(Published in The PUNCH, on Monday, December 5, 2022)
The pig – washed off mud, slaughtered, cut up and cooked – becomes pork. Spiced with condiments and spread over a barbecue fire, its cured belly and sides become bacon, ham is the meat from its upper hinds – salted, dried or smoked.
If you dressed up the pig as smartly as George Orwell dressed up his failed revolutionary pigs in Animal Farm, or you left your pig to sun in the Maroko mud, it’s still a pig. I don’t do pig in any form. I’m a Christian, nevertheless.
Lord, give Nigeria good leaders like Benjamin Franklin, though long dead – his words are still alive, more than 200 years after. Franklin said, “Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don’t have brains enough to be honest.”
The Oluwo of Iwo was my friend up until last Monday when a knife severed the cords of our friendship upon the publication of the first part of this article.
Dazed and sent reeling by my article, the Oluwo rained curses on me through WhatsApp text messages. But the goat’s scornful look cannot kill the butcher. Èèwò òrìsà! The butterfly is at liberty to call itself a bird. Who should be afraid of the bullet, the antelope or Odesola, the hunter?
Oluwo’s hirelings, masquerading as journalists, rushed to his corner of the ring, and offered to assassinate my character for a pot of porridge, sacrificing honour and integrity. The crucial issues raised in my article didn’t make sense to them. What mattered was the denial of the Oluwo, who alleged that he doesn’t know me, and that he was never my friend.
As a satirist, I understand a friend could be metaphorical or literal. But I mean what I say in this context. What do you call someone you send tonnes of your kid-stuff views about tradition and culture to on a WEEKLY basis, and the person to whom you send those ridiculous views, in turn, takes the pain to school you on the right perspective of the Yoruba worldview? What do you call such a person? An enemy? A friend? Or a teacher? I humbly think I also qualify to be a teacher in this regard. What do you call someone you sent a New Year greeting to on January 1, 2021? A deity?
On April 9, 2022, the Oluwo and I engaged in a heated argument over his bizarre views on Yoruba culture and tradition through WhatsApp chats from 12:34a.m to 2:11a.m. This is just one of the uncountable chats and voicenote between the monarch and I that I’ve saved in my phone. And he claims he doesn’t know me!? I’m ready to share the chat log of our weekly communication with interested parties to unmask the face of a liar.
He also denied that I didn’t mention him to former Governor Rauf Aregbesola, after he, Oluwo, while talking on the phone with me a few days before my first article, made a passing remark about the role I played when he vied for the throne.
On November 14, 2022, after he texted to me one of his cock and bull views titled, “Ifa is a teaching of a recent seer called Orunmila – Oluwo,” I responded with this text, “Good morning, kabiyesi. Gbogbo aafin nko? One day very soon, I hope to do a rejoinder in my column to your assertions, most of which I believe are very, very misleading. I got a nasty cold and just took some meds to knock me off. I’ve been waiting to do the riposte for a long time now, but many engagements kept coming up.”
The Yoruba say, awí fún ni kó tó dá ni, àgbà ìjàkadì ni – he’s a great wrestler, he who forewarns his rival before slamming him to the ground.
In my attempt to set the records straight, the Oluwo has faintly succeeded in distracting me from the substance of this article, to which I’ll return in earnest. If left to fester, bare-faced lies could sneak up on the truth, and befuddle reality. I won’t allow that to happen.
In his display of ignorance, the Oluwo, without oral, scientific or historical evidence, makes many laughable assertions, claiming that certain historical epochs were revealed to him in the spiritual realm.
For instance, he said the Yoruba descended from Adam in the Garden of Eden, whereas the history of the Yoruba predated the creation story in the Garden of Eden.
Archaeologically, to buttress the point that the earliest humans were found in Africa, and not in the Middle East, where the Garden of Eden was located, the corpses of the earliest humans were not found in Europe, North America, Asia or Middle East; they were found in Kenya by Kenyan-British archaeologist and anthropologist, Dr Louis Leakey, whose works demonstrate that humans evolved in Africa. Leakey’s “fossil discoveries in East Africa proved that human beings were far older than had previously been believed and that human evolution was centred in Africa, rather than in Asia, as earlier discoveries had suggested” (Louis Leakey. Encyclopædia Britannica).
To affirm his conviction that humans existed long before the Garden of Eden, Leakey wrote a seminal work in 1934 titled Adam’s Ancestors.
Before Akanbi’s sudden flight of fancy, no authority anywhere in the world had ever traced Yoruba genealogy to the Garden of Eden, which may soon be translated into the Garden of Ede, near Iwo, whenever a pillar of smoke engulfs royal inspiration.
Whenever the pillar of smoke inspires, names like Adamo, Yoruba word for Adam; and Oduduwa are defined to support baseless, false and speculative idiosyncrasies. In one of his videos, the Oluwo says Adamo means Eda Amo – a creature made from the red earth. How ridiculous! What does the Bible say Adam was created from? From salt and pepper? Oba Akanbi goes ahead to malign religious history by saying Adam was the father of the Yoruba. The authority and panache with which the Oluwo spews his unfounded history will shock a kindergarten class.
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “Evidence of human occupation in Nigeria dates back thousands of years. The oldest fossil remains found by archaeologists in the southwestern area of Iwo Eleru, near Akure, have been dated to about 9000 BCE” (“History of Nigeria.” Encyclopædia Britannica).
As no known scientific, oral or documented historical evidence supports the trado-cultural fallacies of Akanbi, I humbly advise that the monarch gets some textbooks on Yoruba history, culture and tradition. Iwo, the land of the parrot, boasts of illustrious sons and daughters who are great historians.
A good textbook in Yoruba history will teach Akanbi that Yoruba monarchy predates the history of the sultanate in the Kanem territory of northern Nigeria. Islam got to Nigeria in 666AD, whereas Kanem had been in existence long before the coming of Islam to Nigeria.
Therefore, it’s ridiculous when the Oluwo calls himself an emir because the Yoruba monarchy predates the emirate system in Nigeria, and should not be subsumed under an emirate in terms of hierarchical preference.
That Akanbi even calls himself an emir is an insult to the Oluwo throne which predates even the sultanate in Nigeria. The fact that an emir is a small king when compared with a sultan makes Akanbi’s adoption of the title of emir a personal devaluation. A sultan is a supreme ruler, an emir is only a ruler.
In ‘Pre-Oduduwa Eastern Yorubaland’ by Prof Ishola Olomola, and ‘The Entire Yorubaland’ by Prof Isaac Akinjogbin and Prof S. A. Akintoye, it is affirmed that there had been established monarchies in Yoruba land long before the period of Oduduwa, let alone the caliphate of post 1800.
The sultanate based in Sokoto and the caliphate based in Borno are superior to the emirate at every point in northern history. The first caliphate in Islamic history was established after the Holy Prophet Mohammed’s (PBUH) era in 632 AD. The earliest caliphate is referred to in history as the Rashidun Caliphate aka the Orthodox Caliphate. That Caliphate is also known as the period of the Rightly-Guided-Caliphs.
Oluwo surely needs a reorientation in Yoruba cosmology.
To be continued.
Facebook: @tunde odesola