actually the one that should be so called)”, apparently because of my towering height and gangling frame.

“That appellation stuck on me from then on, and it was the nickname Awo and his wife, Hannah Dideolu, called me by in their life time, and which one of Awo’s close associates, Chief Ayo Adebanjo still calls me to this day.

“From then on, my wife and I became close to the Awolowo family, and also through Awo’s nephew and professional colleague of mine, Alhaji Abimbola Osifeso, now of blessed memory; as well as Awo’s youngest daughter, Dr (Mrs) Tokunbo Dosumu with whom I had a close and chummy political relationship when she participated in Lagos politics at a time before she was appointed and posted by the Babangida regime as Nigeria’s ambassador to the Netherlands.

“But these were not the only dreams and prophesies she was credited with in her lifetime. After initially supporting my bid for the Mushin council chairmanship in 1992, God revealed the political perfidy of human beings to her in a dream during my chairmanship struggle, and she did not hesitate to warn me at a point that I would lose that election, adding a rider quickly that regardless, I would still become chairman of the same local government.

“I saw that as contradictory and I told her so. Her reply was profound: “God’s ways are not men’s ways,” she unhesitatingly and unflatteringly told me. How prophetic!

“After my contrived defeat, I still emerged chairman of the old, octopus Mushin Local Government, now split to Odiolowo, Mushin-Ajina and part of Itire-Ikate LCDA, in 1994, through military appointment. She became the chairperson and matron of the Family Support Programme in Mushin as my wife from April 1994 until she passed on in October 1995 during the Christian pilgrimage to the holy sites in Israel and Egypt, where she was foretold, in a dream, of the road accident that claimed her life and 11 others.”

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