On Friday, October 24, 2014, the father of the three siblings abandoned in Solid Rock Model College, a boarding school in Abule-Iroko, in the Ado-Odo Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, Segun Adepegba, finally kept to his promise by visiting them after eight years in the company of four of his friends.
The children whose joys knew no bound on seeing their father hugged him and couldn’t let go as their father amidst the emotional reunion promised to be always there for them henceforth.
He said to his children, “I am sorry for leaving you, Titi, Seun and Seyi. I am really very sorry. I have missed you all so much. I will not leave you again.”
It was learnt that a lot of people who witnessed the event were dumbfounded by the “mystery and a miracle” reunion.
According to Punch reports, when he arrived, an angry mob was prevented from attacking him when they learnt he was the father of the “abandoned children.”
A friend of the school proprietor, Mr. Ademola Adeyemi , described Adepegba’s return as a miracle, said, “This has shown that God truly answers prayers,” while revealing that prayed to God in vigils asking for the reunion of the father with his kids.
The residents of the area, passersby and students of the school all joined to form a crowd of witnesses in the school as the news of Adepegba’s visit filtered the air.
Meanwhile, the staff of the school and residents of the area lashed out on him for such an act.
The school’s sports facilitator, Godfrey Olopele, on seeing Adepegba quizzed whether he was the father of the abandoned children and on getting an affirmation, he said, “I have some words for this man. You have not done well. You are very wicked. How could you abandon your children for so long?”
Among Adepegba’s four friends was Mr. Muyiwa Akinseye, who said, “I have known Adepegba for a very long time but I never knew that he had children somewhere. It was until I saw his photograph in the PUNCH that I was shocked to know that my friend had some children somewhere. He had never mentioned a thing like that. I still wondered why he kept something as important as this from me.”
A second friend of Adepegba, identified as Ola, added, “I am a father and I can’t leave my child for that long. Adepegba’s behaviour is really condemnable. When I saw his picture on the PUNCH front page, I had jokingly told him, ‘Adepegba, you have become a superstar. So you have children somewhere?’ I was surprised.”
Adepegba finally said, “I have offended a lot of people. I have offended my children. I have offended Nigerians. I accept all the blame. And I am really very sorry. I understand that what I have done is very wrong. I was afraid of two things: One was that if I came here, I would be arrested and the second reason was the accumulated debt of the children’s school fees. I reasoned that if I should come to the school, I would be handed over to the police.
“I really miss my children and this time around, I am going to change. I want them to have a good educational background so that they can become important persons in the future. I don’t want them to suffer. I will never leave them again. But all these years, I have been battling with hard times. Things have been very tough for me.
However, in reaction, the Chairman, Parent-Teacher Association of the school, Mr Busari, while advising Adepegba to seek the face of God in prayers said, “I advise you to lock up yourself for three days in deep prayers. It is only then that God will open doors for you. You have committed a grievous offence. You have put the proprietor of the school and residents of the neighbourhood into trouble with your untoward behaviour. It is only after doing this that God would forgive you and open doors for you.”
Meanwhile, the proprietor of the school Mr Samuel Ayegbusi,who could’nt bear the burden alone anymore filed a report to police operatives. He added that hewent through hell in the hands of the police when Titilola absconded from the school in search of her father.
He said, “When Titilola ran away from the school and I went to report the matter at the Sango Ota Police Division, the police arrested me, saying I was the first suspect . The matter caused trouble in this community and the issue dented my image. I was forced to cough out close to N50,000 to be bailed.”
Furthermore, Adepegba, promised to visit the children regularly and expressed deep gratitude to concerned citizens that promised to set off the bills he had incurred in the school.
The children expressed the happiness they had having finally met their father eight years after being abandoned like orphans in the school. However, they were looking forward to reconciling with their mother the same way they did with their father.
Tilola said, “I am very excited that my father is back. All I can say is that I am happy. But I want to see my mother too.”
Adepegba promised to go in search of their mother whose name he disclosed as Ruth Okochi from Ogwashi-Uku in the Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State.
He said, “I know a place she lives in Abuja but I am not sure if she still lives there. I owe it a responsibility to find her for the sake of my children.”