I’ve wondered aloud on this blog long before now why Yoruba’s droppings from the masters’ tables almost always include iṣẹ akédé: ministers, p.rs., communication persons, et cetera, who generally left the positions with reduced stature and near-zero credibility.
I’m not the first to say so loudly, though perhaps, less eloquently than the late Wordmeister, Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola (SLA) who pointed out that Yorubas were always appointed akédé, a derivative from the distant past when a Yoruba king had akédé who rang gongs and went round a town saying EXACTLY what the king wanted done.
During the First Republic, SLA wondered aloud when it would be the turns of Yorubas after all the Ekinis and Ekejis would have received their shares of the “National Cake”. Older Yorubas would understand the two Yoruba words that translate to- one and two -without my going to further details!
However, SLA did not dissect modern-day Nigerian akédés as Orwellian-type Squillers who readily call black, white because, perhaps, Ministers of Info of the era, like T.O.S. Benson, had not descended low into the modern levels of their successors !
These days, none comes out of media aide, Special Asst (Media), p.r., minister … unsoiled because of the level of outright lies, ass-licking, defending the indefensible, et cetera.
Here is the opening to a 2011 essay which showed my doubts about a “discussion” reported between Late President Yar Adua (who was so sick Nigerians were unsure Acting President Jonathan was able to see him) and his akédé, Segun Adeniyi, in which the late president purportedly encouraged his p.r. guy to attend a World Cup qualifier involving the Eagles when the man was already in coma!
The essay is titled, “Mr. Segun Adeniyi, p-l-e-a-s-e spare us the agony …”:
“I was going to see how I could lay my hands on the book by Mr. Segun Adeniyi, former spokesman to late President Yar Adua but changed my mind because THAT would be throwing my money – hard earned – away. We all must have seen this book coming when Adeniyi started the attempt at image-rehab in newspapers and news website, including the much-visited saharareporters.com during & after his “Harvard study” stint lately.
This guy once defended rigging – yeah, as in justifying Alhaji Yar Adua becoming president; defended the rape of the Constitution when the late president’s wife, Alhaja Turai Yar Adua became the de facto president; among other travesties, for example, he did claim that President Yar Adua not only KNEW about his attending an Eagles’ pre-World Cup qualifier football match in far away East Africa but authorized it and would be watching; the poor man was in coma – all in attempts to prevent the then vice president, E.G. Jonathan from the constitutional provision of becoming president since his principal was no longer capable of continuing in that role.”
And here’s the reported “phone discussion” between President Buhari and Femi Adesina, a “call” the Akédé describes as a/his “defining moment”!
Adesina: “Mr. President, I have missed you. How are you sir?”
He continued, “He (the President) first laughed. That familiar laugh. Then he said, ‘I am still resting. Thank you for holding out against mischief makers.’
“I said it was my duty, the very least I could do, adding how happy I was to speak with him. He asked, ‘How is your family?’
“I said we were fine, and he asked me to extend his greetings to them. ‘I hope to call you again,’ Mr. President said, and I bade him farewell, adding ‘Best wishes, sir.’”
Adesina described the telephone conversation as a defining moment for him.
Adesina: It was a defining moment for me. For more than a month, I had always spoken with aides who are with the President in London.
“Not once did I ask them to take the phone to him, deliberately so, because I didn’t need to speak with him to validate the fact that he was alive. And since he is on vacation, he has a right to his privacy.
“Of his own volition, President Buhari spoke with me. It made my day. Even if he hadn’t done so, he would have remained my President, my leader, and my man. Any day.”
I doubted Adeniyi back then, and doubt Adesina today. Otherwise, Buhari holds Nigerians in disdain.
A question or thought that must go through the minds of those who read this tale by midnight light is: if President Buhari has any respect or regard for citizens he governs, and considering the seeming joie de vivre back-dropand of this “phone discussion”, shouldn’t Buhari talk to the Nigerian people directly in a taped recording rather than all these tales retold?
That’s a question I also asked during the Yar Adua saga seven years ago. It’s one that needs to be answered now.
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SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2017. 3:07 p.m. [GMT]