In its early years, the independent nation of ours then, was jolted at the news of a young man filled with some eerie sort of idealism, storming the Western Region Broadcasting Service at gunpoint, holding up the speech of Samuel Ladoke Akintola, the then Premier of the Western Region and broadcasting his, demanding the cancellation of the recently held sham-like elections, which had fraudulently returned Akintola’s NNDP against the wishes of the electorate then.
Many, I am sure, must have wondered, what sort of demon could have possessed a brilliant academic to such radicalism? Their screeds a bit dismissive, ranging from casting Wole Soyinka as attention seeker to a sugar candy mountain idealist, to one of those roughnecks churned out from Ivory Towers, youngsters without regards for civility!
Looking back then, I am sure that a lot of these voices must have had a rethink, owing to the numerous appearances of the spectres of the illogical and rosters of national embarrasments that have beseiged this country since then. Perhaps, if indeed they could turn back the hands of time, they would have clapped and cheered the bearded Kongi, if that would have knocked some sense into the governing elite then, and helped prevent the cascade of gory crises that visited the nation in the aftermath- two bloody coups, two pogroms and finally a civil war that has stoked generations of needless hatred amongst a people who have so much together.
Notwithstanding, kudos must go to the Soyinka, who, in the aftermath of his first tango with the non amused authorities and cheerless crowd, did not at that point, draw the curtains on his struggles for a better country. Obviously, he could have chosen to spend the rest of his life in limbo: writing romance stories with no infusion of his sardonics, living the life of the reformed citizen who sees no ill in the Nigerian society, for the fear of being silenced. On the contrary, that has not been the path taken, floundering not at lending his voice as a foremost rampart against the affret of societal ills, as well as its ill breed of those who champion such.
Was it his meeting with Emeka Ojukwu to prevent the civil war from occurring or his condemnation of the pogroms and senseless pulverising of Biafrans in the name of wanting to keep the nation as one? How can we forget his numerous criticisms of the Nigerian leadership that culminated into his forced exile on two occassions.
When it counted and when it did seem not to count, Soyinka has always being right, his numerous treatises say that much, a number of them invigorating the forces of reason in us by warning our elite on their numerous misadventures. Sadly, despite the seriousness of his warnings, our leaders have widely glossed over and then ignored.
At 84, I am effusive in praise of this moral beacon of ours, a man whose hope for a much substantial legacy of a United and fair Nigeria, remains as virile as it was years ago. A rugged apostle of democracy, he not only demonised military rule as evil, but also much demoralised the pseudo democrats who managed to smuggle themselves into power with the return of democracy.
Even the sordid allegations that have forever tailed him, owing to the founding of the Pyrates Confraternity as the foundation of cultism and the mindless gangsterism that thrives in a number of our tertiary institutions remain hollow, it is akin to blaming Christainity or Islam, both religions of peace, for the many sorrows and horrors their adherents have inflicted upon our humanity.
Finally, it is my prayer that Kongi will live to see many more years, but more important is the prayer that we, as Nigerians, bequeath to him the parting gift of a country after his own heart!
Ekiti 2018: Bye Bye To Regge Regge
Nothing made my morning more than the news of John Kayode Fayemi’s victory in Ekiti. I had earlier here predicted a Fayemi victory but as the saying goes, it’s not over until it really is and not vouching for an electorate, now appears as the safest thing to do as a pundit.
To the people of Ekiti, I salute their ability to do away with the vestige of voodoo and shamanic politics as championed by the poster boy in Ayo Fayose, never in the history of our democracy have we experienced such clowning, masqueraded as governance. His was the misfortune of elevating a village scoundrel to the seat of an elder, little wonder then, governance suffered as Osokomole as he is fondly called, preffered frying garri and eating kpomo to the real business of governance, while salaries were owed and the state’s debt burden increased.
Even his antics in the days preceding the election and on the election day, where he stormed the Ekiti Broadcasting Service to announce his own results, must have rattled the common spirit of the people of Ekiti as to how come on two occasions, they were saddled with such a character.
So, it is indeed bye bye to Regge Regge, Ekiti indeed has been liberated from an era they will pray they never find themselves in again!
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