Growing up in Nigeria, I read a lot of books, listened to a lot of music, and heard a lot of stories. This has largely influenced how I think, how I speak, how I relate with people, and how I make decisions.
Of all the stories that I heard, one that has stuck with me ever since is that which featured Esu Elegba. For many who may not know, Esu (also called Eshu, Elegba) is believed to be the messenger of Yoruba gods, bearer of sacrifices, guardian of the ritual way of life and often also seen as the ‘trickster god’.
According to the story, two friends vowed to protect each other’s friendship with all that they had. Unfortunately for them, they made this decision without putting Esu into consideration. This made Esu very unhappy, which made him decide to put their friendship to test.
As a trickster that he was, Esu was deliberate. He made a cloth cap of two colors. The right side of the cap was black, while the left side was white.
When both friends were out on the field tilling their land with the first person hoeing by the right side of the farm, and the other friend hoeing by the left-hand side, Esu mounted a horse and rode between both friends, saluting them as he made his way to an unknown destination. The friend working to the right saw the black side of Esu’s cap, while the friend on the left noticed the sparkling white of Esu’s cap.
When the friends took a break to have lunch, they began to speak glowingly about the personality of the man who rode on the horse. The one on the right asked the one who worked on the left-hand side of the field if he saw the black cap that the man on the horse was wearing?
Instantly, the friend who worked on the left-hand side countered him, saying the man who rode the horse was putting on a sparkling white cap.
An argument ensued with both friends throwing insulting words at one another which eventually led to a fight. All efforts made by passers-by and onlookers to separate the intense fight between the friends proved abortive. It was at that point that Esu made a return trip.
Looking calm and pretending not to know the havoc that he had caused, he innocently asked the bystanders the reason why both friends were fighting. After they narrated all that transpired, and the futile attempts made to separate the fight, Esu instantly separated them.
He then chastised them for embarrassing themselves publicly, notwithstanding the vow that they made to protect their friendship. It was at this point that Esu identified himself as the man on the horse, told both men that they were right in their assertion, dipped his hands in his pocket and brought out the two-coloured cap that caused dissatisfaction between them.
He thereafter left both men with a stern warning to always put him Esu into consideration whenever they’re drawing up their plans or taking a vow, as he is a force to be reckoned with.
Just like Esu, most Nigeria politicians are not loyal. They’re not only hell-bent on causing confusion amongst close friends, family members and acquaintances. Seeing close acquaintances attack one another for their sake is what gives them satisfaction.
Unfortunately, many of those who follow these politicians seem not to realize that politics in Nigeria is first a game of interest as against principles.
When the news broke on Thursday, 16th September 2021 that the former Aviation Minister and Presidential Spokesman, Chief Femi-Fani Kayode had defected to the APC from the PDP, I was not surprised.
If you follow Nigeria politics closely, you will realise FFK defected emotionally several months ago when he had a photo-op with some notable APC governors in the country.
Just in case you may not be aware, he defected long before he had a taste of the wedding-jollof at Yusuf Buhari’s wedding in Kano.
You see, for most career politicians in Nigeria, being out of power is not what many of them prepare for. The transition from the point where phones will not stop buzzing and visitors will not stop queuing up to a point where phones hardly ring, and the waiting room echoes is that which kills many of these them once they leave government.
For some of them whose political sagacity is measured by their relevance, the need to align with the government of the day where ‘Winner takes All,’ is non-negotiable.
An orator whose command of the English language cannot be faulted, FFK has not only defended his defection with Queens English to the chagrin of his followers and admirers. He has also asked the APC to make room to receive the likes of the governor of Enugu State (Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi), the governor of Oyo State (Seyi Makinde), and the governor of Bauchi State (Bala Mohammed).
Lately, the rumour is rife that former President Goodluck Jonathan is set to join the APC.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, if you’re one of those who believe the defection of former President Goodluck Jonathan to the APC would never happen, you may want to have a rethink.
As far as some of our politicians are concerned, politics to them will always remain a game of interest!
Written by John Olugbemi