- Please don’t let me die, he begs Nigerians
By Job Osazuwa
TIME is ticking very fast for Mr. Ambibola Olaseinde. Right now, he’s down with a life-threatening ailment. The once vivacious man suffers from asthma, high blood pressure and other complications.
When the reporter visited the schoolteacher to congratulate him on his son’s achievement, the 52-year-old man coughed intermittently and was breathing laboriously. He has a visibly protruding stomach that could make anyone mistake him for a woman at the final stages of pregnancy. An inhaler, a pack of assorted drugs and bottles of water were on the table.
A native of Abeokuta in Ogun State, Mr. Olaseinde occupies a single room in a house on Efon Alaye Street, Shasha, Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State.
The house and all its occupants, Daily Sun gathered, are at the mercy of flood each time it rains. He told the reporter that he was thrown out of his former house and later rejected by other landlords, who expressed the fear that the sickness might soon claim his life.
He said he had been living off donations from his relatives and friends. He lamented that the sickness had turned him to a pauper.
Just last month, his son, Olufemi Olaseinde, was all over the news when he was picked, as the one-day governor of Lagos State. The 16-year-old emerged the overall winner of this year’s ‘Spelling Bee’ competition in the state.
The Senior Secondary One pupil of Shasha Community Senior High School in Alimosho was among the 57 contestants that started the competition held at Alausa, Ikeja. At the grand finale, Olufemi went home with N250, 000 cash and some other items. He also got a scholarship from the state to study in any university of his choice.
Though he was decorated as Lagos governor for 20 hours, the boy said those awards and recognition could only be meaningful if his father bounced back to life.
While receiving the award, it was obvious that his joy was not full because his father was bedridden at home. Olufemi regretted that his father could not meet the governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, and members of the State Executive Council. He told Ambode that his father would have loved to be present at the event but was unable to attend due to some health challenges.
Touched by what the boy said, Ambode immediately ordered that Olufemi’s father be treated at the medical facilities of the state government.
The governor said: “It is unfortunate that his father could not make it for this very special occasion in the life of his child, but he will be attended to in the health facilities of the state government.”
Naturally, Olaseinde was full of joy that his son emerged joy that his son emerged the one-day governor of Lagos State and was grateful to the state government for recognising him.
However, despite the governor’s promise to attend the man’s health, all the Olaseindes have received from the government was a visit by a certain lady nurse, who told them she was sent to find out the patient’s health status.
The father of three boys said: “The lady came and asked me some questions. Up till now, we have not heard anything from them. I am pleading with Governor Ambode and other well-meaning Nigerians to act quickly because I am dying slowly.
Between 1990 and 1996, he told Daily Sun that he travelled to England for a degree programme at the Chashire School of Management and Marketing. Being an asthmatic patient, he said he had frequent attacks due to the cold weather there. Later on, his friends advised him to return to Nigeria where he could enjoy a better temperature and an improved health.
According to him, his health started deteriorating sharply in November 2014. He recalled that he noticed that his legs were unusually swollen, with sharp pain in the stomach and other parts of his body. He immediately went to Igando General Hospital, where he was told that he might be suffering from kidney failure.
Some drugs were recommended to him at the hospital, which he took for some time. His condition improved substantially thereafter, he said. When the pain disappeared, Olaseinde also stopped taking the drugs. But the pain is fully back now.
“When the pain started again, I engaged the service of a nurse, who was coming to my house to give me some drugs. Anytime she came, l paid N5, 000 for the drugs but things did not improve much. I went back to Igando General Hospital and they recommended some expensive tests to be run but I could not because I had no money.”
As a result of his condition, the management of the private school where he was teaching has disengaged him. He told the reporter that he managed to teach his students even when it was obvious that he was not healthy.
“There was a day, last year that the sickness got so serious that I went into coma. I was taken to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and placed under intensive care. They told me that I was hypertensive. My aged father footed the bill,” he said.
Olaseinde said he kept visiting LASUTH for the same drugs, but his protruding stomach did not reduce a bit and he later got frustrated. He said he stopped buying those drugs because he felt he was wasting his money.
Some of his classmates at Ijebu-Ode Grammar School, 1976-1981 Set, recently told the reporter about Olaseinde’s pathetic situation. They described him as a jolly good fellow that should not be left alone to wallow in his ordeal.
Those wishing to assist Mr. Olaseinde may reach him on 08144695821 and 07055269151.