The controversy over Senator Solomon Adeola’s true ancestral link to Yewa in Ogun State, casts a serious pall on his governorship dream, writes Raheem Ajayi
I didn’t want to be part of the seeming controversy which the foray of Lagos Senator, Solomon Adeola, aka YAYI, into Ogun politics has generated simply because I felt it wasn’t time for such. I had assumed that when the real time comes, there will not be need for a narrative on political correctness in Yewa land! However, events of the last 24 hours have shown that the future events might have been drawn closer.
An open letter which was written by Omooba Damilare Oloyede, a native of Ado Odo to YAYI demanding his true origin escalated the discuss. Even though I have read a couple of reactions to the letter especially the one by one of our brothers, Ajiroba Dapo Oke, the defence has largely been made to look like there is substance in the accusation. The defence has been unusually characterised by long history which has left readers with more questions. I will come back to that in a bit.
As a Yewa man, from Imasayi Ajagidiagbo, I wouldn’t stand by and allow my land to be portrayed as a territory to be acquired by anybody, no matter how noble or great he is, for political gains. I particularly find distasteful, the dimensions being introduced to the discourse about the origin of this accomplished politician suggesting that we are a people so subdued that such a thing could happen in our land.
In Yoruba land, one of the greatest insults to pass on a noble man is to portray him as a bastard or “atowunrinwa”! Why would YAYI allow himself to be put in this kind of awkward position on account of politics? Why would he allow people to ridicule him? I don’t blame those who have questions to ask about his roots because he allowed it! Why did he wait till 2014 when he was aspiring to become Senator for Ogun West before he came to Yewa? At what point did he remember he is from Pahayi because in 2014, he claimed to have come from Joga Orile? This smacks inconsistency! I wonder why he didn’t visit his “ancestral homes” either in Joga Orile or Pahayi before he decided to run for the Senatorial Seat of Ogun West.
Even those that have been living abroad for decades make contacts with homestead much less a family purportedly migrated to a neighbouring state of Lagos. YAYI could have been spotted in pictures as a young man with one or two of his kinsmen who grew up in that area hereby saving himself all these noise and controversy about his origin if he had come earlier.
Again where were his father and grandfather buried? This is a lesson for others who abandon their homestead when they are young only to identify with such places when there are opportunities which they think they are primed to grab. Even if YAYI’s ancestor were to be the founder of Pahayi, he has allowed his lack of compassion for his home to put doubts over his origin. Above all, he has been consistently inconsistent about his real town.
People who want to defend YAYI should cut us some slack now, haba! They should speak to the matter not some elaborate lineage history dating back to when Oduduwa purportedly dropped from the sky. What a good defence should do is to answer salient questions not with a tone of annoyance. A defence which should be of modern history should give names of people who are blood relations of YAYI who had lived in Pahayi either dead or alive that people can trace.
A defence should not make it look like we are that backward, desperate or in need of a messiah whose arrival we have been waiting for to liberate us. If we are going to get the governorship seat of Ogun State after 40 years in 2019, we should be sure those putting themselves on the “front burner” are Yewa-Awori by blood not by “acquisition”.
Yes, YAYI has got impressive political credentials and anybody would want him to be part of his family, but in Yoruba land and especially in Yewa land, we like to know whose son you are if you seek to represent us. I don’t think that is too much to ask and I equally don’t think it’s too big to answer!
-Ajayi wrote from Imasayi, Yewa North, Ogun State