Wednesday, August 31, 2011


In Yoruba land, the paramount ruler, known as Kabiyesi, which also means Ka bi o o si (To query you, is a non starter), is usually referred to as "Igba "kegi awon orisa (The deputy of the gods, or ancestors)! He used to be a monarch who wielded absolute power! What he wanted then, he got! His word was law!

In fact, a woman could accompany her husband to the palace, and if the Kabiyesi liked her enough, he "placed his foot on her" Meaning one could not take the woman away from him!

Such was the power these imperial monarchs wielded, that they had the power of life, and death over their subjects! 

To survive then, people learned not to question authority, and accepted whatever came from power! This docility was further deepened under the jackboots of military rule in Nigeria, and the politicians have inherited the kabiyesi complex!

It is an erroneous notion that all elected officials are representatives of God, and must not be questioned!

Many rely on the Bible as the confirmation of this unquestionable divine right to rule! Sadly, many of those who rely on the Bible, only seem to read one part of the message on how to engage leadership! The same Bible tells us that the Apostle Paul rebuked Peter, his leader, when Peter withdrew from the Gentiles he had hitherto fellowshipped with out of eye service, and fear of some Jews that had just arrived!

Why should we question, criticize, and if need be, condemn our leaders?

Because they are human!

If they were omnipotent like God, I would not assay to ask them what they are doing! 

But they are human!

So I question them!

Another reason why I question them, is because when a man runs for political office, he ceases to become a private citizen, one entitled to his privacy: and becomes public property!

I liken it to what happens when people are dancing in the shadows of the flickering light at a party, no one sees them, so they are free to do their own thing! 

The moment one of them jumps into the light, and people form a circle around him, he is no longer on his own: he has called attention to himself! Whatever he does will elicit different types of comments

If a man decides to run for political office, it is not my duty to ensure that he puts his best foot forward all the time, and that he removes, or hides the skeleton in his cupboard: that is his duty!

If his wife is ugly, people would definitely notice! If her English is worse than my great great great grand mother's, no one should blame me for ridiculing her! He caused it! If he had kept himself a private citizen, any attempt of mine to cast aspersions on his family would be met with a robust legal rebuff!

The moment he becomes my representative, he is mine to question at will!

The president of this country cannot ask me to understand, or bear with him! I refuse to understand, or bear with him! If he knew he was coming to make excuses, he should never have put himself forward for high office! We condone, and promote inept leadership, when we do not call them to order!We err when we do not remind them that they are not fulfilling their end of the mandate!

Political office cannot be equated with imperial monarchy! In a monarchy, the monarch rules by divine right: in politics, the leader governs by permission: my permission given by my vote!

To all those who believe I am too harsh on Goodluck Jonathan, goodluck to you if you are enjoying what you are experiencing right now: I am not, so I will keep talking!

So far, the fellow has not impressed me at all!


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