Did Bode Thomas bark to death? Verdict by Majekodunmi, his doctor

Did Bode Thomas bark to death? Verdict by Majekodunmi, his doctor

Sunday, January 31, 2021 11:00 am


 

Bode Thomas and Dr. Majekodunmi’ s autobiography

Bode Thomas and Alaafin Aderemi 11

 

When Chief Bode Thomas, lawyer and politician died in Lagos on 23 November 1953, not a few Nigerians swore by their ancestors’ coffins that it was the result of the shouting match between him and the then Alaafin Aderemi 11 of Oyo.

There was the popular story that the Oba asked him to be barking like a dog and that happened.

However, Thomas’ personal physician, Dr. Moses Adekoyejo Majekodunmi, revealed what happened in his autobiography, My Lord, What a Morning.

In his words: “When after an hour Bode did not arrive I telephoned him to find out whay was happening. He asked if I could come over to his house, and I did. I met him in the sitting room; and he called his mother and his wife Subo. He told the three of us in the sitting room that he had just returned from Oyo that afternoon. While in Oyo, he developed fever and had wanted to return to Lagos immediately but his driver had taken his car away and was nowhere to be found. So he requisitioned the Native Authority lorry to take him from Oyo to Lagos. He knew that during the journey to Lagos, the fever got worse and he was delirious and he was talking in his delirium and his mother had been very much frightened by this. He just wanted to tell his mother and wife in my presence that should anything happen, such that he was unable to exercise his judgement, no remedy or medicine was to be applied to him or should be given him unless it was approved by me, his friend and physician.”

Below are excerpts from the book, posted by Mayowa Akinsola in The Nigerian Nostalgia, 1960- 1980, Project:

DID BODE THOMAS REALLY BARK TO DEATH? AN ACCOUNT OF HIS LAST DAYS BY HIS PERSONAL PHYSICIAN.

I first met Chief Obafemi Awolowo through my friend Bode Thomas, deputy leader of the Action Group. Bode Thomas was a man whose dull visage hid his incisive, analytical mind and a fiercely objective approach to national issues…

Bode and I became very intimate in the early fifties and went into the timber trade together during the timber boom…

Shortly after that, the Action Group had problems in Oyo town, particularly with the Alaafin of Oyo. Bode Thomas frequented Oyo at this time and towards the end of November 195, Bode telephoned me in my house at No. 2 Force Road, requesting me to send my car to bring him to my house. It was an unusual request but I dispatched the car.

When after an hour Bode did not arrive I telephoned him to find out was happening. He asked if I could come over to his house, and I did. I met him in the sitting room; and he called his mother and his wife Subo. He told the three of us in the sitting room that he had just returned from Oyo that afternoon. While in Oyo, he developed fever and had wanted to return to Lagos immediately but his driver had taken his car away and was nowhere to be found. So he requisitioned the Native Authority lorry to take him from Oyo to Lagos. He knew that during the journey to Lagos, the fever got worse and he was delirious and he was talking in his delirium and his mother had been very much frightened by this. He just wanted to tell his mother and wife in my presence that should anything happen, such that he was unable to exercise his judgement, no remedy or medicine was to be applied to him or should be given him unless it was approved by me, his friend and physician. We all seemed to understand this. That night I gave Bode some anti malaria drugs as well as some sedative.

The following morning being a Sunday, I went to Abeokuta for a family meeting. On my way back, I called at Araoti Street to see Bode Thomas, but as was explained to me later, he had been removed because there were too many visitors. I never saw him again because he died a few days later. Bode was a highly principled man and a loyal friend. His death was greatly felt by me. I had the honour to deliver the funeral oration at his burial and I remember saying: “Bode was too young to die but we mourn today the end of a remarkable achievement no less than the promise yet unfulfilled.” The funeral was very well attended by the people of Lagos, indeed up to that time it was in my view the most well attended funeral in Lagos. The streets were filed and all the way to Ikoyi Road was blocked with traffic.

SOURCE: MY LORD WHAT A MORNING: AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MOSES ADEKOYEJO MAJEKODUNMI.

Dr Majekodunmi was also the personal physcian to Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa. On the 4th of January 1960, he was appointed Senator, Leader of the Senate and Minister of State of the Army. On the 17th of July 1961, following a cabinet reshuffle, he was moved to the Ministry of Health. He presided over the Ministry of Health simultaneously as the Sole Administrator of the Western Region during the State of Emergency from May 29th to December 31st 1962.

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