Tinubu: A tribute to tomorrow

THIS is an unusual tribute. It is not paying compliment to a debatable past or the convoluted present, but a future, starting with tomorrow. In a sedentary age of rapidly diminishing nature, a 67 year-old is deemed a passenger with ticket, but yet to be issued a boarding pass. At 70, such passenger is taken to be airport-bound and if the mercy of the Almighty preserves to 80, the boarding pass is believed to be firmly in hand and rightly so, because even the Holy Book talks of 70, 100 and 120 years. Anything in-between should be a fulfillment.

Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu has packed so much into 67, but life is beyond what you pack in. What goes out is much more important, though beneficiaries of his material generosity—political enthronement, cash haul, appointment placement et al, will want to swear his kind hasn’t been born. Maybe.

But what flows out of a man is bigger than all creations of man; money, power, warts and all. It is the very essence of the man, the goodness of spirit, the uncanny revelation of the depth of the man’s humanity. That is what should be celebrated in a man, not the facade of the outside, propelled by hidden ends.

Asiwaju splits opinions everywhere, even among worshippers of the deity in his backyard; dough, I mean, plenty of it. For anyone who wants to die a political colossus, it can’t get better than rising to the zenith of emotive politics, when your matter concerns the unconcerned.

But dying a colossus won’t be a big deal, because many colossuses have gone the way of immemorial, in fact, many either without a memory or better-not-remembered memories. Foundations, colloquia or memorial lectures count for nothing, beyond the feferity (inanities) of dining, wining and empty speeches that go farthest the throat. Little or nothing from the heart.

Who is that man the Yoruba of yore, would describe as “ori aye wa” (living and dying well)? It is that man at peace with his inner man, who fears no evil catching up with him, who doesn’t deliberately make others’ destinies look like a dirty Rupee, only to pick it up and shave off the shade, to reveal a gold coin or immaculately-shining destiny wristwatch and who doesn’t engage in a game of table-tennis with those placed by destiny to be better and cheat in the course of the game, to displace and replace. That is the man, not the one made by billions, bullions and bullies.

There is a future ahead of any living person, including Asiwaju, that can always be bigger, better and more blissful; that is when there is a change in style, attitude and targets. When everything is about furthering what is believed to a personal agenda and plenty of tears, wear and destruction, is left behind, nothing has been added to the man; I mean the inner man, regardless of the baba rere baba ke, salutations of leeches and human blemishes.

Today, the god of Lagos politics, is a choice between a colossus and colonial master. His persona can also be wedged between a philanthropist and a philanderer (maybe not in the phallic sense because he’s culturally and religiously permitted to share at least among four women, provided he can share equally. Can anyone, really?

As a political armada, he is reputed to always put all, including whatever it takes, into sailing and berthing. Men salute such extremity as sagacity. But the Dictionary definition, which is mainly about qualitative understanding and ability to make sound judgement, does not include crippling institutions to push such sound decisions through. Has Oga Bola ever been indicted for anything felonious? At least not by the Nigerian judiciary or system, but he is deemed guilty a million times over not only in public perception, but in the heart of many, including those with the funkified accent of Jagaban.

How one wishes the debonair leader suddenly comes into some genie mystique to prise open the bowel of his closest comrade and see the content, for a reappraisal of the future. How do I know? Oh, I have sat around a couple of them, I mean the supposed libation-priests, who habitually chastise the god they worship even when the Bourdillion god isn’t failing in supplying meat.

It is dangerous living solely to be the king of a vast domain and be dangerously clipped in the pangs of the impure. By the time the dance is over, the big masquerade will discover that both the drummers and those tugging the controlling ropes are just on duty, for themselves. Masquerade can end up in the ditch for all they care, as long as the agreed pay is settled and the “parade” is conducted by the masked one with guttural voice, from the “celestial”.

While wishing Asiwaju many more years in wonderful health, he is without a doubt, climbing the calendar ladder, regardless of whatever is deemed his football age and nature prescribes homecoming. No time is better than now, for the big masquerade to start re-arranging his dance steps, ensuring a side-step of everywhere sorrow would be the result of the “gift” to the ara orun kinkin (the mystery one). When the inner-man of men cry ceaselessly because of the comfort of a single fellow or his clan, it is impossicant (impossibility + cannot) for such a fellow to know real joy, even if one sleeps on the fabled waterbed and dines on table made of dollars.

Michael Jackson will, for long time to come, remain a reference point in situating a miserable life amidst plenty. May that not be the lot of our dear Asiwaju. But the much-adulated Jagaban spirit would have to take a much holier connotation, going forward. Right now, there is something sounding too Jagidijagan about it. Happy birthday to a jolly fellow.


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