#PAUSIBILITY: We Must Scale This Fence. – Adebayo Coker

I was not able to watch the clip of the jumping legislators till last week Sunday. Remember I told you I didn’t want anyone to put sand in the garri I was enjoying at Ake Arts and Books Festival (AABF).

By the way, for some of us that are complaining about the dearth of the reading culture and literary life in Nigeria, we should endeavor to revive it by organizing, promoting and attending literary events like AABF, LABAF and the likes. I must commend the good work done by Lola Shoneyin and her team on the smooth organization of AABF. Kudos!

Back to where we were.

Watching those guys (I may not be able to call them honourable members of the House for now) scale that fence, reminded me of my truant years in the secondary school. I was a confused young man that did not know what he wanted to do with his life and thought malicious mischief was the way to go. Anyway, that confusion stemmed out of my belief that I have to be a strong man in order to be admitted into the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA), climb the ladder to a point where I could  organize a coup, and gain power. That was the level of warped intelligence that was imputed in my feeble mind at that time; so it was laughable to me watching those guys do what I did many years ago. I wish I was wiser.

I promised you in my first note to you that I will not throw a chair in this house nor any other house. Let me explain that statement to you and what warranted that.

For easy understanding, I will like you to watch a video with me. You can even view the video on YouTube on your own. It was a video of some supposedly grown up men in our Legislative chamber.  They exchanged fisticuffs so raw, they graduated to throwing chairs at one another and eventually tore the clothes of one another to shreds. My son, those guys are some children’s fathers.  They were supposed to be honorable men but what they did was not at all honorable. Worst for their family members, amongst whom are their children, the video is uploaded online for the world to see and for generations to come for reference. 

If the children of such men are yo-mommaed in reference to that act, it won’t be a lie because whatever one does is recorded, somehow. Various videos of such acts and of some other people who have been so creative with the truth but were later found out during panels of enquiries into their acts or their stay in office, abound online. You will find them interesting.

Let me reiterate my promise to you: I will not for any reason bring disgrace and shame to you.

  • A Man Like Me: Noteography Of A Father To His Son.

Listening to the alibi of the Puppet – of- the – Presidency Police Force is another rib cracker. I ask them if their intelligence only picks information around the National Assembly. What happened to their radar around the North-East? And if truly any invasion was advancing towards the National Assembly, I believe the Police should have been at the main entrance of the NASS or that of the Three-Arms Zone; not at the set of the tragicomedy that was beamed live to the amusement of the whole world.

Again, the sub judis claim of the IG that warranted his refusal to recognize and address ‘Honourable’ Tambuwal as the Speaker of the ‘Honourable’ House of Assembly is sickening. Mr. IG (so unrefined),  I have advised you that  it’s too early to display the foolhardiness of your office in the course of history. I’m sure someday we’ll revisit all of these and your unborn generations and those of your instructors may never be able to undo history.

My good people, we all must cross the hurdles laid before us by these robbers of our good fortunes. There is no difference between this set of six and that half-of-a-dozen. We need not continue to be docile and render ourselves free rides for these heartless politicians that some of us see as demigods, whom we sometimes foolishly thank for performing their statutory responsibilities.


Let me paint a picture.

I placed an ad that I am looking for a house help. A guy applies, I screened him, reeled out what I expect of him; he agreed to the Ts &Cs, I employed him and he resumed. Whenever he performs the responsibilities of his office, I praise him. In the course of singing his praises to the high heavens, I ask my house help to do something for me that is part of his job description, but he tells me point blank that he doesn’t have the time to attend to me now as he will be going out with his girlfriend shortly. Because I have allowed him on many occasions to bring his guests to my house, I see nothing wrong in allowing him to go out again this time.

One day, he comes home and tells me he has just met a new friend and she will be coming to visit him, therefore I may have to help him get the house ready for his visitor. In my blind kindness, I oblige him, after all, the good Lord said we should help our neighbours.

Ultimately, the lady arrives and my house help calls out to me to come and serve the drink.

Fellow Nigerians, I am sure some of us will say he must have cast a spell on me but I put it to you that  not all cases like this are voodoo-perpetrated:  our complacency has got the better part of us hence we sheepishly accept whatever is thrown at us by our ‘political-employees’. So sad!

2015 General Election is around the corner. Look at the faces of those that approved 9.2Billion Naira for the purchase of Cooking Stoves in the face of austerity measures. Also, look at the faces of those that nothing else matters to other than their maddening quest to hold on to power; those that could not defend you against Ogwuche and his cohorts, before you cast your vote.

Remember, Baba Iyabo himself did not look well before he leapt.

Thank you.


AMLMTitle: A MAN LIKE ME:Noteography of A Father To His Son)

Author: ‘Debayo Coker

Pages: 153 pages

Published: April, 2014

Reviewer: Olutayo Irantiola
There comes a time in the life of a young man when he ascertains his manliness when he gives birth to a child after marriage. As Africans, a man is extremely proud when he has a son. This led to the foray of ‘Debayo’s writing as a father to his son. The 153 page-book is about an expectant father who went on an “adrenaline flight”. His desire was to write a short note on social media pages but the flow culminated into a collection of notes.

Although, ‘Debayo calls it a note, I see it as a letter. Each of the note ends in a sign off. As he wrote in the book, Debayo’s first son was born in 2014 and he wrote this book in a futuristic manner; this book has all the desires of a father to his son.

There are many instructional advices that are essential for living which include continuity of family traditions. ‘Debayo wants his son to teach his children what he has been taught by previous generations. He states that, “My mother was a very positive influence on me, I wish you had met her but don’t worry I will teach you all she taught me” page 9.

Unfortunately, his wife too had lost her father but from her account written by ‘Debayo,“MyPD could not stop telling the story of how her father would come pick her from school, bare her on his shoulders and talked with her as they walked back to his office… I love that act and since your maternal granddad is no more around to do that for you I will be helping him out” page 12.

Another advice for the son is putting God ahead in all things. This he mentioned using Biblical allusion in the book, there were 4 Bible verses mentioned, the parable of the talents, wealth that develops wings, story of Joseph, Pharaoh, Saul, Nebuchadnezzar, Joshua-like courage.

‘Debayo encouraged his son to volunteer for the collective good of the community. This was through his involvement in Environmental sanitation in their locality which comes up on the last Saturday of the month in some states in Nigeria. This is mentoring by examples.

Respect for everyone is also an advice for his son. Everyone has the trait of getting so full of one another but with such advice, the son has been taught humility. This was illustrated in the story of Aunty Kore and Uncle Charles.

Every child must be taught about responsibility. ‘Debayo made his son know some area that he needs to be responsible: in his dressing, in his academic pursuit, in handling properties, to adults and to humanity.

Parental discipline is crucial in the life of a child. ‘Debayo was able to portray that discipline goes beyond caning a child; he checked his son’s school bag to find an x-rated magazine there. He advised him against taking things from classmates. Similarly, he warned his son against unauthorized borrowing out of books from his study, this will be sanctioned by purchasing the missing books from his pocket money.

Realities of life was shown in the book through wrong exposure, loss of jobs, disaster, sickness, drunkenness, suffering, psychiatric challenges, teenage pregnancies, premarital sex, rape of a daughter by her father, gays in boarding schools and stealing of other’s items.

‘Debayo narrated a part of his growing up to his son, which shows the desire of a father that do not want his son to repeat the same mistakes that he committed while he was young. He, thus, laid bare his life before his son and got so close to him. The closeness helped his son to be free to tell his father everything about him. His father was able to detect his interest and helped him to pattern his life towards it.

The chapterization of the book deals with each topic per time, but it would have been expected that the chapters become longer because the young man has matured beyond short notes. It would have been expected that the chapters become longer from the time in which the young man got into Secondary school.

Although ‘Debayo attempted to answer questions that would have been asked by his readers.  The responses of the boy to his father’s notes. “In the meantime, I want to seek your permission to do a compendium of your responses to the notes I have written to you so far.”

‘Debayo knows that writing in another language in a book, the work must be italicized and also have the tonal marks. Yoruba language is tonal; a single word can have different meanings, for a reader of Yoruba language. The tonal mark is very essential. These are the proverbs in the book:

  1. Ile laa wo kato somo l’oruko-page 16.
  2. Ti omode bamo owo we oni lati ba agba jeun-page 103.

Likewise, there are a lot of Yoruba proverbs and sayings that would have embellished the book for global relationship.

Some of the missing gaps in the book also include, details of the siblings are very sketchy, and the detail of the son’s dating, when they met her parents and the eventual marriage. Every man feels greatly accomplished when his son is getting married, the age of the son at the time in which he got married, he is about 18 years old and name of the granddaughter. However, this is allowed for the reader to fill such gaps.

Despite all that has been said, this book is well crafted, direct and engaging. Every growing child should have this as a handbook to guide in the journey of life. As a father, are you true to your son as

‘Debayo made everything plan to his son? There are a lot of lessons to learn from this book which transcends ethnicity or gender.

(c) Olutayo IRANTIOLA

21st November, 2014.

He blogs at http://peodavies.blogspot.com/