A Professor’s Ambiguity

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Seyi Makinde

In the public-pinion segment of the Blueprint newspaper of Tuesday 26th January 2021, an imam of the of the University of Abuja (UniAbuja)masjid, a professor, thus an “imam-professor,” sent in a piece dripping with cynical sarcastic vitriol.

This professor made it known he hails from Isheyin in the Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State and his broadside against Gov. Seyi Makinde for “abdicating” his responsibilities to ensure that Oyo State remains in a state of peace is in line with popular opinions of the Southwest at the moment. The people of the Southwest region of Nigeria believe that the “vacuum of leadership” created by a vacillating Makinde was quickly filled by the citizen-activist (a “non-state actor,” a term now in popular use) known as Sunday “Igboho” Adeyemo. In this respect Mr. Adeyemo is being lionised as a “hero” of the Yoruba folks for standing toe-to-toe against killer Fulani folks and ordering them out of the Yoruba domain. Now, Sunday Igboho is a veritable “Jagaban Yorubawa” (jagaba being a verb term meaning “to lead” in the Hausa language whereas this verb in its noun form denoting a “leader” is “jagaban Yorubawa,” meaning “the one who leads the Yoruba folks”). At Oke-Ogun, Sunday Igboho is a “warrior.”

Now, why did the UniAbuja imam-professor refer to Mr. Adeyemo as Makinde’s “political dog?” That was not a fair descriptor for a man whose bravado has ensured that rural Yoruba folks can sleep in peace these past few days. Whilst continuing his unforgiving lash of Gov. Makinde, the UniAbuja imam-professor mentioned that Sunday Igboho was forced by circumstance to chase “some people” away from their enclave, obviously to the wild adulation of the hapless citizens of the Ibarapa-Oke-Ogun area: this imam-professor ought not to be this dis-circumspect; is he not pleased with Sunday Igboho? The people of Ibarapa-Oke-Ogun faced existential threats in the shape of murderous foreign Fulani kidnapper-hordes who pillage and rape as “fringe benefits;” these are real and identifiable entities, not just “some people.” This professor, being a religious imam or mullah, is facing reality-conflict of the kind, “should I label my ‘brother-believers’ bad and have ‘unbelievers’ laugh at us?”

This should not be the case at all because, over there at the Southwest, unlike here at the North, Christians and Muslims have integrated in wonderful fashion. You don’t get this state of affair in many places in the world. Sunday Igboho has even been an inspiration for the Kukah-basher, Prof. Ishaq Akintola. One month ago, Prof. Akintola came down hard on His Lordship Rt. Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto over Bishop Kukah’s Christmas Day homily, spewing uncharitable invectives in the direction of His Lordship. (Maybe it has never occurred to Prof. Akintola that the “system” he chose to speak for is indebted to the Catholic Church for “stealing” a titular designation from the Church; the progressive top-echelon hierarchy of the Church is in this format, “‘His Lordship’ for diocesan bishop, ‘His Grace’ for a metropolitan bishop, ‘His Eminence’ for a cardinal, ‘His Holiness’ for the pope.”

It should bother Prof. Akintola that the honorific “His Eminence” belongs squarely in the Roman Catholic Church and it is his duty as a “prof.” to “educate” the Ummah about this fact. In a similar vein, the academic community of which Prof. Akintola is proud to associate with owes its wonderful administrative structure to the Anglican Church because the academia has wholesomely adopted this Church’s positions of “chancellor” and its vice, “registrar,” “legal secretary,” “dean,” “sub-dean,” etc. The Methodist Church has bequeathed society with its “prelate et al.” designations). It is amazing to note at this juncture that Prof. Akintola was critical of the Presidency when it was reported that a notice was out to arrest Sunday Igboho and it is on record that Prof. Akintola advised the Presidency to “arrest killer herdsmen instead.”

Bishop Kukah spoke against the entrenchment of a Northern nepotistic system as well as against the menace of “killer herdsmen.” Y’see, Prof. Akintola, one month is a long time to deny the truth! Wonderful about-turn in just one month!! Sunday Igboho is a “seismic force,” an “earthquake” that shook the Presidency to its senses to realise that when Yoruba militia gets in synch with IPOB, the political heat thus generated will melt the wax-foundation of the country called Nigeria. This “earthquake” just helped sack our service chiefs.
––Sunday Adole Jonah, Department of Physics, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State