Wednesday, July 28, 2010
PROFESSOR WOLE SOYINKA'S PARTY, DISTRACTIVE AND NOT NECESSARY!
Icheoku is a fan and a great admirer of the Nobel Laureate and Capone-de-tut of cultism in Nigeria. For his great courage when faced with danger; for his bravery when the cat must be belled; for his literary success which earned him the much coveted Nobel prize for Literature and for his outspokenness when every other person around develops a feat of dumbness out of fear and/or intimidation, Icheoku salutes him. From his storming of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria with a pistol in the 60's to demand some positives; to his "The Man Died" literary classicus; harpooning 'those who keep silence in the face of tyranny'; to his actually doing what he preaches by living the words through his countless fearless direct actions and criticism of Nigeria's ruthless ruling class; the man popularly referred to as 'Kongi' has won millions of admirers throughout the different geographies of Nigeria, Africa and the entire world. Icheoku is an unabashed smitten fan and we make no apologies publicly voicing this out. His advocacy of progressive change as a way to improve the lot of the masses resounds with so many followers and admirers as well as aspiring Soyinkas of this world, and Icheoku begs to be counted among this genre of humanity and we always listen whenever he spoke and try to follow his command. But we beg to differ here and politely state that the gracefully aging walking literature lost some of us with his latest adventure into partisan politics of his latest pet-project of a political party. Please Professor Oluwole Soyinka, Icheoku asks why and why now? If the self-confessed Ifa-worshipper is looking for a body of people he could call his own, Icheoku believes his Pyrates Confraternity aka National Association of Seadogs fits the template. If Wole is looking for followers, Icheoku confesses we are part of his burgeoning followers included in the millions of other humanities all over the world who see in him a true hero. If Wole is looking for fame, Icheoku is satisfied that not many Africans are more recognisable the world over than Soyinka. So the million-dollar question is, what is driving the engine of this his latest dabbling into partisan politics? If it is for power, Icheoku begs to tell the esteemed Professor the home-truth that many revolutionaries the world over only get to power through direct action of an uprising or revolt or coup-de-tat; they just have to grab power as no one ever freely bequeaths them with power, knowing the length and extent they will deploy the weaponry of power to affect needed changes and advance their philosophy. So now, Professor Wole Soyinka, kindly tell Icheoku and the listening world what actually informed your decision to float a political party; instead of remaining on the fence as you have creditably done all these years and influencing opinion from the outside or at worst joining an existing party. But now with the Lion becoming partisan, any further criticism or advise he might give to other political parties especially the ruling PDP will be treated as an antic of a partisan hack seeking some political relevance or undue advantage! No party or any of its operatives will candidly listen or seek advise henceforth from Wole due to partisan bickering and animosity; things that could have been avoided had it not been for this misinformed decision to venture into partisan-land. Further Icheoku opines that Professor Wole Soyinka's party is already tainted at birth with his association and founding father-ship and ownership of the Seadogs Fraternity; and some of us and millions of others who may have allegiances elsewhere can only see it through the lens of fraternal competition and rivalry. Simply stated, Icheoku regrets that a Wole Soyinka's political party is not what doctor-fix Nigeria or its politics ordered at this time; and the sooner he realizes it and makes a u-turn the better for all of our continued general harmonious co-habitation under the Wole Soyinka conscience of the nation leadership umbrella. If Icheoku may ask, what does Soyinka tell thousands of pyrates who are already members of other political parties in Nigeria and some of who hold elected executive positions as well as appointed ones; and if Icheoku recalls correctly, at least two governors (one in Middle belt and the other in South-west) are known members of the pyrates confraternity? Is Wole forcing them to turn against their Capon as apostates if they fail to join his infant-party or abandon their current ship in national parties to join the new ship-ahoy, with eye-masks and red bandannas? If also Soyinka's days as the Federal Road Safety Corps Marshal General is any antecedental parameter to judge his new party, then Icheoku volunteers an opinion as how his new political party will be constituted - any intending party official or candidate must first show his badge of honor and swear allegiance to the bones and sickle? In other words, the new party will be a transfiguration of the National Association of Seadogs and this is a kind of a house where some of us cannot find a home; and will instead remain nomads.These are some of the grounds constituting our pedestal of opposition and which in turn founds our spurning of Wole's new party as another attempt at raising parochial fraternization into political mainstream and relevance. Icheoku rejects this subliminal Seadoggy attempt at hoodwinking gullible Nigerians under the guise of a progressive political tent, completely and totally. Our advise for the world-famous scholar is to please retract his steps from this his so called political party project to no where; and remain the revolving epicenter mainframe of activism in Nigeria which he is - a rallying point for all of good-intentioned peoples of Nigeria with real burning desire to see some progressive positive changes take root in our dear fatherland irrespective of our respective fraternities or other otherwise disagreeable association-ships. Professor Oluwole Soyinka should please remain the 'conscience of the Nigeria state', which unfortunately only he currently occupies since the demise of Gani Fawehinmi, Ebam Eda Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Beko Ransome Kuti, Tai Solarin just to name a few. Also if it will interest Wole to note, similar parties formed by these now deceased patriots never took flight and he does not have any special magic wand with which he plans to outdo these guys in order to make his new party soar. Men of this genre are not natural partisans and therefore there is no point really for Wole Soyinka to be trying out such a new trick; especially at his advanced old age of 76; except it is just a statement made for some silly distractions? Partisan politics is not for genuine rebels with desirable causes, as it entails a lot of wheeling and dealing which at the end of the day only suffocates the genuine intentions that were primarily set out to be achieved or addressed. Political parties are traps for conformity and political-speaks and Icheoku does not want our dear Wole to become conscripted into one particular partisan ideology that will muscle his activism and make him yoked to political correctness and thereby isolating many otherwise would be followers, whose idea of a political party and political ideologies might be in conflict with the new party's. Gani tried it but his party could not take wings outside his immediate family and beneficiaries; Fela tried it with MOP and it only thrived within the walls of his shrines at Moshalashi and Pepple Street; so why now try to end up a local champion when as a roaring lion, your range is currently the entire Nigerian landscape. Wole, you have nothing more to prove at age 76 and your resume is the envy of so many of your contemporaries as well as generations before and after yours; so what is the big deal now with a political party? If you must partake of the political parties poisoned chalice, please join an existing political party or accept an appointment to serve in any capacity within the present context of a Nigeria distressed; but please for Jove's sake do not embark on this inglorious journey to no where. Not only is the timing very late, but you do not have the necessary political clout to harvest serious people outside your Seadogs fraternity to join unto your political train and this is the largest albatross hanging on your shoulder against any meaningful and serious politicking in Nigeria. Once again, Icheoku reiterates that revolutionaries everywhere are never elected into office and the only way they can taste power is through a direct action such as forcefully taking over government! Therefore on a final note, what is the use, trying floating a political party whose end is already predictable and practically determinate; unless it is just another junket for additional relevance in Nigeria? But you do not need additional limelight any more as you have more than enough already. So now tell us why you are digressing from your preordained independent position since Icheoku is not buying your explanation that your Democratic Front for People Federation, DFPF, is a forum for progressives to rally together to dethrone the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP. First it is not true that all progressives shall find a home in the party and second the set out mission objective is unattainable and at best, a wishful thinking of an utopia. Until then and why even bother; please just reverse course, maintain your previous enviable position as every-one's generalissimo and conscience of the nation; and please avoid the crap partisanship of a political party!