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Can African bulletproof stop AK-47 bullets?

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By Tunde Odesola

(Published in The PUNCH on Monday, January 18, 2021)

Abomination walked naked in Elegbeka community of Ose Local Government Area in Ondo State on November 26, 2020 when some sons of darkness, brandishing guns, killed a god.

 First, they cocked their guns and kidnapped the god. Moments later, they shot the god, shedding the blue blood of a first-class Ondo traditional ruler, the Olufon of Ifon, Oba Adegoke Adeusi.

 It wasn’t the first time traditional rulers would be felled by heinous bullets across Nigeria. But it was the first time a first-class Yoruba king, bedecked in his regalia, crown and sceptre, would be untimely dispatched to the land of his ancestors.

Historically, the Yoruba have a strong kingship institution that dates back to the 8th Century. Revered as the ‘Igba ’Keji Orisa’, that is, second-in-command to the gods, the reward for looking a king in the eye was death by the sword.

In the days of yore, when a king took your wife, you fell flat in obeisance, thanking him for considering your wife’s farmland worthy to sow his wild oats. That was how powerful the king was; his word was law and order. He was the unquestionable, the ka-bi-e-o-s-i.

The whittling of the kingship authority in Nigeria by modern political power, notwithstanding, kings are today still revered as the custodians of culture and tradition.

But the assassination of Oba Adeusi asterisked the efficacy of African traditional power, setting tongues wagging and questions tumbling, “How can an oba be killed by bullets just like that? Did he not ‘insure’ himself with African bulletproof called ‘ayeta’? Why did ‘odeshi’ fail the king?”

When the sons of homicide snuffed life out of the Olufon, many questions popped up in my mind like pimples on an adolescent face.

When I couldn’t find answers to the distressing questions, I stepped out of my ignorance and travelled the highway of knowledge to Ile-Ife, Yoruba’s believed source of civilization. At Ife, I headed straight to the palace of the Ooni, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi.

After paying obeisance to the kabiyesi resplendent in flowing white robes, white crown, white scepter, white shoes, I asked: “Is ‘ayeta/odeshi’ fact or fiction?”

Hardly had I uttered the last syllable of my question than the highest Yoruba monarch hit me with his own question, “What is ota?” “Bullet,” I answered. The Ooni expounded “Everything has a name. If you call ota by its real name, it’ll deflect bullets from you. Even when the bullet hits its target, it won’t have any effect. This is why it’s called ‘ayeta’. But it has its taboos.

“The white man has his own ‘ayeta’ in the form of a bulletproof vest. ‘Ayeta’ can also be put in the tyres or glass or body of a car. If someone calls you Moses, will you answer? No. But if you’re called Tunde, you will answer. ‘Ayeta’ will deflect any caliber of gun, be it a dane gun or AK-47.

“During the Ife-Modakeke war, ‘ayeta’ was used. Even some people who survived gunshots were taken to medicine men who called out the bullets from the bodies of the victims. We, the Yoruba, need to develop our traditional arts and science.”

From Ife, I went straight to the shrine of the Araba of Osogbo, Chief Ifayemi Elebuibon, who said, “African bulletproof exists in reality.”

Elebuibon, however, said there was no African medicine that could deflect bullets from AK-47. He explained, “An African-American came to me from Atlanta, he said he needed preservation called ‘owo’ in Yoruba. I did something for him. He wore it on a cock shot it, the cock didn’t die. He wore it on a goat and shot, the goat didn’t die. Anytime he calls me, he shouts: Osogbo Power! His name is Lucas, but the medicine is for police guns, not military.”

When I pointed out that armed robbers like Ishola Folorunso and Mighty Joe who boasted of being invincible to bullets later succumbed at the stakes, Elebuibon said, “You would notice that they didn’t die when the bullets were first fired at them. That was the time they would have utilised in escaping if they were not tied to the stakes.

“Many People can’t obey the taboos of the charms. They can’t abstain from women and they engage in ridiculous sex styles. It’s true that military ammunition is different from hunters’ guns of those days. But ‘ayeta’ will make it jam and prevent it from shooting, not that it will deflect the bullet. Then, there’s ‘owo’, aka preservation medicine that would make you escape attacks. You would’ve been gone by the time a bad occurrence would happen.”

One of the warriors of the Ife-Modakeke war, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho, said: “I have authentic ‘ayeta’ that can withstand any type of gun, including AK-47. I fought in the Ife-Modakeke war. I can also lock an AK-47 from shooting. I challenge anyone to come to the public and test my ‘ayeta’.”

But a retired Nigerian Brigadier General, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, said there was no charm that could withstand the firepower of military assault rifles. A prince steeped in the socio-cultural mores of the Yoruba, Oyinlola, who fought in the Chadian crisis of the 1980s and also commanded Nigeria’s contingent to the United Nations’ peacekeeping mission during the Somali crisis in the early 1990s, said, “I was a renowned marksman in the army for 30 years. I can knock off kites in flight easily, I won so many laurels for shooting. Don’t come to my sight with your ‘ayeta’ o, because if you do and I press my trigger, you’re gone. Nothing will stop an assault rifle.

“In the dane guns masqueraders use in deceiving people, it’s the gunpowder in them that explodes, they’ve removed the balls in the guns.”

“As for soldiers missing their target when shooting at armed robbers tied to stakes, you must realise that it’s not easy to kill a fellow human being. Some of the soldiers are newly recruited. Some shut their eyes and shoot up. There was a time that the officer commanding the shooting had to kick out one of the soldiers because he was closing his eyes and shooting up.

“If it was ‘ayeta’ that made bullets not penetrate the robbers’ bodies initially, why did they die eventually? “

A retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mr Tunde Ogunsakin, said: “I was involved in many encounters with the bad boys. After they were subdued, you would find on their dead bodies various amulets, why did they die with their ‘ayeta’? If you give me an AK-47 and you wear an ‘ayeta’, it will kill o. Maybe ‘ayeta’ worked during the Kiriji War in Igbajo. But I don’t think it does nowadays.”

The Chief Imam, Ataoja Estate mosque, Osogbo, Sheik Adegbite Obe, said, “Basically, it’s wrong for anyone to dare bullets because they have ‘ayeta’, that’s akin to daring God, it will fail. Someone who’s a devout Muslim could have the grace of Allah not to die if hit by a bullet.” Obe added, “Nobody should face the bullet, no matter the ‘ayeta’ they have. Most of the shootings people do in public are fake, it’s only the gunpowder that’s fired, there are no bullets in the gun.”

Pastor, Redeemed Christian Church of God, Jesus House parish, Huntsville, Alabama, USA, Peter Oyediran, said Jesus was the only bulletproof of Christians. “Nobody should dare the gun. But, the power of Jesus is greater than any armament. God created all things, even the gun.”

In the 1980s when General Olusegun Obasanjo, at the height of apartheid rule in South Africa, called on African countries to deploy juju in the fight to emancipate blacks from colonial rule, he probably had ‘ayeta’ in mind.

But, does ‘ayeta’ really work? I walk away.

Email: tundeodes2003@yahoo.com

Facebook: @tunde odesola

Twitter: @tunde_odesola

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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