I want to tell you a story. This story can only be understood by a nurtured and nourished mind. Not any member of NANS as it is presently constituted and IMMENSALLY paraded can understand the message herein. Not even a mind of shallow erudition can get the message. Only a mind that is titillated with genteel ism can grasp the import of the message.
I promised to do this title precisely on the day PMB and Prof Osibajo’s assets were publicized. The different reactions that followed that declaration, especially from the twitter soldiers, made me see that the Nigerian youths are nothing but mere pawns in this whole scheming for political relevance. When #TheList was formally read in the Senate, the attendant protestations (most of which did not travel beyond the social network arena) that followed the announcement convinced me the more that the youths of this nation may have to grey before they realize that their destinies have been expended in the alley of political negotiations by these present elements they are fighting and dying for. The fulfillment of some Nigerian youths does not go beyond selfie-placation from their tin gods and goddesses. They give you selfie you go viral with commotion.
I can do something caustic about that ‘phony’ list just as many are already doing but of what use is it when it will not achieve anything? Until a collective resolve to avoid a repeat of such is achieved, systemic sanity will still be elusive courtesy of the fall for the pigmentation of our minds on grounds of religion and region.
Let me implore everyone that can read and understand me to this point to please get Fela’s ‘Army Arrangement’ playing on their stereos or in their minds as they tag along. Though it is a tweak of what I have submitted on this platform once:
Nikangan became a widow as a result of one of those Kirakita wars that hit the village of Kagbepo. Her nephew, Ohunnikanloku also became an orphan. Nikangan lost everything, but was able to escape being consumed by the war that virtually wiped out her entire family, except her two month old baby. Like her, Ohunnikanloku escaped the gruesomeness of the war a lonesome.
After relative peace returned to the land of Kagbepo, Nikan was able to locate his only surviving nephew, Loku. Expectedly, she took him in and cared for him alongside her only son, Agolopa,
Few months after the reunion, Nikan fell ill, and knowing she may not survive the sickness, called Loku to her bedside, handed Lopa to him and made him promise to take proper care of his cousin, assuring them that both of them will become very great if they could keep the love in the family going strong. She handed him an heirloom, and charged him to make proper use of it, as that was the secret of the massive wealth every member of their family enjoyed. She made him promise to pass the secret of the loom to Lopa when he becomes of age. Ordinarily, she wouldn’t have passed the secret to Loku as anyone who would be the torchbearer must have attained a certain age; but as it stood, she was left with no choice, except she wanted the secret to die with her; hence she passed it on to him regardless of his infantileness. At the end of her many admonitions, she passed away.
She was given a befitting burial.
Loku took his young cousin in. He could pass as Lopa’s father: they had an eighteen- year age difference between them.
As time went by, Loku being an industrious young man, discovered that the small object that was given to him by his aunt could be maximized to becoming a greater source of wealth that will not only be beneficial to his immediate family, but to the entire people of Kagbepo and environs. He took the chance and he recorded some massive wealth; but he was afraid to let other people into the secret as he recalled what led to the Kirakita war; this war wiped out his entire lineage, but for the grace of God that spared him and his handsome cousin. He loved his cousin so much until Tenuboro from Bolebajekobaje village came onto the scene.
Tenuboro had advised Loku that both of them could go to the city where they stood a better chance of making their lives far better than it was in Kagbepo village. Tenu never gives an advice pro bono; he is always looking out for himself in any way he could. Loku, in his usual infantilism jumped at the possibility of exploring the beauties the world had to offer. Not at all a bad thing you will say. Good!
Tenu, knowing that Loku couldn’t do away with his little cousin, went further to advise him to send Lopa to a boarding school, since going to school was the new fad in the nearby Ohunorioje village. He believed this idea of his would be lauded by the villagers as no one in their lineage ever succeeded at attending a school let alone becoming a graduate. Loku bit deep into the idea.
Expectedly, Loku stocked Lopa adequately: Name it. Whatever he needed, even things he didn’t need, he gave him all. And off he sent his little cousin of about six years of age to school at Ohunorioje village. Lopa was so happy that he would be a pacesetter in the history of their family.
On their way to the city of Eminimoniayemi , Tenu asked that they stop over at every village they travel by, and sow their wild oats as they went along , to mark their departure from Kagbepo. Loku typically bought into the idea without checking it twice.
Eventually they got to their destination and it appeared like some good fortune had been awaiting them. They started breaking new grounds and in few years they were both established industrialists. A joint venture: Jaiyeorie Plc., was established with Loku as the CEO and Tenu, the CFO. Tenu was a better manager as he was usually mouthy in any topic that may crop up.
Meanwhile, since they left, Loku had only gone back to the village twice to check on his cousin. On both occasions, he had gone with funds which he deposited with the proprietress of the boarding school that Lopa attended; his fees were ahead of many classes and he also made provision for his upkeep.
When Lopa asked him why he rarely came to check on him, he gave the excuse that he was having it rough in the city. Anyway, he had been told by Tenu not to let anyone in the village, including his cousin Lopa, know about their newfound wealth, and he had agreed to it. He left his car in a neighboring village and took a motorbike to Kagbepo, just to conceal his massive wealth from his people.
When they attained marriageable age, Tenu suggested they get married and reduce their philandering. He took him a wife, his cousin from Bolebajekobaje village.
Things got better and better just as the bible says: A man that finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. The conviviality of marriage and childbearing made Loku forget he had a consanguineous responsibility back in Kagbepo.
All communication between Loku and Lopa was lost.
Soon, Lopa was faced with challenges as the money Loku dropped had run out. He expected his sweet cousin to have come back to replenish his purse but he hadn’t come back since he left some years ago. Lopa had savored the sweet juice of education and wouldn’t want to stop drinking from that fountain of knowledge, so he decided to take some time off school, work and employ a private tutor in order to achieve his dream. He pursued this vigorously and he was able to earn a Senior Secondary Certificate, but the huge financial requirement of a university education, he couldn’t bear, hence, he decided to go to the city to work.
Fate brought them together in the city of Eminimoniayemi. Lopa had applied for a job as a gatekeeper in Jaiyeorie Plc., and was billed to meet the CEO as the last stage of the interview. As he walked into the massive office of the CEO, he marveled, just as the spirit of Queen of Sheba left her at the sight of Solomon’s riches. He shakily sat before the CEO who sat face down attending to a file. When he lifted his face, he saw his cousin; his only relative. His only surviving extended relation.
He lamented. He took him in his arms. He wept. He apologized, and they went home to his house together. As soon as they settled for a chat after a good meal, he asked why Lopa didn’t use his real name on the application.
Lopa laughed as he made his aged cousin understand that these days, you keep your real name for some special purposes, and use your pen name for general purposes. The uncle replied, “Oh, I see.” Sounded like an elderly man out of tune.
The next day, Loku had taken Lopa with him to the office so he could start work as one of the directors of the organization, but first, he had to seek the consent of his good friend, Tenu.
Tenu, a killjoy, vehemently refused Lopa the opportunity, citing his inadequate education as one of the reasons why he could not occupy the office of a director, but suggested that he could be taken in as a clerk, from which position he can rise through the ranks in the organization.
For the first time, his partner and friend, Loku, objected to his suggestion, pointing at Tenu’s girlfriend who was employed as an Assistant Director, despite her woeful performance during the interview. He also mentioned Tenu’s “grand niece”, who was a primary school leaver but got a job as a Supervisor in the HR department. Loku vehemently rejected Tenu’s suggestion and insisted that his cousin would not take up any position lower than that of a Director.
Tenu, asked Lopa to excuse them as he would like to have a chat with his partner. Once Lopa was out, Tenu reminded Loku that if they took Lopa in as a Director, he will quickly rise to the position of power and soon after demand that the family heirloom be transferred to him, since they both know that he is the rightful harbinger of the priceless possession that is the source of their wealth. That, said Lopa, will be the end of their affluence. As usual, Loku foolishly agreed with his partner. They both decided to make Lopa a clerk.
The next working day, Lopa resumed at the front desk of the organization. The position given to him was just a bait to have him sent out as soon as it could be established that he lacked the smoothness of a gentleman to be a good face of the organization. They had thought that his village education could not have exposed him to anything like Customer Relationship Management; but far from that, he was a most temperate individual. More polished than they had thought.
One of those times, a rude visitor barged into the office premises, showing no courtesy. Lopa, tried to stop her and he got slapped by the young lady. Obviously in her teens. She yelled away. Minutes later, Tenu came back to the front desk with the lady to warn Lopa never to stop her anytime she comes around as she is the daughter of the CFO: a stern warning that could make a goat steer clear from a yam. Lopa wept bitterly that day but became more determined than ever not to give up until he attained success.
Few years later, he finished his part-time study, about the same time his niece and nephew finished their Masters Degree programs in one of the Ivy League, and returned home to take up appointments in their father’s organization. Meanwhile, Tenu’s son had just been deported from his base in Europe on account of drug related offences.
Loku had to find a way to get his children into juicy positions in the organization, and as Sons of the Entrepreneur’, they were quickly fixed far ahead of their great uncle. It should be noted that, they never knew Lopa as their uncle, as Loku never introduced them to one another. As far as they were concerned, he was their subordinate while he saw them as his superiors.
Sewere, the deported son of Tenu was also made an HOD.
Lopa, amidst so much stress, struggled to complete his Masters Degree program with the hope that he would get a raise on his job. Sadly, his efforts met with a brick wall because according to his Directors, he had no professional qualification. Taking up this one more challenge, he enrolled for and pursued a professional course in his field vigorously.
One day, Sewere ordered Lopa to his office to search for a particular file for him, all in the bid to cover up his incompetence to handle the position he is occupying. While searching, Lopa came across a dusty file that was kept at the back of the shelf. The file must have been kept away for live forever. Curiously, he kept it aside and located the file Sewere demanded, handling the job for him as usual. While Sewere visited the convenience, Lopa quickly returned to his duty post with the dusty file. He opened the file and to his utmost bewilderment, he read about how his rightful inheritance was being traded by his cousin and his friend. He read about the family heirloom and how he was supposed to be the present custodian of same. He rose up with the zeal to challenge his and his coz and his friend, but fear enveloped him few seconds later and he chose to tread gently because they may throw him out of the office and he will be out on the streets begging for a job like millions of qualified but jobless graduates, some of whom have lost their lives in the bid to eke out a better life for themselves and their family.
He would rather exercise patience; after all, his uncle and his friend were fast approaching their graves. He would wait until they are dead, and afterwards, he would negotiate with their offspring. He would start by introducing himself to his nephew and niece, thereafter he will demand a quotalised participation in the business, and if they refuse, he would not mind continuing working with them. After all, it is still in the family.
“Lopa should exert his right and take full control”. Some of us would say.
Maybe I should conduct a vox pop.
Please tell me: who is Agolopa in this present day Nigeria?
*Ago(Lopa)- enrapt with stupidity. *Bolebajekobaje- anarchistic lifestyle. *Eminimoniayemi- Selfish thrust *Jaiyeorie- Outlandish. *Kajogbepo- Peaceful co-habitation. *Kirakita -higgledy-piggledy. (Nikan)gan- loaded with treasures. *Ohunnikan (Loku)- the only survivor. *Ohunoriorije- survivalism. *Sewere- a cavalier existence. *(Tenu)boro- Unsolicited adviser.