Skip to main content

Omoluabi By Pius Adesanmi

January 10, 2016

“Hello, Chief, Chief, Chief, can you hear me?”

“Yes, hello, I can hear you? Who is on the line?”

“Chief emi ni o. High Chief Falae in Akure.”

“Ah, Chief Chief! E ku ojo meta o. It’s been three days o.”

“Ojo kan pelu. It’s been more than three days jare Chief. How’s Lagos? Has your Governor arrived yet?”

“Ibo lo lo to nbo de? Where did he go that he will be arriving from Chief? He is like his predecessors. Abeg, Chief, let’s forget travelers without destination and talk about better things. Roli and I planned to come and visit you after you were released by those Fulani herdsmen. We thank God for your life o.”

“Thank you jare Chief Bode. I am yet to find the mouth with which to tell my story. Yoruba land would have gone to war if anything had happened to me. Imagine Fulani hoodlums kidnapping me on my own farm in Yoruba land! A whole me!”

“Exactly, Chief. We would not have taken it at all from those yeye Fulani. Because they are now in power, they think they can behave anyhow on Yoruba soil. Buhari does not know how to treat Yoruba elder statesmen. Maybe it is because they do not have omoluabi where he comes from. Jonathan has a little omoluabi in him. I have a theory that there must have been a little trace of Yoruba blood in his great grandfather. Whereas Buhari is hounding us with his Fulani herdsmen, Jonathan invaded Yoruba land with two billion dollars during the election and did omoluabi to all the elders of the land.”

“Kai, Chief Bode, dapada! Which omoluabi is Jonathan? He is not an omoluabi o. Asiri okunrin buruku yen ti tu. That is in fact why I have called you. They have no elders where Jonathan comes from.”

“Chief Falae sir, I’m afraid you’ve lost me.”

“Chief Bode, ki ni o ye yin ninu oro mi? What is so difficult to understand in what I am saying? Have you noticed that all of us elder statesmen were shortchanged in the Dasuki business? Look at Chief Anenih, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, and the two of us. Look at the ridiculous figures we all got. And we were even mandated to spread our own omoluabi down the chain o. Now, look at what all these small small boys got. See ordinary Iyorchia Ayu…”

“Ah, my Chief, you have a point o. E ma de tun ri yen so o. I was surprised when I heard what Iyorchia got for special consultations.”

“Chief, kekere ma tie ni ti Iyorchia. The most painful part for me was hearing what this small boy got. Ki ni won ti n pe boy amugbo yen na? What’s his name again? That boy who ran Jonathan’s campaign?”

“Chief, you mean that former Aviation Minister? The one who bought a Range Rover for…?”

“Ehen, thank you! God bless you, Chief Bode. Yes, the boy who bought a Range Rover for his girlfriend. I had initially thought that that was all he got from Jonathan o. Now I am hearing that he got far more than us, his elders. He got about N1.7 billion. And that is not counting what he said he got from private donors o. Ha, Chief, won ti je wa m’aiye! They have cheated us!”

“Chief Falae, now that you put it this way, I am getting really angry. But, unlike you, I won’t blame Jonathan sir”

“Why not, Chief George?”

“Well, Jonathan is not our son in Yoruba land. He does not understand omoluabi principles. That Range Rover boy ni mo ri ba wi. It is the fault of the Range Rover boy. He has no proper Yoruba home training. Otherwise, he would have understood that when an outsider gives him more yams than his elders, he should take the said yams to his elders and say, “my fathers, I want you to have these yams”. We would then take the yams and give him small out of it. That is the proper omoluabi way to treat elders. Instead, he lets us hear on the pages of newspapers that he got more than all of us combined. Chief, I am really worried about what the young men of nowadays are doing to our culture in Yoruba land. Our values are lost. No respect for elders.”

“In that case, what do you suggest we do, my Chief.”

“Good question, I say we summon him to a meeting at your end in Akure tomorrow and tell him to repair his omoluabi lesekese. He must address the situation at once!”

(The following day, the two Yoruba elder statesmen are in Akure. They wear mournful faces. The Range Rover boy arrives in a long convoy. He descends from his car, dressed in full Igbo war regalia. As he approaches the two elders, he is chanting “nzogbu nzogbu enyimba enyi”.)

“Hey, hey, hey, will you stop singing that Igbo war chant? Where do you think you are? What do you think you are doing? Se ori e pe sha Femi? Are you okay?”

“My Fathers, I apologize. You summoned me from the war front. I came straight from the war front because I hold you in such high esteem.”

“War front?”

“Yes sir. We are fighting for Biafra. It’s Biafra or nothing. It’s a cause we are prepared to die for. We are tired of being oppressed in Nigeria.”

“We? Biafra? You are Biafra?”

“Yes, Chief, we are oppressed. We will not take it. We will fight Buhari to a standstill”

“Ha! Ikunle abiyamo o! Who did this to you, Femi? You said you were a specialist in sleeping with their women. A tie gbo yen. When did you become a specialist in fighting their battles?”

“Chief, how I chose to fight for my people is not your business. Why did you summon me here sir?”

“Well, Chief Falae and I were talking about how you Yoruba youth of nowadays have thrown away our omoluabi values.”

“How so sir?”

“We now have a rough idea of your total Dasuki haul. Laarin ara wa, between us, does it make sense to you that a small boy like you should have gotten more than your elders? We want to give you an opportunity to repair your omoluabi. Jonathan and Dasuki are not Yoruba. They can be excused for not understanding these omoluabi things. Once they gave you more yams than us, what was the proper Yoruba thing for you to do?”

“I don’t know sir?”

“You don’t know? Chief, you see now? The Yoruba youth of nowadays are ignorant of our culture. You ought to have brought your share to us, your elders, and we would have done redistribution based on age.”

“Chief Bode George”


“Chief Bode George”

“Yes, Femi”

“Chief Bode George”

“Yes, Femi, mo nda e lohun. I am answering you now.”

“Thank you Daddy. E ma binu sir o, how many times did I call you?”

“Three times, Femi. You called me three times.”

“Thank you, Daddy. I want to ask you sir, is Baba Obasanjo your elder sir? Is he older than you?”

“What kind of stupid question is that? Chief Falae, can you hear this boy? Of course, Baba Obasanjo is my elder. He is older than me.”

“Thank you sir. When you got away with N80 billion by splitting contracts at the Nigerian Ports Authority and Baba Obasanjo wanted his own share, did you take it to him for omoluabi redistribution based on age? When you do omoluabi to Baba Obasanjo from your old ports haul, I will do omoluabi to you from my Dasuki haul sir.”

“Femi, omo ale ni e! You are a bastard!”

“Wahala ti yin niyen sir. That is your own problem. I have to leave you now sir. I have to return to the war front to liberate my people from Nigeria.”

(He rises up and leaves the two stunned Yoruba elders, chanting nzogbu nzogbu to his Range Rover.)