DEJI OF AKURE: OUR HUSBAND HAS GONE MAD AGAIN
How does one describe the drama at the Oba Square in Akure, capital of Ondo State, when the traditional ruler, Alase ekeji orisa (the second in command to the Supreme Being), took his 'new found rhythm and dance steps' to the market for subject's evaluation and applause of his madness to derobe his estranged heartthrob?
Our revered KONGI, Professor Wole Soyinka, in one of his literary works, titled 'Our husband has gone mad again', aptly describes the shameless behaviour of this 'unworthy garage-boy'' occupying the revered seat of a traditional ruler.
In Yorubaland, for a community head to personally lead a war against his own people is unheard of. If and when such happens, the verdict is what the Yoruba methodology proves in the case of Sango Olukoso in the Old Oyo Empire. In the case of Sango, he did not wage war against his community/people, but since it was sacrilegious for him to lose his wife, Oya, to a lesser mortal while alive, he took a path of honour that an enviable traditional institution should not be brought into scorn. He decided as courageous men would do, to put an abrupt end to his reign.
By tradition, no person dared challenge the authority of a royal father openly in the days gone-bye. By the virtue of his seat, he owned everything within his kingdom. Deference to the throne and respect for the ruler was much that some subjects would volunteer to surrender and submit themselves to the customs and traditions to be buried alive when a reigning king joined his ancestors, to show how loyal they were to the departed. Respect for tradition and institution was so entrenched that no living soul dared make any advances to woo the Oba's wife, it was forbidden.
In recent times, the contradiction or contraption arising from the nomination of successive Obas in Yorubaland leaves much to be desired. This is due to the fact that selection of prospective Obas has been politicised by government and its agents. It has also been structured along political leanings to polarise the kingmakers. Government in some cases, meddle, foist and impose candidates on the people, thereby creating bad blood among brothers. In addition to this, unworthy personalities who know nothing about the values, of culture often found their ways to our palaces in Yorubaland these days, simply because of ill-gotten wealth being thrown around.
Consequences of such an unholy act is what we are witnessing in Akure. When an Oba threw decency to the winds and became 'Abore' (shrine priest who perform rituals to appease gods) to perform divorce ritual on a woman whom he sent away nine months after. Haba! Hear him: 'My wife is promiscuous, infidelity, wildness and a liar', allegation of promiscuity in the palace has to be established. Where in any part of the world has the royal institution been subjected to such reckless abuse, to warrant his subjects physically abuse him? 'I was not physically present there…'' But the law enforcement agents said the man was picked from gutter and driven to the police headquarters in a pick-up van. The sacred habitation of Orisa-Nla has been sullied by a bird whose flail carries nothing good but insanity and wobble minds of what they were not.
The police should do us a favour by arraigning this man on a three-count charge for public assault, affray and public disturbance. The Ondo State Government should as a matter of utmost urgency, send this man to a reformation home for the next two years. Sending him to exile in any part of Nigeria would amount to unleashing terror on the general public.
To the new aayo-Oba (King's preferred), Olori Remi don't forget the Yoruba proverb that goes thus egba ti a fi na iyale, o wa loke aja fun iyawo, which translate thus: the cane with which the senior wife was beaten, is in reserve atop of the roof for the junior wife.
Lanre Ogundipe lives in Abuja
@ Abuja June 9, 2010
Certificate forgery:A case of pot calling kettle black
Minds awashed and crafted in evil deeds are difficult souls to be satisfied. It amuses me most times when I read stories alleging one public office holder or the other. Similarly, politicians engage in mudslinging and character assassination of one another to grandstand and position themselves as social critics. Not long ago, pages of newspapers were sopped with screaming headlines alleging certificate forgery against Abdullahi Dikko, no sooner than he assumed duty as the head of the border control agency by one Olajide Oyewole Ibrahim.
From the quarters where the news emanates, it will take heaven's intervention before Nigerians believe such things never existed. The concern this bring, was that we have a society that does not bother to go the whole hog to listen to the other side of the story and all sorts of aspersions and thus impugned on personality's integrity.
It is, however, amazing to see how the Nigeria Police came out with stunning documents pointing out that anyone who points accusing finger to another person always has the remaining four pointed at himself. That is indeed is what is playing out now. The most painful aspect is having discovered where the mistake lies, those who have maligned do not see why they should publicly apologise to victims of their nebulous allegation.
A letter from the Commissioner of Police, Legal and Prosecutions, dated May 21, 2010 to AH Umar, the Capital Law Officer, and titled 'Investigation Activities Requesting Certified True Copies of Olajide's Credentials' stated: 'I forward herewith copies of certified true copies of the requested letters from the following; Polytechnic Ibadan, Nigeria Institute of Management, Oke Odo Junior High School and a letter from the National Youth Service Corp.In its response The Polytechnic, Ibadan in a letter dated December 18, 2009, from the office of Tosho Ayanwale, its registrar, that after a careful search through our records disclosed 'I am to inform you that this institution, The Polytechnic Ibadan, has no record of the studentship or graduation of the said Mr Olajide Ibrahim Oyewole.' Likewise, the Nigeria Institute of Management in its letter signed by Tola Odumuyiwa on the same topic denied the existence of Olajide Ibrahim Oyewole saying he was not found as any of our corpers for the said year, 1995/1996.'
The only claim that was affirmed was a dispatch from the principal of Oke Odo Junior High School which said Olajide was admitted in 1983 and that his admission number was 728. He was born in 1971 and he passed out in 1988. The summation of this matter is aptly situated in the word of the literary giant, William Shakespeare, that the evil that men do, lives after them… character assassination and unnecessary shenanigans' must stop. Must we destroy a man's hard work that took him several years to get to the peak of his career?
•Lanre Ogundipe, is former National President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), lives in Abuja.