WHEN the British Broadcasting Corporation’s famous video on the infamous Ekiti bribe-for-vote video began its viral trending, I did what I don’t usual do; forward social media contents, even when the genuineness is favoured by all odds. Representatives of institutions of government, personally known to me, even got copies. I didn’t share primarily because of the faces in it, or the candidate mentioned as the target beneficiary of the dastardly fad, but to reinforce it to those target receivers, what we have become as a people. Thankfully, many of them are elders and leaders of this nation, at certain points in history and it would be for everyone to allow his/her conscience to knock, at the right points.
In a three-part series on the election, concluded on this page last week, it was predicted that the votes would be shamelessly bought and nothing would stop the electorate from selling, but it was still a bit shocking the Ekiti electorate could be outrageously cheap. Ha. Na so e bad reach!
Honour is gradually departing the Yoruba race and the leaders think it is right once it is about our party and their party. Let me ring in the ears of those strutting today and even their less-fortunate colleagues crawling on the opposition side, APC and PDP will pass away, someday. Nothing will last forever. Not even this earth and its seductions. A few days back, God gave me a gripping vision of the Last Day, with sky-scrapers tumbling as if wrenched. The details would be for another day. John, the Beloved, in Revelation 21, saw the earth and the heaven pass away. Even the sea dried up. For those stealing, left, right and centre, to purchase their fantasies; hear this bad news, soon, there would be no skies and oceans for your cursed private jets and ocean-liners, regardless of the sanctimonious inscriptions on them. They would be as useless as cold dodo.
The dominant feedback on the BBC Ekitigate (different gates for different elections in the state) was blaming grinding poverty for the dibo ko sebe (vote to cook soup with the open bribe) tragedy. Yes, for both obvious and truly-inconceivable reasons, Nigeria and her people have continued to sink deeper in material lack in the midst of growing income. To understand the scenario better, let’s use a family as a metaphor. Hussie gets better pay and wifey plus kids, lack basic necessities the more. It is either the hussie is stingy, irresponsible, wasteful, saving more than necessary, lavishing on indulgences like strange women, committing himself to unrealistic money-guzzling projects, trying to entrench new orientation at home if spouse and kids are wasteful, under strange influence, hate his household, have no fear of God, or simply cursed. Depending on perspectives, it could be a multiple of these for the nation and its drivers, but God forbid, that all ail Nigeria at the same time.
Growing up in Ilesa, one way of showing Yorubaness was rejecting favours coming with perceived insult. Me ra je juje uya (won’t eat food of shame), an average Ijesa would boast, to show he had called the bluff of someone trying to reduce his Oduduwa heritage. There were prouder Yoruba clans, stretching to the Mid-West and Middle-Belt. Yoruba simply prided themselves in not sharing the DNA of Esau. But not anymore.
Oduduwa’s children have now deserted the “narrow” way of Omoluabi, even ready to lip-lick Jacob’s porridge pot after Esau was done eating. Haba! The exodus to Ado Ward 11 bribe collection centre, is not what really cost Yoruba their burnished values. That was just an opportunistic disease on an infected body. The moment we became cool with emergency millionaires of the 80s without evidence of the clean-industry on which the Bibiire (well-bred) concept of the Yoruba race was formed, sorted and sealed, things went South.
Without doubt, fraudsters had always been with us all, but Yoruba traditional conclaves were always too “hot” to hibernate and flaunt ill-gotten wealth or display collegiately-abhorred aberrant acts. The go-go eye alone and the orara ule re (see hin face) suggestive small talks among the homers, were enough to run those characters out of town and in assumption, back to Lagos which was then seen as crooks’ den (Eko gbole, o gbole). But not anymore.
Wrappers are now spread to welcome jailbirds. Highest titles in communities are reserved for those who earn royalty by confounding with biggest corruption spin. The value of hard-work has gone to the dogs. Yoruba now strive to better, in infamy, those they used to give wide possible berth. Genuine role models are completely off the shelf. It is doubtful if they would ever be stocked again. No, it isn’t that a few Omoluabi isn’t available, only the race isn’t hoisting them again. Bandits have replaced the born-well, as the face of the race. Once you are loaded, you are the village deity, regardless of how the load got in or what was loaded. Even when the load is known as contraband, what does it matter as long as “e dey help somebody.”
A big bros has stuck with his belief that no race that favours billowing dresses like Yoruba agbada ever gets great. He feels the race is too hedonistic. The flourishing Arab world is also of flowing garments, but he would argue that the glory seen in the East today, was the making of the West. Maybe.
But Yoruba had their illustriousness before the Whites were here. They, without doubt, taught us so many things like trying out Eba with cutlery, but not how to say no, to debasing conducts. We are just losing what we had as a birthright.
History says Lamurudu, the father of the black race, sired other children apart from Oduduwa, the Yoruba progenitor. It is doubtful if only corrupted values and changing times are responsible for the rot in the race today. Something says to me, no level of degradation should make anyone with Oduduwa blood sink the low many Yoruba, irrespective of status and income, have.