When I Am King, As King I Will Be’

Gbadebo Adeyeye
From a trenchant analysis of the power play in Nigeria, it was discovered that majority of the players, particularly the political class are ignorant of the basic virtues upon which the society was founded- hard work, integrity, diligence, gratitude, self discipline, and a belief in liberty, religious freedom and equality of opportunity. And since these ‘do or die’ players cannot ensure our indispensable virtues,they can at least stop weakening them for our children and children children.

Permit me to be controversial again. But as a Prince of Ekitiland who was tormented by the recent eruption of an Egba high chief and former occupant of Aso Rock, retired General Olusegun Obasanjo against some traditional rulers in Oyo State, may I ask: at what point, and under what condition did the cherished institutions of Yorubaland, seemingly deep rooted and impregnable especially during the days of my late father, Oba David Opeyemi Adeyeye of Ise-Ekiti and the likes of Oba Ademulegun Adesida of Akure, Oba Adesoji Aderemi, Oba Aladesanmi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Ladapo Ademola of Eqbaland etc, suddenly proved worthless by loudmouthed politicians in Nigeria? Agreed that in some societies with multiple moderating institutions like ours, the Chief executive usually has considerable power.

But what happens when that chief executive is not mentally fit to hold office as it has always been the case of Nigeria since 1979? That is the reason why many of us believe that no rational politician in our country can quarrel with the traditional rulers for performing their sacred duties at this time, particularly in Yorubaland where the government has failed woefully in its constitutional assignment.

Ha! after examining the Oke-Ogun episode with a moral microscope, we now discovered that it is extremely dangerous to allow people who govern by impulse to rule in a normal society because when an autocratic, paranoid, narcissistic, politician is entering into a gathering in a desperate effort to be recognized and command the crowned monarchs to rise up like elementary school pupils, the society is in danger.

That is why we must quickly try to put moral chains on those voodoo politicians in our midst and remind them that God is not a member of any political party; instead, He has His own way of putting reckless leaders in their place as He did in the case of Caecer. Also, as He warned the Hebrews, the God of Old Testament has a way of telling arrogant politicians: ‘Do not play with me Babylon; remember that I am the God almighty, the only King of Kings, and if you don’t stop your dangerous oppression against the sacred monarchs in the land, I will break the backbone of your power!”. Of course, we cannot blame those who were expecting too much from Nigerian politicians because a lot more has been given to them by the society. Unfortunately, according to a former Harvard professor, Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, after studying the

leadership patterns of some African Chief Executives, Head of States and governors including those noisy politicians in Nigeria: he discovered that instead of their leaving office correlating with management culture, they were all correlated with their quest for immortal status. For example, to those who have never tasted the reward of political leadership here in Nigeria, the disgraceful third term episode and other political crimes in 16 years of PDP administration may be very hard to fathom.

And it may also seem strange to discover that among Nigerian politicians, those most adamant about recognition are the bunch of political opportunists who always love to be first everywhere without remembering how Christ reordered the priority of His disciples, James and John after their special request in the book of Saint Mark saying to the two sons of Zebedee: “I can see that you want to be first, you want to win, and you also want to be recognized.

Fine; nothing is wrong with that. But first of all, I want you to be recognized for moral excellence and commitment to your fellow human beings; not in terms of public corruption, oppression and bitterness; but in terms of truth and justice”. Remember that neither standing up on the right hand nor sitting down on the left is mine to give because they all belong to those who deserve to have them!

Adeyeye, Proprietor, Crown Heights College writes from Ibadan

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