SANUSI: Where are the akalamagbo birds, the bullet-biters?

THE last Monday sack of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, erstwhile Emir of Kano, by the Kano State governor, Umar Ganduje, sent shock waves round the whole of Nigeria and I dare say, to every nook of the world where Nigeria in issue. Though many Nigerians wear anti-shock and anti-depressant shields from the shenanigans of Nigerian governments, the world was terribly shocked by Sanusi’s sack.

Thanks to the social media, the Sanusi issue has almost been totally shredded. As usual, however, the ubiquitous Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) divide coloured the various submissions. Sanusi rode on the back of the tiger, many of the analyses said. He thus should be at peace inside the animal’s stomach, shredded for breakfast and his entrails scattered inside the tiger’s belly. Some even ethnicized his travails. As Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Sanusi volunteered to be the pall-bearer of a Yoruba bank, Intercontinental Bank and sent some Southern sons and daughter to the precipice of a jailhouse and a penitentiary, respectively.

Sanusi’s sack, so they reasoned, was a self-inflicted tragedy. Ruminating over it, I am reminded of a folklore of the hunter, the snake and the ground bill bird Yoruba call akalamagbo. Akalamagbo is loosely associated with the vulture and Yoruba folklores respect this bird a lot, ostensibly due to its vast intelligence and association with long life. Akalamagbo is reputed to be able to live up to fifty years on earth. The folklore goes thus: A hunter on a hunting expedition had witnessed a contest between an eagle and a snake. The eagle wanted to kill the snake and the snake, frightened, made supplications to the hunter to allow it hibernate in his stomach until the eagle’s ferocious anger subsided. The hunter allowed the snake but upon getting inside the hunter’s belly, seeing the comfort within, it refused to take its exit. Even with his profuse pleading to the snake to leave, the snake stuck to its guns. Then the hunter, in his search for intercession, met the akalamagbo and begged it to intercede.

Akalamagbo then came to the front of the hunter to mediate in the crisis. Unbeknown to it, it would soon be the bullet-biter. It enquired from the snake why it exhibited that level of ingratitude. When the snake began its submission, akalamagbo feigned inability to hear it clearly and asked the hunter to open his mouth so that the snake could peep out and the dialogue could be smoother. As the snake peeped out, the bird positioned itself to sink its notorious beak on the snake’s head and draw it out of the hunter’s stomach. Apparently over-excited, the hunter, with a small dart in his hand, also simultaneously attempted to pierce the snake’s head too but unfortunately, the dart hit the akalamagbo by the neck and till today, it carries the scar of the bullet it bit for the hunter. In this melee, the snake recoiled and withdrew into where it was hibernating. In Yoruba cosmology, this was the story of how the akalamagbo got its goiter scar and how snake-like worms reside in a human stomach.

Sanusi had, like the hunter, sheepishly invited his own calamity, so should live with the ingratitude of Buhari and Ganduje who lived inside of him. So his PDP-minded traducers reason. To the APC, Sanusi had been a stormy petrel, non-conformist, flippant snake who bit the Kano and Buhari governments periodically with his venom-soaked mouth and his sack was good riddance to his bad rubbish. Some even drew a fatalism graph with his sack: His grandfather was similarly deposed as an Emir.

The first was a letter written by Atedo Peterside while the conflagration provoked by Ganduje’s unexampled rascally wield of power was still hot. Peterside is a businessman and banker. Last week, Peterside wrote to the CBN Governor, Emefiele to decline attendance of a CBN Consultative Roundtable slated for March 11, 2020. He was billed to be a panelist.

The second nugget was Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai’s reaction to the sack of Sanusi. By the way, this writer had always singed el-Rufai’s flesh on account of his politics. While he did not verbalize his rank disappointment with the decision to depose Sanusi, he deployed what in communication is called semiotics, in two appointments he offered the deposed Emir within 24 hours. First was an offer to the board of Kaduna investment promotion agency and the second, Chancellor of the Kaduna State University. Both appointments, coming from a man who is a notable scion of the decadent Northern establishment, are noteworthy and commendable. His and Peterside’s symbolic disdain of the rascality of the marionette called Ganduje as well as the hidden but apparent persons who fiddled with the marionette’s strings to arrive at the intersection of Sanusi’s sack, point boldly at the need for us all to stand up for something in Nigeria at difficult moments. The truth is, there are hundreds of people sitting comfortably at the top, who are rankled by the audacious sack of Sanusi but for fear of losing their comfort zones, have chosen to keep sealed lips. This shows the vanishing crop of Nigerians who ever stand up for what they believe in.

If there is any positive lesson to be drawn from this Sanusi mess, it is Peterside and el-Rufai’s bold and audacious decisions to bite the bullet for their belief. Both stood to lose a lot in the hands of a venal, vindictive and blood-sucking Nigerian establishment which brooks no dalliance or allegiance to what it frowns at. Due to our flirtatious and incestuous identification with political parties which are six and half a dozen, we all have sold our souls to the dragon. No one speaks the truth in Nigeria any longer. We speak party-sauced and interests-laden truths. This is the greatest tragedy that has befallen us as a people.

Nigeria is what it is because we have all fallen into the groove of a conspiracy of silence. We are afraid to lose our comfort. Yet, no great society is made on account of her nationals speaking from both sides of their mouths or sealing their mouths with apron adhesives as an Emir is expected to do..

The Sanusi debacle bears all the trappings of the conquest of evil over good and a dis-advertisement for conscientious critical analysis of our decadent system. The Sanusi sack will groom more pacifists and bootlickers of the status quo. Ganduje is a poster of all that is wrong with Nigerian leadership. He doesn’t even impress anyone as possessing any cerebral quality. Whenever his name is mentioned, the American dollar flashes in the subconscious. For such a man to preside over the decapitation of a man who is unarguably the highest Northern Nigerian advertisement of mental acuity, a cerebral oasis in a mental desert, is the biggest systemic equivocation ever.

When the presidency now disclaimed involvement in Sanusi’s dethronement, many Nigerians pelted the Villa with sarcastic laughter. There are insinuations that Ganduje deposed Sanusi as propitiations to the rapacious god of the Villa which periodically demands the blood of its nemeses. Apart from meticulously proclaiming that those who administer Nigeria have dunghill in their medula oblongata, Sanusi had consistently jarred the nerves of those who fling the veneer of religion as shield for maladministration. If Islam is consistently flung as being in incestuous relationship with poverty in Northern Nigeria, as it is now, Islam would disappear from the face of the North, he counseled. Establishment cringed in pain. In Ganduje, Sanusi showed that the brain would be on an 8-year sabbatical in Kano Government House.

Now, Sanusi is back in Lagos, to his mental kin, among his brethren, where he who possesses the brain is Emir, the most powerful, and not he who possesses the dollar.

Oranminran, a reactionary idea, is dead!

MY last week piece entitled Osun: Excavating the ruins of the Oranmiran years, provoked hidden dusts in Osun State and Nigeria as a whole. Many wondered why the shocking information therein about the monumental education ruins in the State of the Living Spring, was, according to them, just now being excavated. Some also wondered why, if the allegations were true, the Fuhrer of the ruinage should be rewarded with a ministerial position. It was thus not a surprise when architects of the ruins chose to send my friend, my namesake, Wale Adedayo, to me via his rejoinder entitled Oranminyan: A progressive idea cannot die. You would pity Mr. Adedayo as he struggled feebly to legitimize the Rauf Aregbesola calamity in Osun, hiding the ruins under the veneer of ideology.

You should excuse Adedayo on his claim that the performance-enhancing drug which Aregbesola swallowed in office was a so-called progressive ideology. He also claimed that this was the motivation for the awkwardness in character and policies of the Rauf era. While Adedayo is external to the calamity that is the Aregbesola education policies, friendship to the Fuhrer being his only link to Osun, I showed in my earlier piece how I was a victim of Rauf’s abstruse governorship.

Throughout the piece, he didn’t explain how Fakunle Comprehensive High School should be pulled down for a supermarket and how Aregbesola’s protégé should be the sole monopolist distributor of school uniforms and why the Fuhrer should owe 34 months of half salaries. I am not Oyetola’s mouthpiece but everyone knows that Rauf, a despot of the first order, would brook no dissent to his destructive educational policy and not even an “ordinary” Chief of Staff could violate his decree.

Adedayo’s most unpardonable sin was comparing Rauf to Immortal Obafemi Awolowo and likening the dross of his 8 years to that avatar. I doubt if the alale ile (Owners of the Land) of Yorubaland will pardon my friend who prides himself as Babalawo, for this sacrilege.  Awolowo himself would never have imagined that a day would come, even after his departure, that some arrant-minded fellow would be made to simulate his good name. I remember writing a piece entitled WAEC results: Of Awo’s mud classrooms and govs’ model greed on August 20, 2017 while Aregbesola was still basking in the insipidity of his Oranminran mis-ideology. He was my target in the piece.

In that piece, I had submitted: “Many of today’s governors are so fixated on the illicit wealth they can make from office… It is unfortunate that we need to continue to make Awolowo, who 65 years ago, administered a Region which today approximates nine states, a model of analysis. By 1952, even before the Universal Primary Education (UPE) began, Awo had come up with its blueprint. Confronted by a #10m estimate for both the UPE and the free health program, even when the projected 1954 expenditure stood at #5m, Awo first cut capital costs on school buildings and cancelled housing subsidy for civil servants. He opted for mud blocks in place of pre-fabricated block cement classrooms and budgeted capital tumbled down by 70 per cent.

“Many states with those shameful WAEC results are manned by governors who are captives of the fad of gigantic classroom structures, at the detriment of training teachers. Some of them invest in neither of the two, preferring the infectious obsession with stacking billions of naira on infrastructure. The results are scores of unnecessary dualised roads and humongous bridges from where substantial billions of naira kick-backs are funneled into governors’ ghost foreign accounts. In South West today, the rotten cake of education that is kissing the canvass is decorated with glamorous icings of roads/overhead bridges that are at best white elephant.”

Adedayo should answer the question of why Aregbesola, the “Awoist,” chose to dismantle, merge and rename many of the schools built by Awolowo. Most of the secondary schools were founded by Bola Ige. More importantly, the Awo educational policy emphasized that pupils must school within a mile radius to their parents’ homes which was why Bola Ige established Community Secondary Schools in the old Oyo State, all of which Rauf merged with the ensuing pains of students and pupils trekking kilometres to school while the Fuhrer lasted. It should be obvious from the above that my friend doesn’t know who a reactionary is simplicita. Of a truth, the Nigerian definition of reactionary politics was what Aregbesola did in Osun State with Awo’s education policy. I chose not to veer into the Oranminran “ideology” and the totality of the 8-year rule of a self-proclaimed ideologue which the people of Osun State can attest was a monumental catastrophe; a Lagos boy came to Osun and left a blaze of total ruins.

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