He saw it all. He was exact and faultless. We did not see what he saw. We almost ended up seeing nothing. And what we eventually managed to see did not add up.
But he was cocksure his third eye never fails. The reason he came out strong and assertive. He was in his perfect element. He did not mince words.
He made an excellent and accurate observation. It was never thought of before. It was strange but true. Alarming, not sensational. It was precise and on spot.
It was spiritual and inspirational. It came after the Muslim 30-day Ramadan. It exposed the big lies of the Fulani hegemony. It was a damning declaration.
Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja made his mark as former governor of Oyo State. He is a member of the Olubadan-in-Council, as Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland, a high chief.
He caught them unawares. In fact, pants down. He aptly demonstrated he was far ahead of us. He spoke with clarity, as if he was not of this weird realm of ours.
Ladoja, like his fellow Muslims, was in seclusion for the one-month Ramadan. He had ample time to reflect and commune with his Creator. It was a rare opportunity. And he did not allow it slip away carelessly.
He made maximum use of the period. And it handsomely paid off. At the close of the solitude, he was spirit-filled. He went, saw and conquered.
He could not conceal what he saw and heard to himself all alone. That would be selfish and greedy of him. It would also be a great disservice to Nigeria and Nigerians. He was not cut for that.
So? There was the urgent need for him to speak out. And he did that with uncanny zeal. Without the fear of being cowed, caged or cajoled.
After retiring to his Bodija, Ibadan, residence, he did the needful. Politics was his familiar territory. He always reads the game well and precisely too. He hardly misses the vital points involved.
Last Friday was not an exception. He opted to join the debate on self-determination, agitation and secession, as the case may be. And he radically changed the narratives. He hit the nail hard on the head.
Ladoja’s distinct voice was loud and unambiguous. He saw what we failed to see. That the North has moved up. He found out early enough that the region began its own secession long before any other. It has advanced in it, and there is no turning back.
His honest reading of Nigeria’s critically hopeless situation: “You people in the South are talking too much, and the people up North are acting too much. In Yoruba land, we talk too much.”
The ultimate bang! He brought a completely new dimension to the table. It cannot be far from the truth. All indices indicate that Ladoja got it right.
He was factual, telling it like it is. Unbiased. You dare not doubt him: “The North is also preparing to leave and they are working at it.”
He provided unassailable proof: “Do you think it is a mistake that they are constructing railway to Niger Republic, when we have not built railway from Ibadan to Kano, not even Abuja, and they said that is the first place we are going to spend our money?”
More posers: “Can’t the refinery in Kaduna be repaired? Why are they saying they would build another refinery in Daura (Katsina State)? And they would be bringing crude oil from Niger Republic to the place.”
That is the monster we are confronted with. It is the stark reality staring us in the face. That is why they are bent on systematically destroying the South by omission and/or commission. We need to wise up and shine our eyes now or never.
Ladoja cried out: “Don’t let us deceive ourselves, maybe a time will come when all of us will sit down together and separate peacefully.”
He continued his sermon on the mount: “But even Quran says there will be time when God will give you good leaders; there will be time when the leaders that you are given by God are not as good because He wants you to see the difference.
“We should assume that this too would pass. It started six years ago. In another two years, it will go. If you are saying because of that you want to go or don’t want to go, who tells you that the North is not even getting ready to go?”
He strongly abhorred the skewed leadership of the security outfits: “A situation whereby the whole of security outfits in Nigeria are in the hands of one tribe, it doesn’t seem to go very well with all of us. We are a federation.
“We are diverse and it is that diversity that made us strong. But it has now become our weakness. That is why people are losing interest in what the government is doing. That is why there are agitations for restructuring, dissolution, and it is just because of the discontent.”
What did he make out of this shoddy and shabby arrangement? “When that is in practice, it means most of the time that the best men are not in position. When you have people that are not competent running a system, the system will at the end of it collapse. But let us only hope that Nigeria will survive.” That is our sincere prayer also.
It’s very rare, odd and curious. Ladoja has an absurd alliance in Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore. Its national secretary, Alhassan Saleh, lent solid credence to Ladoja’s claim:
“Today we are ready, let them divide Nigeria, let them not wait till tomorrow. We are better prepared than any ethnic nationality. Let us die, we that don’t have the oil.”
And even additional surprise. This time. an encouraging response from another Fulani group, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria (MACBAN).
Its national secretary, Baba Othman Ngelzarma, was sincere enough to confess: “We can’t ignore the unanimous demand of the entire governments of the South on a particular issue.”
You may tag it as a political statement. At least, they said something positive. In the past, they would be haughty and reckless in their statements, actions and inactions.
Ngelzarma forged ahead undeterred: “If the southern governors can be in agreement on an aspect, it means it is an issue and it deserves to be given serious attention. In a situation where the entire southern populace is synonymous with a particular aspect, this deserves to be given attention.”
MACBAN has come to terms with the truths and actualities. It cannot be business as usual. It has to be a new normal.
And they are not keeping quiet. They claimed they have over 400 moribund grazing reserves in the North. They are beating their dormant governors into line. They want these inactive reserves reactivated immediately.
Good luck to them. Whatever they decide to make out of that is their business, not ours. That would not change anything in the South.
The South has found wisdom in Ladoja’s third eye. They are not taking it for granted or lightly. We have discovered grand deceit from the North. And we are pained heavily by that betrayal.
There is no looking back on our resolve. The southern governors have offered their wholesome support. And that is the way to go. Heavens help us as we stick to the Asaba Accord.
Forget the Lawans and Gbajabiamilas of this world. They arrogantly refuse to see the ugly writing on the equally cracked wall. They still pretend all is well.
They feign huge ignorance. They are swimming dangerously in the ocean of great doubt. Their deception, duplicity, coupled with idiocy, will hunt and hurt them. Even to the very end.
Wishful thinking certainly not intended. Never. That’s the hard fact.