As one of the two guest lecturers at a June 12, 1993 election commemorative anniversary and celebration of the unique proclamation of the day as Democracy Day in Nigeria by President Muhammadu Buhari, held in Ibadan, Oyo State last week, I walked out of my wont: I showered effusive praises on Buhari for this unique feat. It was organized by Oloye Lekan Alabi, MKO Abiola’s friend. Conversely, I literally asked that hot coal be poured on ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo for his disdain and hatred for the person of Abiola, his classmate at the Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta. In my amateurish psychoanalysis, I have on occasions diagnosed Obasanjo as a modern day African witch. This witch, who traditional Africa believes that, for her to eat her favourite cuisine of the human heart, callously burrows her blood-thirsty teeth through the victim’s kidneys and devours the liver from the bile-duct, has no space in her heart for mercy. The African witch’s pot of soup is rich in the flesh and entrails of her children, benefactors and close confidants.
Take a study of Obasanjo from the moment he glided into limelight: like the witch, he devours those who are close to him and takes delight in being their pall-bearers. Look at Major Kaduna Nzeogwu, his friend and classmate, whose father reportedly used to ask Obasanjo to advise to get married. Unascertained and perhaps unascertainable rumour claims that Obasanjo, privy to Nzeogwu’s plan to strike in the first coup of January 1966, leaked the plan to federal forces. Again, when Colonel Bukar Suka Dimka and Major General Iliya Bisalla struck and killed General Murtala Muhammed in 1976, Obasanjo escaped the hail of their bullets by a whisker. A frightened Obasanjo, like a coyote with its tail tucked into its furs, ran to the home of Ilesa, Osun State-born millionaire, S.B. Bakare where he holed up till the coup was quelled and he was named the Head of State. Bakare was one of the first victims of Obasanjo’s three-year Head of State-ship.
Where is his first wife, Remi, who stood by him through thick and thin of the furnace of rookie soldiering? And this: while in prison on Sani Abacha’s trumped-up treason charges and the goggled General expired mysteriously, Ibrahim Babangida, Chief SM Afolabi and others gathered to nominate him as Nigeria’s president. Did you read Babangida’s evocative letter to Globacom’s The Bull, Mike Adenuga a couple of years ago? I paraphrase the letter – “Mike, they fought you, sought to intimidate and harangue you to implicate me without you bulging.” Who was the they? It was Obasanjo who harassed, demonized and even got Adenuga to scamper out of Nigeria to live abroad like a fugitive because Obasanjo, as Queen Herodias demanded that her daughter, Salome ask King Herod for the head of John the Baptist, wanted IBB’s head on a platter. Read Awujale of Ijebuland’s account of this macabre craving of Obasanjo. SM Afolabi, Obasanjo’s senior in the secondary school, who risked his name to support his presidential candidacy, at a time he was a pariah in Yorubaland, Obasanjo literally parceled him inside his coffin. Again, check the list of the first set of governors Obasanjo sent Nuhu Ribadu after in 2007; they were his boys who fought Atiku Abubakar to the hilt for attempting to disgrace Obasanjo out of power. Ask Otunba Fasawe, one of Obasanjo’s most trusted friends while in power. It was said that Fasawe used to enter the president’s bedroom. Obasanjo eventually smoked Fasawe’s head at the fireplace. Many more people were victims of the African witch.
Having said all those, however, at the lecture, I submitted that we should critically examine the motive of Buhari’s recent fascination with MKO Abiola and June 12. Apart from being one of the major beneficiaries of Nigerian military top brass’ unconscionable annulment of the election as a de jure Deputy Head of State, being the Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund, (PTF) with its humongous budget and power, never did Buhari say a word complimenting that unique democratic struggle in 25 years. Underground sources even claimed he disdained MKO’s temerity to want to become Nigeria’s President and today, sources claimed that Baba-Gana Kingibe, Al-Mustapha and many other villains of that struggle, are embedded round the seat of power like a boa constrictor weaves itself round its impala prey. I told my audience that Nigerians should thus be wary of this illogical, unscientific affection for the June 12 course by Buhari, lest it be an affliction in disguise. I also submitted that, in the last couple of years, Buhari and Obasanjo’s disdain for each other has been colossal. Could the June 12 Day proclamation be an attempt to finally kill whatever vestige of adulation Obasanjo’s Yoruba kinsmen have for him? Also, it is on record that Buhari has never forgiven Ibro – IBB – for snatching his power inheritance in 1985 and slamming him in detention. IBB, you will recall, is perhaps the most brilliant, the most developmental of the rulers of Nigeria who got a permanent scar that he will carry to his grave in the June 12 annulment. Could the Democracy Day be the final opportunity to pierce the dagger into Ibro’s bowels?
Second, I asked my audience: between 1993 and now, is the quality of Nigerian life progressing for the better or retrogressing for the worse to warrant us throwing the cymbals in celebration of June 12 today? Should a Nigeria which, in 1993, you could travel round, from Kaura Namoda to Jalingo, from Jalingo to Nkalagu and down to Ilu Abo without molestation, which today has become one where you needed travel advisory before moving within a state or outside it, be one that should evoke praise for a man who, in four years, has worsened the take for the country? I concluded by telling my audience that, in my own estimation, aside its fascinating symbolism, we should weep, rather than celebrate, on June 12.
Let me give a caveat, however: there are some Fulani who are gentlemen to the hilt. As a philosopher, it is barren to do ethnic profiling and generalisation. But the fact remains that herdsmen, said to be Fulani, have turned virtually the whole of the country into a bedlam. Zamfara and Sokoto are dripping of blood; the Southwest is suffocating under these emissaries of tears’ vice colonisation of their territory. The other day, they invaded an Nsukka, Enugu State town, killing and maiming villagers with gusto. In Benue, we are yet to be told the actual statistics of the farmers they murdered in cold blood. At first, it was claimed that the blockade of Fulani cows’ grazing routes was the culprit of their maniacal onslaught. Gradually, it is occurring to Nigeria that she had lived all these years with psychopaths from Fouta Djallon as neighbours whose core ideology is blood, tears and sorrow.
Key elements in Southern Nigeria have been scampering for the way out of this mid-day subjection of their land into a colony by alien aggressors. South West governors recently met and proclaimed feeble remedies and antidotes. The truth is, none of those folks can raise a finger to help their tormented constituents. Raise a cudgel against cow tenders, kith and kin of the C-in-C and risk Aso Villa’s artillery fire and underground scuds? Unbeknown to those frantically seeking remedy to the cow lords’ malady in faraway Sokoto, the antidote to the malady of Fulani herdsmen re-colonizers is right by the pockets, in the sokoto. It is encapsulated in that war study theorem which states that you cannot continue to water the trough of your enemies’ frontiers and expect stoppage of artillery attack on your base. The South has been watering the trough of Fulani herdsmen’s frontiers by its stupid and illogical consumption of herdsmen’s cow meats. This is what gives the constant rampaging of the South by the herdsmen a muscle of its own.
What to do? Let there be a concerted campaign against cow meat and a boycott of Fulani killers’ beef. In doing this, a medical assessment of this destructive pastime of beef consumption it had engaged in for centuries. How healthy is beef consumption? Medics say that beef is one of the most dangerous foods man injects into his body. Its consumption has been linked with heart diseases, truncal obesity, low immunity and suchlike diseases. Do we know that the killer Fulani herdsmen themselves don’t eat the poison they want to kill the whole of humanity to protect? That is why they live longer, are healthier, thrive in bushes and when their wives give birth, have less obstetric complications, with babies that are smaller and are not delivered through caesarean operations. If herdsmen killers can survive without eating their own beef, their victims too can. The boycott will ultimately prove to be a more lethal weapon against the tormentors than their AK47.
While writing this, I remembered the General Superintendent of Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor William Kumuyi’s warning to Nigerians to stop criticising Buhari and other Nigerian leaders. By the admonition, Kumuyi and his pastoral ilk merely want to continue nurturing a flourishing flock of morons and zombies, like the killer herders. For decades, this same Kumuyi decreed that his adherents should abstain from watching television, claiming it was the footstool of Satan. Today, it is this same television with which he conducts his global televangelism. You can draw an episcopal parallel to this obviously lax thought in the One Love Family head, Sat Guru Maharaj Ji’s recent call on Buhari to make him Minister of Petroleum. What these spiritual leaders or herders crave is a community of idiots, of cows, pliable for their use. They are at home with the hopelessness of decades that governmental leaders inflict on the people because it is in the hopelessness that their flocks will increase, with more cash and a fleet of jets to cruise the whole wide world. Kumuyi should be told that that biblical admonition rests on the prong of leaders who were voted or selected by the people themselves. Nigerian leaders select themselves in their appointed conclaves and are not representatives of the people. Does he realize that the few developmental mileages Nigerians have got from their so-called leaders were got through agitations and protestations? Our leaders are, apology to writer, Ifeoma Okoye, men without ears.
A common thread links the need for us to boycott Fulani killers’ cow meats with the need for Nigerians to, for a minute, act like rational beings and not a community of cows. As rational beings, let us lift the veil and go beyond the veneer of Buhari’s June 12 day as Democracy Day. In lifting the veil, we may find out that he was sincere after all; we may also find out that he did it for vengeance or political end. When you now situate this side by side Kumuyi’s June 2 doggerel, you will see that all that Nigerian leaders and their episcopal accomplices want is a cowed country or country of cows.
Adewole Oniluola needs your widow’s mite
Sequel to my piece on May 25, 2019, after interviewing Alhaji Rahmon Adewole, a.k.a Adewole Oniluola, lead drummer of my musical idol, Ayinla Waidi Omowura, leading Apala music legend who was killed in a barroom altercation on May 6, 1980 in Abeokuta, Ogun State, where I painted the visible penury that Alao Oniyaom’ebi lives in, I have received several calls from people who offered to ameliorate the condition of the ninety-something-year old drummer.
In the last few months, my team and I have spoken with children, wife, driver, living associates of Omowura and have got revealing nuggets on the life of a man whose record company, EMI labeled the High Priest of Apala Music, who on every day of the release of his album, sold at least 50,000 copies. We have been to Omowura’s Itoko, Abeokuta house several times, spoken with the family of his late rival musician, Fatai Olowonyo, who also passed on in 2010; met the family of his manager, Fatai Baiyewu; the Am’odem’aja family, got never-seen-before photographs of Hadji Costly, the bed he slept on, his stereo, television, his chairs and many more. Whoever knows the whereabouts of Alhaji Kollington Ayinla should please tell him I am searching for him in this regard. Kollington was a protégé of Omowura. By May, 2020, God willing, when Anigilaje would have been 40 years underneath the surface of the earth, we hope to publish an engaging narrative of the life and times of a major musical machine in Yorubaland.
With the magnanimity of the Tribune management, I am making available Baba Adewole’s Bank Account Number and Telephone Number, in case anyone wants to help him. They are: Name: Sanu Adewole Alao; Bank: First Bank; Account Number: 3123970517, Telephone Number: 08036629941. Thank you.