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The Crowning Of Shekau

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Tunde Odesola

It’s 2:30am but she lays wide awake in bed. Her disturbed mind, with the measured precision of an expert blacksmith, tongs each issue troubling her mind on the anvil and sets the hammer to work, forging shapes into metals, burnishing hope into a grave polity. I-Sha needs to quickly find an elixir to the two ailments plaguing her husband – deafness to reason and numbness to reality.

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The thoughts came pouring down her soul like snowflakes in winter – white, feathery and beautiful yet icy, bone-freezing and deadly. She gently turns on her side, pulls the succulent duvet under her chin and lolls up on the kingsize bed, glancing at her husband sitting on the chair by the lamp.

She looks at the lion she married several years ago and sadness fills her heart. In place of the lion, a cat she sees. Though still slim and suave, the bouncy confidence has departed the gait of the man she adored. Boo, as she fondly calls him, was efficient when he donned the green khaki – only needing to open his mouth, and a horde of subordinates would fall over themselves in submissive obedience to his command. But this democracy babariga is too large and too complicated for Boo to wear. With his gangly frame, he always seems lost in the billows of the parachute the agbada of democracy has turned into. In democracy, Boo seems like a whale stranded on seashore. In the military, the zombie structure masks his inadequacies.

READ ALSO: Naira Marley Tackles EFCC Over Phone Content

I-Sha: (She clears her throat) What’s going on, Your Excellency?

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Boo: Menene, I-Sha?

I-Sha: What’s going on in your government? Don’t feign ignorance, you know what I’m talking about, Your Excellency.

Boo: It’s midnight; you need to be in bed, sleeping.

I-Sha: I’m in bed. I’ll sleep when you put my mind at rest.

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Boo: Picks his teeth.

I-Sha: You see, that’s what I’m saying; it’s about 3am and you’re picking your teeth. You ate at 8pm, you’re picking your teeth at 3am! Whenever there’s an urgent issue, you pick your teeth.

Boo: I-Sha, picking my teeth is a strategy.

I-Sha: Strategy?

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Boo: Yes, and an art of war.

I-Sha: Art of war?

Boo: Haka ne! It masks the mind’s construction from the face.

I-Sha: Mind’s construction?

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Boo: Exactly!

I-Sha: So, you know the strategy and art of war, and Boko Haram has been feeding the flesh of your soldiers to the birds? You know how to mask the mind’s construction from the face, yet you can’t do anything without your rough-riding relative, Haba Kia, and the manipulative Mammon Dowrat, who have completely seized power from you.

Boo: What do you mean?

READ ALSO: Breaking: Veteran Yorubas Actor Is Dead

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I-Sha: Who gives commands to your service chiefs? Who gives directives to ministers and heads of government agencies? Nigerians know who they voted for, but they’re amazed how another C-i-C emerged in Kia. They also know that Mammon is the voice on the throne. The masses are utterly disappointed in you, muji na. You deceitfully kept the promise of change to their ears and shattered it to their hope.

Boo: (His phone rings, he picks it) That’s Mammon calling. He’s in my private room.

I-Sha: Mammon calling?

Boo: Yes.

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I-Sha: So?

Boo: I need to go and answer him or should I tell him to come into the bedroom?

I-Sha: (Exasperated, speaks in Hausa) Is it Mammon who should answer to you or you answer to Mammon?

Boo: This is a democracy; everyone is equal.

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He gets up and leaves the bedroom. Tears roll down I-Sha’s eyes.

Interlude
Both Dowrat and Kia greet as Boo steps into the private room.

Boo: Why is everybody shouting your name all over the place, Kia?

Kia: (Chuckling) I don’t know, Your Excellency. I must be doing something great.

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Boo: Even I-Sha won’t sleep; she’s worried. They say you and Mammon have taken over governance. Do these people know anything about devolution of power?

Dowrat: Anyone can say whatever they like. An urgent matter of state brought us here, Your Excellency. It’s the coronavirus.

Boo: Oh yes, I heard that the coronavirus is now in Lagos. What’re you doing about it?

Dowrat: That’s why we’re here.

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Boo: Good. What’re you doing?

Dowrat: We need to embark on vaccination of cows against the dreaded disease before it leaves Lagos for the North. We need about N20bn for the exercise.

Boo: Coronavirus is a very deadly disease, Mammon! Will N20bn be enough?

Kia: We’ll manage it and take N300m from the N386m earmarked for the treatment and prevention of the disease from being transmitted among humans.

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READ ALSO: Pope Appears In Public ill, Cancels Planned Retreat

Boo: That’s ok; humans can talk, cows can’t.

Kia: When I leave here, I’m going to look for a professor of virology and appoint him as the head of government’s intervention on coronavirus initiative for cows.

Boo: Will you appoint another professor of virology to oversee the remaining N86m earmarked for human vaccination, treatment and prevention?

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Kia: The disease was discovered in Lagos, not Kaduna, Your Excellency. A primary healthcare officer will be ok for humans.

Boo: You this boy, you’re very wise. I don’t know why everybody is shouting coronavirus! coronavirus! Kenya has suspended all flights from China, South Africa has evacuated her nationals from China.

Kia: People from the North don’t travel abroad, so we don’t need to evacuate anybody.

Boo: Even Ateekoo that I defeated is advising that I suspend flights from countries affected by coronavirus. What does that one know about governance?

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Dowrat: I wonder o, Your Excellency. His former boss from the rock city has gone mute after your re-election

Boo: You’ll soon begin to hear his voice when the new policy comes on stream.

Kia: Which of the lofty policies? Is it the one seeking southern land for herdsmen? Or the one seeking to criminalise resistance to herdsmen killings?

Boo: No, it’s the bill seeking to crown Boko Haram leader, Shekau, the Shehu of Terrorism; grant amnesty to repentant Boko Haram members and allow them enjoy foreign education.

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Kia: Haa! Those bills? They will just shout and keep quiet. When they refused to allow rugga and Boko Haram was killing them, they shouted and shouted and stopped. This one also, they’ll shout and keep quiet.

Boo: I like it that the bill emanated from the senate. If it was from Azo Roc, they would’ve, by now, been burning tyres on the streets.

Kia: Don’t mind them, Your Excellency.

Boo: Have you spoken to Shekau?

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Kia: Yes. He’s very happy. Particularly, he loves the policy that seeks to enlist his members into the army. He even expressed his desire to head the joint Army with its headquarters in Sambisa.

Dowrat:Lofty as these policies are, we need to be wary of the western world; you know they like poking their noses into people’s affairs. They’ll make an issue out of the babies Boko Haram mistakenly threw into bonfires. They’ll listen to the false allegation that Boko Haram is a terrorist group that kills and rapes.

Boo: People don’t know that everything that has an advantage, has a disadvantage. Did Odion Ighalo not profit from the coronavirus outbreak in China? This is why I’m not going to worry myself banning flights, setting up quarantine centres or providing any support. What will be, wll be.

Dowrat: We should even thank God the disease was discovered in Lagos, like the Ebola case. The coronavirus would’ve been uncontrollable if it broke out in the North.

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Boo: I’ve said it; everything that has an advantage, has a disadvantage. They said I should sack service chiefs, I refused. If I had sacked them, would we be having this wonderful partnership with Boko Haram today?

I-Sha, who overheard all their conversation, looks through the door and shouts, “Takulahi!” meaning “Fear God!”

One of the men countered, “Allah ya halince ka!” meaning, “May God punish you!”, and he goes after I-Sha.

Tunde Odesola is a seasoned journalist and a columnist with the Punch newspapers

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Email: tundeodes2003@yahoo.com

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Feature

The Gang up Oshiomhole Never Anticipated

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By Osehobo Ofure

A few days ago, Edo state governor Godwin Obaseki and his weary supporters in the APC said they were ready for peace and reconciliation outside the party machinery.

They said their principal will only participate in a reconciliation committee set up by the President himself or the Benin traditional council. Mr Joseph Osagiede who spoke for the group said this much while speaking in Benin with reporters.

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But Nigerians have learnt not to take the governor serious. As someone who rejected 4 Reconciliation Committees set up within the party structure there is no guarantee that he will respect a divine effort.

This was days after the governor was seen in the company of APC ward officials ostensibly mobilized from Etsako West, claiming to have expelled the National chairman of the party, Mr Adams Oshiomhole.

This anti-reconciliation move was however punctured by more authentic APC leaders from the ward, who denied making the claims credited to them.

Meanwhile the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, late last year dismissed the call from the governor for the resignation of the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, saying party supremacy must be respected.

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Mr Tinubu made his position known when he fielded questions from State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House Abuja.

According to the APC national leader, Mr Oshiomhole has so far not violated the APC constitution or engaged in any anti-party activity that will warrant his resignation or removal from office.

Recall that the present Edo APC crisis kicked off when the Edo assembly of 24 members-elect was inaugurated at night with only 9 of them present. A similar episode which played out in Bauchi state has since been resolved with Oshiomhole as National chairman of the APC calling for due process.

The call from Tinubu was on the heels of a similar one by the Forum of State Chairmen of the All Progressives Congress for the recently constituted APC National Reconciliation Committee to come up with an action plan to resolve the lingering crisis in the party.

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READ ALSO: ‘I Was Ashamed Seeing Obaseki Celebrating Oshiomhole’s Suspension’ – Ize-Iyamu

The chairmen had urged the committee headed by the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, to set for work and ignore the camp of the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, which had raised objection to the committee.

They said Edo as the only one out of the 36 states and Abuja, should not be allowed to frustrate peace efforts in the party since it was not ready for external mediators.

As it were the Lawan committee was the 4th in the series set up to find a way out of the Edo APC debacle largely orchestrated by the governor’s desperation for a second term.

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The APC National Working Committee had on December 18 raised the 10-member committee headed by Lawan to resolve the lingering crisis in the party.

The arrangement was in line with the November 22, 2019 resolution of the party’s National Executive Committee, which empowered the President, Muhammadu Buhari, to constitute the committee.

Secretary of the Forum of APC chairmen, Dr Ben Nwoye, who is also the chairman of the Enugu State chapter of the APC, commended the Oshiomhole-led NWC for working towards achieving peace in the party.

READ ALSO: Oshiomhole: ‘ God Will See Me Through, My Travails Not From Edo’

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This was after “Chairmen” of the APC in the 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state loyal to Mr Obaseki in a statement jointly signed by Anselm Ojezua and Ikuenobe Anthony, respectively explained that Oshiomhole was suspended for his alleged role in the crisis rocking the state chapter of the party.

Consequent on the development, they said the Edo APC has adopted the vote of no confidence passed on Oshiomhole and the subsisting suspension order from the other organs of the party in the state.

The state party members added, “Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is the one behind the crisis in Edo APC. We have passed a vote of no confidence in him and he stands suspended from the party.

But in another statement jointly signed by the Chairman of the body and Etsako West Chairman, Ibrahim Akokia, as well as his Etsako Central and Owan West counterparts, Suleiman Bagudu and Lugard Alukpe respectively, the 18 LGA Chairmen of APC in Edo distanced themselves from the orchestrated Oshiomhole’s suspension.

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They insisted that they were not aware of the meeting where a vote of no confidence was passed on Oshiomhole who they said was “doing very well”. On the contrary, they accused the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, of harassment and intimidation, adding that his actions could pull down the APC in the state.

READ ALSO: ‘Are You Looking At Me With Pity?’, Oshiomhole Asked Journalists

They, called on the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to expel Governor Obaseki from the party over allegations of anti-party activities.

He is on a mission to destroy APC in Edo State but we will resist it,” the chairmen added, “We are the chairmen of the party in the 18 LGA s and we are not aware of the meeting where a vote of no confidence was passed on the national chairman of our party, Comrade Oshiomhole who is doing very well”.

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“Rather we are aware that majority of the chairmen haven suffered intimidation, harassment and assault in the hands of the Governor Godwin Obaseki led administration, what we have never seen in the politics of our dear state.”

The chairmen, thereafter, passed a vote of no confidence on Governor Obaseki and the embattled state chairman of the party, Anslem Ojezua, alleging that both men have not only failed the party but the people of the state.

“Oshiomhole remains our leader and we pass vote of confidence on his leadership. It is sad that the governor and his cohorts are using money to induce our members but majority of them, we are happy, have resisted his moves to intimidate them,” the LG chairmen said.

The Forum of state APC chairmen believes, “The formation of the National Reconciliation Committee is a welcome development. It is consistent with the resolution of the National Executive Committee. It is also an indication of clear intention by the NWC to reconcile all aggrieved members of our great party”.

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They are of the view the party had shown sincerity of purpose to resolve lingering crisis by raising the committee, arguing that, “The committee members are patriotic Nigerians with diverse backgrounds and experiences”.

READ ALSO: Oshiomhole’s Suspension: Ize-Iyamu Talks Tough, Says ‘We Will Resist Attempt To Rubbish Him’

They know that the Reconciliation Committee, ” will certainly achieve the desired objectives notwithstanding the dissenting opinion of few aggrieved members. As the saying goes, in democracy ‘majority will have their way while minority will have their say.”

“So, we expect the Senator Lawan-led committee to come up with an action plan to resolve most of the internal conflicts bedevilling the party. Edo is one state out of 36 states. There is one form of crisis or the other in all the other states of the federation…”.

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The general feeling is that, “Edo State would not expect the other 35 states and Abuja to set aside their desire for peaceful resolution of all crises because Edo is not ready to allow external mediators to assist them in resolving their internal crisis”.

Senator Tinubu no doubt echoed popular opinion in the APC when he said,: “We all have to respect the party supremacy. You were all here when we had the Congress, we elected the new executives, we had the convention, the NEC was formed and we surrendered to avoid conflict, to avoid domination, to avoid abuses of power, we surrendered our rights, all rights to the National Working Committee headed by Adams Oshiomhole.

“That the National Working Committee should set up electoral bodies to supervise various state congresses and elections. ‘We signed off for it. So, if it is not in our individual favour, so be it’”.

He said, “We gave three options, consensus, where there is no consensus because if you are more than two or three and you cannot agree to one candidate, you go to the next level. The next level is the stakeholders’ delegates (system) and you have to be supervised by the National Working Committee of the party, national election committee of the party. That shows party supremacy or the freest option, the less cumbersome is to open direct primary, line up and count the number, 1,2,3. If you win, you win and if you fail, go home.’’

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Mr Tinubu further explained that an appeal committee was set up by the party to look into grievances arising from the conduct of the party’s primaries, adding the committee, which served as internal mechanism for conflict resolution, had performed its duties diligently.

READ ALSO: Oshiomhole’s Suspension: Ize-Iyamu Talks Tough, Says ‘We Will Resist Attempt To Rubbish Him’

“It was there (appeal committee), you cannot turn round against that, and you cannot turn against all of that. No, Party is supreme, party must be respected, abuses will not do it and anger will not do it. It is party politics, somebody will win and somebody will lose, too bad,’’ he added.

It would be recalled that Mr Oshiomhole, had earlier alleged that conservatives within the party were ganging up to pass a vote of no-confidence on him. He said in a statement that his sin was his refusal to allow continued impunity and circumvention of due process being perpetuated in some states.

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The APC chairman added that he was not surprised by the gang up, as he never had the illusion that the process of reforming the party was going to be an easy one.

He also did not expect that someone he held the ladder for to climb to relevance politically in his state of origin will be at the forefront either.

Osehobo Ofure, a seasoned journalist writes from Benin, Edo State

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Meet Comrade Godswill Doubra Wuruyai, A Willing Ijaw Youth To Man The IYC National Secretariat

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Comrade Godswill Doubra Wuruyai who hails from Benikrukru and Okerenkoko communities of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West LocalGovernment Area of Delta State, is a tactful, brilliant and brave personality who was born and raised at Okpele-Ama/Tebujoh community at the creeks of the Niger Delta. He is a stable character who is aware and involve in solving the challenges of the Niger Delta people in his capacity.

In 2019, he obtained his Masters of Arts Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the premier University of Ibadan and specialized in Internal Conflicts. With Master of Arts in-view Philosophy at the prestigious University of Benin, Doubra obtained his Bachelors of Arts Degree in Philosophy at Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State. In his love for education and yearn to obtain professional height in peace-building and conflict management, Comr. Doubra in 2018, was trained by the Society for Peace Studies and Practice (SPSP) and was certified with a certificate on Conflict Analysis, Project Design and Management. By the virtue of his studies and practice, he is tooled with professional negotiation skills, excellent report writing and presentation abilities and a scholar of community development. In his interest to understand both the internal and external challenges of the Niger Delta region, his Masters dissertation was titled “Politics of Mobilisation and Decision-making for Community Development in Ogulagha Kingdom of Delta State Nigeria” where he critically interrogate the various dynamics that negatively and positively influence sustainable development in Niger Delta communities.

From 2015—2016 he obtained his NYSC certificate haven completed his service year at Model Girls College, Rumueme, Port Harcourt. Comr. Doubra was trained in 2017 by J.D.FOH Development Foundation/IWAI in Collaboration with Shedrack Agediga Foundation and obtained Certificate of Participation in Leadership and Conflict Management. While in 2008 he obtained his West African Senior School Certificate, Comr. Doubra attended and obtained his Primary School Leaving Certificate at Okpele Primary School, Okpele-Ama, Gbaramatu Kingdom.

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READ ALSO: Wuruyai Rolls Out Innovative Manifestoes As He Eyes IYC Secretary-General’s Office

Comr. Doubra has a significant and unwavering touch with the grass root of the Niger Delta, and has consistently offer himself to be part of the process to better the lots of humanity in the region. He has served in various capacities which include his current position as the Chairman, Ijaw Youth Council, Gbaramatu Kingdom Structure. Being an active member of the Ijaw Youth Council, from 2014—2017, Comr. Doubra served as the Information Officer, IYC, Gbaramatu Kingdom Structure where he performed remarkably well. In the cause of his services at the clan level, Comr. Doubra and his team led several protests in defense of Ijaw people’s interest both on print and online media outlets. A simple Google search of his name will unveil the numerous advocacy he has made for Ijaw people. From 2017—2019, due to his activeness in youth mobilization in the political scene in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Comr. Doubra was nominated and appointed by the Delta State Government as a Ward Liaison Officer.

Comrade Godswill Doubra Wuruyai, vying for the position of secretary, Ijaw Youth Council, worldwide

Comr. Doubra has served at various capacities during and after the cause of his studies. Notable among them are in 2015, he served as the Secretary to the Constitution Amendment Committee, National Association of Gbaramatu Students (NAGS), wherein he delivered as expected; in 2014, he served as the Chairman of NAGS Electoral Committee. He is currently a member representing the IYC, Gbaramatu Kingdom Structure in the Gbaramatu Youth Council Constitution Amendment Committee under the leadership of Barr. Samson Bebenimibo. While in NDU, Comr. Doubra was a household name in the Student Union politics, and served in various capacities in that respect. Notable among them are, he was the Vice President, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies; Secretary, Electoral Committee, Faculty of Arts; Public Relations Officer, Electoral Committee, Faculty of Arts; member Electoral Committee, NADESSTU, NDU Chapter to mention but few.

READ ALSO:Father Of Six Kills Self Over Alleged Infidelity In Delta

In all these position he held, Comr Doubra was credited for his brilliant representation and was awarded by the National Association of Philosophy/Religious Studies Students (NAPS/NARSS) in 2013/2014 as the Most Articulate Comrade. Comr Doubra has recognized in several quarters for both his intellectual prowess and diligent service to humanity. Noteworthy, in 2017, he won the Godfrey Pondi Book Club book review competition on Lee Quan Yew’s book titled “From Third World to First: Singapore and the Asian Economic Boom” which was presented to him by the then Hon. Commission for Education,ⁿ Hon. Dr. Jude Seneibe. In same 2017, he was also recognized by the National Association of Gbaramatu Students with an Education Service Award for his “consistent selfless service in support of education and development of Humanity in Gbaramatu Kingdom, inspiring and mentoring the Gbaramatu Child”.

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Comr. Doubra conveniently blends with the dynamics of human society without any discrimination and freely interacts with people across ethnic and religious dynamics with a firm understanding on the values and focus of Ijaw nation as she gear towards completely achieving her full potentials through self Determination and Resource Control as enshrined in the Kaiama Declaration. Comr. Doubra seeks to ensure a policy generating Ijaw Youth Council Secretariat which will gradually be an institutionalized Council and strengthen its various organs and chains of command through a collective decision-making process.

READ ALSO: ‘We Will Not Fold Arms And Watch Nigerians Rights Being Violated’ – NHRC

Why don’t Ijaw youths look toward his direction for the position of the National Secretary, Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide?

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Columnist

Tope Alabi And Gbajabiamila’s House Of Error

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Tunde Odesola

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Fast and furious, the song and drums roar like a crash of thunder in raining season and she dances wildly like fire. Like a devil resisting deliverance, she jumps and gyrates with the skill of a striptease dancer. She dons a white Versace wear. She’s a famous gospel music evangelist. She chews widely on a piece of gum as her mouth sings His praise but her feet shuffles excitedly to that worldly dance step, zanku, mixed with a sprinkle of shakushaku, twisting and turning. She’s a disgrace to Christendom. She’s evil; nail her to the cross, they chorus.

 

I wasn’t a Tope Alabi fan. Not until I listened to her monster hit, ‘Mo ri ‘yanu’, a couple of years ago. That song changed my perception of her as a colourless gospel artist assaulting the ear with monotonous dogma, devoid of talent, artistry and grace. I think ‘Mo ri ‘yanu’ is to Tope Alabi what ‘Ketekete’ – (The Man, the horse and the son) is to Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey. It’s what ‘Eri okan’ (Conscience) is to King Sunny Ade. While ‘Ketekete’ cements the legendary of Obey as a foremost philosopher, ‘Eri okan’ affirms the genius of KSA as an unsurpassable, multi-talented artist of his generation. The brilliance that produced ‘Mo ri ‘yanu’ belongs in the evergreen realm.

 

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Until I listened to ‘Mo ri ‘yanu’, I had been put off by Tope’s alleged sex scandal with her late pastor, Prophet Elijah Ajanaku. The suspicion in which I hold self-professed men and women of God and the monologue that dominate her works had also caused me to see her songs as predictable and commonplace. In ‘Mo ri ‘yanu’, Tope acknowledges the humbling birth of Lord Jesus and His predestined supremacy. She also preaches about the Holy Trinity and the ultimate ability of God, the Father, to do all things.
But with the zanku plus shakushaku dance steps she skillfully exhibited in a music video that went viral last week, not a few busybodies feel she should be tossed into a lake of fire.

 

The hoopla that trailed the video is rooted in Nigerians’ monstrous penchant to idolize religious and political leaders and sit them on the same throne with God. But Tope is just a two-legged mortal with a head, two eyes and a beautiful body susceptible to arousal when lovingly caressed by her husband, Soji Alabi. Though a celebrity, Tope is vulnerable to the vicissitudes of life like any other mortal – a reason why when death came knocking on the door of her father’s soul, neither her powerful voice nor her depthless compositions could turn death back.

 

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For those who frowned on Tope Alabi’s zanku dance, here are a few sore points that they feel fall against the grain: Why should Tope Alabi, a 49-year-old married woman and mother, deftly ‘gbe bodi’ and dance like an uncircumcised teenager to Christian songs during the burial of her father? Why should a gospel singer, Christian leader and an entertainer dance so raunchily in public?

 

I won’t go to Israel to recall the curse placed on Michal for criticising King David, her husband, who danced in an ‘undignified manner’ before the Lord when the Ark of the Covenant was taken to Jerusalem during a religious procession. I shall limit my opinion to the realities of our Nigerian sensibilities. I watched the video over and over, and I came to the realization that folks averse to Tope’s controversial dance did so because they couldn’t come to terms with the personalities of the hitherto dove-like Tope and the new eagle-like Tope. The sharp contrast between the two Tope Alabis, I think, was a major reason for the condemnation. If Tope had been known in the past to dance with reckless abandon, there would’ve been no room for the criticism. Having buried my mother at the unripe age of 63, I know there’s a sense of gratitude felt by children who have the privilege of burying their parents. I think that the sense of gratitude, joy and fulfilment felt by Tope birthed that dance.

 

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It should be pointed out that Tope wasn’t dancing to salacious Naira Marley’s ‘Tesu mole’, she was dancing to a live Christian worship song performed by up-and-coming younger artists, who had come to support a big sister burying her father. To show solidarity with the younger musicians, I don’t see anything wrong with Tope doing the youthful zanku or shakushaku dance steps. Tope, who’s almost 50, should even be commended for having the stamina to compete with the youth in their own dance. Also, I see a dose of chauvinism in the criticism because I strongly feel that if the artist was a male, no eyebrow would have been raised. I’ve seen a number of popular male gospel artists do zanku and shakushaku dance steps in their music videos and no one has cast the first stone at them.

 

For being true to herself by openly showing her unrestrained dancing skills, Alabi shouldn’t be condemned. Her dance is in total contrast to the hypocrisy of the Nigerian political leadership typified, in this instance, by the House of Representatives which just ordered from overseas 400 brand-new Toyota SUVs for its members. It’s shocking that the House of Representatives could shun indigenous auto assembly plant, Innoson Motors, and ferry boatloads of foreign exchange to Japan to buy 2020 edition of Toyota SUVs when the Federal Government failed to transport Nigerian amateur boxers to Senegal for Olympic Games qualification trials – on account of paucity of funds. The callous Federal Government had shamefully turned down the request by some of the boxers, who had been in camp for several weeks without camping allowance, to sponsor themselves for the qualifying event. The boxers had been raining blows on one another in the hope of earning Olympic tickets in the different weight categories only for the Sunday Dare-led sports ministry to murder their hopes in cold blood. Giving the most absurd of excuses, the sports ministry said boxers would be sponsored to compete for Olympic tickets at the world boxing qualifiers in France. Nigerian leaders are surely walking with their heads upside down. Transportation to France will cost much more dollars. Qualifying from France will be like putting the came through the eye of the needle. Why go to France when you can get qualification tickets in Senegal? Are some people waiting to exploit the country for estacodes?

 

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If the Major-General Muhammadu Buhari regime calls on Nigerians to fasten their belts tight, officials of government should also be seen as doing so. It’s wrong for misdirected customs officials to break into poor folks’ family kitchens in search of imported rice, turkey and toothpicks while President Buhari, Vice-President Yemi Osinbanjo, Senate President Ahmed Lawan, and House of Reps Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, their families and cohorts living on taxpayers money, eat foreign food, ride exotic foreign vehicles and treat the masses with indignity.

 

Even if it’s to score a cheap political point, it never occurred to the Gbajabiamila-led House to take up the sponsorship of just three of the boxers to Senegal by buying 399 SUVs instead of 400. These lawmakers have the latest state-of-the-art vehicles costlier than the incoming acquisitions. The Major-General Buhari-led executive appears not to have time for any other thing at the moment; it’s busy with ensuring ‘repentant’ Boko Haram members are treated with dignity, honour and love befitting of royalty. This is the change promised.

 

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NB: Congratulations to the World Boxing Council new heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, the Gypsy King, whose victory I predicted. Fury’s victory is down to belief, passion and courage – virtues lacking in the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government headed by Major-General Buhari, a Fulani herdsman.

Tunde Odesola is a seasoned journalist and a columnist with the Punch newspapers

 

Email: tundeodes2003@yahoo.com

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