It was more than an amazement. It brimmed beyond the boundaries of bewilderment. It would have been good enough to be perplexed. But when perplexity is accentuated by pangs of putrid politics, then the extant values operant in the polity needs serious examination. Yes, serious examination that would engender review and critical re – socialization. A re – socialization that would imbue our citizens with the ethos of enlightened self – interest, regardless of political persuasions.
One’s intention is not to be pugnacious on this matter, but it must be pointed out that the aphorism of our forefathers, “Gbogbo wa ò le sùn ká k’orí sí ibì kan naa” has just been mercilessly mutilated on the platter of putrid politics. The aphorism got licentiously lacerated and mischievously mauled in an attempt to package critiques of an effort that the sincere efforts of the genuine leaders in the land have been making to advance the progress and add value to Ìjèsà land.
It is important that we have different perspectives to issues in the polity. It is extremely important to allow different opinions within a polity for that is the most valuable ingredient for the soup of progress. It is a fundamental catalyst for the advancement of any polity. It must necessarily be encouraged. It must be watered and nurtured. It must be protected and sustained for our polity or any other polity for that matter, to be alive, active and progressive on it own and beneficial as well as rewarding to its citizens.
Great care however, needs to be taken that such efforts to offer another perspective to any extant issue does not elevate to bitterness because of politics. We are Ìjèsà first and foremost. Before we are anything, WE ARE ÌJÈSÀ. It is our own unique definition in the ocean of humanity and the Yorùbá Nation. Before any of us became Muslims, Christians, Atheists or any adherent of any Traditional Faith, we are Ìjèsà. Before we became members of any profession, we are Ìjèsà. Before we joined any political party, we are Ìjèsà.
We are Ìjèsà first. And that is the most important any consideration we should and must have. To this end, what should be uppermost in the minds and hearts of every Ìjèsà son and daughter is our progress as Ìjèsà . It should be how we could use what God has endowed us with, for the benefit of our people. We should constantly seek the elevation and the advancement of our land, our heritage, our history and our people.
Thus, when we go to our churches, the peace in Ìjèsà land should be on our minds and lips. When we go to our shrines to worship Ògún, Sàngó, Ayéléla, Òsún or any other, the progress and prosperity of Ìjèsà land should be on our minds. When we go to our mosques, the happiness and joy of the Ìjèsà people should be on top of our minds. When we go to our different political meetings, caucuses at ward, local government, state and federal levels, the progress of Ìjèsà land should be our priority and focus.
Therefore, when the PDP is anchoring something fantastic for Ìjèsà land, all the APC, LP, SDP and others must support it, seek to improve it, enhance it and perfect it. If the APC is anchoring anything fantabulous and effulgently fanimorous like a University in Ìjèsà land, others must support it, seek to improve it, enhance it and perfect it. In everything we do, the way we do it, the purpose for which is intended, must edify and glorify our land, our people, our heritage and our history.
Great things have been bequeathed to us. If we could really tarry for a moment, examine our surroundings, reflect on whence we have come, reflect on our history and our heritage, recollect the exploits and the sacrifices of our forebears, we would not let politics divide us. We would not let religion divide us. We would not let our professions divide us. Where we see imperfections, we would help to improve on it.
We should not be found among the crowd of nay sayers in Ìjèsà land, especially where genuine, honest and committed efforts are being made. We should not be driven into becoming the enemies of progress of our people by political considerations. Yes, we should criticize, especially if elements of insincerity is founded anywhere, not cooked up ones. We must checkmate any attempt to play on our intelligence. We must speak out against any destructive proclivities.
The essence of social criticism is to seek correction to the ills in the society. It is to seek the improvement of what is not good enough. It is to help elevate rawness to a finished product, not to dispense it, because it is raw. It is to ensure the trajectory of good to best. It is to caution the self-indulgent public office holder. It is to help dismount cocooned idiocy from its high heeled horse. It is to remind the powerful that he has vulnerabilities.
Its purpose is not to destroy what is good. It is not to trivialize what the people desire. It is not to mock and ridicule the aspirations of a people. It is not to prune the passion of a people. It is not to dismiss with a wavy hand, the dreams of a people. It is to help advance all that is good in the polity, while extolling the highest values that would edify the purpose and the people, dignify and exalt them.
The caliber of people involved in the efforts to rejuvenate Ìjèsà are made up of the class that any community in the world would be very proud to showcase. We are speaking of distinguished professors in various fields. Amongst them we could point to several vice chancellors of great universities. We are speaking of enormously successful business men and women. We are speaking of distinguished Chartered Accountants, juggernauts of the Bar on both ends of it, eminent men of letters in as many ramifications as it might exist, successful political gladiators of different persuasions and so on.
These people deserve our respect and appreciation. Each and everyone of them could not have attained the apogee of success in their individual lives if they were stupid and naive. Some of the words used to characterized them and their efforts were disgusting. Just because of politics? We have to be careful about the kind of politics we play. We have to recognize and prioritize our enlightened self interest, regardless of political persuasions. We must work together from different ends at all times.
If there is any stone yet unturned in this effort, let us come together and turn it for the progress of Ìjèsà land which must supercede any political interest. No political interest should and would supercede the collective interest of Ìjèsà. This generation of Ìjèsà leadership would make sure of it. The Ìjèsà people would not allow it.
There is a new day in Ìjèsà land. A new day exemplified by a new crop of determined leadership. A new day of opportunity to rewrite our history. A new day to reshape our future. A new day of selfless, reliable, dependable and committed leadership. A new day where the philosophy of Ìjèsà First dominates. A new day where the principle of Ìjèsà First inebriates. A new day where the idea of “one for all and all for one” is the driving force.
We will swim together across the Red sea of political divide to the beach of achievement. We will walk together through the desert of political divide to the green land of promise and fulfilment. We will dream together, match together, work together and refuse to eat from the putrid pot of poisoned porridge of partisanship. We are on the way to the Promised Land and we will get there.
Ain’t no stopping us.
© Rèmí Oyèyemí
Omo Owá, Omo Ekùn.
April 13, 2022