Nigeria: Ko le work!

Yoruba nation has sacrificed some of its best to the impossible country called Nigeria and only God knows the greater contributions they would have made to humanity if they were in an autonomous Yoruba polity.

Instead of using their knowledge to advance human civilisation, they were being locked in one prison or the other to continue the project Yoruba traducers started with Oloye Obafemi Awolowo in 1962.

I wept uncontrollably when about three of us were destined at a rally in 1995 by Abacha junta and locked up at the Adekunle Police Station in Yaba. As we got there we met Mr Alao Aka-Bashorun, one time President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) whose chambers was the sanctuary of the oppressed people in Nigeria for several years. I will respect his dignity and will not describe the state Nigeria left him with  hounding and deprivation of his liberty.

Chief Gani Fawehinmi and a few us visited Mr Kanmi Isola-Osobu on his death bed in his last days. The vibrant gentleman was already hallucinating and talking of owning things Nigeria did not allow him to own as all life was full of “struggle”.

Chief Fawehinmi himself was to die of cancer later after several years of living more in his second house (prison) than his comfortable home because Nigeria did not agree with him that we must run our country for the benefit of all. There has been this suspicion among inquiring minds if Gani’s cancer was not inflicted on him in detention as he never smoked.

Chief as we called him, was being treated for pneumonia in Nigeria until it was too late in a space that once boasted of the seventh best medical facility in the Commonwealth, the University College Hospital, Ibadan, where the Royal Family in Saudi came to regularly for medical treatment.

Fela Anikulapo-Kuti spent two hours to review his sufferings in the hands of Nigeria with me and Lanre Arogundade one afternoon and he would intermittently say “I don waka. “If Fela did not die of what Professor Olikoye Ransome-Kuti announced to the world, longevity could not have been the portion of the versatile musician given the beatings Nigeria gave to him for years.

His junior brother, Dr Beko-Ransome was also a regular detainee in the hands of Nigeria for no other crime than standing for a better society. Ironically Beko became a “Spiritualist” on Nigeria in his last days on earth though he disputed anything spiritual in his lifetime.

And Fela was always his practical experiment. Fela told me and Lanre how he went to one Babalawo in Ajilete who gave him a bullet proof that was tested on a goat and the bullet did nothing to it. He then went to tease Beko before facing Dodan Barracks to face bullet. After Beko took his taunt about the “power” he received, he persuaded him they should go and test the charm again with Dr Ore Falomo’s gun.

“We come enter bush and put the vest for goat. Na im Ore Falomo wey be doctor come become marksman. As he fire the gun, the goat neck just tear commot fiam. Beko and Koye come dey give me one yeye look wey dey pain me.”

On another occasion Fela was taking one Professor Hindu the magician around the world. The guy, according to Fela “Kill person for shrine, he wake am the third day.” Beko asked him to kill somebody in his presence one day. He asked him if the person was dead and he said yes. He brought out a syringe and inserted it to the guy’s buttocks and he screamed.

I was telling him something one day and he was looking at me with his wry smile. I asked him if he did not believe what I told him and he said “if my Dad who didn’t see God believed Him, why would I not believe you that I am seeing ?”

Beko in his last days fell to cancer. By the time the sickness reached a critical stage, the courageous man chose to die before death could arrive by discharging himself from hospital and returning to Nigeria to taunt death to come whenever.

In his departing months, there was no idea you brought to him about Nigeria that would not meet the standard answer “Ko le work (it can’t work).” His brother Fela would have said “he don see Nigeria finish”.

It is now 14 years after Beko and he is daily being proved right that Nigeria as constituted cannot work as it is built on a foundation of clash of civilisations. This can only be addressed by constructing it along federal lines but those with conquest mentality don’t want to hear that. They believe that it must always be under command and control which is tearing it apart.

The latest signal of the perpetual feud Nigeria is burdened with is the testing of the Yoruba spirit by the unlawful declaration of a token security measure by the South West Governors in the face of total collapse of the capacity of Nigeria to secure their citizens including non-Yoruba who live in their space illegal.

Miyetti Allah came out to say that an outfit targeted at criminals was set up against them in a case of a vegetable seller a potential buyer called shouting that her vegetable is not from the dumpsite. The Federal (Fulani?) Government of Nigeria immediately asked the Attorney General of  the Federation to make a wild pronouncement to the effect the operation “AMOTEKUN” is illegal while the North keeps its Hisbah, Civilian JTF and other outfits under this duality.

We advise those who are behaving like internal colonialists to let the Yoruba be. They should stop breathing down our necks as if we are a conquered people. We are too decent and civilised to fight at every provocation. But once we are pushed to the perfect storm, we will fight until the fight gets tired. The last time our will was tested was in 1993 and it took us six years to settle it. Abacha wanted a conventional war to destroy our space but we took the war to where he had no capacity. When it was tested from 1962, it ultimately ended the Republic. When they dared it 1983, it had consequences. Let’s negotiate instead of all these threats.

In those years of June 12 crisis, our young people faced Abacha bullets and sang:

Ile ya, Ile ya o (it’s time to go home)

Omo Oduduwa Ile ya (Children of 0duduwa let’s go)

Tia Ko ba mobi a nlo (If we don’t know where we are going)

Se bo ye ka pada sile (We should return home)

Ka jawo lapon ti koyo (Let’s give up on wild mango that is not drawing )

Ka lo gbomi ila kana (And prepare to cook okro)

Ile ya, Ile ya o, Omo Oduduwa Ile ya (It is time to go home children of Oduduwa)

If Yoruba are pushed to the wall again, this may become the anthem of the young and old this time around as it would have been clear to all that: Ko le work!

…Yoruba are Yoruba, not APC or PDP

“He said the ruling party would  not allow the opposition to take advantage of the crisis against it (the APC) in subsequent elections”.

A n wiru o n wiru is the case of Chief Bisi Akande as he was quoted by a newspaper on Friday talking about the next elections while the present of Yoruba is threatened within Nigeria. Baba should just have taken some fresh palm wine and enjoy his 81st birthday and let us pretend he is not in town instead of reminding us of his presence this way.

Is it party the Fulanis who have dropped their brooms somewhere playing with you rubbing the noses of your people in the dust? If they saw you as fellow partymen, should they not have called five of our six Governors who are in APC to a meeting in all the months AMOTEKUN has been in the work for discussions? To wait and  humiliate them by “annulling” AMOTEKUN like June 12 is the height of contempt for our people which all Yoruba must stand against.

The action of the Federal Government has brought a consensus among Yoruba and we no longer see ourselves in party colours anymore but as Yoruba who have to defend our dignity as a people and secure our lives and land.

This moment is a defining one that would make heroes and villains because  once Yoruba manage to achieve consensus the way we have done, shame is the portion of those who step out of line.

We are under siege and we have bonded. Akeredolu is my governor and Makinde is my governor for as long as they defend the values we hold dear. As for their parties, Yoruba call it “pati” (set it aside). We have forgotten parties for now and only honourables will earn the support of our people after this, not party cards sir.

Thumbs up, CP Odumosu

When the police misbehave we shout it to the rooftop. We should say it loud when they do well as fairness consists in giving even the devil his due.

Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Hakeem Odumosu blew my mind on Friday. A police officer among the team that received VP Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) to Lagos arrested Abagun Kole Omololu, the Organising Secretary of Afenifere, around NNPC filling station in Ikoyi for “not parking well” on the road.

He was subsequently taken to Lion Building and detained there. Word came out and I reached out to the Lagos State CP. He asked me all the details and he said he would call back. He was back in three minutes and he told me he has ordered his release.

In five minutes I was talking to Abagun in freedom. Three Gbosa for CP Odumosu for the efficiency and professionalism he displayed!

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