By Yinka Odumakin
MAY God bless the soul of the late Sir Olaniwun Ajayi, a very deep and learned man. Hardly anyone ever sat with him without something to take away. When he had just 48 hours more to live, he phoned to indicate that he wanted to see me. I was in Ibadan that day and the urge was to look for an alternative day to see him but some strong forces said I should see him that day. I told him to expect to see me later that day.
I went to his Isara country home and we spent quality time together and it was an unforgettable evening. Before I left him we had to speak with Chief C. O. Adebayo, the former Governor of Kwara State. As Baba rounded off discussion with him he said: “CO, o dabo o(farewell)”. It was eternal farewell as news came 40 hours later that he had joined the saints triumphant.
Some years earlier we were discussing a thorny issue when Sir Ajayi told a story about rats and the cat. The cat just lost its mother and extended a golden invitation to the rats to come and participate in the funerals. The rats knew that an encounter with the rat is a rendezvous that some of them would not live to “tell the story that touch”. But since they are united and staying in the forest together, it would amount to bad manners not to honour the invitation.
They went to see a Wise One who advised them on what to do. On the day of the ceremony, the rats were the first to arrive with drums singing: Ogbogbon, eteete la o fi sinku Iya ologbo (it is with wisdom and tact that we will bury the cat’s mother.) The song was sonorous and the cat had to come out to see the singers but before he could come near them they all had a rapid dialogue with their feet (apology to Kongi).
Even in human affairs, when different groups with somewhat antagonistic features have to share the same forest, the attitude of a group can be eternally hurtful to another, and this is why authors of Federalism came up with bright ideas of multi-ethnic societies living together without doing much damage to themselves and fulfilling their aspirations in their spaces, while running common things together through pooled donation of powers.
But the desire to cheat on others had made some humans to think that the best way to take advantage of others is to run the affairs of a plural society in a single arrangement of unitarian values. Such humans use different guiles to manage their disingenuous schemes and lull the unwary to sleep while sucking them dry. The Nigerian slave drivers have crafted all kinds of empty words of deception to keep their fellow citizens, they ride as horses, in slumber. When you hear “Nigeria is indivisible and indissoluble”, you should know those who are talking.
Every nation that has survived and will continue to do is a daily dialogue holding constant referendum on its articles of unity; but the highly unsettled Nigeria is where slave drivers sing: “Nigeria unity is settled and non-negotiable”. That sour deception came from the Villa again few days ago.
The uninitiated who may not know that what this means is that “we have conquered this space and we have nothing to negotiate with you than just living under our terms”. The uninitiated would have seen its demonstration on a 2pm Arik flight from Abuja to Lagos on Wednesday. As the plane was about to land, the hostess announced that because of COVID-19 passengers would have to disembark in rows. But as the plane touched down a young man got up and violated the rule which attracted serious caution from other passengers and he returned to his seat.
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As the young man sat, another man in babanriga with cap some inches longer Shagari’s jumped the rule and it was the same reaction by fellow passengers. He stood for a second, surveyed the whole plane with one hard aristocratic look and moved on as if all of them meant nothing to him.
A gentleman who sat next to me asked: “How long are we going to live with this?”
I told him it is what we have been living with and which has brought us to where we are and may take us to where we may not be happy to be. It’s all about impunity and “we will do what we like in spite of whatever rules”.
So when you are told the unity is settled it is all about the unity of the horse and the rider. When they say it is “non-negotiable”, they are implying that you can’t negotiate the terms of your existence under this with them. And those who cross that line will bite the bullet like #EndSARS protesters.
•Welcome Prince Ogunwusi
God who perfects things at His time gave us a wonderful Prince at the source a few days back when His Imperial Majesty, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi and Olori Silekunola birthed a new Prince who gladdens all lovers of the ancient throne of Ife. It’s a great regeneration very marvelous in our eyes.
Saw Kabiyesi in Lagos a few days before the arrival of the Prince and we had to speak with Otunba Tobi Lawal whom God did a good thing for recently. Kabiyesi went down memory lane to recall their wonderful time together over the years in business and other life issues.
Otunba Lawal in turn made a good confession about Kabiyesi which made an impression on me on the Tiger that does not pronounce its tigritude. He said as close as he is related to Kabiyesi, he never for once said he was a Prince until he mounted the throne. The new Prince will have a date with history down the line. The Irunmole are endorsing that.
•.And Iku at his best
As we are rejoicing in Ife, let me use one leg to get to Oyo to salute the Iku Baba Yeye, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, for his wonderful interview with Saturday Tribune on November 14 where he warned government that intimidation and threats cannot cow today’s youth, and with clear suggestions to government on what this season requires.
For those who think that it is the deceptive words of psychopaths that should enter their ears this season, hear Iku: “A patriot is one who says it as it is in order for the power to see what it does not see. What do I stand to gain in encouraging youths to fight government? The point is that with my position in Yoruba history and the key role which Alaafin has played as an institution, I cannot deceive any government with sweet talk or silence.
“It is my duty to speak out, irrespective of how what I say is taken and interpreted. Go and check, I have been calling government attention to public issues through letters since 1986. I have the record of all my letters to successive administrations. So, what I am saying on this current issue follows same pattern of my royal intervention to governance in the country.”