Saturday, May 29, 2010

God, Give Us Men With Big Minds

By DELE OMOTUNDE

‘People who stand by your grave today to lay wreaths are the same people who will come tomorrow, dressed like masquerades, to dump cow dung on it’

Bola, have you heard the news?
What news is that, canon?
They said ara’le e (your compatriot) said the Gestapo chief said you were killed by fraud barons.
Ko je je bee (It cannot be true).
Siddon there and be saying ko je je bee. Even the Gestapo chief himself has confessed that a masquerade confessed that one man confessed that he overheard some human beings confessing that they planned to kill you.
Ko je je bee.
There you go again. At least, listen to me first.
No, I’m not ready to listen. What else have they not come up with? They have accused virtually everybody except themselves. One day, they will say I killed myself to cause confusion in the polity. I just pity the youths who are being nurtured for leadership… Here comes my wife. She is greeting you…
O happy day, canon.
Ah, aya Ige (Ige’s wife), sorry o. It’s not yet a happy day.
Why, canon? You seem not happy. What’s going on?
News from yonder shows that things have not improved at all. Instead of things getting better for mother witch, it’s more of female children she is producing. And birds start colliding with birds in the sky!
I don’t like that proverb. It sounds too chauvinistic for me. I think you ought to have deposited that complex at heaven’s gate.
I’m awfully sorry. I thought it’s how we did on earth that we also do in heaven.
Canon, what’s the latest? Have they killed another person?
You know, that’s no news again. Killings and assassinations are commonplace. The news is that they said the general said the Gestapo chief said that Bola was killed by a fraud baron.
Eewo! Are they seeing and hearing double? No right-thinking fellow would ever say anything like that. Haba! This is becoming too much.
Nothing is too much because that place is a place where anything goes.
You are right. By the way, what did they say killed me in my own case?
I think they are still looking for a clue.
I wouldn’t be surprised if they send a police PRO here to come and parade me before God and man as a woman who ran away from Niagara in order to come and stay with her husband in heaven.
Maybe they would say it is I, your husband, that killed you in your sleep.
Are they that daft? Sebi you died before me.
Atinuke, it’s you talking like this? Those people can manufacture anything, anyhow, anytime, to do you in. They are the real fraud barons. They thrive on falsehoods and half-truths. They depend on established liars, paid liars, lie contractors and professional affi-Davids to maintain the status quo. People who stand by your grave today to lay wreaths are the same people who will come tomorrow, dressed like masquerades, to dump cow dung on it. It is the same mouth they use to call ADEGUN that they will use to pronounce ADEOGUN! Their mouths roll and unroll like yo-yo. They are the ones who would invite the thief to come and burgle the treasury, yet they are the first to bring in the security agents!
Bola, what’s really happening? We have not heard any news about the Awoists, the old guardians. How about the Young Pioneers, the youth vanguards who championed the cause of liberation from the feudalists?
I will let Atinuke answer that question because she is more detached and dispassionate about the issue you have just raised.
From my own point of view, I think the Awo camp has been in disarray since the leader, himself, Baba Layinka, died in 1987. In fact, it is virtually empty now, so I was told by one of the latest arrivals. What you called the youth vanguards of Ajibola are no longer in reckoning. The Alliance of the Progressives, AP, which was actually his camp, has become moribund. The exfoliation of the party started with the planting of fifth columnists within the rank and file. Sooner than expected, the bubble burst. Some went the way of Armoured Personnel Congress, APC. Some went the way of Arrangee Congress Party, ACP, some the way of Disorderly Party of Dissidents, DPD, while some remain with what remains of the exfoliated party. That’s the position as at the last briefing by one of the latest victims of political assassinations that arrived a few weeks ago.
Their strategy is obvious. When you want to deal decisively with the iroko tree, you don’t go for the branches. You aim at the taproot, the source of life. The taproot of what remained of Awoism had been removed. The jackals were let loose on the battlefield and they have carted away the spoils of war. And many a loyalist, nay Awoist, has joined the gravy train! Everything na jagajaga...
Ehnn … Ehnnnn …?!
Everything na scatter-scatter
Ehnnn …?! Too bad. Let’s pray.
“Everlasting God, please stop the tragedy of small minds in big positions. Give us men with big minds / Give us men who constantly think creatively / Who think first of service to their fellowmen/And less of what they will reap / Immortal Father – urgently / Give us a new breed of men and leaders / Who will transform (Niagara) / To paradise on earth / Amen! Amen!! Amen!!!” *
Canon, this is strange. You are the one saying amen, amen, amen. How about us?
Does it matter any longer to you?
Yes, it does. We still have children and grandchildren and sympathisers there. They need all the prayers from here. Moreover, we are not only to recount what has been but to share in moulding what should be.
O ri yen so. You got that one right. May the spirit of the Lord be unto you and your loved ones.
Amen! Amen!! Amen!!!
*The canon’s prayer is a direct quotation from Prayer for Nigeria, a poem written by late S.M. Afolabi, former minister of internal affairs, in 1975, seen by the writer on the wall of the University of Ibadan’s PRO’s office in 1982.

*First published in TELL June 18, 2007

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