Dapo Abiodun: Velvet smiles, iron hands…

IT should not be difficult to imagine Peter’s hurt and bewilderment that day in Palestine when his master, Jesus of Nazareth, rounded on him, branding him “Satan” and a “stumbling block”. It was totally unexpected… The master had been confiding in his disciples that he was soon to suffer great tribulations from the Jewish authorities which would culminate in his crucifixion and death. Peter was evidently alarmed. And, brimming with love for and devotion to his master, he called Jesus aside to remonstrate with him:    “‘God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen  to you” (Matt16:22.) Jesus’ response was swift: “Get behind me Satan! You are a hinderance to me for you are not on the side of God, but of man.”   That is from the Revised Standard Version. The Good News Bible uses more modern language: “Get away from me, Satan. You are an obstacle in my way, because these thoughts of yours don’t come from God, but from human nature.”

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Of course, Jesus knew that Peter meant well and really loved him,   but the Messiah was discerning enough to know that such sentiments, if allowed to take hold, could derail him from a most important job which he had come to accomplish. It is significant that while declaring that Peter’s thoughts did not come from God, Jesus did attribute it to “human nature”. And some Christian faithful have argued with good reason, that the “Satan” was not the person of Peter, but the unseen dark power attempting to use the love of Peter for Jesus to sabotage the work of redemption. It is quite interesting to note that shortly before or a few paragraphs before this episode, Jesus had spoken glowingly and profusely of Peter. The master had asked who his disciples thought he was, Peter alone among the disciples had spoken up that Jesus was the “Christ and Son of the living God”.  Jesus was voluble in his praise: “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter (Yoruba Apata), and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Peter must have felt several inches taller then. So soon after came the anti-climax Satan bit… There is an invaluable lesson in this episode for all of us; especially those occupying sensitive positions or saddled with sensitive responsibilities — like Dapo Abiodun, the incoming governor of Ogun State. We must be wary even of our friends and loved ones in the sacred quest to accomplish our life missions. Even when they mean well, they may be unwittingly instrumental to our derailment.When the incoming governor was born on May 29, 1960, the Sun was in the zodiac sign of friendly Gemini,  the Moon was at home in sensitive and emotionally rich sign of Cancer; Mercury was also at home in the mentally brilliant sign of Gemini. Venus, the planet of love, beauty and romantic relationships was also in Gemini, while Mars, the “god of war” and the energy principle was in its own home of masculine Aries. Three outer “planets” occupying their own  homes  — Moon, Mercury and Mars — deepens the influences of these planets and their  signs in Abiodun’s character. And among the  things that impress the astrologer in his chart are brilliance, sensitivity and drive (energy). The macho man with a heart.

Such a personality attracts many friends, ordinarily, unless the rising sign (ascendant) counters this tendency. Despite the tendency for mood swings and a love for occasional solitude, it is no surprise that Abiodun is rumoured to have so many friends across party lines. He may turn out to be the most brilliant governor Ogun State has ever had. The sign of Gemini comes with natural brilliance and communicative skills, suavity, versatility, adaptability, wit… Moon in Cancer gives deep empathy and possibly, a deep understanding of human nature. Mars in Aries may prove a double-edged sword which gives both drive and overdrive; the notion that “I can tackle anything”. The tendency to overreach oneself — at times. In reality, nobody can tackle everything; we all need help sometimes, somebody to lean on. It is not weakness; it is human nature. With such package of intelligence, empathy, drive, versatility etc, one may be tempted to conclude that for Abiodun, governance must be a piece of cake. Well, that is true only to some extent. Far more than the business terrain, the political turf is strewn with so many booby traps. It requires more than business acumen to be a good governor.

Friends, form a large chunk of these “booby traps”. While it is natural to be on one’s guard in dealings with recognised foes, it is human nature to relax a little among friends. Therein lies the danger. Ordinarily, friends are persons who wish us well. Who wish us to succeed. It is in this very plusses that lies the barb. A tendency to be less than firm with friends in enforcing the rules of the state. It must be made clear to all true friends that the welfare of the state takes top priority. Any act that compromises that objective will not be tolerated from friend or foe. Like Jesus made it clear to Peter, the only acceptable indices of friendship to Abiodun are those in agreement with the sacred duties  of Dapo Abiodun as governor of all Ogun State. No friend or foe who runs foul of this principle should be spared. This is not wickedness or haughtiness. It is simple horse sense; a patriotic adherence to Guiding Principles. Corruption, dereliction of duty and allied infractions should never be condoned.  When coming from a successful  errand to buy a single egg, the kid can be pardoned if he plays “catch me if you can” with his friends. But this becomes a punishable offence if the errand involves two crates of eggs. “Catch me if you can” becomes an act of irresponsibility deserving of punishment.

As governor, the destiny and fate of millions rest on your decisions and indecisions, your strengths and weaknesses. All these become public assets — and liabilities!   In their youth, Geminis tend to take life a mite too lightly. Such tendencies should peter out with maturity. Life is serious. Life is invaluable. Life is sacred.

Not even friends should be allowed to toy with grave matters of state. And from the standpoint of a governor, life encompasses all matters that pertain to the welfare of the citizenry, especially the most vulnerable. Ogun State has the enviable status of being first in so many enviable things. Indeed, the Egba Kingdom, some accounts say, had an envoy in the United Kingdom as far back as 1842! Ogun State should continue to be the Gateway to all good things in the country. Astrology teaches that all signs have their positive and negative tendencies. Among the negatives of Gemini is a tendency to be too smart, to be undependable, mercurial. The admonition of astrologers is that we must all strive to be the best of our signs…the best of Gemini, the best of Scorpio, the best of Cancer etc. The regimes of the three heavily Gemini persons who ruled Nigeria  in succession was not very good. Babangida has the Sun in Leo with a Gemini Moon and two other planets in Gemini; Abacha was a Libran with the Moon (and two or three other planets) in Gemini. Abdulsalami Abubakar has both the Sun and the Moon in Gemini and  three other planets in the sign of the Twin. The trio formed a sort of Bermuda Triangle within which mysterious things happened. The first betrayed M.K.O Abiola. The second jailed Abiola. The third was Head of State when Abiola was murdered.

But there are many exemplary Gemini personalities. The Late Chief Justice of Oyo State, Justice Adewale Thompson and the Late Justice Akinola Aguda both men of great moral and intellectual stature were born in Gemini. Lest our Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) governor dismiss this astrological tips as bunkum, let’s remind him that the very first gifts to his Lord and Saviour, Jesus, were from astrologers who undertood a long and hazardous trip from Persia to Judea and that  the Vatican, reportedly stocks the largest volumes of astrological texts.

It is instructive to note too that despite Jesus’ uncompromising stance even with his closest friends on his life mission, relationships were never fouled up. Six days after the outburst against Peter, Jesus took the Rock, along with James and John on a privileged top-secret mission to the “Mount of Transfiguration”. There, he let them into the secret of his extraterrestrial connections.

Apart from seeing a dazzling space craft, the three disciples saw Moses and Elijah live! Two eminent fellows who supposedly died over 500 years earlier. One of the accounts says Peter, ordinarily a bold fellow, was so unnerved that he started talking rubbish. Before you laugh at Peter, try seeing two ghosts at a go! Jesus warned them to keep the encounter secret until he was dead and risen. And apparently they stuck to instructions.  You see, it is quite possible  to remain close to your friends even while maintaining a strict code of adherence to the rule of law…

  • Ogunsola writes in via yemiogunsola@gmail.com

 

 

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