From Harrow To Horror


Rainy Nigeria welcomed me with its cool, dozy wind. On that fateful dawn of June 4, the Virgin Atlantic flight from Heathrow was awashed in a shower. I bristled with joy that Nigeria, my lovely, ‘gidi’ will nurse me in its wet womb for some gloriously, roaring weeks.

As a man about town, I hit the road. I arrived at my home in Ibadan and grafted quickly into its ancient smell, sight sound and serenity.

At Orita Merin my ancestral home, the Olubadan Palace overlooks our compound from its Lagelu height. Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade 1 has glossed the palace with his own garish colours. If Odugade is on the throne, Governor Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala, the Ogbomoshite governor is in exile.

Akala, sleepy, regressive, spender, skin bleacher, ‘alatika’, empty rhetorician, flighty, party crawler, bearishly thuggish, provocateur, mocker, blinkered, blundering and hopeless somnambulist is incapable of articulating the simplest, sentient state policy into redeemable article of implementation with the electorate. He is a monstrous dullard who enjoys fooling his unlettered audience with empty, incoherent and banal baloney. As a proud Ibadan indigene, it is most natural to be filled with a sultry, passionate rebellion at the great fog of darkness covering my hometown. Yep, I do not expect Ibadan to remain a virgin. Neither do I expect my city to be so mercilessly defiled by a collection of political perverts and pedophiles.

In Ibadan, there is no link between politics and material progress for the people. Rather, there is a palpable, medieval decline and the ugly resurgence of deepening deprivations from Agodi to Yemetu! This dramatic retreat of the ‘dividend’ of democracy becomes acutely dramatic when a ‘common’ taxi driver from Ekiti but who lives in Ibadan launched a profoundly gratuitous ad hominen attack on Akala. He said: “This ancient city should be in the league of Abuja and Lagos in terms of infrastructural development. There is no new idea, new thinking since Awolowo’s premiership of the West. And your brother Akala has no robust sense of the public interest at heart. Rather, he is egotistical and hopelessly insensitive to the manner of his legendary notoriety as waster of public money.

How can the badge of a ‘visionary Governor’ fit a man who is pursuing a diabolical career of unparallel wasteful spender? For instance, I am yet to see any enlightenment rationalism in the enraging account of this Governor spending a whooping N100miilion to stage a party! Meanwhile, thousands of roads in Ibadan are dubbed death traps. Only weeks ago, the Governor opened Devine Hotels & Towers in Meridian, along Km 4 Abeokuta road, Ibadan. The road facing the hotel looks as though the Americans have dropped ‘daisy cutters’ on it. There are deep, broken craters all over the Meridian area.

But in a wicked snobbery and abdication of duty, the notorious Akala known for excuses, explained away that the road belongs to the Federal Government. With that statement, generation of my people must take their turn and suffer silently. I have been in Omi Adio for the last 4 years. Most of the roads leading to our rural retreat have never seen any repair, rejig or resurfacing. We had to bear our lot with ugly grit and rain curses on Akala—on daily basis!

Then comes the worst vermin menacing the people of Omi Adio—-the notorious Nigerian Police. Confidence forged in the bloody aftermath of the 2007 ‘mini war’ against the people of Omi when the town was razed down with bullets and armoured personnel carrier has had the Police in a coil of vendetta and revenge. More on this later.

Our town is under a new siege. Jamoje, Bako, Panada, Lade and Sawmill are the new axis of Police shame where Police extortionists menace bus drivers in a most unglorifying ‘fine bara’ of its worst kind. No less culpable are the Customs and Road Safety officers.These set of public officers are promoting the triumph of disobedience. Are road blocks still legal in Nigeria? Mike Okiro, chew on that.

Akala as the chief security officer of Oyo State is mired in inaction but extremely busy in his desire to recreate an image of reckless waster of state money while the image of Oyo State remains cloaked in backwardness and peasantry slumber. We are in a politically surreal time! When I left Harrow for Ibadan, nothing prepared me for this horrible landing.

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