Labo Popoola: A Whiff Of Revisionism– Remi Oyeyemi


By Remi Oyeyemi

I have just read the piece by one Labo Popoola in his reaction to a piece in which he bloviated a bunch of uniinformed thoughts that the Yorùbá “is not smart”, that they “lack tact” and they were the enemies that Obafemi Awolowo had.

It is one’s analysis that Mr. Popoola was untutored and miseducated about the Yorùbá Nation and Yorùbá people. He was not properly guided in the facts of History and that his efforts in the piece in question is tantamount to revisionism. It was also evident that he is oblivious of the nuances of cosmological make up of the Yorùbá, hence his pointing to them with his left hand.


He claimed that the Yorùbá were against Awolowo. I challenge him to tell me any politician in history that has 100%support from his people. If he is not able to do that, to me, that is evidence that he has no basis knowledge about the subject he was trying to discuss. Aminu Kano believed that the opposition of Ahmadu Bello prevented from liberating talakawas in the North. Ahmadu Bello believed Aminu Kano was a clog in the wheel of his own progress. Awolowo has his own opposition too.

But it was Ahmadu Bello and Nnamdi Azikwe that conspired to send Awolowo to the prisons. Nnamdi Azikwe never ceases believing his lies that Awolowo prevented him from being the Premier of Western Region despite the fact that he never one the majority of seats. Sam Mbakwe told me in the presence of Chief Adisa Akinloye and Chief Richard Akinjide that this was a “lie” that they (Ibo) made up to oust Eyo Ita from the government house in Enugu to pave way for Zik. They needed Awolowo to be the bogeyman.

It was this lie he carried into 1960 to form an alliance with Ahmadu Bello who was upset that Awolowo made him beg for votes in the North for making in campaign. Please, read up on his biography. In the Daily Times of May 3,1961, Ahmadu Bello had said the following:

*”I’m set and fully armed, to conquer the Action Group, AG, in the same ruthless manner as my grandfather conquered Alkalawa, a town in Sokoto province, during the last century”*

Please, pay attention to the words used, “fully armed”, “conquer” and “ruthless”. It was about two months after this public statement that Awolowo and his leading supporters were arrest for treasonable felony. Mr. Popoola and Ahmadu Bello must have come from the same village for his theory of “Yorùbá were the enemies of Obafemi Awolowo” to have a leg.

On that of M.K.O Abiola, I never knew that Ibrahim Babangida was an Ìjèbú man. Neither has it come to my attention that Sultan Dasuki was from Ìjerò Ekiti. It was Dasuki who called the annulment an “Act of God.” He had told a group of distinguished Nigerians led by a Professor of Political Science Emeritus from University of Ibadan, in Sokto to tell IBB that Abiola could not be President. That if they could not tell him, he would tell him. It was after all this and many more that Olusegun Obasanjo was able to come out against Abiola.

Mr. Popoola and his fellow travelers wallow in self hate largely influenced by ignorance and fueled by low self esteem. Half education is as dangerous as no education at at all. It is destructive to allow this kind of falsehood being hawked by Mr. Popoola to subsist without challenging them.

No matter what, regardless of the banal rendition the likes of Popoolas of this world, we shall have our Oòduà Nation. Our people are ready. They are tired of backward thinking. They are tired of beastly governance. They are tired of “national character” that is neither reflective of “character” or “national” in nature. They are tired of fraudulent leadership.

Mr. Popoola wrote inter alia:
“I have observed the hatred of Buhari among some Yoruba elites, yet for all we may say, no President in the democratic history of Nigeria has favoured the Yoruba more than this President. The facts are there, even if we choose to ignore them. All these point to lack of tact on the part of the Yoruba race.”

What is there not to “hate” about Mohammadu Buhari? Is it the ethnic cleansing? The murder of women and children? The arson by Fulani herdsmen? The kidnapping? The destruction of our farms? The nepotism? The incompetence? The deluge of corruption that makes Goodluck Jonathan look like Jesus Christ? The RUGA tactics designed to take our land?

Then the hollow thinking, bereft of depth and clear horizon that political sharing of office is equivalent of favour to a people. What a shallow thinking process! Anyone who thinks like this does not know what politics is all about. What has the sharing of political position to Bola Tinubu loyalists in Buhari Government done to the Yorùbá people? What has my people in Sepeteri, Fiditi, Ilowa, Ilishan, Ago-Iwoye, Itire, Oke-Ona, Egbeda, Ilé – Oluji and all the crannies and corners of Yorùbá land benefitted?

To Mr. Popoola and his fellow travelers, rejecting a government that has exacerbated hunger, poverty, penury, want, squalor is tantamount to a “lack of tact” on the part of Yoruba. What a balderdash! If some people are used to poverty, must the Yorùbá follow suit? Must Yorùbá keep quiet I the face of Tinubu’s povertisation of their land and not resist him? If the North chose to follow that kind of leadership, must the Yorùbá do the same?

Mr. Popoola obviously lacks a proper understanding of the role of cosmological view in one’s political and social Culture. If he is true Yorùbá son, who understands the nuances of his own people, their culture, their history, he would understand while kleptomaniacs like Bola Tinubu is having challenges to lead Yorùbá people and why we must break from Nigeria. If he doesn’t have that understanding, he would walk around with calcified thoughts about Yorùbá people and why they are special, and insistent I rejecting retrogressive thoughts, the kind he has hawked here with gusto.

Hopefully, Mr. Popoola would be saved from his self hate. He would acquaint himself with History properly and seek a better understanding of his people. That is the only way, he would desist from pointing to his Yorùbá people with his left hand.

*© Rèmí Oyèyemi*

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