Victor C. Ariole
The 7th of July, the 30th day of Ramadan 2016 and the day the moon hid itself only to appear visibly at an obtuse angle of about 110 degree, the Ooni appeared in University of Lagos (UNILAG) as harbinger of the good news. It is a memorable day in the annals of UNILAG. The Ooni of Ife , Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, and to add to the Dean of School of Postgraduate Studies, Prof. Solomon Akinboye’s discovery, Babatunde and his Olori Wuraola appeared with clusters of human stars in UNILAG.
His entourage remains unrivalled in cultural display, and anyone who had read the book of Camara Laye of Guinea, ‘THE RADIANCE OF THE KING’ would attest to the affinity between the Mandigo/Mandinka and the IFE display. The presence of a king in Africa shows at a glance shows the enormity of burden placed on him as human being, rich, poor, haggard, beggarly, deprived, confused, etc throng to see him. His pensive mood, and so it must be in public, exhibits his worry on how to make everyone claiming to be his subject happy.
Like the Ooni like the Vice Chancellor who received him, both in quest of satisfying human beings in their varied existential demands and dispositions. Professor Rahamon Ade Bello welcomed the Ooni with his own entourage of human stars who also sourced their brain package from Ife except one of them. (The two DVCs (Management Services and Academic/Research), the Registrar, the Bursar, the Librarian)
According to the Ooni as he was about to deliver his lecture, he was welcomed in the inner chambers with kola nuts. His lecture also centered on the parables of Kola, Knife, Knitting, and the acknowledgement of the King of kings; in effect 5Ks. The title of his lecture was: Redefining the Role of Traditional Institution for National Development.
Without any prepared speech or even jotted notes the Ooni diligently, mythically and majestically anchored his lecture on the 5Ks and saw it as: refreshing from where you started from so as to arrest compassless movement. The interlude drama performed by the students of Creative Arts Department where the DVC Management Services, Prof. Duro Oni, is rooted, seemed to have mirrored the mind of Ooni in the preparation and rendition of their piece.
The Theatre Group echoed their signature tune as “Patience Nkoo! Jonathan Nii!” Indeed, even if it is not the focus of the Ooni’s lecture the drama wanted to remind the rulers of Nigeria that, from where we are coming, it is clear that if majority of Nigerians have rejected Jonathan, it is uncalled for to be told to exercise Patience. Aso rock, the presidency, before 2015 election was occupied by the couple Jonathan and Patience.The group chorused: “we had been drinking contaminated water (with Jonathan) and now we are consuming contaminated tomatoes (from the north) and you want us to exercise patience.”
Thank God that the Ooni in his lecture proved that Nigeria, nay Africa, has no excuse to remain at the level of taking contaminated items. Starting from Kola which is a great traditional crop, grown in the south and voraciously eaten in the north, to the knife used in skinning animals for human clothing, to the knitting process carried out by needle taught by Obatala, inspired by the King of kings, and the reign of the current computer technology and the awaited creation of vast knowledge in pharmacology, sourcing from herbs and crops, Africa, and its knowledge process, has no contaminant effect. The Ooni told the gathering that his current tour to USA opened his eyes to the fact that the brand Coca-Cola known worldwide and very much a living and tending to life enterprise, is a Kola and coca grass combination, an African product, and wondered what professors in the academia are doing to get more of such out to the world.
Furthermore, he reasoned that going back to our roots, the custodians of traditional knowledge, could be of great help in redefining knowledge process for the benefit of humanity. Japan has done that, South Korea has done that and even the current Chinese technology upsurge was as a result of that; hence the need for academics to work in close contact with the traditionalists so as to rediscover and improve on Africa’S Knowledge Process.
Obatala is an inventor, and through Ifa, the software used in computer had always been, though not at the present form. The 5ks the Ooni expatiated on and his extolling the King of kings who made it possible for him to ascend the throne are very much relevant in causing better living for humans on the planet earth as culture is dynamic and can only be living if it lends itself to renewal and progressive occasioned by cross fertilisation of environment, weather, seasons and human discipline.
Here, Professor Wande Abimbola, former Vice Chancellor University of IFE IFE (now OAU) and great priest of Ifa would not quite agree as he does not believe any religion on earth should be allowed to render Ifa worshipping a recessive religion. Notwithstanding, the Ooni acknowledges the worry of Wande and sees anything that originated from Africa, including all the races and species of human beings, as originating from the centre of creation and from where the spread of knowledge emanates; hence Africa does not need to contend with anything that takes its source from Africa. Like it is said in Ife: The child is wise and the adult is wise; that was how Ife was founded.
Africa is the adult and others are the child, both are wise as long as humans are not in peril. Uranium is found in Africa and it is refined for greater needs of electricity; in its original and refined forms, positivity for humans is located as long as it is not used for the extinction of humans.
Africa’s crude products or items must be used to give humans wherever they are refined products for better living. Again, we know that any originator craves for multiplication and it is said that if people who bear Ifa names like Faloju, Falaiye, Faturoti, Falade, Fajuyi, etc fear to die or grow to adulthood for fear of multiplying, they should show others the grave of the original Ifa priest or worshipper.
Ooni is a believer of progress, and as people claim that Imperialism (Imperial Majesty) should be part of his title which I disagree, his subjects beyond African continent are refining, everyday, the Ifa worshipping process and it does not betray the origin of Ifa. One of the persons in his entourage says it all and the Ooni likes his shinning and lively complexion, Fola Adeola an unscathed personality in the complex maize of Nigeria financial empires. He was the chairman of the occasion.
Blending is indeed the symbol of the Ooni’s presence in UNILAG and the Vice Chancellor wants it to be the beginning of raising funds to get the School of Postgraduate Studies in UNILAG to an enviable level of remaining the university of first choice in sourcing lecturers with PhD holders for the emerging over 130 private and state-owned universities in Nigeria. The Ooni as presently constituted is a great personality holding fast a great institution the way Africans prefer it. That is, for any great institution there must be a great personality keeping it and not developing great institutions to be manned by weak personalities. Nigeria should learn that fast also.
It is like the lamentation of someone who passed by the late Arisekola’s house occupied by ants and cockroaches as at now and that of Akin Osuntokun on several failed attempts to keep great institutions in Nigeria on great federalism principles as great personalities elude Nigeria or fail to appear on the scene. In all, Kola in Coca Cola as an institution remains the difference in all the enterprises that have emerged in this world and it is the Kola tradition of: he who brings kola brings life. KABIYESI A PE O.! EZE GA ADI NDU RUE MGBE EBIGHI EBI! ALLAH SARKIN!.
God bless Africa! God bless Nigeria! God bless the Ooni and God bless University of Lagos.
Ariole (Ph.D), wrote from Lagos