Posts Tagged ‘BLACK POWER!’

BLACK POWER!-BLACK MAN OVER ALL!-FROM AUTUM ASHANTE ON FACEBOOK!

February 10, 2015

BLACK DEFEATS

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.

EKITI ELECTIONS-TELL MAGAZINE CALLED IT “QUAKE IN EKITI”! -INDEED IT SEEMED TO BE A VOTE AGAINST OUTSIDE CONTROL BY TINUBU!-FROM PUNCH NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA

July 14, 2014

FROM PUNCH NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA

 

Fashola should stop running his mouth, he’s a product of god-fatherism–Ayo Fayose

   

 

The Governor-elect of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, in this interview with NIYI ODEBODE and ADELANI ADEPEGBA, comments on the controversy over his victory and politics in the South-West

Many people were shocked by the result of the Ekiti governorship election. Were you also shocked?

No, we know the facts on ground. We live by realities, not propaganda. There are no Nigerian politicians, serious politicians, irrespective of their political parties, that do not know that Fayose is on the ground and that Fayose’s name is a household name in Ekiti. Despite the fact that I have left office for eight years, I remain with the people. I have fought several elections, for and in support of even the All Progressives Congress. I supported Kayode Fayemi in the rerun. I was the beautiful bride then. It is their way when the going is good with them; when you are fighting on their side, you are the best in the world. Then, you will not be a criminal; then you will not be 419er; then you have integrity, then you will be celebrated. When you are against them; when you humble them, they call you all sorts of names. They look for theories that do not go with reality.

How would you respond to Governor Fashola’s comment that Governor Fayemi accepted defeat because he did not want bloodshed in Ekiti?

I really don’t want to join issues with them, particularly, Governor Fashola because I like him so much. I like his person and I have a lot of respect for him. But Governor Fashola is talking from two sides of his mouth. They say Fayose is not educated, according to them, but he is educated. He is learned but Fashola is not a product of internal democracy. Governor Fashola is a product of imposition, of god-fatherism. I remember when Fashola and Asiwaju Tinubu had issues, there were trumped-up charges against him through the House of Assembly. I remember vividly that he had to go to the court to clip their wings, otherwise they would have messed him up. And even at that, they still kept a tab on him. How would you be a governor, not elected in a transparent primary, but selected by one leader and you would still be surprised if an election was won through due process? Fashola knows that when he accused Asiwaju of not allowing due process or internal process in the party, Bola Tinubu told him, ‘Have you forgotten that if I followed due process, you would not be governor?’ So he cannot appreciate due process politically. When they were nominating commissioners, he didn’t have one commissioner. He cannot equally say this is my deputy. You know I chose my deputy myself, against all the odds. They gave him a deputy governor, probably, the only person I think he owns now is his wife. I am sure Fashola has forgotten that he is a lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, and that the constitution of Nigeria says a man is adjudged innocent until otherwise proved by a court of competent jurisdiction. I don’t want to say anything negative about him. I would have asked a special adviser or somebody working under me to reply him, but because he is a governor, I have to reply him myself. Let me remind him very quickly, I was governor before him. He was an ordinary chief of staff at that time. I am his senior politically. If at all he knows anything about politics, I am his senior. We know the intrigues more than him. It is true he is sitting on a prime state like Lagos under the watch of his godfather, but he should not run his mouth. It is unfortunate that a man at his level is talking like that. I am an institution like his godfather in Ekiti. When I started, I didn’t have a godfather. I didn’t have anybody like the Saraki of Ilorin who put Bukola Saraki there. They should learn to allow democracy to run. I want to tell them, if care is not taken, they would lose Lagos. The tide, the movement is against them. One thing with the APC is that they would lure you to defect, the moment you defect, they would go and put you on the reserve bench. That is why they don’t have support continuously. When you work for them, as soon as you are used, they dump you. You can imagine a governor who is supposed to pay salaries and he refused to pay for two, three months, and election is coming, he is now rushing, borrowing money. The civil servants are now telling him, thank God for Ekiti election, if not for Ekiti election, this man would not pay us. Who is fooling who? Look at the heavy tax burden in Lagos, in all their states. The Tsunami is going to consume them and I am telling you the truth, it is not personal. I am not boasting, I am an institution in Ekiti. What is the business of Fashola in Ekiti? The problem is that they have all put their resources in Ekiti election and they lost. The bookmakers failed.

Despite the fact that Fayemi conceded defeat, you described it as political gimmick. Why?

Governor Fayemi does not have a choice than to concede. It is only honourable for him and I will continue to respect him even when it’s obvious he had no choice but to concede, that is the truth. In my village, people say if everybody doesn’t know the truth, you that is affected by an incident knows the truth; a sick man knows he is having pain in his tummy. Governor Fayemi knows the situation is bad.

But some people have argued that your victory was achieved through inducement of voters with rice and money?

Unfortunately, they (APC members) are the ones sharing money. I complained about them sharing money, check the records. In 2011, they brought money to every polling booth. Those people that were arrested during elections were caught with money. Which party did they belong to? The issue here is that they all know it. They are the ones that engaged in money politics. They buy all the buy-ables. I have been out of office for eight years, where will I get that kind of money to buy votes? The issue remains that somebody that eats your food must be convinced before he can vote for you. Can a meal of rice induce somebody to vote for you? Fayemi gave cooked rice, I gave uncooked rice. This is politics and you need everything to entice voters and rice was shared by me, almost two weeks before election.

Did you have to do that?

Yes. Why was Governor Fayemi buying buses and inscribing Iyaloja, Igbo community on them close to the election period? Why was Governor Fayemi’s wife donating garri to the farmsteads? Why was he giving money to aged citizens and giving gifts including recharge cards to the people? Why did his wife do that? These are petty antics of politicians to draw voters and that does not change anything. A container of rice would not change the mind of anybody because the rice cannot last you till the election day. When you attend ward meetings, you give your people money because some of them may have come to meet you from various villages. You see, when you fail, you must accept and Fayemi lives in Ekiti and we are there together. Are they now holier than the Pope? Most of the hotels in Ekiti were booked by Governor Fayemi six months before the election and they gave rooms to all the policemen that came for the election. We knew what transpired. Fayemi has been honourable. Their fear is not about Ekiti anymore. They are saying all these because of Osun election. When something is consuming you, you will hold on to anything and all things. If you look at them very well, they were in shock for the first three days after the Ekiti election, they had to summon a NEC meeting to take a decision. They had to look for words, which they coined to describe what happened because they were caught by the reality of the international accreditation of that election which was adjudged free and fair. The court is the highway for them, but they will meet us there. Are they the owners of the court? They are not. They always think they know it all.

There is a belief that federal might played a role in your victory.

I don’t know what is called federal might. In those days, they used to snatch ballot boxes, you can’t do that again. There used to be multiple thumb printing, but the ballot papers are now customised to the polling booth and the ward. Even if you want to help somebody rig the election, it is not easy anymore. They should stop lying. Some of them said they militarised Ekiti and brought so many security personnel. The question is that the law is not made for the godly, but for the ungodly. The military personnel were not for those that wanted to vote peacefully, they were for those that wanted to create problems. Some of them came to Ekiti with voter’s cards that did not belong to them, stayed in various hotels and had charms on them, they were caught. Who were the people that were arrested in Anambra? Were they not APC members? The same APC members and it is their method to always want to change the story. Thank God, Fayemi was honourable enough. I remember Governor Adebayo did the same thing. Na today them dey lie? It is not today.

Is it true that Ekiti voters did not sack Governor Fayemi for non-performance?

Governor Fayemi did not perform, that is the truth. I stand to be corrected, but he did not perform. Let me ask him one question: Governor Fayemi should tell Ekiti and the public one road project initiated and completed by his administration-from bush clearing, earth removal, sand filling, compacting, surface dressing, drainage works, culvert, asphalt overlay, none. I stand to be corrected. Governor Fayemi only laid asphalt on all the roads that I did. The people of Ekiti State till today have not got a replacement for me. They were not part of the events that took me out of office. Historically, they still remain with Ayo Fayose in their hearts. Let me go to another sector: in education, when I left government, Ekiti was number 35 out of 36 states in the country when I took over from Governor Adebayo, I brought education with credit in five subjects in the external examination as a yardstick, I brought Ekiti in 2004 to 18th position. In 2005, I brought it to 13th, in 2006, it came to the 8th position. Today, we are back in number 34 under Governor Fayemi. So, tell me the performance, the hype in the media, is that performance? I stand to be corrected again, Governor Fayemi should point at one project started by his administration and completed; none. The governor’s lodge that he is building in Ayaba hill, is Ekiti the Federal Government that he is building Aso Rock? Of what economic value are those projects to the average man on the street? The pavilion was commissioned uncompleted. I don’t like to take on Governor Fayemi, but we have to treat these issues. These projects, of what economic benefits are they and at what cost? Again, let me say this, when I was governor, I did not borrow a dime to run my administration and I still left N10.4bn in the coffers of the state government at my departure. It is not about your professorship or doctorate degrees, or your being a SAN. They love me. It is not about education. It is about native intelligence and your ability to humble yourself and live with the people. Most of the people that are local politicians, I know their names, I know their houses, I know their farms. I know what they need. I helped them. I have their phone numbers. I announced my phone numbers on the radio, they call me, I picked calls, how many of the opposition politicians can put their numbers in the public domain for people to call them? How many of them can spend two days in their local government areas? I have gone to look for ward leaders sometimes during party primaries, they would be in their farms and I would meet them in their farms and still help some of them to make heaps. Sometimes, it is not about money. There is no ward in Ekiti that I don’t know people by names, at least 10 people per ward. If I don’t know your name, I have an idea of who you are. You know most politicians give their T-shirts free to supporters, I sold mine. My T-shirt is N300 because I am like the football star. My T-shirt is not free. When others give supporters their T-shirt, they leave it and buy my own. If you don’t buy my T-shirt, you would look like a leper. My hand band which has the inscription of my name is N100, my baseball cap is N200. I am as golden as that. There is a membership of the PDP that is general, but the membership of Ayo Fayose group costs N500. I have at least over 90,000 registered members; they beg to register. With all due respect to my supporters, I love them. I go to the remotest part of Ekiti, wherever you are. If you are having a naming ceremony, you will find me there. It doesn’t matter how poor you are. If I cannot give you a cow, I give you a ram. If you are drinking Agbo jedi (herbal concoction), I would join you. Women selling boli (roasted plantain) know me and I know them and I phone them from time to time. This is not a question of money. How many of our governors can go to roadside eateries and eat there? They said I am a jankara governor and I have used this to beat them. Every Sunday, I go to eat ‘iyan kolobe’ (pounded yam without soup) and I’d be there for one hour, but during the election period, my opponents started doing the same thing. They started buying maggi that costs N1000 for N5000, so the people knew that they wanted their votes.

How do you react to the belief that President Jonathan wants to ride on your victory to penetrate the South-West in a desperate attempt to win the 2015 election?

There is nothing like desperation. What you don’t have, you have to work to have it. My election is now a reference point in Nigeria that big names don’t win election. Your coat and babaringa don’t win elections. Go and cultivate the people. They are in shock because just for one day, we changed the tide. The tides are changing, the only thing that is constant is change and like I told you, in another two, three elections, it would be difficult to rig. Before, there was this belief that anybody could go to government and take money, but you can’t do it again because things are changing. These leaders should change with realities. Even in the PDP, in the South-West, no leader will disparage the party. We would suspend you. It doesn’t matter whether you are a former president or former governor, if you disparage the party again, we will take you out. I am telling you expressly. By no small means, posterity has put me in this position, if anybody wants to join the APC, let him go there. If former President Olusegun Obasanjo wants to join the APC, let him go to APC. Segun Oni has gone, we don’t beg for membership. We want loyal members of our party. Obasanjo should stop making uncomplimentary statements about the party, if he continues, we will suspend him; nobody is bigger than this party. When I fought the PDP, I wrote a letter of resignation and I left. You cannot be in a glass house and throw stones; so whosoever, no matter how big you are, you must be careful. You see, they said Segun Oni left, did he win his polling booth? Segun Oni was imposed, his allegiance was to the people that imposed him. We are not bothered about that, but some people have names, they have no ground supporters. Those who hired people like Segun Oni and gave him deputy chairman, South-West, they have hired what Yoruba call korofo, empty carton.

After you won the election, the EFCC said you still have a case to answer. What’s your reaction?

EFCC did not say that. There is an ongoing case with the EFCC. It is an ongoing case since 2007 and so there is no issue. I am not the only one going through it and I remain an innocent man until otherwise proven. So with all the EFCC case and the blackmail, I still won an election. They should borrow a leaf from there; there is something fundamental about me. They would all be living in this country when I would be at the top. They will be criticising me as I go to the top; that is their way. I am still going higher.

You mean you want to contest for the Presidency?

Well, maybe one day, after Jonathan. I will give Jonathan unalloyed loyalty and support. After Jonathan, if anybody wants to use me for anything higher, I will be glad to do it; it’s service.

What gives you the assurance that PDP’s victory in Ekiti will be replicated in Osun?

The PDP will win everywhere. What do you want me to say? You want me to tell you the PDP would not win? We will win everywhere, it’s normal because we have bruised their ego. We have taken the meat away from them. We have shown the whole world practical demonstration, if you are not on the ground, you can’t win this election. The APC will time out after Osun election.

What is the basis of your conviction?

I just said it to you. In the papers, they put all the hype, they put Governor Fayemi’s photo, they showed rallies. I’m a realist. I am on the ground. I am in the PDP. But I have a lot of respect for Aregbesola, anybody who is a governor should be respected because it’s a respectable office, but that does not take away the fact that I am a PDP man and I will work in the overall interest of the party.

There are fears that you may dismantle Fayemi’s programmes and policies…

I will rather consolidate on his achievements. He has done his bit, he has tried his best; nobody can finish governance, so why would I dismantle his programmes? Even if there are mistakes by his administration, I will draw his attention to them, we will talk about them. I want former governors to be like the military. They still respect one another. Like I told you, there is no reason to fight anybody. No fight, what I am interested in is to do my own bit. Four years is a short time. I just want to do my own bit and go. Unborn children of Ekiti will still be governors after me, so why would I fight Fayemi? I will equally draw Governor Fayemi to myself, draw Adebayo, draw Oni. I have defeated the three of them put together, but that doesn’t matter. That is politics.

The APC has said it will contest your electoral victory in court. Are you worried?

Good luck to them. I will meet them there. Are they the owners of the court? They always think they can buy people.

What specific programmes do you have for Ekiti people?

I have done it before. I did something in the past that made them appreciate me and brought me back. I will do more than that. If I enumerate my agenda, we would be here forever. But in infrastructure, my priority is to tar all the untarred roads in the state capital within 18 months. I am going to construct a fly-over in two strategic places in Ado-Ekiti to ease traffic. There are lots of things I will do to enhance the welfare of my people. If I were Governor Fayemi, I would not have built that governor’s house. I will build roads and other infrastructure that can impact the life of the common man. Things that can add value to the lives of the people are more important than things that would add value to the governor.

Some people have argued that your own kind of development programme is about stomachstructure and not infrastructure, how do you react to this?

Are we saying that people should remain in hunger perpetually because we are providing infrastructure?

An hungry man is an angry man. For four years people did not feel the direct impact of government, is that governance? The truth of the matter is every contract in Ekiti was a payback time for some people. Well, the consequence of not doing stomachstructure is for them to go back home.

You once said that your wife predicted your return to government house. Is she a prophetess?

It is a gift. A lot of people have the gift of God. She is a woman after God’s heart, I keep saying that. People say I should not put her in public domain, I should not talk about her. The fact remains that the hand of God is with her and remains upon her. When my wife said Fayose would come back, Fayemi’s wife kicked, she said what did he forget in Government House? Now, they know and they know better.

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YORUBA RELIGION DEFENDED AGAINST THE IGNORANCE OF THE ‘MISEDUCATED ‘EDUCATED YORUBA ELITE!- IFA IS AFRICAN SCIENCE-TRUE BLACK POWER!-FROM THE OSUN DEFENDER, NIGERIA

May 24, 2013

THE GREAT BLACK POWER OF IFA!

THE GREAT BLACK POWER OF IFA!


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THE STUDY OF IFA IN OSUN SCHOOLS; A PATH TO REAL DEVELOPMENT

Opon Ifa and OpeleOne feels compelled to write this piece on the recent announcement by the government of the State of Osun on the introduction of the study of Ifa religion in all its schools. While no time should be wasted in congratulating the government led by the visionary Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on this courageous and needful step, a conscious attempt must also be made to educate those who may be genuinely regarded as ignorant on the socio-legal imperative of permitting a pan Yoruba ethos play a pivotal role in the development of a society. All efforts made at raising the level of development must be anchored on this all-embracing substratum. As for the mischievous and the proselytising hypocrites, commercial religionists with vast business empires which thrive on the very objects of deceptive public excoriation, we must hasten to allay their fears that this novel but necessary introduction will not affect the enterprise of “miraculous healing” and the promise of prosperity in a land already devastated by political locusts.

A multi cultural milieu, such as Nigeria, must recognise and accept the reality of ethno-religious pluralism and the attendant divergence to promote equity, fairness and justice among the ethnic nationalities and groups, the necessary conditions for amity, peaceful co-existence and realistic aspirations towards growth. This is the irreducible minimum below which no group should be subjected. The omniscient posture adopted by the adherents of the so called prominent religions, Christianity and Islam, exposes abysmal ignorance on the essence of other indigenous religions and explains why intolerance adorns an official garb in various shades. This combative attitude is also symptomatic of a post-colonial society still reeling from the debilitating effects of foreign subjugation in all ramifications.

The dubious and ostentatious display of piety by these self-appointed men of God, on one hand, and their obscene materialistic disposition, is more than sufficient to cause a serious study into the misfortune of a society in decline. We leave this interesting topic for another time. For now it suffices to assert that this present move by the government is the most significant since independence. If development is about the people, then it should be taken as given that understanding the ways of life of all who live in the society is a sine qua non to planning. The challenges faced by various categories of people compel introspection and determination which will ultimately lead to progress. Professional politicians, deprived of patronage for two years now in the State of Osun, considered the source of the people of the south western part of the country, will also stop at nothing to confuse the people who have been dispossessed over the years.

If our children are made to study foreign religions and some even get higher degrees, including PhDs, knowing other peoples’ cultures, then it is rather salutary that a government is considering making the study of Ifa religion an option in the school curriculum in the State of Osun, albeit belatedly. Nigeria is a place where elites take pride on being proficient speaking and writing other people’s languages. We crave advancement depending solely on the cultural ethos of other lands. Our claims to decency are often predicated on the fact of our adherence to the precepts of either of these foreign religions. We are nurtured to imbibe the customs and traditions of those who treated our ancestors with utter contempt. We grew to hate what is truly ours. We receive awards aping the ways of life of other lands. What belongs to us is despised and treated with unimaginable derision. Our cultures are subjected to foreign prisms in determining their acceptability.

It is expected that deluded beings, who either believe genuinely in the myth of superiority of these imposed sub-sets, products of the perceptions of other peoples on natural phenomena observable within their societies, will join issues with this truly progressive leader of the people. What we must, however, eschew is silence which suggests connivance at the unwarranted attacks on the dynamic governor who has turned the fortunes of the state around positively with the little resources at his disposal. Nuhu Ribadu, a man not known to suffer fools gladly, just attested to the sterling qualities of this exceptional character. Several other people have been commenting on this ascetic being whose energy belies his physical stature.

Religion was central to the development of ancient Egyptian civilization. The challenges faced by the Egyptians compelled them to look for solutions in the spiritual realm. Disasters, prominent among which was the constant inundation of the Nile were considered as sanctions from the celestial beings. These ancient people used their belief in life after life and the existence of a supernatural being, Ra, whose decisions were unquestionable, to interact with their natural environment. The modern world is the direct beneficiary of the legacies of their fecund minds. Their children were nurtured on the nuggets of beliefs which propelled keen observation of natural phenomena. This attitude gave provenance to the unparalleled scientific discoveries for which the Egyptians are still widely acknowledged.
The originality of the thought process ensured that all nations in the ancient world looked up to it. Greece became the greatest beneficiary of this unique ancient civilization and, by necessary implication, the western world in the modern sense of the expression. What the average hypocritical and ignorant Nigerian will regard as superstitious and sinful formed the basis upon which his faith predicated on this imported religion is established. The judicial system of the ancient Egyptians was an aggregate of their socio-cultural values. These were contained in the curricula of the schools at various levels of learning.

The Chinese also developed their civilization independent of other existing ones relying heavily on their cultural values. China today is an exemplar in advancement because it has never allowed any undue influence on her socio-political system built on oriental values. This country stands out today as a bulwark of inspiration when most western nations are grappling with issues of survival occasioned by debilitating economic circumstances. A Chinese child will never look up to the west for socio-economic redemption. The child believes that his/her language is the best and only learns other foreign languages to derive advantage in a competitive world. He/She does not in any way feel inferior to the western child. The state has no official religion yet the Chinese child is not precluded from studying any subject of interest.

American students now come to Nigeria to study specific aspects of our much despised culture. They speak impeccable Yoruba, Hausa or Igbo, among other Nigerian languages. That is not a challenge to them at all. They are keen researchers on the mysteries of our ancestral past. They come to study Egungun cult, the talking drum and its significance in information dissemination, cultural values as encapsulated in the Odu Ifa corpus, among others. They become initiates of the Ifa religion which ignorant and ill-educated Africans denigrate. The tragedy of the whole scenario is that they are now in a position to educate us on our past. While we struggle to ape the Europeans, Americans and Arabs, we have become alienated from our origin. Nothing from us is good except it is subjected to western approval. So deracinated and uprooted from our origin have they become that fanatical members of some families openly destroy artifacts and other valuable vestiges of the glorious epoch when crass mercantilism had no impact on the psyche of the people.
Traditional rulers are the most pitiable characters of these tragic-comic elements. Some of them employed all manner of under hand methods to subvert the process of selection to become deluded kings in a republic. Once they ascend the so called throne of their fore-fathers they soon discover that their past was sinful. In their hypocritical exhibition of vacuous devotion, they destroy shrines and shun religious rites which justify their anachronistic existence in the first place. They invite commercial pastors to come and preach to their so called subjects to do away with the traditional ways. These religious businessmen in turn flaunt these clowns as trophies won in the battle to civilise the natives. They denigrate the very essence of their sustenance as custodians of the people’s customs and tradition.

They cherish the flowing three-piece traditional attire and the complementary pony tail, veritable emblems of indulgence and vanity. And just as their forbears collaborated with slave traders, commercial precursors of the proselytising hypocrites to raid villages and hamlets for slaves, they too are willing participants in the pillaging of the resources of the state at the local government level. Very few of them deserve attention in the midst of decent people.

Granted that the retrogressive position held on indigenous religions is correct, does it not make sense that our children are trained to know why their ancestral past must be condemned? We have fed generations of Nigerians, nay Africans, on foreign diets before independence through post colonial period to the present time. The ultimate ambition of an average child is to be white in everything. Is it not ironic that at a time when the western world looks towards African for cultural renaissance our people strive unabashedly to cast aside everything which reminds them of their beginnings?

Adherents of African traditional religions have been discriminated against over the years. The Nigerian experience has been heart-corroding. Supposedly educated religionists jettison family names which remind them of “pagan” practices. They adopt scriptural names of other cultures alien to the continent without understanding their significance. Thus we see funny names such as “Olugbemi” in place of “Fagbemi”. Jesus, which is a very common name among the Jews, is affixed to praise names to depict piety. What ignorance!

The new policy on education in the State of Osun will afford our children the opportunity to know that the difference you find in all religions of the world is in the practice. Doctrinal issues have now subsumed the didactic and edifying aspects of religion. In Nigeria economic consideration far out-weighs the sincere quest for spiritual regeneration. The Osun example has exposed the lie peddled by people who exploit religion for selfish purposes. Our children must be allowed to know something about what they are called upon to hate. They should be able to decide if there is any remarkable difference between the promoted religions and the message in the Ifa corpus. Students whose parents are adherents of Ifa religion must also be allowed to study their faith in an ambience devoid of discrimination and intolerance. Virtues such as continence, loyalty, honesty, piety, civic responsibility, devotion to parents and elders, humility, among others, are embedded in Ifa. Any child who has the good fortune of being nurtured on this unadulterated teaching will be useful to himself and the community at large. The hypocritical posture of politicians on this policy must be condemned.

Our children must be allowed to understand, for instance, that Esu, the perfect trickster with a dual personality is not Satan or Lucifer, the arch angel in the Christian pantheon of the gods. When our children hear names such as Esubiyi, Esugbayi or Esuronmbi, the ready connotation in their minds is the devil of the Bible or the Quran. They cannot fathom why anyone who is not insane will bear such names in the society. Beyond names, certain virtues are considered the exclusive preserve of the established religions. Experience has, however, shown that there is a wide gulf between mere avowal and the actual deeds of those who profess piety.

The very first lesson to the Ifa devotees is on contentment as against complacency.

“Ohun enu ri ni enu nje,
adifa fun igbin ti o je erupe la”.”

The mouth is satisfied with whatever comes as food just as the snail relishes in the nutrients of the soil.” There are fables of the adventures of Orunmila or Obatala which are also didactic. The treacherous deeds of the bush rat, Okete and Osanyin, are replete in the Ifa corpus. The consequences of unfaithful deeds are taught with the fables of these mythical characters. Temperance is a virtue of the gods and any mortal lucky enough to be endowed with this special gift will experience peace which is beyond the understanding of man. A man’s character determines how successful he will be on earth. The story of “Iwa” teaches us that one of the greatest gifts bequeathed by the gods to man is the ability to do what is right.

I had the rare privilege of listening to Professor Olu longe who informed most of us who were ignorant of the invaluable contribution of the Ifa religion to the Yoruba accounting system. The basis of the computer is the Odu. The first 8 in 2 places making 16 multiplied by 16 making 256 to infinity is the principle upon which the operation of the computer is based. Whoever insists that our children do not deserve to know this fact is not only ignorant but wicked. I enthusiastically recommend the eminent professor’s lecture, “Irapada Onka Isembaye wa ni ile Yoruba”, to those who may not know that such as the ancient Egyptian religion, the Ifa corpus contains aspects of science, mathematics, accounting, medicine and ethics. It is most unlikely that any child properly nurtured on these pristine values can ever grow to become a burden to the society.

The government of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is among the very few that can be regarded as focused. All good people must come together to encourage this exceptional leader who has displayed rare administrative acumen amidst the daunting challenges faced by him since he assumed office as the governor. Other ACN governors should follow the good example of this diminutive man who has taken giant strides in ensuring real development in a state once ravaged by locusts.

Doyin Odebowale, PhD, LLB (Hons), BL.
Lecturer, Department of Classics, University of Ibadan.

LET’S GET BACK TO AFRICAN SCIENCE-BLACK POWER-IFA IS PART OF THIS GREAT POWER!-OUR GREAT GOMINA RAUF AREGBESOLA OF THE STATE OF OSUN,NIGERIA IS INTRODUCING IFA IN A BIG WAY!-FROM THE SUN NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA

May 24, 2013

Osun students to study Ifa – Aregbesola
Our Reporter January 3, 2013 28 Comments »
Osun students to study Ifa – Aregbesola

…Says computer tablet has application for Ifa studies

From BAMIGBOLA GBOLAGUNTE, Osogbo

The Osun State Government has announced a comprehensive plan for the state’s secondary school students to study Ifa as one of their subjects.

The state Governor, Ogbeni Raufu Aregbesola, said the schools’ computer tablet had application for Ifa studies.

Aregbesola made the relevation yesterday during the special prayers session to usher in the New Year, organized with clerics from all religions praying for the peace and growth of the state.

Clerics who offered special prayers for the state included the President General, League of Imams and Alfas in the South-West, Alhaji Mustapha Ajisafe; the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state, Evangelist Abraham Aladeseye; and frontline Ifa priest, Chief Ifayemi Elebuibon, among others.

The special prayer affected official functions in the state secretariat and other government offices, as top civil servants across all parastatal agencies graced the occasion held in the premises of the Bola Ige House, state secretariat, Abere, Osogbo.

Bishop of Osogbo Diocese of the Methodist Church, Bishop John Bamigboye, advised the government to compensate those whose property were demolished as a result of the ongoing road dualization in the state.

Bamigboye enjoined the government to return Christian and Islamic Religious Studies to all primary and secondary schools in the state.

Governor Aregbesola, in his remarks at the ceremony, declared that 2013 would be a year of total freedom for the state, stressing that the year would be for the people of the state a year of total turn-around and liberty.

According to the governor, the government’s major desire for the state in 2013 is to ensure the fulfillment of the desires of the state’s founding fathers, stressing: “Osun State will be freed in 2013 from hunger, mystery, poverty and under-development.”

He said his government has paid over N600 million as compensation to owners of demolished structures, even as he assured that those who were yet to receive their compensation would get theirs soon.

Aregbesola also disclosed that his government had returned religious studies to all public primary and secondary schools in the state, adding that the free computer tablet tagged ‘opon Imon’, which the government would present to secondary school students had an application for Ifa studies.

He also prayed for peace and development of the state in 2013 and urged all the people to support his government and the country with prayers, saying: “Nigeria needs prayers for an end to come to the security problem confronting the northern part of the country.”

Aregbesola added that his desire for the year was to make the state the envy of other states in the country, saying he had come to the state to do the works of God.

OUR GREAT PEOPLES' GOMINA!

OUR GREAT PEOPLES’ GOMINA!


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OUR BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY SERENA WILLIAMS BEAT THAT SORRY WHITE GIRL GOOD!- FROM THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER, NIGERIA

July 12, 2012

FROM GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA
Serena…The Glorious Comeback
Sunday, 08 July 2012 00:00 By Ayo Ositelu Sport – Abroad
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AT 30, American Serena Williams became the oldest woman to win a Grand Slam Ladies Singles title since Czech-turned American Martina Navratilova some 22 years ago, when the sixth seeded but four times former champion defeated third seeded 22 year-old Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in a truly thrilling Ladies Singles final yesterday on the fabled Centre Court of Wimbledon.

It was Serena’s fifth Singles title at the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, SW19, London, which tied her older sister’s (Venus’s) feat of five Wimbledon Ladies Singles titles.

If the Ladies Doubles partnership of Serena and Venus is successful in its ninth Ladies Doubles final, which was scheduled to follow the Gentlemen’s Doubles yesterday, it would be the amazing African-American sisters’ sixth Ladies Doubles title.

With elder sister Venus, who has been struggling with the diagnosed auto-immune ailment, a disease which has prevented her from being at her best, having exited the tournament in the first round, but was the leading cheerleader in the Players’ Box rooting for their own, Serena, whose form had got better with each round’s match, won the opening set easily at 6-1 in just 36 minutes.

With the American having raced to a 5-0 lead in the first set after breaking the Pole’s serve in the second and fourth games, the sympathetic Centre Court crowd erupted with a thunderous ovation when the badly outplayed Radwanska managed to get into the scoreboard to trail 5-1.You would have thought the Pole had won the match after ending the game with an ace.

In the next game, as if to say to her support team in the stands “no shaking,” Serena clinched the set with a crushing service winner down the T, a weapon which had been a constant feature of her thrashing of one opponent after another en route to yesterday’s final.

When the American, who had thoroughly dominated her seemingly overawed opponent in every aspect of the first set, broke the Pole again in the third game to take a 2-1 lead, every indication pointed towards the match ending as one of the most embarrassingly one-sided finals in Wimbledon history.

The pole had a different idea, as she kept on fighting, until her efforts were rewarded in the eighth game, when she created her very first breakpoint of the biting and dreaded Serena serve after all of 59 minutes of play to level up 4-4. It was only the seventh time the American lost his serve throughout the fortnight.

You know what? Serena appeared to be rattled as a match which had been thoroughly under her control seemed to be slipping away.

And alas! It actually did slip away, when the reinvigorated Radwanska broke the American in the twelfth game to win the set 7-5. Lo and behold! The match had extended to an unlikely third and deciding.

The look on the faces of Team Serena, particularly her older sister Venus, in the stands, said it all. It was nail-biting time.

But then, as it appeared from the body language of Serena, it was just a temporary set back. After breaking the Pole for a 3-2 lead, there was no stopping the American from cruising to a well-deserved victory.

It was a complete turnaround for a player who went into last month’s French Open as a firm favourite to win the title, but who lost in the very first round to French woman Virginie Razzano.

A heart-warming turnaround for a woman, who only a year ago was fighting for her life when she had what doctors call pulmonary embolism, and a resulting surgery.

Serena, The ‘Queen’ Of Aces

Did You Know…

That the tennisworld may not have seen a better serve than that of American Serena Williams, whose serve today is still as intimidating as it was in 1999 when she won the first of her 14 Grand Slam Ladies Singles titles at the US Open in New York?

Thirteen years on, the American’s dreaded serve, like French wine, keeps getting better and better, and it is sometimes not just the number of aces (free points) she serves, but when she serves them.

Against the fourth seeded defending champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in the quarter-final, and world number two Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the semi-final, Serena literally delivered a free ‘clinic’ on how to win matches with your serve.

She served 37 aces against those two heavy hitters of the ball and two of the best returners of opponents’ serves, 13 against the Czech and a new Wimbledon record 24 against Azarenka. But that is not the point.

Just as when she served the 23 aces (then a new record of aces in one match at Wimbledon) to fend off a stubborn Jie Zheng of China in three tough sets, Serena served a majority of her aces and outright service winners when she needed them the most. She used the aces to save at least 20 breakpoints in these matches, and even more aces which enabled her to come back from many 0-30 situations, not to talk about the numerous game points to finally win very tight service games.

Not satisfied serving a new Wimbledon record of 23 aces against Jie Zheng, she broke her own new record, to hit 24 to brush aside the determined Azarenka’s fierce second set fight back to win 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) to reach her seventh final at Wimbledon, having won four of her previous finals, the latest in 2010.

In six matches before yesterday’s final, Williams had recorded 86 aces and numerous service winners, which in itself is already another new Wimbledon record of aces in one Wimbledon tournament. But even that latest addition to her ever-bulging pedigree did not prevent her from putting up another stunning display of serving ‘bullets’ out there on the Centre Court, a cherished edifice she and her sister Venus have made their own all these years.

In yesterday’s thrilling final, Serena added 18 aces to her record toll, and how she needed all of those morale-shattering aces, especially against a fit-fighting 22 year-old Agnieszka Radwanska, the first Pole since 1939 to make a Grand Slam final, who showed admirable resolve by rallying back from losing the first set 6-1 and was a service break down in the second to extend the match to a deciding third set.

At a point in the third set, Serena served trailing 1-2 in the third set. How did she respond? She served four consecutive breathtaking aces to hold serve to love, which in tennis is called a “golden game,” a rarity at that level of competitive tennis.

Asked to comment on Serena’s serve, tennis legend American John McEnroe, a many times Grand Slam champion – turned influential Tennis TV commentator and analyst said: “I have never seen serving like that before… It was not just the quality and the power, with the fastest of those serves measured at 120 miles per hour, but also the uncanny timing… It is surely the greatest shot the Women’s game has ever seen.”

How would Serena herself describe it (her serve), as a weapon? “Mean,” responded Williams, with a wry smile. “The older I get, the better I feel I serve, and the more I like to hit aces,” she added.

ayo– ositelu@yahoo.com

Author of this article: By Ayo Ositelu

BLACK WOMEN POWER-THE POWER OF THE BLACK NAKED BREAST!

September 28, 2010

FROM tribune.com.ng

FROM TRIBUNE NEWSPAPER

The politicisation of the female breasts
| Print | E-mail
Written by KEHINDE OYETIMI
Sunday, 12 September 2010

The employment of the female breasts and sexuality in Nigerian politics has shown that nothing is too sacred to be involved. The erstwhile cultural implication of the female anatomy is beginning to lose its relevance as it has been railroaded into the mainstream of Nigerian politics. KEHINDE OYETIMI writes.

FROM time immemorial and of all the unique structures that make up the anatomical configuration of the female, nothing seems to arrogate much attention to itself than the exterior twin organs of the female chest – otherwise referred to as the breasts. Unlike in males, which of course are just a couple of buttons attached to the chest, the breasts of the woman have always been objects of much interest, whether overtly or covertly. Apparently, the breasts of the woman are secondary sexual organs, but the peculiar curve and arch of the breasts, their sensitivity to contact or touch, their role in the suckling engagement of infants, lend ever-abiding credence to both their artistic beauty and functionality.

In virtually all societies, the body of the woman is an object of interest, while it is a taboo to give an explicit detailing of the female anatomy, in other climes, the female body is worshipped. In pristine societies (settings that were not yet tainted with the vagaries of modernity), the female was held in awe and typified in utter sacrosanctity. African culture and so many others usually do not openly place much discourse on the female breast. Many cultures whose historico-cultural progress could not be documented hold varying but unique perspectives on the body of the woman – especially the female breasts. Any attempt towards the interpretation, perception and understanding of the placement of importance on the female breasts would naturally yield both cultural and conventional elucidation.

The Amazonian women, as captured by Greek historians, are depicted as a collection of a nation of female warriors. In world history, nothing more captures this unique gathering of women-warriors.

Records show the Amazonian women-warriors with their left breasts usually exposed, while the right ones were covered. This, of course, was done for the purpose of warfare. It was believed that in warfare, the left should be exposed so as to aid the handling of the arrow when shooting with the bow.

In pristine African milieus, women typified fertility. The female body commanded cosmic energy and it was therefore a taboo to misrepresent the body of the woman. In fact, of all the chambers of the female body, none assumed such spiritual connotations than the breasts. It was an act of utmost sacrilege for the female body to be exposed in near or total nudity. The breasts of the woman in African cultural settings were instruments, not just for the sexual gratification of the invasion of the male character, but had far reaching cosmic influence on monarchs. Monarchs who have lost their political and social relevance were cursed with the exposure of the female breasts, in protest. The breasts of such women were weapons of social and political change. Two very sacrosanct parts of the female anatomy in traditional African societies were the breasts and the vagina, the exposure of which attracted a curse to the male viewers. The deliberate exposure of the female body was the height of a man’s or monarch’s undoing.

Mordecai Sunday Ibrahim, President, Southern Kaduna Youth Vanguard, stated that “As far as I am concerned, it is an indecent act. A woman for whatever reason is not supposed to expose the sensitive parts of her body in the name of asking for change. We witnessed this in the 30s and the 50s, but of course in the 21st century we can see that these things are affecting the morals of our children. We should begin to think of better ways of pushing our case. What is wrong with hunger strike? What is wrong with carrying placards? Exposing the breasts is not decent. Neither Christianity nor Islam advocate this nonsense. Anywhere culture goes against your faith, you should drop culture. If we want to go into that then we should go on to wearing bante which my grandfather was wearing.”

Dr (Mrs) Gloria Olushola Adedoja, Department of Teacher Education, University of Ibadan, found no basis for the practice since other avenues are available. “I am not sure if that cultural implication of exposing the female breasts for change is still there. But in those days, it was there. Exposing the breasts is not the only way by which women can champion their causes. Women can make their reactions known by saying them in the dailies, writing notices to the people that are in charge. Even there could be the use of dialogue. Grievances can be made known through different fora. I doubt if such acts are relevant in our societies because people do not really recognise them. Now some of them could even be paid to do so but in those days it was not like that. When women came out like that, in those days, it meant that it was an issue that men could no longer handle,” she advised.

Dr Sola Olorunyomi, of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, saw a modern relevance of the practice. “When such interventions are made, they must not be used flippantly. I don’t necessary think that it has been misused. The Ekiti incidence was a show of the miscarriage of justice. There was really need for some kind of response by the people. Roads and infrastructure would come only when governance is good. Governance is foundational. If there is one thing people should response to, it is actually governance. I think it still holds some relevance,” he opined.

Unfortunately, in modern times, female breasts have been commoditised and commercialised. The media have constantly used the woman in the sale of goods which have no immediate relevance to her. Yet unfortunate is the fact that there is a gradual shift in the politicisation of the feminine power of the woman. Nigerian politics has invaded the sacrosanctity of the female energy housed in the female body. Threats using the female sexuality have become the norm in the Nigerian political space.

A bit of the horrendous act was demonstrated last year in Ekiti State during the electioneering engagements that almost marred the peace of the state. Women with tired, sagging and flabby mammalian glands came out in their droves carrying placards. The sickening aspect was the sensuous irrelevance of such breasts in display. What must have helped the Amazonian women in warfare, that Nigerian women must quickly adopt, was the distraction that their exposed left breasts caused their male opponents. Of course, what would be more disarming to a warring man than the incapacitating influence engineered by visual contact with the undulating, sensuous movement of youthful, firm breasts? The recent threat in the contemporary documentation of such incidents was the “No Jonathan, No sex” campaign of the Organisation of African Women in Diaspora, which was reported last month. The politicisation of the feminine sexuality is of course beginning to lose its power of suasion and social relevance. The same appeal to such sexuality was witnessed at the beginning of this month in Cross Rivers State when a group of aged women from Erei, Biase local government area stormed Calabar half dressed protesting what they collectively termed the “disenfranchisement and illegal arrest of their sons.” It would not be farther before the nation witnesses the use of the female breasts in electioneering, since it has been nationally inaugurated by the campaign for a Jonathan presidency in 2011.

In 2002, a group of women threatened to bare it all in the Niger Delta in protest against the incessant abuse of their environment by oil producing firms. Speaking, Terisa Turner, an anthropologist, argued that by exposing the breasts and the vagina, “The women are saying: We all came into the world through the vagina. By exposing the vagina, the women indicate that we hereby take back the life we gave you. It is about bringing forth life and denying life through social ostracism, which is a kind of social execution. Men who are exposed are viewed as dead.” If the baring of the female genitalia would do the nation good, perhaps it would now. There are more pressing demands now within the Nigerian socio-political landscape now than ever before. One wonders if the only negotiating tool possessed by the female gender is couched in her sexuality.

OBAMA!-HIS AFRICAN RELATIVES ARE BEING TAKEN CARE OF BY OLODUMARE(GOD!)!

May 19, 2010

FROM

US immigration court grants asylum to President Barack Obama’s African aunt
Monday, May 17, 2010 at 11:26 AM by GottaLaff View Comments

A news alert, via a Yahoo e-mail:

CLEVELAND (AP) US immigration court grants asylum to President Barack Obama’s African aunt.

She moved to the U.S. in 2000.

Here’s an update:

The decision was mailed Friday and comes three months after Kenya native Zeituni Onyango, the half-sister of Obama’s late father, testified at a closed hearing in Boston, where she arrived in a wheelchair and two doctors testified in support of her case.

The basis for her asylum request hadn’t been made public. People who seek asylum must show that they face persecution in their homeland on the basis of religion, race, nationality, political opinion or membership in a social group.

And before all the crazies get up in arms… which they will anyway:

Obama said he did not know his aunt was living here illegally and believes laws covering the situation should be followed.

A judge later agreed to suspend her deportation order and reopen her asylum case.

Wong has said that Obama wasn’t involved in the Boston hearing. The White House also said it was not helping Onyango with legal fees.

Does she look illegal?

She better stay out of Arizona.


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