By Yinka Odumakin
THE late Pa Abraham Adesanya once told us how he boldly looked at Chief Obafemi Awolowo at an Action Group caucus and said: “It seems some of our ministers are seeing life more abundant as a motto for their children alone with the type of cars they are riding.”
Awo was silent for a minute and those who didn’t know the Leader was a lover of the truth thought he was going to lambast Adesanya. But he invited him to come and take a seat next to him on the table to give him more of the important information which ordinarily would not have come to his attention.
The political space Awo worked all his life would never lack men of valour. And the Yoruba nation must be eternally grateful to the likes of Dr. Amos Akingba who through persistence did not allow the controlling leadership of ACN to totally lead the Yoruba through the dark alley in 2014 by consistently asking what was their negotiating instruments with their Fulani husbands when the APC wedlock was being negotiated.
Eventually they were handed over to one of their master dissemblers, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who tossed them up and down until he handed them a document that contained nothing.
After their complaints, another document was brought as a draft manifesto which contained the catchphrase: to restructure Nigeria into a true federation. The Oluwole document was ostensibly a Taqqiya meant to hoodwink the unwary as the owners of the game said they didn’t know the meaning of restructuring after they took power.
Their real agenda was de-structuring Nigeria for their hegemonic purpose; but they played on with those who naively thought they could fortuitously complete Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure or succeed him.
The first stanza was shattered immediately Buhari grabbed the ticket at the stadium in Lagos and he became a changed man. Chief Bisi Akande, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola went to Atiku Abubakar’s house in Lagos to complain to him. Asiwaju was reported to be toasting Atiku about his sacrifices for democracy when Chief Akande had to cut him short to say they were with him to get Buhari to fulfill his promise to Tinubu to make him VP as he promised before the primary but on which he had become non-committal.
Atiku looked at Chief Akande again and asked him if he had forgotten he was the one who asked him not to do a Muslim-Muslim ticket when he gave him AC ticket in 2007, and if a Buhari and Tinubu ticket would be a different combination than that. Tinubu and Aregbesola looked at themselves as the meeting ended on that note. They never knew Buhari just left Atiku to ask for support and the only condition given was not to do a Muslim-Muslim. A compromise was struck with Buhari-Osinbajo ticket before Buhari agreed not to drop the ticket as they went on.
Even before the full inauguration of government, it was clear to those of us who could read the game well that the Yoruba Ludo masters had become playthings in the hands of the Fulani chess masters they were playing against. I did my “Arewa songs of conquest “ in June 2015 against that background: “What a tragedy of victory! The stiff-necked adventurers who uncritically assumed a day would come when Arewa would embrace power sharing are now doing what Yoruba call “aramora, iso kijipa”: like you are being whipped but you can’t afford to shed any tear.
“The children of Oduduwa who gave an identity and the formula to engage all nationalities with pride are now hovering like Almajirai in Abuja because they sacrificed their core values to play at their traducers’ area of strength. The gloom on their faces is worse than that of those who lost elections. They are now busy tearing themselves into pieces, jostling for who will be the senior in the slavery they have just sold themselves to. Like Fela Anikulapo Kuti around this time in 1984: I just dey look and dey laugh.
“These folks lack any institutional memory to even understand the subtlety of those they are engaged in power game with. They are in a game whose rules of engagement they don’t have the faintest idea of. They didn’t know that the power of cash becomes immaterial when the key to the treasury is handed to those you thought you were funding. Some folks are so poor despite having tonnes of cash.”
In the last five years, Yoruba and other non-Fulani communities in Nigeria have paid with their blood over the indiscretion of these people; they can’t even notice the cheap tears of Chief Bisi Akannde at his country home as their possible registration out of APC was as Akande said: “No population census is repeated within less than a decade and voters are not re-registered at every election.
“Within this context, I see the present APC membership registration within less than a decade after the original register as an indefensible aberration leading to certain ugly perceptions. The first major perception is that APC, already having a well-computerised register for an average 100 leaders of similar ideological orientation per each of the 120,000 polling units across Nigeria, might be lacking comprehension and matrix of modern-day technology.
“The second major perception is that APC leadership might be wasteful and unappreciative of the proper use of money in a kind of scanty economy in which Nigeria now finds itself. These seeming ugly perceptions put into abeyance the applause of the national election successes that the original APC register enjoyed since its completion on February 15, 2014 and the over one billion Naira of 2014’s value that the original register cost when APC had no money of its own.”
The marines are full of ears to the lamentations! It is so strange that those who have been immune from the cries of their people over the calamity they invited over them just like the grand patrons of Miyetti Allah would now want them to look at their side when their own teeth are set on the edge for the sour grapes they ate.
It is painful to be asking old men if they never heard the word “aise”(we didn’t do it). And there will always be consequences if you did it. You pay a higher cost for selling our people.
Re: The wars Yoruba fight
MY dear Yinka Odumakin. Your loaded piece with the above title published in the Vanguard of Tuesday, February 2, 2021, was incisive, instructive and revealing as usual, as you candidly expressed thoughts that are in sync with those of Nigerians who are becoming increasingly fed up with the provocative effrontery of some of our brothers from the Northern section of the country who quixotically think they possess monopoly of violence.
Obviously oblivious of the facts of Nigerian history, Northern interest groups such as Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF; Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, et.al, alongside some prominent Northern power brokers, have developed the penchant of blackmailing the rest of the country with war anytime their vested interests in the status quo seems threatened.
It is a fact of history that prior to the infamous 1914 fusion exercise orchestrated by British buccaneer- cum-statesman, Sir Fredrick Lord Lugard, High Commissioner for the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria, who was also destined to become the Governor General of Nigeria, some of the Southern ethnic/tribal groups constituting contemporary Nigeria existed as self-governing entities comprised warrior tribes that were never subjects of the Fulani.
Fulani inroads into the South terminated at Ilorin, which fell due largely to internal political wrangling, consequent to Afonja’s miscalculations. Other attempts to invade the South, through Yoruba lands, were decisively repelled.
Also instructive is the fact that initial attempts by the Fulani Jihadists to conquer some parts of what is today’s Middle Belt were massively resisted by the valiant warrior tribes domiciled in that region, and that it was the intervention of the British imperialist machine, via the Mistake of 1914, that led to their ultimate conquest and subjugation, like other groups in Nigeria, to Fulani domination.
On the uncontrolled outburst by President Muhammadu Buhari’s squeamish Goebbels, Garba Shehu, that the Fulani have rights to forest reserves anywhere in the country, it must be pointed out to him that the right by any group to supposedly settle and carry out business activities in any part of the country, does not include the authority to brazenly kill, kidnap, maim, rape members of their host communities and destroy their sources of livelihood without respite from any quarters, which the killer herdsmen from the North are fast becoming proficient at.
Sir, like you unerringly pointed out in your masterpiece, another war in contemporary Nigeria would be very disastrous as it would be fought on several fronts. If the grand mistakes that led to the 1967-1970 Civil War are repeated, it will make the adversarial stance of our Northern brothers grossly ill-advised.
Nobody or group in Nigeria has monopoly of the use of force! A word is enough for the wise!
Thank you, once again, for your labour of love!
Jude Obuseh wrote from Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.