FELA’S NIGERIA; EKITI’S HOUSE OF COMEDY


‘Carpenter wey no know im work..na sowegbe-(a Yoruba word for a loafer).. Tailor wey no know im work..na sowegbe’. This is a popular refrain from one of late Afro beat star Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s hits of the 70’s; one that aptly describes the recent resignation of the Ekiti State Resident Electoral commissioner, Mrs Olusola Ayoka Adebayo. In a letter which by now could debatably become the letter of the year and perhaps the most controversial letter in Nigeria’s history penned in three paragraphs but has drawn admirably a landmark readership base and attracted all facets of reactions since it was released to the public. The love gone sour terse note gave the author’s reason for resigning as her deep seated respect for the rule of law and her Christian inclination.

The INEC chairman, Maurice Iwu was the most expressive of all the respondents. His usually stone cold ghoulish personae  was  amplified as he moon walked past several reporters who had laid siege at the presidential villa. He just stared, dumb as a basenji. Three times he was spotted dashing in and out of the villa. But Iwu ought to have known. The 74 year old grandmother’s letter was originally sent to him but he rejected it telling her smartly ‘I did not appoint you’. This definitely wasn’t in the script for the INEC chairman, several paid advertorials on Public and private stations bluffing on the electoral body’s achievement never painted it in the cowardly colour of yellow. The President’s chief spokesperson, Professor Dora Akunyili wouldn’t be swayed by Ayoka’s pious submission. In her typical shrill blunt manner better suited for drug counterfeiters, she said ‘this is an attempt to undermine and discredit the government’. As the three Government stooges sat bunched up on a table addressing the media hours later it was apparent that this was a quick fix; every player assigned his specific role. Iwu-the referee and coach, Akunyili-the psychologist and the Inspector General of police was comfortable with his default role as enforcer of the law; he gave Ayoka 24 hours to report to the police otherwise she’d be declared wanted.

Surprisingly for the first time in a long while the opposition and the ruling party are united in a cause. The AC rejected Ayoka’s letter and asked the Presidency to compel her to finish the mess she began. In this deeply polarized war, Ayoka’s shares her mess with the civil society and the public who have hailed her a hero for refusing to play ball.

Discerning the temptation that Ayoka has failed to yield to is the first to untying this Gordian knot. But the clues could be sieved beneath the grain. Sunday, the 26th of March, a day after the re-run elections Ayoka was supposed to announce the results, we couldn’t because, of the 10 local governments elections were to be conducted, 9 succeeded. The bad apple, Oye local government which incidentally is the hometown of the PDP standard bearer and erstwhile Governor, Segun Oni didn’t happen in rather murky circumstances. The elections were scheduled to be held on the 2nd of May. Ayoka must have been prepared for that except she was a ‘sowegbe’, undoubtedly she was prepared for the by-election. But  whileAyoka announced results in only 5 local governments; INEC has a different figure of 9., perhaps  a facsimile of Esau’s body but Jacob’s voice There are questions begging for answers and Ayoka solely will answer those questions. At 74, she belongs to the elite class Africans bestow the title of elders-reverenced for their sagacity. It must be farthest from her mind to be referred to as a sowegbe; she would be most notably want to be remembered as ‘pako’-one who is familiar and an authority in her job.

Aghogho, CONNECTAFRICA

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