The current generation of Yoruba leaders are served, they are not interested in serving anyone…
There was this Awoist from Lagos Island, Ganiyu Dawodu, he was called. I have politically active friends of Lagos Island extraction, and they have an oft expressed legend of the veritable gentleman. I have heard how disbelieving of his protestations of probity and temperance they were, and how his constituents devised a way to test the gentleman.
Ganiyu Dawodu was known to wear the same attire for days on end, the classic nondescript buba and sokoto, made of some cotton material, and more of a uniform and of utilitarian use, than a statement of fashion. He lived modestly, and eschewed sybaritic and affluent living. He was a model of probity. A few constituents hatched a plan, one of them was mandated to surreptitiously burn a hole with a cigarette on his clothing. The purpose being to find out if the identical clothes worn the next day were the same as the one burnt the day before.
Baba Dawodu’s apparel on the following day, bore no sign of the hole deliberately burned into it, the day before. My friends held it up as proof of the Awoist’s duplicity. I considered it evidence of that generation’s temperance, personal discipline, and selflessness. The leaders considered themselves accountable to the people, and took care to remain related to their followers.
Fast forward to the present time. The current generation of Yoruba leaders are served, they are not interested in serving anyone. Yoruba leadership that used to be egalitarian in outlook, has become extremely feudalistic in content and temperament. And instead of the temperance of uniformed garbs, they have become sybaritic and epicurean in taste and outlook.
It is easy to yank the chains off the man that is conscious and aware, of his enslavement, but it is nigh on impossible to free the man who views his chains as jewelry and adornments.
The road to today began with the decimation of the AD and Afenifere in 2003, and the subsequent inheritance of their mantle by Jagaban and his motley crew of political carpetbaggers. With the ascendance of this class, temperance disappeared from Yoruba leadership, and the comfort of the leaders, became the raison de etre of the people entrusted with the interests of the people. A people raised on egalitarianism, have become hostages to a new class of feudal lairds.
Yoruba ronu! Shine your eyes and look beyond the rhetorics. Yes, Lagos is working, but question is, for who exactly is Lagos working? Yes, we should integrate the economy of the Western region, but the question is, how does this impact the lives of the people themselves.
If your capacity for critical self analysis have not been constrained by the endemically weaponized poverty, you will appreciate my submissions, even as you may reject my conclusions, but to question the validity of my arguments, gives cause for serious concerns.
First published on 21 September, 2018.