I have been reading some write-ups recently where simple questions were asked in a simple manner and before you could say “Jack”, the matter has suddenly turned to an “Ethnic Swordsmanship” between the three main ethnic nationalities in Nigeria! For example, a discussion on the about-to-be introduced “British Biometric I.D Card” for non-nationals suddenly nose-dived as to who ruined Nigeria most: Northerners or Southerners, Hausas or Yorubas? On another occasion, someone has the effrontery to call the North a “Parasite”…and the discussion has no “Biological underpinning”, in anyway! On another occasion, some “Ethnic Champions” felt confederacy or self determination” is the fastest way to resolve the crunching standstill that Nigeria currently finds itself and before you could bath an eyelid, the discussion once again, has veered into a “North Vs. South” mudslinging and to add “proper commotion” to the matter, an “Easterner” or “Nna” as we generally refer to our Igbo brothers in local parlance, completely introduced a hefty spanner to the whole discuss when he said the Yorubas should stop complaining about the “North” or try to pull out of the current Lord Lugard-imposed geography of Nigeria. In his own analysis, he reasoned that the Yorubas have ruled, through former President Obasanjo for nine years in total and that it is strange that the last eight years of Obasanjo’s rule was worse than any former, Northern president, military or civilian, in Nigeria’s history. This contributor nailed-in the coffin by reasoning that if we do a side-by-side juxtaposition of “revenue earned and achievements recorded”, of all past leaderships in Nigeria, Obasanjo’s tenure…and therefore, the Yoruba reign, was a disgraceful nightmare! To further rub salt onto the injury, another “Nna”, probably still smarting from the loss of the failed opportunity to secede Biafra 30 years ago, something he attributed to the “Brutus-like” behaviour of the Yorubas (since it was Awolowo that reneged on the “deal Ojukwu struck” with him to also simultaneously pull the Oduduwa nation out of the Nigerian polity, same time the Igbos declare Biafra but instead, went cohort with the Northerners to “no-Victor, no-Vanquished” the Igbo, Biafran nation! A situation that a young Col Obasanjo also took advantage of!!), said the Yorubas deserve all and more, of whatever they get from their Northern collaborators. These are serious allegations centring on and around Obasanjo's (mis) representation of the Yorubas vis-à-vis Nigeria’s geo-political equation. Such is the tendency for any decent discussion nowadays to degenerate into a three-legged ethnic squabble but recently, the Yorubas have been on the receiving and loosing ends simultaneously, and for the simple reason that other ethnic nationalities, especially the Northerners, are so quick to point to an Obasanjo administration as a collection of woes, mismanagement and corruption extraordinary! But the Yorubas are also very very quick to dissociate themselves from their kin, Obasanjo. This makes one to wonder whether truthfully, this man and his government was so bad and shameful to warrant such dissociation. They assert that it was actually the Northern power-players that foisted Obasanjo on the nation in 1999, ( just as he, Obasanjo foisted UMYA on the PDP and currently on the nation right now, knowing that the man’s health “needs attention” and the rigours of marshalling Nigeria may actually worsen it; was it a deliberate calculation?) pointedly noting that Obasanjo was so disliked and distrusted by all his kits and kin that it is the first time in Nigeria’s political history that a democratically elected President did not even win his “Village ward”, nor his State and scored abysmally low among his ethnic votes and yet still emerged a winner, but of course, with a Northern majority vote and backing!. What exactly is the situation? Why are the Yorubas distancing themselves from this their illustrious “shon-of-the –shoil”? Truthfully, was it ‘sooooo that bad’? Since l don’t know all the answers, l will leave it for others more knowledgeable to digest and dissect but what also caught my attention was a recent pronouncement by another “Leader”, Chief Bode George, PDP Leader in the South West Zone (Yoruba enclave) that “Obasanjo is the current Leader of the Yorubas.”! Quoting him “George point-blankly stated that none of the PDP governors could have won their election if not for Obasanjo.”…” No governor in the south west would have won election in the zone without Obasanjo. Let us not dispute ourselves about that; if not for Obasanjo’s involvement, 10, 000 Daniels cannot defeat Osoba because Obasanjo also had this advantage of being able to penetrate the federal government most effectively than any other Yoruba found alive” Reportedly issuing a warning, Chief Bode George said, “has warned governors of South West, who busied themselves creating individual empires to desist henceforth, saying former President Olusegun Obasanjo remained undisputable leader of the south west…..also descending on those canvassing for the leadership of Yoruba nation, saying there is no Yoruba leader alive, bigger than Obasanjo at present.” End quote And thirdly, Chief Bode George was quoted as asking, “If we continue to pursue our individual ambition and individual governors creating self empire for themselves, we are going to end up in disarray and Yoruba will lose out at the centre. We only pray we can unite. That is why 19 governors of the north are meeting in spite of their religious and ethnic differences. What stop us, we Yoruba people, speaking the same language form having a common leader, who will give us direction, especially when we have that advantage now?” The three preceding paragraphs carry so much weight, especially coming from an “elder”, politically and age –wise though, he is not that so old as for senility to have set in. It is in the light of the above three paragraphs that l wish to ask “Who is a Leader…and is Obasanjo actually qualified to be called Leader of the Yorubas”? What kind of direction can an Obasanjo leadership provide for the Yorubas? Let me state a-priori, that a “Leader derives his leadership and authority, from his followers” that is, a Leader is a Leader by virtue of the acceptance and Legitimacy conferred on him by the followers. Such legitimacy can not be bought as it is priceless and unlike Power, such legitimacy can also not be usurped since it is based on “collective integrity”. So, how come none of the PDP governors could have won their elections without Obasanjo? Did he campaign on their behalf? Like in the days when if even a monkey wore the A.D ticket, he would win in the South West, just because of that tag, “A.D”, did someone like Governor Gbenga Daniel (not to mention 10,000 Daniels!) win because OBJ mobilised on his behalf? But Obasanjo is only one man so, his vote could not have counted more than one and even if he mobilised all his children (and l doubt if Gbenga Obasanjo would kow-tow behind him) and related grandchildren, such number would not have counted much except if the people of Ogun state added their own majority vote. Also, l would like to disappoint all of you conspiracy theorist, Obasanjo was not the state electoral commissioner! But wait, what was Chief Bode George getting at? Does he know something we don’t know? Now, if Obasanjo made Gbenga Daniel to win, how did he achieve that with all other PDP governors like Alao Akala of Oyo state, Osunbor of Edo state, Oyinlola of Osun state, Segun Oni of Ekiti state, Segun Agagu of Ondo state? Maybe Chief Bode George or the governors should come out and tell the nation, “What exactly Obasanjo, as a sitting President, did to actualise their election”. It would really be a shame, if Chief Bode George is insinuating that these Governors did not win their election “square and fair” and that it was Obasanjo that “rigged” them into office!... should that be the case, the Yoruba nation is vehemently distancing itself from such fraudulent personalities that consciously subvert the voice of the same Yoruba people. They are traitors. Chief Awolowo, Pa Adesanya, Pa Enahoro, Adeyemo Alakija, Pa Ajasin, Bola Ige, are all notable leaders of the Yoruba. None of them “imposed” Governors on the people, none of them was “President of Nigeria” yet no one challenged their leadership of the Yoruba race. What is all this rumours about Gbenga Daniel and Obasanjo fighting for turf in Ogun state? What is all this talk of Gbenga Daniel wanting to become the leader of Yorubas, which Yorubas are those? And why should an Obasanjo descend so low as to be engaging in a turf war with Gbenga Daniel? A three time President Vs. a two time Governor! While l am not saying Gbenga Daniel cannot become a Yoruba leader one day, if he earns it and the people want him, l find it laughable and an insult to the entire Yoruba nation that “leadership” of this great and acutely intelligent people has now been denigrated to the level of just being an “ex-President or Governor”. Sheer rubbish from two, insecure individuals. Since we seem to have entered our own “silly season”, maybe we can in the same silly breath, assume that UMYA is the leader of the Hausas or Orji Kalu is the leader of the Igbo people by virtue of the office they occupy or have occupied?….and to listen to some attention seeking “King Jester” telling us who our leader should be, is the height of ‘cerebral topsy-turvy’ that can only be borne out of drinking excessive “Paaragah”, that wicked concoction sold at most Motor Garages in the same South West! While Pa Abraham Adesanya was alive and while Pa Enahoro is still alive, l am yet to see anyone point an accusing finger of corruption at them. I did not hear that Pa Ajasin looted the treasury Ondo state and kept the money in foreign banks, using cronies and associates. I am yet to hear that they committed “sexual hara-kiri” with their daughter-in laws, l am yet to hear that they uncontrollably take sexual advantage of married women in their business, cabinet or political arena. l am yet to hear that they were responsible for the failed infra structure of the country or their state. l am yet to hear that they stole money meant for Electricity projects and plunged the nation into darkness or that they connived with devilish accomplices to fleece the country by under-valuing our national assets and then selling it to themselves. I am yet to hear that they connived with some “local Chinkos” to destroy our Rail system, along with the disappearance of Billions of dollars, as contract mobilization fees for work undone. These are the Leaders of the Yoruba. Not because they claim to be or one of their lackeys claimed so, but because over the years, that is the verdict of the people about them. There is even rumour running the mills that “Obachanjo” is actually not of Yoruba origins. The rumour said his parents are of “Ebira lineage” and that they only migrated with him, to Owu, in Abeokuta to trade and farm. Should this rumour be true, then it will climax as the Yoruba cliché that says “Omo’ale t’on da’leru” (the bastard child that puts the household in disarray! Hmmm, Yoruba leader indeed. It is most ironic that like “a criminally wayward child that unrepentantly and continually brings shame and disgrace to his parents”, it is the same Obasanjo that traducers of the Yorubas, readily point-to, whenever the issue of bad governance, corruption, treasury looting and general under-development of Nigeria is mentioned, yet the same man, using sycophants like Bode George, want us to believe that he deserves to lead the Yorubas…lead us to where? Disgrace and un-ending retribution? Enough of associating this dirty rag to Yorubas, he has never for one day, listened nor implemented the Agenda of the Yorubas, which is good governance, for this nation. We completely and collectively disown him, as we did in 1999. Every Tom, Dick and Harry that rigs himself into one electable office or the other now considers and titles himself as the “Asiwaju” (Leader!) of one back-alley street in his state, not to talk of being the Asiwaju of the whole Yorubas, from Cuba to Brazil, to Ghana, Togo and the Caribbean!…, disgraceful bunkum! The Yorubas are reputed to be loyal, faithful to and defend their leaders fiercely but we can not and will not, allow political jobbers to turn us into a “political mining ground” just for the sake of advancing their rapacious political appetite for relevance, more so when such Politicians masquerading as “Asiwaju or Leader” of the Yoruba race, lack the virtues and moral traits of leadership. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.



The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

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