Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri Former Imo State chairman of Traditional rulers council and traditional ruler of Obinugwu community, Dr. Cletus Ilomuanya, has been unanimously elected Chairman of Igbo Traditional Rulers Forum (ITRF). The Forum is the main umbrella association of all recognised traditional rulers in Igbo speaking states in Nigeria. His election was sequel to a…
It was time to install a new king. The process was simple; consult the oracle and let the gods decide. There were two princes contending the throne, Aderopo and Adebiyi. Adebiyi was loved by everybody. He was educated, generous and handsome. He rebuilt the village primary school and every year he bought books and uniforms for the pupils. At 38, Adebiyi was a natural choice for the throne of Ajiwe. So, it was shocking when the oracle picked Aderopo, colourless prince par excellence, quiet and painfully shy farmer who kept largely to himself.
This is unbelievable.
How could the gods prefer Aderopo to Adebiyi?
I wonder, he does not even look like a prince, least of all a king.
A man of very few words, how will he rule Ajiwe?
Apart from Ajigbotifa, the oracle priest, nobody had anything good to say about the choice of the gods. The ways of the ancestors and the gods were far too complicated for the simple minded Ajiwe people to comprehend, Ajigbo explained day in day out. The gods had spoken and that was final.
So, in spite of the grunts and groans of the villagers, Aderopo was ushered into Ipebi, he sacred royal chambers where he would for 31 days be prepared and tutored on his royal duties and future. The rites, the rituals, the tutorials, all were well under way until one morning, on the 16th day when the seven priests and priestesses arrived Ipebi and found Aderopo gone.
Where could he have gone?
It was taboo to leave Ipebi in the middle of the royal rites.
Was he kidnapped?
Had the gods killed him?
They did not have to wonder for long. Laditoun, the village busybody put them out of their misery. Aderopo was at home in his wife’s bed, playing husband.
The priests were flabbergasted beyond measure. It had never happened before. What was worse, Aderopo’s explanation was the lamest one ever, coming from a prince who was a short distance away from an ancestral stool.
‘I don’t know how it happened. I just felt a strong urge to sleep with my wife. I missed her. I am ready to continue my…’
Continue what? It was over. Aderopo was done. He would never be king and his descendants would be deleted from the royal lineage.
In shame, Aderopo and his wife left Ajiwe, for good, in the dead of the night.
That was how a prince frittered away the favour of the gods for a romp that could wait. He traded gold for dust because he bowed to the demands of the moment, needs that he would have been able to satisfy languorously and royally for a long long time.
The story reminded me of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and how that Nigerian prince left the centre stage in shame and ignominy and became the butt of jokes, kicked to the political curb.
What did we not tell PDP? In what language did we not warn him? We woke him up in the night. We counseled him at dawn.
We told him all his actions and misdeeds would have consequences. He shrugged and threw his 1,500 agbada all over the place, chewing life like new yam. He careened down the path of perdition like a drunken rabbit. But the gods loved him all right and he knew it too. Unfortunately he loved what he loved more than he respected the gods. Maybe because he could not see them. Perhaps it was because he knew where the shrines are and the compounds of the priests and priestesses. PDP, like Prince Aderopo, forgot that the people didn’t like him that much and they have a choice and will always do. There is always a choice and the gods do change their minds from time to time. Never mind the truth that eventually came to light, that the wife of the Prince that was once rejected summoned Esu, the god of mischief to possess the loins of Aderopo and make him desire his wife over and above the throne of his fathers. Things like that do happen and we all saw it happen to PDP. That was one party that Nigerians didn’t really want but was the one ushered in by the gods. Or how would Baba Obasanjo have become the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria if SDP, June 12 election and Bashorun MKO Abiola had lived and thrived? No way. SDP would have been the party, not PDP. Life happened. Nigerians did not get the man they trooped out to elect. Somehow the gods intervened and gave a chance to a party that arrived overnight, not the one that was embraced from Yenagoa to Dutse. The gods cracked the nuts of PDP and he forgot himself. The god of false sense of importance blinded him and he gave in to the erection that wrecked him.
PDP was already in Ipebi. He had spent 16 days and was as good as king. His wife was already being addressed as queen. Indeed there was a royal gait in her movement. The town was waiting with baited breath to receive the new second-in-command to the gods. Everything was on the up and up. But PDP, Africa’s largest party and Nigeria’s longest ruling party got an erection, abandoned the sacred preparatory grove and started dancing to the music of his libido. Instead of doing what was needed to get to where he had to be, PDP succumbed to the suffusing image of his beautiful wife, her irresistible curves lured him home. He traded a lifetime on the throne and a legacy for generations coming after him for a few minutes in the warm bosom of his curvaceous wife. In no time it was over. The day broke and before you could say ‘PDP Power!’, all that power and clout was gone. PDP was no longer a prince or king. In disgrace, he had to leave. Overnight, the royal scion was out in the cold , outside the chambers and corridors of power, alone in the forest where all kinds of birds pissed on his head and animals hissed at him.
PDP went into coma. He didn’t die like Prince Aderopo of Ajiwe. He is one lucky son of a gun in spite of the persecution and disgrace, he gets a second chance to take a second shot at the throne. But will he do what is right? Has he gotten over his predilection for passing fancies? Does he now know that an erection is not a sustainable ambition, that it gives way too quickly and then goes to sleep? Does he now know both the gods and the people can and do change their minds? Does PDP now know that power, like wealth, is highly mobile and must be convinced to stay with everything the host can hoist?
Power, political power, is like a young beautiful woman desired by many. She has a choice and with a toss of her elegant neck, she could be gone faster than the current suitor can blink.
Will PDP separate tickets from flags and create storms all over the place again? Will the elders behave like elders or will they dance naked in the village square again? December 9 is PDP’s convention and I heard they can’t find a consensus candidate for the party chairmanship slot, that the big boys are flexing muscles again. I warned them here more than once that when the initiates allow the oracle beads to fall into the dust in the presence of novices, the consequences are always bad. Let me add a new one:
Ewure t’o ba da ifa nu, eje re laa fi ko.
When a goat kicks the oracle into the dust, his blood will be used to pacify the gods.
In simple terms, if this oracle is disgraced again, PDP might just be sacrificed once and for all.
The distance between here and 2018 will show if PDP has learnt any lessons of if he is still romancing his erection.
Let it be on record that PDP has been warned. Again.