As stated five weeks ago in the first part of the series on the celebration of Christmas on December 25, last year Professor Tam David – West began reading my column right from inception on December 19, 2007. But in the 12 years my column has been on, he only raised issues on stories or statements in the Holy Bible or spiritual matters when I wrote on such a topic.
But the situation changed last year as he brought up discussion on issues in the Bible or religious matters, when such was not the subject I wrote about in my column of that week. It became frequent that one day I asked him, Professor why have you become so religious this year?
His reply was that at his age (83) he should be preoccupied with the hereafter and move closer to God. In this new situation he asked me such questions as where Jesus or someone else made a statement in the Bible, or where Christ preached about peace in the Holy Book. One day it was the meaning of INRI he wanted to know.
As I told him INRI is an acronym derived from the Hebrew expression: Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum” which translates as Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. The letter I is used in INRI instead of J because in Hebrew J is written as I. Thus, Jesus comes out as Iesus and Jews as Iudaeorum. With regard to where Jesus preached peace in the Bible, it was during the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 verse nine when he talked about true happiness, which starts from verse 1 through 12.
For me, it is still like a dream that Professor David – West is no more and that I will not be able to speak with him on phone or meet him again. It is sad. We last saw seven years ago in 2013 at an event centre at Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, at the funeral ceremony for the mother of Chief Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity. But we last spoke on phone early in October last year. From 2007 until when he died we phoned each other once or twice a month with him responsible for initiating 90 per cent of the calls.
I pray that our Heavenly Father forgives him his sins and grant him the grace of making Paradise on the Day of Judgment. It is also my supplication that the Lord continues to be with those he left behind in both his father and mother’s families.
Next week: My tribute to my maternal cousin, Dr. Elkanah Olusola Adesokan (86), a medical practitioner who went to glory on Monday, November 11, the same day with Professor Tam David – West.