Archive for July, 2014

YORUBA Ooooo! #1-LATI OWO OLALERE AHMED AJIBOLA ni ITAN YORUBA ni FACEBOOK

July 31, 2014

BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY #6 -AGELESS BEAUTY WITH BLACK WOOLLY HAIR! -THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HAIR IN THE WORLD!- FROM FACEBOOK

July 31, 2014

BLACKS IN ANCIENT ITALY!-FROM The Root.COM

July 29, 2014

A Black Man’s Head Protects Sanctity of Ancient Italian Temple
http://www.theroot.com/articles/history/2014/07/a_black_man_s_head_protects_sanctity_of_ancient_italian_temple.html

A Black Man’s Head Protects Sanctity of Ancient Italian Temple
Image of the Week: The black man represented “otherness” and therefore had the ability to protect the community from harm. BY: IMAGE OF THE BLACK IN WESTERN ART ARCHIVE
Posted: July 29 2014 3:00 AM
3 2

Etruscan antefix, first half of the fifth century B.C. Polychromed terra-cotta, 25 cm high. MENIL COLLECTION, HOUSTON
This image is part of a weekly series that The Root is presenting in conjunction with the Image of the Black in Western Art Archive at Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute, part of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research.

The head of a black man seen here, enclosed in a shell-like frame and painted in naturalistic colors, represents a key piece of sacred imagery produced by the rich but still imperfectly understood culture of ancient Etruria. This loose confederation of city-states dominated much of the central Italian peninsula for several centuries until its absorption by the Roman Republic by the first century B.C.

Though damaged, the terra-cotta plaque still communicates much of its original expressive effect. It was produced through the pressing of damp clay into a mold, a technique ideal for the extensive replication of a single motif across the facade of the temple. Known as an antefix, it once formed the end of a clay roof tile that capped the sloping roof of the sanctuary. These painted reliefs ran along the eaves of the building as a horizontal series of functional ornaments. As one approached the structure, the pitched roof would recede from view, leaving the row of terra-cotta antefixes isolated against the sky.

This work comes from an unidentified temple located in the southern zone of Etruscan territory at the present-day Italian town of Cerveteri. To the Romans it was known as Caere, but to the Etruscans themselves it was called Cisra. Situated near the sea, the sizable settlement was an important center of international trade and controlled much of the area around it.

The aesthetic experience of an ancient Etruscan temple was quite different from that of Greek sanctuaries such as the Parthenon and numerous kindred examples. The visual effect of the temple, raised on a high base and topped by a massive, overhanging roof, was dominated by a deep porch supported by massive wooden columns. Distinguishing it even further from its Greek counterparts was the wealth of painted terra-cotta sculpture fixed along key points of the exterior. Because of the use of impermanent materials such as wood and mud brick for the structure itself, Etruscan temples survive almost solely as accumulations of this clay decoration.

Seen in isolation here, the head of the black man once played an integral role in the spiritual functioning of the structure. Current scholarship has interpreted these heads as boundary figures, separating the mundane world from the sacred precinct of the temple. Not merely decorative, they had an inherent purpose to ward off demonic influences that might disturb the veneration of the deity. That the black head served this purpose is demonstrated not only by the archaeological evidence but also by the representation of black people in contemporary art and literature of the Mediterranean world.

At Pyrgi, a port town located not far from where this antefix was found, another temple site has yielded several successive sets of related tile covers. The concept of blackness consistently occurs throughout these groups. For instance, two of the sets of antefixes juxtapose black and white maenads, the female followers of Dionysus, the “good god” of wine and revelry. A subsequent set of these tiles featured black male heads alternating with those of white maenads. The antefix seen here most likely appeared in a similar context of meaning.

The use in a religious context of imagery related to the often rambunctious god of intoxication may at first seem incongruous, but it was quite in keeping with the strong sense of complementarity that ruled the ancient world. Although the gods themselves often behaved capriciously, beyond their usually benign presence lay a vast array of destabilizing forces. Antefixes with heads of the followers of Dionysus probably served an apotropaic function—that is, they were placed along the exterior of the temple to ward off any malign influences that might threaten the harmony of the divine precinct.

According to the ancient Greek author Plutarch, envious looks were diverted by unusual and often disturbing imagery before they could do any harm. Like the followers of Dionysus, the black man represented a foreign presence in the ancient Mediterranean consciousness and therefore was endowed with the ability to protect the community from harm. Thus concretized and focused, the black head became a familiar aspect of otherness among the Etruscans.

It is worth mentioning that an African form of Dionysus was venerated in Egypt well before the time this antefix was created. In this guise, the god of wine was the son of Ammon, the chief deity of the Egyptian pantheon. The cult of Ammon first arose in the black African kingdom of Meroe, later known as Nubia. A further association is thereby established between the cult of Dionysus and the origins of the black man on the antefix.

Though the Etruscans were almost certainly acquainted with actual black people through their far-flung trading network, the motif of the black head seems to have entered their visual vocabulary through a more formal process of artistic transmission. A likely source of the black-head antefix is an unusual group of vases with paired heads created by Athenian potters during this same period. At least two such vases have been excavated at Etruscan sites.

These distinctive works have been thoroughly analyzed by the scholar Frank Snowden. Known as janiform vases, these vessels usually feature a carefully modeled black male or female head conjoined with that of a distinctly contrasting type. Frequently, the image of Dionysian satyrs, or “barbarians,” occurs opposite the black face, a combination recalling the alternating types of Etruscan antefixes.

It is significant that representations of people of African descent focus solely on the head when they make their first appearance in Mediterranean art. The image of the black was initially imbued with a strongly symbolic meaning, a quality most effectively conveyed by the distinctive features of the head.

Interestingly, the same potent strategy would again be employed at a much later, distinctly different phase of European history. At a time during the Middle Ages when the direct awareness of black people was just beginning, the use of the “Moor’s head” as a heraldic device on flags and coats of arms carried with it a similar conception of the black as a signifier of both foreignness and great power.

The Image of the Black in Western Art Archive resides at Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute, part of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. The founding director of the Hutchins Center is Henry Louis Gates Jr., who is also The Root’s editor-in-chief. The archive and Harvard University Press collaborated to create The Image of the Black in Western Art book series, eight volumes of which were edited by Gates and David Bindman and published by Harvard University Press. Text for each Image of the Week is written by Sheldon Cheek.

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NY Police kill man in choke hold…does Al Sharpton hurt or help the issue?

July 25, 2014

amerikkka # 2

politics from the eyes of an ebony mom

By now you have seen this video and it is appalling, but now Al Sharpton is speaking for the victim’s family. Does the presence of Sharpton help or hurt the issue? Share your thoughts.

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Quick Notes 201407

July 25, 2014

amerikkka # 1

brotherpeacemaker

eric-garner2

Thursday, July 24, 2014
Nothing Changes

Eric Garner pays the ultimate price for being big and black in America. The man didn’t even put up a struggle as police ganged up on him and put the man in a fatal choke hold.

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A Message to My Sistas, by Assata Shakur

July 25, 2014

Coarse: A Blog

A Message to My Sistas
by Assata Shakur

At this time I’d like to say a few words especially to my sisters: SISTERS. BLACK PEOPLE WILL NEVER BE FREE UNLESS BLACK WOMEN PARTICIPATE IN EVERY ASPECT OF OUR STRUGGLE, ON EVERY LEVEL OF OUR STRUGGLE. I think that Black women, more than anybody on the face of the earth, recognize the urgency of our situation. Because it is We who come face to face daily with the institutions of our oppression. And because it is We who have borne the major responsibility of raising our children. And it is We who have to deal with the welfare systems that do not care about the welfare of our children. And it is We who have to deal with the school systems that do not educate our children. It is We who have to deal with the racist teachers who teach our…

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BLACK POLYGAMY WORKING!!!!-NAIRA POOL Boss, Chief BADERO Left 8 Wives, 21 Children

July 21, 2014

NAIRA POOL Boss, Chief BADERO Left 8 Wives, 21 Children.

ELECTIONS IN EKITI!-LESSONS FOR BLACK PEOPLE EVERYWHERE!-ORIGINALLY FROM THE NATION NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA,THIS REPRINTED BY CHANGENIGERIA.COM.NG

July 16, 2014

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE NATION NEWSPAPER,THIS IS FROM CHANGENIGERIA.COM.NG

 

Further thoughts on Ekiti polls by: Segun Ayobolu

Filed under: Commentary |

The primary vocation of the intellectual is the pursuit and advocacy of truth no matter how distasteful or bitter. Paul Baran, the late American political economist, insisted that the intellectual must ruthlessly criticise everything under the sun with the determination and courage to pursue rational inquiry to wherever it may lead irrespective of the consequences. In a famous lecture at the University of Jos, the late Professor Aaron Gana, the eminent political scientist, linked this to the famous admonition by Jesus Christ that “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free”. The journalist is no intellectual. The nature of the profession gives little time for the kind of detailed and rigorous research undertaken by the intellectual. Journalists are said to write history in a hurry. Yet, we are no less bound by a commitment to truth as the intellectual. That is why it is said in the profession that while comments are free, facts are sacred.

Last week, I joined in the effort to make sense out of the June 21 governorship elections in Ekiti State, which saw an incumbent, Dr Kayode Fayemi, perceived to be high-performing losing comprehensively to a populist, theatrical and controversial Ayodele Fayose with a tainted record as an impeached former governor of the state. Like most other commentators, including the famous Professor Niyi Osundare, whose satirical poem, ‘A rice O compatriots, thy stomach’s call obey’ has gone viral on-line, I interpreted the outcome of the election as a vote by the Ekiti electorate for instant and transient material gratification rather than enduring development; an endorsement of crude distribution of food and cash to the people rather than initiating and pursuing projects and programmes to uplift them out of poverty.In his thoughtful public ruminations on the Ekiti polls, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) has raised pertinent questions, which have been misinterpreted as insulting the Ekiti people. Like the Governor, I also wondered if governance should be about distributing money to the poor or empowering them to be self-reliant through development projects.

I wondered how an incumbent governor could have lost in his own home town and ward in a credible election. Well, given the overwhelming responses to my column – phone calls, text messages, and emails – mostly from Ekiti indigenes, I am afraid I was dreadfully wrong. I reacted cognitively and logically to the Ekiti polls without a proper appraisal of the empirical realities.Yes, the excessive and intimidating militarisation of Ekiti before and during the election was unwarranted. The partisan use of security agents by the Minister of Defence, Musliu Obanikoro and Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan is contemptible and condemnable. The intimidation of APC political leaders, abridgement of the freedom of movement of APC governors and teargasing by mobile police of the Governor Fayemi’s convoy negated the creation of a level paying ground necessary for free and fair elections.

Yet, from the feedback I have received, the truth is that Mr Ayodele Fayose would still have won without all of these abuses. Indeed, it appears to me that violence would have broken out if, for any reason, Fayemi had been declared winner. It was that bad.Is it possible that Dr Fayemi could credibly have lost in his own home town, Isan-Ekiti? A reader from the town sent me a text message that he voted against the governor because he always insisted he was the governor of the whole of Ekiti State and not of Isan. Thus, they did not enjoy any special privilege from the fact of their son being governor. This may have been ethically right on the part of Fayemi but it was politically suicidal for him at home. Another response to my article was that Fayemi had built an imposing country home in Isan within his first year in office while most of the people remained immersed in poverty. The Fayemi government never successfully refuted the widespread rumour that the First Lady, Bisi Fayemi, allegedly built a higher institution in Ghana during his tenure. Thus, it is not that the people did not see and appreciate the massive infrastructure projects of the Fayemi administration. However, the construction of these projects were perceived as financially empowering a few in Fayemi’s inner circle many of whom were of no significant economic status before his emergence as governor. Thus, the quite natural and understandable insistence of the people that what is now popularly called ‘stomach infrastructure’ must be democratised and not restricted to the governor and his friends.

A lecturer at the Ado-Ekiti University told me that most of the staff and students of the institution voted against Fayemi. If a Phd holder could not connect with his own academic colleagues, what are we talking about? And at the same time Fayemi was completely disconnected from the grassroots lumpen elements that were swept off their feet by Fayose’s populist antics despite the latter’s well- known flaws. Similarly, a national legislator of the APC from Ekiti State told me of how Fayemi had become inaccessible and alienated from the legislators at both the state and national levels and even many members of his cabinet. I am told that while many of Fayemi’s commissioners and special advisers could hardly boast of one million naira in their bank accounts, those in his inner circle had reportedly become stupendously wealthy. The Chief of Staff, Yemi Adaramodu, reportedly rude, arrogant and snobbish was a key factor in Fayemi’s loss.

An APC chieftain in Ado-Ekiti recalled how Fayose and Opeyemi Bamidele reached out to him morally and financially when he lost his mother while his own governor did not even give him a phone call. This illustrates how alienated the Fayemi government was even from his own party that was consequently demotivated from working for his re-election with passion and commitment.Otunba Niyi Adebayo reportedly had two commissioners in Fayemi’s government including the commissioner for works; his 22 year old son was Special Adviser on Diaspora Matters (whatever that means) to the governor and Adebayo had five cousins appointed at various levels of the administration. This was in addition to unrefuted reports of the former governor handling several contracts. Yet, many of those who fervently supported Fayemi intellectually, morally, financially and logistically during his three and a half year struggle to reclaim his mandate, including Asiwaju Bola Tinubu were kept at arms –length by Fayemi. The same Tinubu has stood valiantly by him following his June 21 defeat. Otunba Adebayo who could not even deliver his polling unit to Fayemi has remained thunderously silent while another of Fayemi’s cherished ‘godfathers’, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), who publicly supported Fayemi before the election has come out after the polls to say that Ekiti cannot afford to be in opposition! It is stunning that a highly respected SAN cannot appreciate the critical, indispensable necessity of opposition for healthy democracy and good governance. That, however, is a matter for another day.

I hate to write these bitter truths but have no choice but to honestly put out the feed- back generated by last week’s column. Dr. Fayemi is my friend but I deliberately refused to visit Ekiti throughout his tenure. I never requested for, nor was ever offered even a bottle of coke by his government. All I have written in support of his government and re-election have thus been based on principle and the facts as I saw it. But what I can now surmise is that an ordinarily brilliant, humble and unassuming Kayode Fayemi became transformed by power into a haughty, hubristic governor almost contemptuous of his party and people. It is ironical that a student of power like Fayemi turned out to be so inept in its usage and management. There is no way, for instance, that an astute politician would have allowed Opeyemi Bamidele, who played such a key role in his emergence as governor, to become such a bitter opponent.

The outcome of the June 21 election in Ekiti was a massive rejection of Fayemi’s style of governance and not necessarily of the APC. But the APC is suffering the consequences of condoning and ignoring the excesses of the governor. If Fayemi had got his politics right, a million bags of rice or a battalion of soldiers could not have delivered Ekiti to the PDP. Luckily for the APC, in Osun, Ogbeni Aregbesola is a solid grassroots politician; his lifestyle and attitude have not been perverted by power; he is a fervent and passionate party man; his massive development projects are integrated into the local economy and where he has inevitably had conflicts with interest groups, he has bent over backwards to explain his motives and resolve the issues. The loopholes that facilitated PDP’s victory in Ekiti do not exist in Osun. If the Ekiti elections reflected the will of the people, then it is very good for Nigeria’s democracy. This means that given his appalling non-performance, President Goodluck Jonathan is a very vulnerable incumbent in a credible 2015 election.

BLACK PEOPLE!- ELECTIONS IN YORUBALAND,NIGERIA,EKITI STATE HAS LESSONS FOR US ALL!-ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE NATION NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA,REPRINTED BY CHANGENIGERIA.COM.NG

July 16, 2014

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE NATION NEWSPAPER,THIS IS FROM CHANGENIGERIA.COM.NG

 

Further thoughts on Ekiti polls by: Segun Ayobolu

Filed under: Commentary |

The primary vocation of the intellectual is the pursuit and advocacy of truth no matter how distasteful or bitter. Paul Baran, the late American political economist, insisted that the intellectual must ruthlessly criticise everything under the sun with the determination and courage to pursue rational inquiry to wherever it may lead irrespective of the consequences. In a famous lecture at the University of Jos, the late Professor Aaron Gana, the eminent political scientist, linked this to the famous admonition by Jesus Christ that “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free”. The journalist is no intellectual. The nature of the profession gives little time for the kind of detailed and rigorous research undertaken by the intellectual. Journalists are said to write history in a hurry. Yet, we are no less bound by a commitment to truth as the intellectual. That is why it is said in the profession that while comments are free, facts are sacred.

Last week, I joined in the effort to make sense out of the June 21 governorship elections in Ekiti State, which saw an incumbent, Dr Kayode Fayemi, perceived to be high-performing losing comprehensively to a populist, theatrical and controversial Ayodele Fayose with a tainted record as an impeached former governor of the state. Like most other commentators, including the famous Professor Niyi Osundare, whose satirical poem, ‘A rice O compatriots, thy stomach’s call obey’ has gone viral on-line, I interpreted the outcome of the election as a vote by the Ekiti electorate for instant and transient material gratification rather than enduring development; an endorsement of crude distribution of food and cash to the people rather than initiating and pursuing projects and programmes to uplift them out of poverty.In his thoughtful public ruminations on the Ekiti polls, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) has raised pertinent questions, which have been misinterpreted as insulting the Ekiti people. Like the Governor, I also wondered if governance should be about distributing money to the poor or empowering them to be self-reliant through development projects.

I wondered how an incumbent governor could have lost in his own home town and ward in a credible election. Well, given the overwhelming responses to my column – phone calls, text messages, and emails – mostly from Ekiti indigenes, I am afraid I was dreadfully wrong. I reacted cognitively and logically to the Ekiti polls without a proper appraisal of the empirical realities.Yes, the excessive and intimidating militarisation of Ekiti before and during the election was unwarranted. The partisan use of security agents by the Minister of Defence, Musliu Obanikoro and Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan is contemptible and condemnable. The intimidation of APC political leaders, abridgement of the freedom of movement of APC governors and teargasing by mobile police of the Governor Fayemi’s convoy negated the creation of a level paying ground necessary for free and fair elections.

Yet, from the feedback I have received, the truth is that Mr Ayodele Fayose would still have won without all of these abuses. Indeed, it appears to me that violence would have broken out if, for any reason, Fayemi had been declared winner. It was that bad.Is it possible that Dr Fayemi could credibly have lost in his own home town, Isan-Ekiti? A reader from the town sent me a text message that he voted against the governor because he always insisted he was the governor of the whole of Ekiti State and not of Isan. Thus, they did not enjoy any special privilege from the fact of their son being governor. This may have been ethically right on the part of Fayemi but it was politically suicidal for him at home. Another response to my article was that Fayemi had built an imposing country home in Isan within his first year in office while most of the people remained immersed in poverty. The Fayemi government never successfully refuted the widespread rumour that the First Lady, Bisi Fayemi, allegedly built a higher institution in Ghana during his tenure. Thus, it is not that the people did not see and appreciate the massive infrastructure projects of the Fayemi administration. However, the construction of these projects were perceived as financially empowering a few in Fayemi’s inner circle many of whom were of no significant economic status before his emergence as governor. Thus, the quite natural and understandable insistence of the people that what is now popularly called ‘stomach infrastructure’ must be democratised and not restricted to the governor and his friends.

A lecturer at the Ado-Ekiti University told me that most of the staff and students of the institution voted against Fayemi. If a Phd holder could not connect with his own academic colleagues, what are we talking about? And at the same time Fayemi was completely disconnected from the grassroots lumpen elements that were swept off their feet by Fayose’s populist antics despite the latter’s well- known flaws. Similarly, a national legislator of the APC from Ekiti State told me of how Fayemi had become inaccessible and alienated from the legislators at both the state and national levels and even many members of his cabinet. I am told that while many of Fayemi’s commissioners and special advisers could hardly boast of one million naira in their bank accounts, those in his inner circle had reportedly become stupendously wealthy. The Chief of Staff, Yemi Adaramodu, reportedly rude, arrogant and snobbish was a key factor in Fayemi’s loss.

An APC chieftain in Ado-Ekiti recalled how Fayose and Opeyemi Bamidele reached out to him morally and financially when he lost his mother while his own governor did not even give him a phone call. This illustrates how alienated the Fayemi government was even from his own party that was consequently demotivated from working for his re-election with passion and commitment.Otunba Niyi Adebayo reportedly had two commissioners in Fayemi’s government including the commissioner for works; his 22 year old son was Special Adviser on Diaspora Matters (whatever that means) to the governor and Adebayo had five cousins appointed at various levels of the administration. This was in addition to unrefuted reports of the former governor handling several contracts. Yet, many of those who fervently supported Fayemi intellectually, morally, financially and logistically during his three and a half year struggle to reclaim his mandate, including Asiwaju Bola Tinubu were kept at arms –length by Fayemi. The same Tinubu has stood valiantly by him following his June 21 defeat. Otunba Adebayo who could not even deliver his polling unit to Fayemi has remained thunderously silent while another of Fayemi’s cherished ‘godfathers’, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), who publicly supported Fayemi before the election has come out after the polls to say that Ekiti cannot afford to be in opposition! It is stunning that a highly respected SAN cannot appreciate the critical, indispensable necessity of opposition for healthy democracy and good governance. That, however, is a matter for another day.

I hate to write these bitter truths but have no choice but to honestly put out the feed- back generated by last week’s column. Dr. Fayemi is my friend but I deliberately refused to visit Ekiti throughout his tenure. I never requested for, nor was ever offered even a bottle of coke by his government. All I have written in support of his government and re-election have thus been based on principle and the facts as I saw it. But what I can now surmise is that an ordinarily brilliant, humble and unassuming Kayode Fayemi became transformed by power into a haughty, hubristic governor almost contemptuous of his party and people. It is ironical that a student of power like Fayemi turned out to be so inept in its usage and management. There is no way, for instance, that an astute politician would have allowed Opeyemi Bamidele, who played such a key role in his emergence as governor, to become such a bitter opponent.

The outcome of the June 21 election in Ekiti was a massive rejection of Fayemi’s style of governance and not necessarily of the APC. But the APC is suffering the consequences of condoning and ignoring the excesses of the governor. If Fayemi had got his politics right, a million bags of rice or a battalion of soldiers could not have delivered Ekiti to the PDP. Luckily for the APC, in Osun, Ogbeni Aregbesola is a solid grassroots politician; his lifestyle and attitude have not been perverted by power; he is a fervent and passionate party man; his massive development projects are integrated into the local economy and where he has inevitably had conflicts with interest groups, he has bent over backwards to explain his motives and resolve the issues. The loopholes that facilitated PDP’s victory in Ekiti do not exist in Osun. If the Ekiti elections reflected the will of the people, then it is very good for Nigeria’s democracy. This means that given his appalling non-performance, President Goodluck Jonathan is a very vulnerable incumbent in a credible 2015 election.

EKITI ELECTIONS !-THIS ANALYSIS BY AN IGBO FORMER GOMINA OF YORUBA POLITICS SE PATAKI O!-FROM SUN NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA

July 14, 2014

FROM SUN NEWSPAPER

Real reason APC lost in Ekiti

 

I was dazed by the flurry of reactions of the media and political analysts to the just-concluded governorship election in Ekiti, especially as it concerned the outcome. While some argued that the election was not free and fair, others shouted them down, claiming the whole exercise was the best ever conducted in Nigeria! Because of these discordant tunes and the need to do a thorough analysis of what really transpired I chose not to join the fray at the earlier time. I deemed it more auspicious to sit back and watch as events unfolded and do a wrap-up at a later date. And that is exactly what I have done with this piece.

From the investigations and analysis I carried out, I can state without any equivocation that, the Ekiti Governorship election was generally free and fair, having been conducted under tight security and less violence and in accordance with the law guiding elections in Nigeria. Even an average Ekiti person saw the election as free and fair. The wide margin between the votes won by the contestants also underscores this fact.

The promptitude with which Governor Fayemi accepted the result and congratulated his rival was exemplary. This is how it is done in other climes. There is nothing absolutely wrong in anybody having a contrary view or opinion about the election. After all, it is the constitutional right of every Nigerian to express him or herself freely on any matter he feels strongly about. It is also the constitutional right of APC to hold a contrary view or go to court to challenge any aspect of the election it disagrees strongly with. All of these are the latitudes democracy provides.

It will be morally wrong and antithetical to democratic norms for anybody to stop the opposition from challenging the outcome of the election, provided this is done with decorum and in conformity with the laws of the land.

The simple truth is that Ekiti people voted for Ayodele Fayose, because he struck the right chord with them. Apart from compensating him for his steadfastness and the injustice done him when he was wrongly impeached, the people voted for change. Their desire for change had nothing to do with the performance of the incumbent governor, Kayode Fayemi. Not at all! Rather Fayemi was a victim of an age-long ideological rivalry between the conformists and non-conformists. I expatiated below.

In terms of achievements nobody can fault Fayemi – he performed creditably and demonstrated in large doses his urbaneness and intellectuality. Probably, what he did not do was to connect properly with the grassroots who actually hold the mandate to determine who governs them. I have met and interacted with Fayemi closely; I find him a very gentle and honest man. However, the Nigerian political environment demands much more than gentleness and honesty. It demands a little of rugged mentality. You know what I mean.

So, I laugh when people fail to understand the peculiarities of Yoruba politics. I am sure not every political analyst would be able to see the striking difference, for example, between Ekiti politics and Ogun politics. Ogun politics is purely in deference to the laid down philosophy of Awoism, which is why it is usually difficult for the state to pander to the political whims of any other party that is ideologically in contrast with this philosophy.

There had always been some dilemma among the people of Ekiti whether or not to stick to the Awoist philosophy or design their own peculiar political direction. Remember that their neighbouring brothers – the Ondo – had already charted their own political direction by pitching their tent with an entirely new political party – the Labour party. Again, it is easy to see from the Ondo example that the Yoruba stock in Ondo and Ekiti states want to carve a niche for themselves, not deferring to the usual crowd-syndrome of obeisance to a monolithic political behemoth. While Ondo went Labour, Ekiti went PDP this time round.

What might have caused the revolt? This question becomes pertinent since the general belief had always been that Yoruba are politically and ideologically monolithic. Later events have since put a lie to this assumption. Since the death of Chief Obafemi Awolowo in 1987 cracks have continued to appear on the once-impregnable political walls erected by this great patriot and nationalist. Alive, he trod the Yoruba political firmament like a colossus, was loved and revered by his followers, almost to the point of worshipping and adoring him. As Premier of Western Nigeria he lifted the lives of his people by erecting infrastructure, and sending many of them to schools abroad. In all of his achievements he made one irreversible mistake – he did not groom a successor. This obvious flaw became manifest the moment he died. The big vacuum he left behind became a problem to fill. A pair of legs to fit into the oversize shoes he wore also could not be found. Even the man who managed to step into his shoes, Chief Abraham Adesanya, could not do much to reignite the popularity of the late Awo. Instead of unflinching support from the Yoruba political elite all he got was half-hearted endorsement. He grappled with all kinds of problems – ranging from open opposition to his leadership to balkanization of the amorphous political structure built by Awo.

The death of Adesanya opened a new fault-line in the leadership crisis in Yorubaland. The Afenifere and Yoruba Elders Council walked on parallel lines, with each group championing a peculiar political vision. As all this was going on the masses were being constantly estranged, and that paved the way for infiltration by other political parties and aligners. They flaunted all kinds of philosophies and ideologies, and before one could say Jack Robinson they had overrun the entire Yoruba political landscape.

It seems the problem has got worse when it is considered that Yoruba do not have a clear-cut and anointed leader. And without such a leader it will be difficult to hold the people together under one umbrella.

The cracks in Yoruba unity became visible in 1999 when the entire Yoruba land, excepting Lagos, was conquered by a conservative political party. Though it was widely bandied that the election was manipulated in favour of a particular political party, subsequent events proved the argument untenable. Okay, assuming the election was manipulated, what did Yoruba do to show their discontentment? Every discerning political observer can easily predict what Yoruba could do when politically shortchanged. It happened in 1983 when the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) tried to penetrate Yorubaland at all costs. They targeted two states – Oyo and Ondo – where Bola Ige and Michael Ajasin held the reins of power. We all saw what transpired – hell was let loose. Sanity prevailed only after justice had been done.

Definitely, what the Yoruba demonstrated by their measured silence in 1999 and 2003 was clear discontentment with their leadership. They chose to go the way that suited their idiosyncrasies, if for no other reason, at least to hold their destiny in their hands. In 2007, they chose to go back to their ‘root’. They voted majorly for Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), but their votes could not count until the courts stepped in to actualize their mandate. The upturning of the early victories of PDP in Ondo, Ekiti, Osun and Edo by the courts has therefore signposted a new vision. Buoyed by these victories ACN became ambitious. It opted to reach out to other political parties (strange bedfellows, one may say) to form an amalgamation to uproot their common enemy – PDP. Surely, it was a deft political move. Nevertheless, one thing was missing – a definite ideology. Yes, a new party, APC, has been formed. What is new that the party is bringing to the fore? The crises it has faced since it was formed underscored the absence of a strong ideological direction. Change is always driven by solid and definable ideology, not sheer emotionalism or sanctimony.

The alliance between AC and other political parties signaled the advent of a new fault-line. Do not forget that each of the parties in the alliance had its unresolved crises that dogged it long before the alliance. And so they carried these multifarious problems into the new party. Naturally, like a keg of gunpowder, they are bound to explode someday. Lack of adequate time to consolidate, enlighten and enunciate its programmes also became a problem. And this was one of the factors that affected its fortunes in Ekiti.

Again, the decision of the leadership of AC to vote for PDP in some elections and AC in another in 2011 elections also posed its own problem. It never happened during the days of Awo. It was Awo’s party 100 per cent or nothing else. There was nothing like compromise. If you found something good to vote for PDP in a presidential election, what is wrong to vote for the same party in a governorship election? You see what I mean!

Leadership of a political party is not a tea party. It demands steadfastness, openness and strong will. Any mistake will mark the end of one’s political journey. And that is what is dogging APC in Yoruba land today. May be they found these qualities in Fayose, which was why they voted for him.

Another factor that caused the upset in Ekiti was security. I never knew Nigeria could ever be able to provide such water-tight security for an election. The security was, like the Caribbean would say, ‘something else’. This raises an important question: why can’t our security agencies work with equal commitment to fight the ills in our society? The election in Ekiti witnessed unprecedented air, water and land security. And this accounted for the relative peace that prevailed throughout the duration of the election. I have one fear though: what will happen when elections are held in about 29 states at the same time? Will we be able to muster enough security men to monitor the elections? This brings us to the contentious issue of staggered elections. So, will it be possible to conduct staggered elections in Nigeria?

The answer is ‘yes’. What else could one call the elections in Edo, Ondo, and now Ekiti States? They were simply staggered elections. All we need to do is put in place the machinery, and every other thing will fall in place. The United States, from where we borrowed our presidential system of government, practices staggered elections, though the cost is enormous. I do not know why the National Conference did not address the matter.

Now we need to consider the impact of what has happened in Ekiti on subsequent elections in Yoruba land. First, I wish to state that Ekiti and Ondo present isolated cases. They do not hold the ace as to what happens in other Yoruba states. I had already explained this line of thought in the early part of this piece. Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and Osun will always be difficult to penetrate. These are hardcore Yoruba states that still believe strongly in the Awoist philosophy. Osun, for instance, has two contrasting personalities for the governorship tussle next month. One calls himself a street-boy and the other sees himself as neither a street-boy nor a gentleman. Where that leaves us is anybody’s guess. What I see in Osun state is a straight fight between ideology and elitism. Put in another perspective, it is going to be a battle between the traditional adherents of Awoism and the new power block that revolves around the elite. Naturally, the Awoists are expected to win – all things being equal. Nevertheless, there is always the surprise aspect of Nigeria politics that makes situations not work out really as predicted.

Can Rauf Arigbesola stand up to be counted when the hour comes? I see some of his programmes as people-oriented, but I am not comfortable with some of his policies as they concern education and the civil service. And it is from these sectors that we have the largest number of voters. Maybe that also worked against the man in Ekiti as he had had a number of disagreements with teachers and civil servants in his state prior to the governorship election.

It is important to remind the governors about the need not to be estranged from their workers. Workers are a solid factor to consider when planning for a re-election. A new governor may be able to escape their fury at first, but may not be that lucky when seeking a re-election. Aware of this pitfall the Ogun governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has taken steps to reconcile with warring civil servants in his states. What a wise thing to do!

Now what are the takeaways from the Ekiti election? There are a few of them. The first is not to take anything for granted. Belonging to a popular political party is no longer enough to win elections in Nigeria. Nigerian voters have shown by what happened in Ekiti that they would vote for personality rather than political party in subsequent elections. This places a huge challenge on political parties to put forward credible and trustworthy candidates for elections. The era of mediocrities dancing like kings on the stage is gone. The second takeaway is that no political party can win elections in Nigeria any longer it failed to convince Nigerians of its ideology. Nigerians may no longer vote for a political party purely on regional loyalty. Such a party must show some clout and conviction. The third is that INEC has demonstrated the capacity to conduct free and fair election once it is determined to do so. I am happy with what happened in Ekiti. At least, in the interim, it has made INEC acquire some credibility, which places some smile in the faces of its leadership and serves as motivation for them to do better. The Ekiti election also tasks our security agencies to be more committed to their responsibility in order for our nation to achieve its long-expected goal of sustainable democracy.

While the winners in the Ekiti election are savouring their victory I wish to remind them that their victory is a call to duty, not a jamboree. It has placed a big burden on them to deliver or incur the wrath of the people. It is not a vote of no-confidence in Fayemi or anybody for that matter; it is the beginning of the sanitisation of the polity.


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