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Ayinde Barrister: Prophet without honour (3)

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By Tunde Odesola

 

(Published in The PUNCH on Monday, January 11, 2022)

 

Birth, breath and death; three seeds cohabiting in the same pod. Birth-breath-death: Sikiru Ayinde Balogun’s earthly journey in a winged chariot driven by fate, fuelled by freewill.

 

Fatefully, Ayinde was born by a butcher father and a pepper-seller mother. Utterly, he had no say over the spermatic fluid that shot him into existence.

 

By freewill, Sikiru was a motor-boy, bus conductor, soldier and musician. He could’ve chosen to be a butcher like his father or be the face behind his family’s ancestral masquerade called Adakeja or be a hoodlum in the Ayeye area of Ibadan, a city renowned for robust oratory and notorious free-for-all, ija igboro laarun Ibadan.

 

When death ransacked Fuji Chamber in Isolo, Lagos, but couldn’t find Ayinde, death mutated into a flight called fate and headed abroad, looking for Sikiru, whom it gripped by the jugular on St Mary’s Hospital bed in London.

 

Sikiru begged and sang melody to death, but death was deaf. He cried, but death was blood-thirsty, dragging Agbaje along into a dark, endless tunnel without looking back.

 

Ayinde is the puzzle called Fuji. His voice is the riddle of the yam flour displayed uncovered in the rain and wind, yet unaffected by both elements, but when the yam flour took a dive into hot water, it became amala, ready for gbegiri and ewedu.

 

If you ever heard the melody of the billowy octopus thumping a piano underwater, you’ll appreciate the mystery of Ayinde’s vocal cords resonating tunefully when singing but the cords stammer when speaking.

 

It’s the scientific fate of the male octopus to die after fertilising the female’s eggs just as the female octopus dies after giving birth. In the octopean world, live and let die is the mantra. Before Abinuwaye departed the mortal realm and embarked on the journey to Aljanah fridaus, however, he wrote his name in the sands of time with numerous great deeds.

 

Testifying to Barrister’s humanity, Galala king, Daddy Showkey, said, “Barrister gave me 250 bags of cement and 500 blocks to start the foundation for my first house in Ojodu in the 1990s. Today, I’ve a shrine in my house for Barrister. I put his picture there and pray to his spirit to guide me before I leave home everyday.”

 

 

He said, “Wasiu Alabi Pasuma’s wife had a baby boy one day before my wife had a baby girl. On Pasuma’s child christening, I visited his house and asked him why didn’t he invite Barrister to the occasion. Pasuma said Barrister was a busy man, who wouldn’t have time to come for the christening.

 

“There and then, I went to Barrister’s house. I went straight into Barrister’s bedroom and I told him about the christening of Pasuma’s child. I also told him my own wife had put to bed, too. Barrister gave me N250, 000 and told me to give a higher amount of money to Pasuma. I won’t mention the amount he gave Pasuma because I don’t have his permission to say so.

 

“I returned to Pasuma’s house and gave him Barrister’s gift. I told him to give me from his own gift and Pasuma gave me N150,000 from Barrister’s gift. On the day of my first child’s naming, Barrister came at night with a cooling van. He also gave me another N250,000 when my wife had our second baby.”

 

Showkey went on to say that Barrister, in 1994, when he (Showkey) was a nobody, Barrister sang his praise on stage, and when he went on stage to ‘spray’ him, Barrister told him not to, and Barrister, instead, ‘sprayed’ him, and told his manager to give him all the money people ‘sprayed’ Barrister while he (Showkey) was on stage, dancing. Showkey said the money was about N300,000.

 

Speaking at the inaugural Barry Day celebration organised by Ayinde Barrister Legacy Group, in February 2013, at Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, a former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Segun Osoba, said despite being very close to him, Barrister never came to seek contract from him when he was governor.

 

All the personalities, whom Barrister praised in his songs, including Alhaji Adisa Onifade, Chief Buhari Oloto, Alhaji Murhi Gbadeyanka, Alhaji Adisa Osiefa, Asiwaju Tunde Khamis Badmus, Chief Abiola Ogundokun, Chief Oyasola Oyadeji, said Ololade sang their praises free of charge.

 

Mayegun Musulumi of Iwo, Debo Badru, whose father taught young Sikiru the Holy Qoran, in Iwo, said Barrister did what he preached. He said, “I was the Personal Assistant to Governor Adetunji Adeleke in Osun between 1992 and 1993. Barrister was friends with Governor Adeleke since way back in the US. Whenever Barrister had a show in Osun or its environs, he would visit my house. I was very little to Barrister in everything, but he showed me love.

 

“When he visited one day, I told him that he should let us go and visit his friend, the governor. He agreed. When we got to the governor, they were happy to see one another. The governor pointedly asked him if he was interested in taking contract, but he said no.”

 

Juju music icon, YK Ajao, who said Barrister bought brand new musical set for him. “He treated me like a younger brother. He gave me money to build my house. I went to his wardrobe to take any kind of clothes I wanted, though his clothes were not my size. He would ensure I play before him so that the people who came to watch him would ‘spray’ me first. I would play for like only 30 minutes, but would make more money than musicians who played all night,” YK Ajao said.

 

Waka queen, Salawa Abeni, said while she was married to Kollington Ayinla, and lived under the same roof with Baba Alatika, she defied her husband by buying and listening to Barristers songs. “General Kollington would break the disc containing Barrister’s music, I would go and buy another one, he would break it, and I would buy another. From when I was a kid singer, Barrister had taken up the role of father in my life, Salawa said.

 

The anchor of Oludasile Fuji, a social media group formed in honour of Barrister, Otunba Tokunbo Okunola, said Barrister was clairvoyant. Okunola, whose group conducted interviews for Showkey, Badru, Salawa, and many friends of Barrister, said Barrister would’ve been richer than any African musician if not for his philanthropy.

 

For someone who has done so much to put an indigenous music on the global entertainment map, Olayimika deserves immortalisation from Nigerian governments at state and national levels.

 

But Ayinde-Ogun wasn’t an angel, after all. He was a hypocrite who turned the Holy Quran upside down to justify a shameless act after stabbing his bosom friend, Adisa Pele, in the back by marrying Pele’s daughter, Olayinka, who was carried by Barrister during her christening.

 

Despite his self-professed subscription to the Omoluabi ethos, Barrister shockingly attempted to justify his ignoble act in his 1997 album, Prophecy, by citing unrelated Islamic event, saying his shameful act was similar to what obtained during the time of Prophet Muhammad (SWT).

 

Pele, the PRO, Ayinde Barrister and his Fuji Organisation, was in the same car with Barrister in 1976 when he had an accident.

 

Apart from intensive womanising, Barrister also allowed his philanthropy to affect the earnings of his band boys with his attitude of giving all the money generated at shows and parties out to people.

 

Also, Barrister, who prided himself as singing meaningful songs, temporarily abandoned his style of Fuji to sing lewd Fuji songs called Saje.

 

Talking about Barrister’s love for the young to grow, Badru recalled that Barrister once had to sing Obesere’s music when fans were leaving his stage. Badru said Barrister’s stage became enlivened after he sang one or two of Obesere’s songs before Barrister went back to his own songs.

 

This capitulation reflected the dimming of the sun and its journey homeward.

 

Adieu, Abinuwaye.

 

 

Concluded.

 

Email: tundeodes2003@yahoo.com

Facebook: @tunde odesola

Twitter: @tunde_odesola

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Opinion

Buhari rests in London, Nigeria boils by Tunde Odesola

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(Published in The PUNCH on Monday, April 12, 2021)

As a herdsman, ‘yowwa’ is the likeliest gratifying word to escape from the tight-lipped Nigerian President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) if his cows nuzzle their muzzles against him as they eat hay from his outstretched hands during a random visit to his herd.

And as a devout Muslim, ‘Auzubillahi!’ is the likeliest word the President would utter if a dog mistakenly snuggles up against his ankle; Islam forbids human-dog embrace.

Aside from the religious injunction, however, the 78-year-old northern leader is unlikely to prefer the dog to the cow. Quite unlike the slow, witless and clumsy cow, the dog is a very intelligent, friendly, sensitive and witty creature. Universally, the dog is seen as man’s best friend, not the cow. Notwithstanding all these attributes, President Buhari’s preference will still be for the cow, not the dog, any day, anytime – for ancestral reasons.

The age-long ‘yes-sir!’ military mentality that upholds loyalty to superiors over patriotism to Nigeria, predisposes Buhari, a veteran soldier, to choosing the pliant cow over the witty dog.

Surely, the flunkey ‘yes-sir’ mentality is the reason why the Nigerian military, police, DSS and other security agencies put Buhari far above the country and the Constitution, and would shoot at innocent youths at Lekki tollgate even when such an order is in clear breach of the rules of engagement and the Constitution.

Indeed, the distinction between sycophancy and patriotism was what saved the US when subversive forces rose against its democracy on January 6, 2021 at the Capitol as the judiciary, the legislature, the military and all other institutions of government stood in defence of the American Constitution over the shenanigans of former President Donald Trump and his cohorts.

The understanding of the distinction between racism and patriotism is what is currently playing out in the trial of the white police officer, Derek Chauvin, who knelt on the neck of African-American George Floyd on May 25, 2020, sending him to an early grave in Minneapolis city of Minnesota, USA.

Chauvin’s ongoing public trial, which commenced on March 29, 2021, displays the unquestionable ability of the American nation to reinvent itself when faced with challenges.

For the average Nigerian like me, it beggars belief to think that serving and retired Nigerian police officers would enter the witness box and vehemently condemn one of their own as it’s being done in the trial of Chauvin, who faces up to 40 years in prison if the second degree murder charge, which presupposes that he didn’t intentionally kill Floyd, is upheld.

Since public hearings on police killings and brutality opened in various states of the Nigerian federation, following the #Endsars nationwide protests last year, no ex-security officer or serving security officer has come out to condemn army-police extrajudicial killings.

Public officials’ arrogant misuse of state power against the citizenry is one of the reasons for the overwhelming call for the restructuring of the country.

The monumental failure of the Buhari-led regime in tackling insecurity, corruption, nepotism, poverty, ethnicity and government insensitivity is the fuel to the agitation for the break-up of the federation.

Arrogant, insensitive and utterly reckless, the All Progressives Congress-led Presidency, in 2019, released the picture of Buhari picking his teeth, probably after drinking some (nunu) milk from his cows – while the citizenry groaned under the weight of unemployment, lack and dejection. Only our I-don’t-care President would pick his teeth after drinking milk.

Commenting on the tooth-picking picture, presidential aide on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, displayed the characteristic arrogance and insensitivity of the Buhari regime when he said in a tweet, “It’s hard to understand why some people are genuinely angry because of this innocent pic. When I innocently snapped it on Feb 27 and posted (it) on my Snapchat, it didn’t occur to me that it’s going to give wailers that strong hit…”

As Nigerians have been gnashing their teeth since the beginning in 2015, so shall it be till the end in 2023. Nothing will stop the plunge. Buhari is on an eight-year vacation.

Displaying his nonchalance to public outcry for the umpteenth time, Buhari, on march 30, 2021, embarked upon a two-week medical check-up in London, despite the nationwide strike by medical doctors in public hospitals back home.

Without a word on the plight of millions of sick Nigerians condemned to attend public hospitals nationwide, the President hopped on a plane and zoomed off to England, probably with two toothpicks in his mouth after a meal of tuwo and isi ewu.

Defending Buhari’s shameless medical trips, the most meritless of Buhari’s media aides, Lauretta Onochie, tweeted on April 7, 2021, “NEXT YEAR. PRES. @MBuhari WILL GO FOR A ROUTINE CHECKUP.

  1. We have been here since 2016. Its been the same wailing. So the response will also be the same. At least, once a year, People across the world see their personal Doctors especially one they have seen for about 40 years.’

It’s not hard to distinguish the noise of an empty barrel. So, Buhari, Onochie and the wastrels that make up the Presidency see nothing wrong in wasting Nigeria’s hard currency abroad in the last 40 years?

That Buhari cannot give Nigeria just one hospital he can attend, despite ruling Nigeria for eight years now, summarises his failure as a leader. It’s scandalous that Buhari didn’t feel ashamed about going to England still – for treatment – when he’s in an opportune position, in the last six year, to turn around Nigeria’s health sector.

The latest trip makes it Buhari’s 12th time to run off to London for medical treatment, despite his country having 72,000 registered medical doctors with over 50,000 of them, shamefully, out of the shores of the country due to lack of facilities and adequate welfare packages.

Buhari’s insensitivity doesn’t stop at the medical sector alone, where nurses, physiotherapists, health technologists etc are leaving the country in droves, the lethargy of his regime permeates every fabric of our national life, and holds the country down to slow death.

Even his wife, Aisha, left her matrimonial home, and took off to Dubai for six long months. It’s unheard of anywhere in the world that the wife of the president of a country, which isn’t at war, would go on vacation abroad for six months! Or, could it be that oga madam went on antenatal vacation ni?

Henceforth, I’ll be on the lookout for a bulge in the mid region of the beautiful Aisha. If Aisha gets pregnant penren? Eeeehhh!! Nigerians will put Buhari to the sword online. I bet you, trolls against the Buhari family will burn down the internet!

But seriously speaking, President Buhari won’t touch the dog. I’m sure he won’t touch the pig, either, because he’s a very pious Muslim. However, Buhari is the chichidodo, a bird that passionately hates feces but loves to eat the maggots in feces.

Buhari hates corruption, but corruption has been the signpost of his administration with millions of dollars yearly disappearing into non-working refineries and his former EFCC chair, Ibrahim Magu, enmeshed in financial scandals.

Buhari promised to stop medical tourism when campaigning to be President, but he and his family have made England, France, Germany, Canada, Dubai and the US their second homes.

Buhari promised to revamp the education sector, but his children never graduated from a Nigerian university.

Buhari, in 1983, promised to build infrastructure when he seized power in a military coup, but he cancelled the lofty Lagos metro line project initiated by the late Lateef Jakande administration, throwing the traffic of the lagoon city into eternal chaos. He came back in March 2019 to inaugurate a bus-stop in Lagos, though. Chai!

The alarming picture just keeps flashing in my head: Nigerian President on the bed of a random London hospital in an age when microchips can be implanted to monitor and control patients. Unmh!

Buhari rests peacefully in London while peace has fled his own country, Nigeria. Terrible.

Email: tundeodes2003@yahoo.com

Facebook: @tunde odesola

Twitter: @tunde_odesola

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Video: Nigerian leaders won’t be part of a decision that will take them out of power – Fr. GEORGE EHUSANI

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Demise of Yinka Odumakin, a dependable ally of the masses

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By Lai Olurode

The passing away of Chief Yinka Odumakin was a great loss to this country.

He was committed to a great but restructured Nigeria.

He was a dogged and committed fighter for causes that he believed in. And really, he was committed to fighting whatever would rob off negatively on the masses, no matter their ethno-religious identity.

To my mind, not many living Nigerians are as committed to a restructured Nigeria as he is.

Odumakin was courageous, bold, painstaking in the pursuit of facts and figures.

He had a robust and versatile mind. He speaks fluently and unrelenting and consistent in the pursuit of truth.

He had no permanent friend except in what is just, fair and right

The last time he was in touch with me was a couple of weeks back and in respect of the death of yet a greater Nigerian, Alh. Lateef kayode Jakande. He wanted some clarifications about LKJ’s unbelievably spartan life, which I obliged him.

May the soul of Odumakin rest in peace and may God be with his wife,  Dr. Mrs. Joe-Odumakin and the children he left behind. His death is certainly a devastating loss to the progressive camp and to all lovers of a great and peaceful Nigerian.

 

*Olurode is a former National Commissioner at the INEC and professor of Sociology at the University of Lagos.

April 3 2021

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