Not many in Nigeria’s socio-political history rose quickly on the stepping stool of unmistakable quality yet kicked the bucket not in the evening of their lives yet rather in the early afternoon when there was a lot more to do.
This was the situation of Olabode Akanbi Thomas, prevalently known as Chief Bode Thomas.
Thomas, conceived October 1919, kicked the bucket shockingly on November 23, 1953, under inquisitive conditions at the age of 34.
The day was likewise his little girl’s subsequent birthday, hence, carrying satisfaction and agony to the Bode family.
A day earlier, on November 22, 1953, Bode, who had been made the director of the Oyo Divisional Council having taken over from Alaafin Adeyemi II, shown up at a gathering of the board with the Oba (ruler) in participation as a part.
The report holds that the wide range of various councilors, with the exception of Oba Adeyemi in his 60s, remained to invite him. Thomas then, at that point discourteously told the ruler “for what reason would you say you were sitting when I strolled in? For what reason wouldn’t you be able to show me regard?”
The Alaafin, feeling disregarded, asked Thomas “shey emi on gbo mo baun? emi ni ongbo bi aja mo baun” signifying “is it me you are barking at like that?’ is it me you are barking like a canine at like that? continue to bark.”
Different records further hold that Thomas, after arriving at home after the gathering in Oyo, began yapping during that time at his Yaba, Lagos home. He kicked the bucket the next day (November 23, 1953) regardless of being shipped off Ijebu-Igbo for additional treatment.
Thomas, being a central himself, probably known the time-held Yoruba practice of regarding the older and customary authority as he and Alaafin Aderemi II were Yorubas.
Notwithstanding, it seems the two not agreeing had to do with strategic maneuver in regards to burden activation, ideological group backing and privileges of conventional position.
Political pioneer Obafemi Awolowo had set up the Action Group to wrestle power from the British with Thomas as agent pioneer.
The Alaafin, one of only a handful few exceptionally positioned men of Yoruba extraction, rather tossed his weight behind Nnamdi Azikiwe and the National Council of Nigerians and the Cameroons (NCNC).
There had been a trial of forces of sorts with Alaafin on one hand and Awolowo and Thomas on the other. The fracture prompted banishing of the Oba’s child, the demise of Thomas and the ousting of the Alaafin by Awolowo.
Thomas was Nigeria’s first Minister of Transportation and later Minister of Works. He likewise filled in as both a provincial priest of the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria and an aristocrat and privy advocate of the noteworthy Oyo faction of Yorubaland.
He was Balogun of Oyo – an imperial name given to a town’s warhead in spite of the fact that it can likewise mean one who can’t be crushed or prevailed. He got the Balogun title in 1949.
Thomas was instrumental in the battle for self-rule against the British filling in as an attorney, government official, legislator and customary blue-blood.
He was brought into the world to Andrew Thomas, a rich broker and barker who was initially from Oyo however relocated to Lagos. He considered law in London and was called to the bar in 1942.
He along these lines got back to Nigeria to build up the law office “Thomas, Williams and Kayode” in 1948, along with Chief Frederick Rotimi Williams and Chief Remilekun Fani-Kayode.
Among his different accomplishments, he turned into the legitimate counselor of Egbe Omo Oduduwa in 1946. He was one of the establishing individuals from the Action Group. Before joining Action Group, he was an effective Lagos attorney and was an individual from the Nigerian Youth Movement.
With Thomas’ style, he was viewed as splendid, sensible, shrewd, insightful, forward-looking and an obsessive worker. On the disadvantage, he was seen as haughty, hot-tempered and a harasser.
Thomas wedded Lucretia Shobola Odunsi having children Eniola and Dapo together. He was chancellor of the African Church of Nigeria and turned into an individual from Regional House of Assembly in 1951.
The mainstream ‘Bode Thomas Street‘ in Surulere is named after him.