ONE thing you can do that will satisfy fuji lord, Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, a.k.a Alhaji Agba, at the moment is to help him appreciate God for what He has done in his life. For taking him through three major surgeries and keeping him alive to sing a sweet song of victory. Since his return from India in April 2010, where he had gone for the surgeries, he has been hospitalized at Havana Specialist Hospital Limited, Surulere, Lagos. The Ibadan, Oyo State born fuji creator granted us a rare audience on his hospital bed.
ENCOMIUM Weekly visited him at the hospital on Wednesday, August 4, 2010, and he spoke exclusively on his health situation, death rumour and many more.
We are very sorry disturbing your peace at a moment like this. But what exactly is the ailment and what experience would you like to share with us?
Alhamdulillahi, as you can see, I think I am the one sitting before you. And since you came here, we have been chatting. That shows that my health has improved tremendously. I thank God for that.
Can you tell us precisely what kind of ailment you are battling?
I don’t want to comment on anything like that for now. I don’t want the public to expect me to grant any interview, but for you and a lot of other people that also love me, what I can only say for now is Alhamdulillahi. I give thanks to Almighty God for what He has done so far on my health situation. I can’t thank Him enough. He has really been with me but I would only appeal to my fans, friends and all those that are worried about my health to exercise some patience and give me more time to regain my strength. I have been told a lot that people have said about my condition. Some said I don’t talk, I don’t even recognize anybody that comes around but all I said was, they should just leave them. They are saying all these because of the love and concern they all have for me. A lot of people have found themselves in worse situations than mine and nobody made mention of their names. So, why would I get angry with them, I still have to thank God that people love me and they remember me all the time, even in their prayers.
There was a rumour a couple of weeks back that Alhaji Agba had gone to the great beyond…
They have been saying that, I was also informed. I mean, every person who said that is only asking for one more year for me in addition to my age. So, you can see how long they want me to live. My belief is that they are all wishing me well, asking for more blessing from God for me. Not that they want me dead. They are only saying that I am still relevant and useful to them. Even if you offer people N1 billion, if they won’t accept and love you, they won’t. So, I need to appreciate the fact that I am loved by the people. And I use this opportunity to appreciate them and pray for them also that God would continue to protect them and their families. They would never fall sick, their children too will enjoy maximum protection of Almighty Allah. And I pray also that I will never fall short of whatever reason they see in me as their favourite person. I believe God loves me and people also love me. Let me give you an instance, a ten year-old child was shedding tears and refused to go to school the day it was rumoured that I was dead. I now began to wonder what does a ten year-old child know about me. I now called to let the child know I am the one on phone. When he heard, he said so daddy you’re not dead. Now, I am okay. So, tell me, what does that child know about me? I don’t even know him. No matter what, if it is only clapping for the past 53 years, I must tell you, one day, our body needs some rest. No doubt about that. Even machine depreciates, let alone a human being. So I thank God.
We learnt you also went to India for thorough medical attention, how…
(Cuts in) It is true, let’s give thanks to God for everything. Just like I said earlier, all I need is to continue to thank Him. What of if I had passed away during the course of the surgeries I went through in India, what can anybody do about that? He took me to India and brought me back to Nigeria successfully. That means God loves me so much. That is a signal that I have not finished delivering the message He assigned me to deliver, that means I am still useful to His cause. I give Him all the glory. So, why would I be fighting people for spreading any rumour about my health?
Briefly, how can you describe your health at the moment?
As you can see, you met me lying down when you came in and I was the first person to mention your name and virtually everybody you came in with including Alhaji Wale, Barrymade, my daughter and so on. When I felt like going to the toilet, I stood up and went and came back on my bed again. Everybody knows that when you have a single major surgery, you will lose some weight, your physique can’t be the same, you need to take some time to recuperate. That is exactly what has affected my stature and my physique now, I have dropped from 140kg to 75kg. I am not feeling bad about my look now, I will soon recover fully. You know it is not an easy thing having gone through three major operations and I thank God they were all successful. I need to thank God, I was to be discharged when I noticed that two of the bones at the back have some complaints. I was not feeling too comfortable of course, and the situation had to be corrected. So, I was asked to stay back and you know, the sudden loss of weight may have contributed to the imbalance. You also know my leg has been giving me problems for some years now because of the injury I had in the army. I have been nursing it. About seven years ago, it was hanging at the Crystal Specialist Hospital owned by my elder brother, Dr. Adeyemi. He could testify to it, the file is still there. But I don’t know what God has in stock for me. Man proposes, God disposes. Maybe all that is happening is just to protect me from a bigger disaster, that is why I need to thank Him for His love for me. I believe there is still going to be more time to correct the position of the bones, then I would be physically fit and by God’s grace that will be done soon.
But the tale in town is that your present predicament is a spiritual attack?
There is nothing like that. I am a Muslim, I don’t believe anybody can do such a thing to me. Everything that happens in the life of a man is well known to God. I was created by God and it is only Him that owns my life. I don’t believe anybody can terminate my life and I can’t as well terminate other people’s life. We are all creatures of Allah. I put all my hope in God, He is the giver and the taker of life. If He says yes, no one can say no.
Who are the people you will like to extend your appreciation to since you have been on the sick bed?
A lot of people, if I begin to mention names, I will offend so many people. Those who stood by me know themselves and God knows them better. I thank all and sundry, they have really done well, people have actually shown me that they really love me even those that I don’t really know. They were all worried and they are all identifying with me in my trying period. I thank them all, God will reward them abundantly, they will never pass through that kind of situation. Even their enemies would not fall sick, In sha Allah, I thank them all.
What of the role played by your association, FUMAN?
Wonderful. They are all with me till date. I was never abandoned by them for a moment. They have done wonderfully. God will reward them abundantly.
Permit us to ask about your hospital bill. Since you have been admitted here, exactly four months now, who has been taking care of that?
Don’t let us talk about that. God is able and with Him, everything is settled. Whatever one spends on a situation like this, what matters is that you have your life back. It is like fighting a battle and you win, you are now beginning to account for the loss of bullets and so on. So, let’s leave that aspect and keep thanking God for everything.
On a final note sir, we believe you have conquered and that God has taken over everything, won’t you come out with an album as a sort of appreciation to your fans, friends and those that stood by you when you regained your strength?
Let’s hand everything over to God Almighty. I also wish to do something of such but God is the one that directs my life. And I believe that won’t be my last. By God’s grace, I would bounce back, walk very well, stand on my feet and do a good music for them. God will spare our lives, we shall all enjoy ourselves. By God’s grace there will be a hit record from me when I am back on my feet. I thank them all, God will not abandon them and He will continue to identify with them in all their endeavours.
- This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, August 10, 2010