My Conversation With Rt. Captain Akin Oshuntoye (Part 1) -By J. Ezike

Filed under: National Issues |

It was in North America, on a wintry noon. A chilling air, like the emotion of Antarctica hovered the brick walls into the warmth of a reading space, a public library of some sort. The election fever of February 23 unfurled cloaked sentiments inside the animated facility that afforded a coterie the opportunity to rationalize their patriotism for a skewed system configured to work against them. One of the clients, a Yoruba Nigerian by passport, had spared a degree of courtesy not far from deference to the explosive riggings of electoral votes and the mortal crimes that accompanied the entire charade. The man by name Anderson perhaps in his late 50’s had set forth his argument with a subtle admiration for Bola Tinubu and stood out in his public sycophancy, doing just about right in his flawless imitation of APC’S political values – its “monopolizing effect” on the people’s convictions. Anderson sat on his ideal and testified with nostalgia, to all who cared to listen, his business ties with Bola Tinubu. He went as far as authenticating his claims with pictorial evidence of his past meetings with the Jagaban at the State House Ikeja.

“The elections were not free and fair, but Tinubu did what he did in the best interest of Nigerians…” Said Anderson enthusiastically. His words crowded oppositions from me and a few others. A retired civil servant by name Barth, perhaps in his 70’s rose to the tip of the cauldron, thickly incensed, he twirled his swindle chair and poised a condemning stare at Anderson.

J. Ezike

“Who are Nigerians? What is Nigeria? My friend stop talking like a baby. Except you belong to the elite group, you are just a victim of a unitary system…” He had told Anderson in a tone that brooked no flattery. It was his inquisitive premise that peaked the argument and collapsed all semblance of coherent opposition. Barth, a blunt dissenter of the skewed arrangement was a denizen of the “South-South,” precisely from Bayelsa. His reaction was a precedent of my revolutionary response to Anderson.

“Atiku’s mandate was stolen… The election was a drunken farce… This is a belaboring of MKO’s fate… Nigeria is finished… It is time to renegotiate the union…” I had told Anderson pointedly. One client, in his 60’s, who had distanced himself from the circle, upon hearing my verbal bullets, swallowed his conscious silence and stealthy attention. He turned, pedaling his chair forward to be noticed, to air his superior understanding of the Nigerian Political Arrangement.

“Young man, what do you know about MKO?” He had asked me with a studious look in his eyes, as if my radical bearing and Marcus Garvey’s chutzpah had caught his fancy. His voice though deeply coarse was somewhat posh. His detached gaze was a curious thing, silent in gait and girded with a conspicuous sophisticated intelligence that was easy to filter from his countenance.

“MKO was a democrat – “I said in defense of the aforementioned.

“And a notorious criminal,” He retorted calmly, in a dispassionate temper that commanded suspense and total attention. “The problem with Nigeria is the Yoruba…” He added bitingly, wild with a ruthless judgmental honesty, his conviction had altered the rhythm of the debate.

“MKO wasn’t different from Buhari, Obasanjo, Babaginda, Abacha…” For a moment, we were animated by his not so popular opinion that seemed to resonate with Fela’s indicting lyrics. We all sat stimulated and needled at the same time by the conjecture presented, so we thought. Anderson, in the sigh of proclivity for Yoruba’s pride attacked the assertion that did well in stripping bare the strategic role of the Yoruba in the perpetuation of British interest through their proxies in Sokoto and Kano.

“Oga, this is the problem with us. We are too tribalistic – “Anderson protested quietly.

“I am a Yoruba man – but I will not conform to the despicable attempt to bleach truth!’ The man had said unabashed, turning an incurious look at Anderson who appeared aghast as though at once betrayed by his own brother.

“Really?” Anderson muttered, weighing the possibility of the distasteful truth, the unspeakable audacity, of being condemned by a Yoruba.

“Yes. I am Rt. Captain Akin Oshuntoye…”

To be continued…

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