I start by apologizing that my column was not published last week Wednesday, a situation that was brought to my notice by Mr. Gabriel of Abuja (080 – 7795 – 0582), who phoned at 8:35am that day to say he hoped the non – publication of my column was not caused by illness or another sad happening. Eight hours later, I received a call at 3:54pm from Sir Amos Ofoneme, a Knight of the Anglican Communion, who will be 85 on July 2, who phoned and expressed disappointment that he was unable to read my article for last week.
As I told them, the high volume of adverts in last week’s edition made my column and some others to have been rested but the twain made me happy because nothing gladdens the heart of a columnist than readers letting him or her know that they appreciate the articles he or she writes and that they are displeased when the person’s column is not published. I am grateful to Mr. Gabriel and Sir Amos and all the other readers and admirers of my column.
Now to today’s topic, which were the statements made in the last one week by Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and Governor Nasir El – Rufai of Kaduna State. Statements which I believe were responsible for the abductions and deaths in Kaduna State in the last seven days.
While visiting Governor El – Rufai in his office on Tuesday, April 13 Pastor Adeboye was reported to have said that he came to pray for peace and security in Kaduna State. And that God had told him that Nigeria’s victory in the battle against insecurity in Kaduna State and the country in general was around the corner.
I wonder how Pastor Adeboye would have said such a thing in public and did not know that it would provoke the bandits to come out to prove him wrong! Such a message from the Lord should have been relayed to Governor El – Rufai behind closed doors. In public all the General Overseer of the RCCG should have told the Governor was that he was in Kaduna to commiserate with him and the people of the state and that he prays that the Lord would soon put an end to the tragedies.
I make bold to say that Pastor Adeboye’s public statement of Tuesday, April 13 was responsible for the bandits striking thrice in Kaduna State in the last one week. The first was the invasion on Tuesday, April 20 of Greenfield University in Kagarami village off the Kaduna – Abuja Highway where member of staff was killed and 23 students were abducted, five of whom were murdered in captivity.
The second was the bandits showing up at the General Hospital in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State last week Thursday, April 22 where they kidnapped two nurses on duty. While three days ago, on Sunday, April 25 some bandits killed Dr. Zechariah Dongoyaro and another worshipper inside the Haske Baptist Church in Manini in the Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State. Four others were abducted during the incident.
On his part, Governor El – Rufai inflamed the volatile situation in his state with the statement he made during a lecture he delivered in Abuja eight days ago, on Tuesday, April 20. This was his proclamation that the best way to end banditry in the North was for the military to bomb the hoodlums in the forests where they were hiding and exterminate them completely.
How could Governor El – Rufai have made such a provocative statement and not expect that the bandits would come out to abduct and kill more people before they are taken out by the military? Since the bandits started kidnapping people on the day the Governor made his statement, he more than Pastor Adeboye has been responsible for the abduction and murdering of people in Kaduna State in the last one week.
Governor El – Rufai should not have chosen the topic he spoke on in public that day. Or he should have omitted the bombing the forests from his speech, telling the audience that the other point he had could not be made public and that he would pass it on President Muhammadu Buhari privately. But it is not impossible that El – Rufai spoke on the bombing in public because he wanted to be seen as the person who made the suggestion if the bombing of the forests eventually takes place. But to me, it was an unwise decision.
In stating that Pastor Adeboye and Governor El – Rufai should not have made their statements in public, I am not being wise after the event. I made the same point in my column 29 days ago in the article published on March 31 with the headline: “Worsening insecurity: An appeal to Sultan of Sokoto on Nigeria’s stability.”
The article was on my imploring the monarch who is the head of the Muslims in Nigeria to accept my suggestion to organize some clerics of the religion in Abuja and the 36 States’ capital to fast for some days to facilitate the end of the 22 – year calamities in the country. If he was ready to do so, I would have taken the matter to God to let me know how many clerics would be raised by the Sultan in Abuja and the 36 States and the number of days they would fast for and the portions of the Qur’an they would read.
This was the opening sentence in the last paragraph of the article: “To be sure, if the Sultan reaches out to me everything on the matter would be done secretly and would not be written about in this column.”
Aboriginal & non-indigenous Lagosians (2)
The story of Mrs. Yetunde Tubi, the eldest child of my uncle Pa John Bankole Adedipe of the 18A Joseph Street, Lagos Island is a good example or proof that the descendants of immigrants who claim they are aboriginal Lagosians are those not from royal, chieftaincy, wealthy or famous families in their towns of origin. Her mother, the first of the three wives of Pa Adedipe, was the daughter of Mrs. Quirina Muyinga Aina Campos, a daughter of Pa Hilario Campos, a wealthy businessman of 63, Odunlami Street, Lagos.
He was a freed slave who returned from Brazil in the late 19th century and the person Campos Street, Campos Square and Campos Stadium on Lagos Island are named after. Mrs. Tubi who was popularly known as Sisi Yetunde and who was born in 1929 and lived in Lagos all her life and went to glory in 1991 was in Akure only once in her 62 years on earth. And that was in January 1983 when she was in the town for the burial of her dad. Sisi is the stylish manner Lagosians refer to a sister or woman older than them.
But in spite of being the granddaughter of legendary Pa Campos on her mother’s side and visiting Akure only once, Mrs. Tubi proudly identified herself as an Akure person, not an aboriginal Lagosian. This was because her father came from the Elemo Adedipe Chieftaincy Dynasty of Akure.
A family that produced the first two millionaires in Akure and one among the first 20 in the country and which also produced the first two members to represent the town in the National Assembly which was the Legislative Council that in 1954 became known as the House of Representatives. And the two millionaires and parliamentarians under reference were Chief Joseph Boboye Arifalo Adedipe, a.k.a JB (1898- 61), an older nephew of my dad and my old man, High Chief Josiah Orisaobinu Adedipe (1904 – 72), the Elemo of Akure (1959 – 72).
The Adedipe family is also the one that has produced the two members from Akure in the federal cabinet. The first was Pa JB’s son, High Chief Bolanle Arifalo Adedipe (1938 – 2012), the Elemo of Akure (1977 – 2012) who was Parliamentary Secretary (now Minister of State) in the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (1964 – 66) in the cabinet of Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa in the First Republic (1960 – 66).
The second is His Royal Highness Samuel Oluyemi Falae, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (1985 – December 1990) and Minister of Finance (January – August 1991) in the cabinet of General Ibrahim Babangida, who since 1982 has been the traditional ruler of Ilu Abo, a town near the Akure Airport established by his father in the 1950s. His paternal grandmother was the elder sister of my father.
•To be continued next Wednesday