Yoruba have ways of serenading #togetherforever. There is orunisulaparonkusi. There is also ekurolalabakuewa. Both can be translated as (come rain, come shine). The race equally has a song to celebrate defiance in romance. Funny though, it is dancehall stuff; thrilling and titilating, despite the overt pa mi nku (we die here) message. It goes thus “eni tan to ri e na mi, nihun o padafe” literally meaning I will still marry the one for whom I had been beaten to stay away). Symbolically, it means resolutely standing on one’s conviction. June 12, 1993 presidential election was created a soul with the defiant proclamation “On June 12 we stand”, helping the watershed poll, to outlive the owner of the mandate. When President MuhammaduBuhari, on June 6, 2018 proclaimed that the election held 25 years before, would now signpost the celebration of Democracy in Nigeria, the Mandate had outlived the owner, MKO Abiola, who died on July 7, 1998, by 20 solid years. The people’s will was caged by those who assumed they could do it, without consequences, with the corrupt military, political and judicial establishments conniving to deny Nigerians, what should have been the first, truly, People’s Presidency. Though Abiola never became president, God, who worked in ways, beyond human comprehension, packaged the botched poll as his redemption, to live on well, in the heart of Nigerians. Though he didn’t fulfil a life ambition, a lifetime nostalgia was etched for him, by grace, despite him failings. There is the Alpha Anointing to start well and the Omega Anointing, to end well.
General of Fuji, KollingtonAyinla, funkified the defiance dancehall I mentioned above and expanded it, with, “baby oloro mi, omibirinjojolo, oburoma ma je njiyayigbe, o npa mi bi oti o, o npa mi bi oti o, iwa e lowu mi ju (My sweet heart, my delicate boo, please don’t let me suffer in vain, you intoxicate me, you intoxicate me. I am impressed by who she is). If we titivate Keben’Kwara’s addition and retain the love-underlining focus, the song might just be describing the ongoing romance between Peter Obi and many voters in Lagos, of diverse ethnicity, orientations and convictions. He currently lives in their hearts, rent-free.
If Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, was at a touching distance of Alausa as of yesterday, Saturday March 18, it is simply because of the Obi magic. The man who PDP didn’t even consider politically-relevant enough to be named Jandor’s running mate, was the obvious frontrunner in yesterday’s poll, as Obi’s protege.
I had read some opinions, castigating Obi’s base for the rising ethnic tension in Lagos after Bola Tinubu was whipped in his backyards of Lagos and Osun. Without apologies, I dare say those accusations of poor management of the victory lap, were poorly-headed and wrongly-placed. If the so-called opinionists keep up with the fallacy that only Igbo community in Lagos inflicted that embarrassing defeat on Tinubu and APC, then they can be firmly held responsible for enabling the crude fight-back, from the embattled ruling establishment, hiding personal discomfort behind ethnic preachment and fouling the air with race rant, all because its dominance was successfully challenged.
When the quasi-security outfits created by the state were running riots, engaging in senseless extortion of motorists and other road users, was there any “man’s land” brouhaha? Did the corrupt-to-the-teeth LASTMA and Task Force officials extort on ethnic divide basis? Did anyone ask if I was Ibo or Yoruba the day my car was towed in front of RaddisonBlu, where the security officials of the hotel asked me to park with the assurance that I wasn’t breaking any law, right in front of the hotel and where police vans were also parked in their numbers, during a meeting with then IGP? In order not to be accessible for a middle-of-the-way rapprochement, even those who were evidently Yoruba and not even proficient in English, would reply your pleasantries in English and sustain the conversation in scattering, affected grammar, not to lose juicy fine to ethnic rapprochement. In the viral video where adult owners of impounded vehicles were crying like babies as their vehicles were being forfeited to the state government, did the Task Force tribunal separate alleged offenders by tribe? Can we just stop this nonsense? If Sanwoolu survives his re-election battles, instead of embarking on the planned annihilation of any tribe in the state, because APC lost the presidential contest, he should conference-call his aro and odofin, (chiefs in Yorubaland considered as close confidants of the king who can also get blunt with bitter royal truths) and be soberly in his approach to governance in the next four years. I have heard about plans to contain Igbo in Lagos, from the fairly-reasonable to outright bunkum. Most of the plans, by the so-called Yoruba irredentists, are going to hurt Lagos economy big time, but they can’t be bothered, once those who want to take “their land” are chased far away and ruined economically, to ensure they lose all political relevance, before the next elections. Imagine!
The prelims have already begun with the madness at Odomola Junior Secondary School, Epe, where the school principal practically expelled 10-year-old Marvelous Barinada, for wrapping her books with Obi’s campaign poster. And the suspension notice was the height of insanity you would get anywhere. A JSS2 student suspended for “campaigning for Peter Obi against the wish of Lagosians”? Who are the Lagosians if I may ask? The governor, from Ogun State or his deputy, a Prince from same neighboring state? The godfather, who is no longer denying his Osun ancestry? The SSG, Head of Service or the Chief Judge? Who?
In another nauseating related viral video, a classroom was shown where almost all the students were being filmed wrapping their notebooks with unused Obi’s posters and a female voice, was heard asking them where they got the posters from, with each of them, mentioning Marvelous as the seller. Of course, that was the principal’s tasteless alibi for expelling her and you still expect her parents and other sympathisers to vote your choice.
Is insanity now walking on four legs in Lagos, because of Igbophobia? The video was obviously pre-arranged, to make the girl, look like trafficking in contrabands. Are principals in Lagos public schools, this low-quantity in humanity indexes? Even if stunned their deity was demystified, why conducting their dirge in a way to complete the total humiliation of their god and his priests, because with the outrage the idiocies attracted, those teachers from hell, must have convinced more people that the political establishment that sired Sanwoolugotta go.
Yoruba will say eebualonitiahun, tabonitana e (overdo will make the right wrong). Just days back, I still encountered an Ibo man who could make you want to hate on a whole race. But I have encountered worse Yoruba and Hausa fellows, in the same Lagos. If you want to now move against a whole race in your domain because of political convictions, with intention to overkill, you are likely to become the alaseju (the unrestrained) who Yoruba say, will be covered in shame.
In the attempt to demonize Igbo in Lagos for nothing more than a class sake, those coordinating the anti-humanity project are going for the wrong props; children, who don’t forget stuffs easily, especially, undeserved hurt. You are immortalizing Obi in their hearts and giving their parents, great munition to sink or swim with their fancy choice. If greater care isn’t taken, half of Lagos, may be gradually reserved for Obi in every election cycle, even if for some miracle he isn’t declared the winner of this election by the judiciary, considering the brazen manipulation that characterized the presidential poll. The permutation that Obi and his base will fizzle after this election cycle, may become another shocker for bookies, because those girls being persecuted will grow and remember the public ridicule they were subjected to, because of a certain man; Obi. The ongoing Igbophobia in Lagos, may just produce another MKO Abiola, in the hearts of millions.
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