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The agonies of Buhari and Oshiomhole

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Tunde Odesola

(Published in The PUNCH on Monday, September 28, 2020)

For the All Progressives Congress, it’s not raining, it’s pouring but the umbrella is with the hot-chasing rival, the Peoples Democratic Party.

Each time Nigerian President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), boots a penalty kick into throw-in, I begin to ponder the importance of secondary school education as a useful tool for political leadership.

Whenever I imagine how former comrade, Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, hid his tragic flaws, and led labour unions out against governments, only to now fall face down to the very ills of hypocrisy and highhandedness for which he had countlessly grounded the country back in the day, I take heed of the idiom, which says character, like smoke, can’t be trapped in a fist.

The illogicality of some self-indicting pronouncements by Buhari leaves so much bile in the stomach and provokes the mouth to snarl the Igbo proverb, “If the oracle asserts too much power, it will be shown the tree it was carved from.”

Last week, Oshiomhole’s rootless invincibility was dragged naked to the Ovia River by his ruthless ex-godson, Godwin Obaseki, who decimated the godfather and set Edo electorate agog.

Devastatingly, the Interstate Ballistic Missiles deployed by the coalition of enemies-turned-friends in the Edo electoral blitzkrieg also hit the chief priest of godfather politics in Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, ripping apart his political carapace while the song, “Edo no be Lagos,” erupted in the camp of the prodigally famous PDP.

Aside from demystifying Buhari’s APC and disgracing the Lagos-Edo godfathers, the battle for the soul of Edo between the two major political parties reveals that lust for power was the superglue that binds Nigeria’s political elite, and not the love of the masses because the countdown to the election was totally bereft of masses-oriented issues but abusive rants by both parties.

I, hereby, invite Nigeria-loving comrades, not labour union-exploiting, brown khaki-wearing ‘come-raids’, into the world of Yoruba mythology as I tell the story of Ifa and Okete.

Every land has a name for the okete. Among the Yoruba, okete is the pouched rat with the famed white-tipped tail. Long before it was demystified and became a choice delicacy in earthen pot soups, okete was a bosom friend of Orunmila, the grand priest of Ifa – Yoruba’s traditional religion and system of divination. Okete was also an adherent of Ifa.

According to the Araba of Osogbo, Ifayemi Elebuibon, Orunmila grew suspicious when the secrets of his divination became subjects of discussion in the marketplace. Thus, Orunmila consulted Ifa, who told him what to do.

On the third day, as commanded by Ifa, Orunmila stood before his shrine and looked skywards, chanting some incantations and suddenly brought down his spear, driving it hard into the earth in one fell swoop. There was a violent vibration within the earth as the spear pierced an unseen creature. The creature had burrowed a tunnel from its house through to Orunmila’s shrine, where it daily listened to Ifa divinations from under the ground.

Orunmila yanked out the spear together with its kill from inside the ground and okete was seen at the long end, bleeding from a cracked skull with spilled brains. Disappointed, Orunmila lamented the treachery of Okete in these very words, “Okete, ba yi ni iwa re, o ba Ifa mu’le, o da Ifa.”

Without jibber-jabbering, the oath President Buhari swore to, on behalf of Nigerians, is to protect the Constitution of the Federal Republic. And the Constitution guarantees the inalienable right of Nigerians to aspire to any post in the land, among many other rights being more honoured in breach than in observance by the Major General Buhari regime.

The Nigerian Constitution guarantees equitable representation in appointments at the federal level – in line with the dictates of the country’s federal character policy which seeks to build national unity and foster a sense of belonging among the geopolitical zones of the country.

Buhari’s unsurpassable kith-and-kin governance, however, has consistently negated this constitutional provision with ALL key security headships, except one, going to northerners. Similarly, the heads of more than 80 percent of critical non-security agencies are from the North with Buhari hand-picking junior northerners above their far more competent southern superiors – to head the organisations.

Last week, I read with mouth agape, the strident call of a president with an unenviable track record of nepotism, demanding from the United Nations an equitable representation on the Security Council. Major General Buhari who comes to equity, mustn’t come with bloodied hands.

In a video sent to a virtual meeting by world leaders to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the UN, Buhari said there was the need for fair and equitable representation in the Security Council ‘if we must achieve the United Nations we need’.

By his penchant for clannishness, unjust distribution of appointments and projects, I’m strongly persuaded to believe that Buhari never made that equity-demanding statement credited to him by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina. That could never have been Buhari talking because equity won’t rehabilitate Boko Haram members while their homeless Christian victims are still in sackcloths, gnashing their teeth and mourning dead relatives. Equity won’t support Fulani herdsmen usurpation of southern territories while the Buhari government comes up with various policies seeking to legitimise their criminal activities.

Like okete, Buhari has clearly not stayed true to his oath to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the citizenry.

What about Oshiomhole? For some days, Oshiomhole went incommunicado from the public after the crushing defeat in Edo only to find his voice in a gym, where he futilely attempted to downplay the PDP victory by trying very hard to appear strong, unperturbed and sportsmanly.

In the same manner that okete was eventually subdued and exposed, the one minute, forty-seven seconds video exposes a subdued Oshiomhole painfully swallowing his pride and putting up a show, pretending to be oblivious that Obaseki now stands astride a certain coffin with a sledgehammer and nails in hand.

A hitherto tough-talking, no-nonsense, almighty Oshiomhole caught a pitiable sight as he sweated and clasped his hands like a defrauded merchant, prevaricating on the electoral loss.

Oshiomhole tried very hard to gloss over the loss but he failed. Without mentioning the nightmarish loss, Oshiomhole, in the video, also didn’t mention the name of his party, his party’s candidate, the PDP or Obaseki – all screaming telltales of living in denial.

If he was as strong, sportsmanly and undisturbed as he tried to evince in the video, Oshiomhole should’ve commended the electorate and the Independent National Electoral Commission for the conduct of the largely peaceful election. Also, he should’ve praised the standard bearer of his party, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, for putting up a good fight, and spared Obaseki and the PDP a word of congratulation.

But Oshiomhiole appeared devastated by the loss that put paid to a golden opportunity to reinvent himself in his Edo home base after he was sacked in Abuja as national chairman of the APC.

In retrospect, I think Oshiomhole would probably have wished he had tolerated Obaseki and retained the Edo Government House. Ize-Iyamu too would likely have fancied his political prospect if he had remained in the PDP. May the Lord direct my steps, lest I mismove in life.

Unwanted in Abuja, rejected in Edo, it’s now Oshiomole’s turn to taste the bitter pills he served his predecessor and former National Chairman of the APC, John Odigie-Oyegun; a former Edo governor, Lucky Igbinedion, and the late Chairman, PDP Board of Trustees, Tony Anenih, whom Oshiomole boastfully declared he retired.

In the next four years, it will take political mismanagement on the path of Obaseki for Oshiomhole to bounce back in Edo, a state intolerant of godfathers who shout hosanna in the morning and chorus, kill him at night.

Email: tundeodes2003@yahoo.com

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Opinion: Buhari’s leopard can’t change its spots by Tunde Odesola

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(Published in The PUNCH, on Monday, June 14, 2021)

It’s only a 43-year-old novice President like Emmanuel Macron of France that can take a hot slap on the right cheek and go back home to sleep. That can never happen in the Feudal Republic of Nigeria. This oyinbo people sef! Are they weird or wayward, or both?

Last Tuesday, a 28-year-old French citizen, Damien Tarel, publicly held President Macron close to himself with his left hand and planted a deafening slap on the President’s left cheek with his right hand, t-t-w-w-a-a-i-i!!! Macron must have seen presidential stars at midday as the slap landed and echoed far in the city of Lyon.

When taken to court, Tarel said the slap was Macron’s reward for representing ‘very neatly the decay of our country’, and the court, in turn, rewarded Tarel with four-month imprisonment and a 45,000-euro fine. Na wa for ndi beke o!?

The maximum sentence for slapping the President of France is just three years in an ultra modern jail that’s better equipped and more secure than all of Nigeria’s public institutions, but Tarel got only four months out of the maximum 36 months. Imagine?

Hear Macron, the President who accommodated the dirty slap, “It’s not such a big deal to get a slap when you go toward a crowd to say hello to some people who were waiting for a long time.”

Haaa! You can never understand these oyinbo people! Someone slaps a president, gets a bail and the lightest of sentences, and the President says nothing spoil? Dis one shock me o! E no shock you?

If that happened in Nigeria? Ha, Ogun Lakaye Osinmale ooo! The Igbo and Yoruba gods of thunder, Amadioha and Sango Olukoso, will reincarnate live at the scene, spitting thunder, lightning and brimstone. Forever, no grass will grow at that scene!

Demons will descend on Damien the son of Tarel, who would instantly arrive at heaven’s gate with his body parts such as teeth, eyes, ears and right hand packed in a ‘nylon’ bag hanging around his neck. Slap who!? What are you talking ke? No mistake pepper for powder o.

Also, many innocent victims killed by stray bullets at the scene would accompany Tarel to heaven’s gate with some of them belching teargas while some others would have their spinal cords sticking out like the malfunctioning hands of an unstuck wall clock.

There was no slap at the Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020. But there were bullets and blood after a protest by harmless flag-clutching Nigerian youths, who were over 700 kilometres away from Aso Rock, the official castle of Nigerian President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

Conscienceless, the dictatorship headed by Buhari and his deputy, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, unleashed security agents on the protesting youths, some of whom were dispatched to their early graves with their green-white-green flags dripping with blood.

By demanding an end to corruption and the enthronement of good governance, the youths had committed a sacrilege punishable in the Nigerian state by death. By calling on the Buhari-Osinbajo regime to wake up from eternal slumber and check the country’s slide into anarchy, the youths earned one-way tickets to their graves.

But if there was a Lekki tollgate in France, funds generated thereof would not be enshrouded in everlasting controversy. French is a romantic language. I think they would call their Lekki tollgate, ‘Tollgate Du Leqqui’. And French gendarmes would stay meters away from the protesters and watch as French youths exercised their human rights.

The over 200 years old French democracy sits on the shoulders of the young President Macron. Nigeria’s unbroken 21-year-old 4th Republic sits on the weak shoulders of olden President Buhari.

Please, don’t get me wrong; old age isn’t a curse. I mean, accurate old age isn’t a disease. Indeed, the wisdom that accompanies old age becomes a blessing to generations if the geriatric doesn’t take on tasks beyond his physical and mental capacities.

There are world leaders who, in their old ages, still exhibit profound mental acuity. Examples of such leaders are American President, (78), his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, (68), Israeli Prime Minister; Benjamin Netanyahu, (71), and the King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who is 85 years old, among others.

These are leaders with genuine ages. They are leaders whose mental outputs bespeak their true ages. But the same cannot be said of President Buhari who honestly disclosed in December 2017 that he doesn’t know his real age.

In his typical mishmash manner of answering questions, the President had said, “I am thinking I am 75. I thought I was 74 but I was told I was 75.” Thinking 75. Thought 74. Told 75: Imagine the distorted thought process? And upon the shoulders of this President rests the task of reinventing a nation of 200 million people? Can the blind lead the sighted?

Particularly, the clueless manner with which Buhari answers questions during media interviews could be a pointer suggestive of the possibility that the President could be far beyond the 78 years he adopted as his official age.

The characteristic disconnection of Buhari’s answers from questions asked during interviews is worrisome. I had exposed this cavity in one of my recent articles.

But, going by the worsening of this ever-present trend, I began to suspect that Buhari could, after all, be an octogenarian, a nonagenarian or a centenarian – given the fact that his birth was not documented – just like his secondary school claim.

Answering questions from some handpicked Villa-familiar journalists on Arise TV last week, President Buhari, again, revealed a mind chained to tribalism, ransomed by nepotism, and completely out of depth about democracy.

I was alarmed that the Buhari-Osinbajo regime of the 21st Century is still giving thought to revamping ancient grazing routes used when the total population of Nigeria was barely 50 million.

This Fulani President, who has persistently made a case for nomadic Fulani herdsmen to be allowed to graze their cattle on Middle Belt and southern farmers’ crops, didn’t say a word of commiseration when herdsmen killed many people in the Igangan community of Oyo State, last week.

Because he’s involved, Buhari, the Life Patron of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria – the umbrella body of all herdsmen in the country – has also threatened to deal ruthlessly with Biafran agitators, closing his eyes to the atrocities wreaked by his Fulani folks.

Till date, no herdsman has been prosecuted and found guilty in the southern part of the country by the Buhari regime.

During the interview, Buhari vouchsafed his regime’s claim to baseless integrity, telling Nigerians that his lopsided appointments were based on competence, experience and years of service.

No, Buhari didn’t forget that his feudal regime had technically retired 70 southern Army generals with the appointment of the new Chief of Army Staff, Major General Faruk Yahaya, from Sokoto, who was picked way down the ladder of military seniority.

He only stuck to his guns on talking points in which barefaced lies couldn’t suffice, and employed sophistry to mask the atrocities of his inept government against the Middle Belt and the southern parts of the country.

For self, Buhari outlawed Twitter. For kith and kin, he retires 70 serving generals, bringing their careers to an abrupt, unplanned end.

For Buhari, experience, service and competence are nothing: Tribe is everything. This is the promised CHANGE. A-P-C!

Email: tundeodes2003@yahoo.com
Facebook: @tunde odesola
Twitter: @tunde_odesola

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Opinion: Did Buhari watch Chelsea’s incredible victory?

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By Tunde Odesola

(Published in The PUNCH, on Monday, May 31, 2021)

’Twas a spectacle with all the trappings of a full-fledged drama: conflict, timing, tension, rhythm, mood, language, sound, space, focus, contrast and a crushing climax. ’Twas the UEFA Champions League final played before 50,035 spectators on a 115x68m stage called Dragon Stadium in Porto, Portugal’s second largest city after Lisbon. Believe you me, the dragons that emerged within the stadium and afflicted the Manchester team won’t be exorcised too soon.

 It’s not only art that imitates life, sports do, too. And many a time, life, in its fitful drama, offers grapes instead of oranges and waxes bile instead of honey.

For me, the outcome of the impending UEFA finale was as sure as death. Lightning doesn’t strike at the same spot twice. Eewo orisa! Impossible abomination! But I was soon to discover the futility of this age-long belief even as science has proved that lightning strikes the 102-storey Empire State Building in Manhattan, New York, about 25 times every year.

I had it all figured out, or so I thought. I had cast some catchy headlines and thought up some super storyline with twists and turns leading to the ultimate triumph of Manchester City FC in the UEFA final.

But life is quicksand; after Chelsea’s lightning had struck Manchester City twice in England, it travelled an air distance of 1,812 kilometres to Portugal and struck City for the third time in six weeks! Chelsea FC put a grenade to my personal pot of fantasy and shattered the initial layout of this article. Ha! How do I beat my deadline?

Usually, I write my column on Saturday morning but I delayed it till Saturday night – after the epic final – just to accommodate Manchester City’s anticipatory victory, hoping to use the triumph to rile my known and unknown football frenemies, who cut across countries and continents, online and offline.

In England, for instance, I dislike Chelsea FC with passion and long draped it in the garb of an archenemy while in Spain, where I support the club that plays football like angels, FC Barcelona, my archfoe is (un)Real Madrid FC, which I do not dislike but hate for their dominance.

When Chelsea came up against Madrid in the semifinals of the competition, I supported the London club but I silently prayed it never get past Manchester City in the finals.

Worldwide, tit-for-tat aka ‘gbas gbos’ is the language spoken in football fandom, where revenge is never cold, but served hot like the pounded yam of 20 years.

In Porto, on Saturday, Chelsea’s cunning coach, Thomas Tuchel, exacted another pound of flesh from the greatest coach in club football today, Pep Guardiola, who had peppered Tuchel four times while they both coached Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund respectively.

Before the UCL final, Guardiola had only lost in one of the 15 finals in his career while Tuchel had lost in his two finals only to come back a year later and win both titles.

The mantra among Nigerian football supporters is ‘the enemy of my friend is my enemy’, and inter-club banters could spring from trivias such as jersey colour or coach’s height, reinforcing the proverb which says an enemy never kills a big grasscutter, ota eni kii pa odu oya.

To understand football fans’ psychology, a peep into Nigerian politics or polygamy will suffice. Except suspicion, envy and rivalry, nothing is cast in concrete in Nigerian politics or a typical polygamous home. What is sauce for the goose is never sauce for the gander: rules change like quicksilver, depending on the idiosyncrasies of who is at the driver and the convenience of the seat.

For me, May is a month I won two battles but lost the war. One, my preferred team, Leicester defeated Chelsea 0-1 in the final of the English FA Cup. Two, Villareal, a Spanish team, defeated Manchester United in the final of the Europa League final 10-11 on penalties, but the biggest prize of all was lost to Chelsea’s never-say-die spirit and Guardiola’s oversabi which is turning into an albatross over the years.

I’m still in shock as to why Guardiola, like it’s now becoming common to him in the knockout stages of the UCL to come up with questionable line-ups, decided to play without a natural striker and a defensive midfielder on the biggest stage of club football, and Chelsea punished his indiscretion when a Mason Mount intelligent pass split open City’s defence through the very middle for Kai Havertz to maroon goalkeeper Ederson Moraes, scoring the only goal of the match.

Today, I neither intend to bemoan the twin bombs dropped on the city of Manchester by Villareal and Chelsea within three days apart, nor do I intend to count the countless teeth of Adepele, the hyperdontia that Nigeria’s political class has become.

Now that the hurlyburly’s done and the battle is won and lost, Chelsea, worthy Champions of Europe, deserve their time in the sun for ‘Blue is the colour, football is the game’.

I doff my hat for Chelsea, whose fans, britannica.com describes as one of ‘England’s most notorious gangs of football hooligans known as Headhunters’, and ‘have been responsible for organised violence in the stands since the 1970s’.

But as the euphoria of victory and the bitterness of defeat ebb, I guess it’s also time the Nigerian leadership looks in the mirror and takes lessons from the Chelsea triumph.

I wish Nigerian President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) and his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, watched the match. I don’t give a hoot if they oohed or aahed during the match. All I care about is that they both did not lose the lessons inherent in the Chelsea victory.

I also wish the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, his deputy, Ovie Omo-Agege, and the leadership of the House of Representatives – all watched the match, and not lose sight of the lessons in the exemplary leadership of Tuchel, who took Chelsea from the ninth position in January this year to the pinnacle of club football four months later.

Tuchel, unlike the Buhari-Osinbajol-led government, didn’t whine about the players he inherited from Chelsea’s former coach, Frank Lampard, but settled down to work and turned an average team to Europe’s best.

I wish Nigerian political leaders at all levels saw the economic stupidity in our love for foreign football and truly develop our local leagues to partake in the multi billion dollars venture football has become globally.

As I said early on, this article is a salute to Chelsea’s indomitable spirit, and not a criticism of the inept Buhari-Osinbajo government. Tuchel picked the best available legs for every game. He wasn’t nepotistic like the Buhari-Osinbajo rudderless government, which has never criticised killings by suspected Fulani herdsmen across the country.

Tuchel understands the burden of leadership. He knows the goals of the board and the expectation of the club’s teeming supporters worldwide, and he rose to the occasion by constantly communicating with his players, never absented himself at critical moments, demonstrating compassion, exuding confidence and building trust – virtues lacking in the Buhari-Osinbajo government.

It’s Chelsea’s moment of joy, I won’t spoil their fun by allowing what a popular ex-Edo lawmaker calls ‘odoriferous saga cum gargantuan saga’ to take the shine of their victory. I won’t allow the Buhari-Osinbajo government to take the centre stage of this piece.

May was a month of Chelsea triumph. It was also a month when Nigeria’s Defence Minister, Bashir Magashi, delivered a ‘heartless’ speech at the funeral of former COAS, Lt.-Gen Ibrahim Attahiru. May was the month when the new ‘Aide-de-Camp’ to the Aide-De-Camp of Governor Nasir El-Rufai was unveiled and the incoming First Lady got into a fresh ‘thug’ of war.

May was the month when the parents of kidnapped Greenfield University students paid N180m and bought many motorcycles to secure the release of their children from kidnappers.

May Buhari and Osinbajo take the lessons of Chelsea victory beyond May.

Up Blues!

Email: tundeodes2003@yahoo.com

Facebook: @tunde odesola

Twitter: @tunde_odesola

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Malami, Ibori dance palongo to Bob Marley songs, by Tunde Odesola

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Tunde Odesola
(Published in The PUNCH on Monday, May 24, 2021)
He has no known middle name and, as such, he doesn’t sit on the fence. With magisterial standoffishness, he exemplifies the ruin of law. He never tiptoes, never prevaricates when it’s time to swat southern flies disturbing the herd. He’s Fulani, the strong and all-conquering breed.
Though many call him foolish, he wasn’t born on April Fools Day. He was born on April 17, 1967, when the little cry of a newborn rang in the serene distance. On the seventh day, the tot derived the initials, A.M, from a birth name that would later grow to read law but squander the knowledge before the god of clannishness and nepotism.
He is Abubakar Malami, 54-year-old Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
Birthdays and deathdays are important human milestones. Reggae superstar with a middle name, Robert Nesta Marley, aka Bob Marley, was born on February 6, 1945, 70 years before a 48-year-old Malami was made minister by Nigeria’s President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in 2015.
Stricken by cancer, Marley bade the world goodbye on May 11, 1981, at the University of Miami Hospital and Clinics, USA, bequeathing an imperishable legacy of didactic songs, some of which suggest ways out of Nigeria’s current turning and turning in the widening gyre.
In this article, I intend to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Bob Marley’s transition to immortality. Also, I wish to spotlight the redefinition and affirmation of animal rights over human rights by the great Mallam Malami.
This is what Malami said last week in reaction to southern Nigeria governors’ banning of open grazing, “It is about constitutionality. Within the context of the freedoms enshrined in our constitution, can you deny a right of a Nigerian?
“It is as good as saying maybe the Northern governors coming together to say that they prohibit spare parts trading in the North. Does it hold water? Does it hold water for a Northern governor to come and state expressly that he now prohibits spare parts trading in the North?”
Before an inscrutable ad lib after the third stanza of ‘Crazy Baldheads’, Marley says, “I and I build the cabin/I and I plant the corn/Didn’t my people before me/Slaves for this country?/Now you look me with your scorn/Then you eat up all my corn.”
It’s not clear if cows are the objects of oppression used to eat up Marley’s corn, but they’re the tools of oppression used by northern Fulani herdsmen to eat up the corn of southern farmers.
It’s clear that Marley and southern Nigerian governors and their people were agreed on the need to chase the crazy baldheads out of town.
I don’t know what ad lib Marley would make of these rhyming names: Buhari/Yemi/Kyari/Malami/Pantami/Fulani/Ibori and graffiti. But I know the clock is ticking down for Nigeria, and the chickens are heading homewards to roost.
“There’s a natural mystic/ blowing through the air/ If you listen carefully now you will hear…/Things are not the way they used to be/I won’t tell no lie,” sings Bob Marley in ‘Natural Mystic’.
A few weeks ago, another Fulani in Buhari’s kitchen cabinet, Isa Pantami, who’s the minister of communications and digital economy, came under fire when a viral video surfaced showing Pantami saying Boko Haram terrorists don’t deserve to be killed like pigs even as he bemoaned the killing of al-Qaeda founder, Osama bin Laden.
Like Pantami, Malami should be commended for upholding the golden rule in the Animal Farm Nigeria has turned into, where some animals are more equal than humans; four legs good, two legs bad.
Marley was a preacher, so is Malami, though their messages belong to different worlds. Marley sings, “Guiltiness rests on their conscience.” But Malami feels man is guilty for demanding to live above cattle. Marley’s message calls man to love, unity and redemption. Malami’s message calls cows to eat farmers’ sweat, roam and moo.
Warning against inequality and human wickedness, Marley predicts in his song, ‘War’: Until there are no longer first class and second class citizens of any nation/Me say war. War in the East, War in the West, War up North, War down South/ War, War!” But Malami doesn’t see a classless society. He sees a classed society where Fulani cows possess greater rights than human beings.
Marley didn’t foresee the unfolding shame in Delta State when he composed ‘One Love’ because Delta had yet to be created when the song was released in 1965.
Delta State Government, since the days of the immediate past governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, to the days of the incumbent, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, has been a shackled slave in the farm of disgraced former Governor James Ibori.
It’s not ‘One Love’ that made Uduaghan and Okowa keep quiet and continue to worship in the mud of corruption at the feet of Ibori. It’s ‘One Greed’. Despite being jailed in the UK for corruption, neither Uduaghan, who was governor when Ibori was jailed, nor Okowa, who became governor when Ibori was released, has ever condemned the King of Gluttony.
Last week, when I saw the video of Ibori dancing at a public function while security men and folks ‘cleared the road’ for him, I remembered Marley’s ‘Redemption Song’ and the plundering old pirates.
Though I won’t mind if Abuja gives Delta part of the recovered Ibori loot from the UK, my mind cut, as Warri people would say, to see the Delta State government falling on the ground, wailing and demanding justice in the way the loot of the insatiable Ibori should be shared.
Uhnmmm!? Delta wey dey support Ibori since dey talk now? Well, maybe Delta has a point, after all. The Federal Government, led by then President Musa Yar’Adua of the People’s Democratic Party, didn’t condemn Ibori nor his ‘comraid’ in corruption, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, who as Bayelsa State governor, was impeached and sentenced in Nigeria to just two years imprisonment for multi-million dollar corruption after jumping bail in the UK. Alamieyeseigha only spent some weeks in prison before his release.
Deputy to Alamieyeseigha at the time, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, rose in support of the governor and described his trial as witch-hunt, despite the fact that Alamieyeseigha pleaded guilty to six charges. When he later emerged president, Jonathan never condemned the looting of Bayelsa by Alamieyeseigha. Marley’s ‘Time Will Tell’ hums in my mind.
This is just the same way the Buhari-led FG has never condemned the armed robber General, Sani Abacha, despite the unending recovery of loot stashed away by the late thief.
Particularly, Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, in 2018, told Buhari to ‘stop creating confusion in the minds of Nigerians’ by honouring the winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, MKO Abiola, and admiring his tormentor, Abacha, saying loyalty could become perverse. With Soyinka’s mention of Abiola, I remember Marley’s “Johnny was a good man.”
The embers of the crashed NAF jet in which the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and 10 other military officers lost their lives, are still smouldering. Nigeria mourns. But, questions beggar answers. Why are military planes dropping off our air? Twenty military officers have been killed in three military jet crashes within the last three months. Something is terribly wrong somewhere. I suspect lack of proper maintenance.
When a military Alpha-Jet went missing in the plains of Boko Haram-dominated Borno on March 31, 2021, I thought the debris of the aircraft would never be seen. We all know who controls Borno.
I remember that Nigeria embarked on four jamborees into space in the first decade of the millennium when she launched four separate satellites. None of the satellites is functioning effectively today. None can be deployed to look for the missing aircraft or fight insurgency. And nobody is answering questions for billions down the drain. I shot the sheriff.

Email: tundeodes2003@yahoo.com
Facebook: @tunde odesola
Twitter: @tunde_odesola

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