After I did the tribute on our two fallen activists, Yinka Odumakin and Harmless Nwankwo, titled, “My Extended Trance Over Yinka & Harmless,” little did I envisaged that it could stir the hornet nest and evoke a lot controversy and brickbats significantly throughout the nation’s radical revolutionary motion.
Nearly in all places I turned, somebody was ready to choose points, throw some darts or just upbraid me with the sting of their tongue. Whether or not on my fb wall, deafening cellphone calls or through bodily engagements, the debates over the piece have been heated with some impugning all method of motives.
There have been additionally those that relatively than being locked in some doctrinaire positions, sided with my views that Marxist-Leninist principle is a instrument for analysing, explaining and understanding our society and never a dogma. I ought to nonetheless be slightly upbeat that not less than many had been certainly tickled by the 1,885 phrase tribute.
Confronted by the bigger Nigerian crises, now snowballing into calls for for independence by self willpower teams, largely led by lumpen components as armed Fulani teams ravage many Nigerian communities, I have been nudged into some rhetorical query on how believable to hunt for the decision of each main and secondary contradictions in a single fell swoop in our pricey nation.
If some are offended that I lionised Yinka Odumakin for his effrontery to talk fact to energy in a clime the place many have mortgaged their voices, I actually shouldn’t have any apologies to supply anybody. Are we pretending to be oblivious to the prevalence of various strands throughout the Nigerian revolutionary motion posing totally different choices for getting the nation out of its mess? In what manner has the presentation of a few of the opposing strands as mirrored under gone past the brink?
“Whereas others of his ilk selected to romanticize class evaluation and the primacy of main contradictions in explaining the disaster of the Nigerian state, he lengthy solid lot to stoutly defend the reason for the Yoruba in a multi-ethnic Nigeria enmeshed in its decision of the nationwide query.” I am simply questioning in what manner does the above assertion which some consider was directed at them, additionally excludes this author?
Fairly frankly, though I had additionally tangentially sought to whet the urge for food of the left and compel some reflection on our praxis over the nation’s raging nationwide query, I used to be a bit stunned by the responses of those that felt I had got down to undermine and make mincemeat of the epic revolutionary contributions of Eddie Madunagu, an acclaimed radical mental, author and theoretician who not too long ago marked his 75th birthday. Haba!
Of their notion, I had dedicated what amounted to heresy by categorising him together with some extremely revered and distinguished Comrades, Ola Oni, Baba Omojola and Godini Gabriel (GG) Darah whom they now demonise as “ethnic champions,” and berate at their Golgotha.
In a rustic the place revolutionary concepts and praxis are usually not solely in competition however nonetheless in flux, we should be cautious in pushing our positions from the excessive horse. I am actually amazed to be accused of in search of to “defame” Madunagu.
In his “Madunagu on the Nationwide Query,” printed in Premium Instances of Saturday, Might 15, Comrade Kayode Komolafe who virtually got here in need of announcing a fatwa, accused me of “ideological violence”.
Hear him: “..it’s a gross defamation of Madunagu’s ideological character for Iyare to incorporate his title on this group. Nothing within the revolutionary politics of Madunagu within the final 45 years may warrant this ideological scandal. What Iyare has executed is nothing in need of ideological violence!”
I can hardly fathom the import of this cost. Can anybody actually level to a golden e-book or bible of the Nigerian revolution? What then is the premise of KK’s magisterial assertion? Generally, I am actually apprehensive about how we bandy phrases amid false impression and abstraction.
I am miffed by the resort to very robust phrases in what ordinarily needs to be a wholesome discourse. It solely jogs my memory of the venom that laced Ishaq Modibbo Kawu’s response to Dare Babarinsa’s piece titled, “Ilorin and the disaster of id,” printed in The Guardian of March 25.
I just about obtained smothered struggling via Kawu’s piece titled, “Ilorin and Dare Babarinsa’s Disaster of Ignorance” that was stuffed with bile. It seems the environment of insecurity laden with weapons that are actually cheaper than bread on our streets, has strengthened a dialogue of the deaf which appears to have additionally permeated our discourse.
In abstracting and amplifying solely two points from my 1,885 phrase piece, Komolafe went on a voyage of Madunagu’s stance on the nationwide query as if I had launched into a repudiation of similar.
My reference to Ola Oni, Baba Omojola, GG Darah and Edwin Madunagu was on account of the truth that they popularised the discourse on the nationwide query which KK has not faulted. He solely added a rider that Madunagu’s view is that the nationwide query needs to be resolved throughout the context of the decision of sophistication contradiction.
Did any of the distinguished comrades ever oppose that? Are we being goaded on some revolutionary utopia that our intervention in opposition to all types of oppression and injustice should solely be throughout the context of the decision of the category contradiction? If we heed this praxis, maybe many nations that are actually unbiased in Africa should still be ready for Godot.
What actually is the crime of Ola Oni, Baba Omojola and GG Darah, a few of the nation’s most achieved humanists that Komolafe have opted to take them to Golgotha? So their gravitation in the direction of mobilising their individuals was an offence? For our self styled purists, comrades have to radiate of their cocoon and distance themselves from the agitations of what has been condescendingly known as “ethnic battle” to keep away from being labelled “ethnic champions”.
Maybe we should be reminded that every one the classical Marxist-Leninist works had been both written in German or Russian. Why had been they not written in Yoruba, Igbo or Hausa? Or what might be our verdict on acclaimed Kenyan Author, Ngugi wa Thiongo who way back opted to write down primarily in his native language, Gikuyu spoken by 7 million (22 per cent) of the nation’s inhabitants?
Will I even be accused of irredentism by those that ascribe non engagement of 1’s neighborhood as revolutionary purism for querying why Ambrose Alli College (AAU), Ekpoma, a 40 12 months previous establishment doesn’t educate any Edo languages however as an alternative teaches Trendy European languages?
Are we saying it could have been nice for Ola Oni, who performed a big function in nurturing many radical actions throughout Nigeria to have shut himself away from the agitations of the Yoruba, a bunch which if massed in Europe with their kith and kin in Diaspora, might be that continent’s sixth most populous nation?
Or it was mistaken for Baba Omojola, who not solely translated the Communist Manifesto into Yoruba by 1985 and had replicated the internationalist exploits of the Argentine Marxist revolutionary, Ernesto Che Guevara by enjoying a heroic function in revolutionary struggles from Algeria, Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa, to have opted additionally to impress the Yoruba?
Those that have already arrange a polit bureau to preside over our destiny have additionally sentenced GG Darah for exploiting his mental eminence in folklore, dance, and literary scholarship to mobilise the Urhobo and plenty of different Niger Delta teams battling the despoliation of their surroundings because of a few years of oil exploitation.
Probably the most uncharitable in KK’s try to current Ola Oni as an “ethnic champion” is his allusion to how he was buried because the Olori Apapo Egbe Omo Oodua by Yoruba self willpower teams whereas comrades “watched passively” from the gap. Whereas it’s not utterly true that comrades didn’t play a big half in Ola Oni’s burial, we additionally want to understand that particular person comrades are merchandise of various social relationships which can play an element at their demise.
On the night time of tributes for Comrade Chima Ubani, I recall then Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) President, Ayo Obe stressing the purpose that “Chima meant various things to totally different individuals,” which was a manner of reminding comrades that different individuals had been additionally concerned in mourning him.
Even together with his towering standing within the revolutionary motion, Ola Oni additionally meant various things to totally different individuals. If Ola Oni had been a member of Ogboni or Pyrates Confraternity, what number of comrades would have participated in his remaining rites? How does the mere symbolism of his burial have an effect on his robust revolutionary convictions?
Similar for Baba Omojola, who nurtured a great deal of youngsters from totally different locations in his house. The truth is, it took a number of years earlier than many people knew Baba’s organic youngsters. Or Festus Iyayi whose social ties to his faculty mates at Annunciation Faculty, Irhua and Authorities Faculty, Ughelli was virtually as robust as his involvement within the radical motion and ASUU.
It’s possible you’ll be chuckled to know the way many individuals made the burial of Karl Marx who was flung from one condo or the opposite in London on account of lack of ability to pay his rents. Or the classical musical knowledgeable, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who was too indebted when he died and needed to be buried in a pauper’s grave.
Have we requested why some of the achieved founding fathers of the US, Thomas Jefferson, its third President and pioneer Secretary of State, opted for his servants to bear his casket in a easy burial ceremony relatively than a glamorous state burial laced with gun salute and parades? Or why Charles de Gaulle, the famend father of recent France selected a quiet burial in his village, Colombey relatively than the glamour of the well-known Paris Cathedral and the Pantheon?
Why did Winston Churchill, considered one of Britain’s most achieved Prime Ministers and the Allied Commander, Subject Marshall Bernard Regulation Montgomery shunned burial on the prestigious Westminster Abbey and opted to be laid quietly to relaxation of their respective villages of Bladon and Binsted?
We have to admire that generally these points are usually not as simplistic and past what Man Burger, a South African Communications scholar calls the bubble gum. The import of all these is that how Ola Oni or these eminent personalities had been interred has little to do with their eminence.
We will sit down on hindsight to appraise the function of the scholars union of their hey days and in addition the Tutorial Employees Union of Universities (ASUU) however how many people do not forget that the unconventional motion used to see these teams as “bourgeois” which its main cadres should relate with a protracted spoon. To buttress this, I’ll finish this piece with a recall of my start into the revolutionary motion at Ife from an earlier tribute on Dapo Olorunyomi at 60 titled, “Toast to Dapsy, Our Grandmaster @60” now printed in a e-book titled, Testimony To Braveness: Essays In Honour of Dapo Olorunyomi, edited by Chido Onumah and Frederick Adetiba.
“The interval of our enlistment coincided with a raging debate amongst members of the motion on whether or not its frontline cadres ought to actively intervene within the College students’ Union which many had hitherto thought-about “bourgeois”. There was additionally the concern of exposing the motion’s main cadres to potential backlash that will finally ossify its development.
“By the way the identical debate was additionally happening amongst members of the Ife Collective about this time on its relationship with the then newly fashioned Tutorial Employees Union of Universities (ASUU) which was equally perceived as “bourgeois”. ASUU had arisen from the ashes of the Nationwide Affiliation of College Academics (NAUT) perceived as too conservative. Generally these debates and disagreements on principle and praxis turn into very heated resulting in factional groupings.
“It is the explanation why the election of Biodun Jeyifo, now professor of African and African American Research and Comparative Literature at Harvard College as ASUU President was not solely considered a “non-event” however he needed to wade via what amounted to a close to guillotine earlier than a few of the comrades grudgingly opted to work with him.
“Recalling this episode in his tribute to Dipo Fashina at 70, Jeyifo narrates his predicament. “Again at Ife, the information of my election as ASUU president was acquired virtually as an anti-climax or non-event, particularly by many members of our group, the Socialist Discussion board Collective. There have been three factions: one impartial or detached; one supportive however solely mildly and cautiously so; one very vigorous in its opposition. This final group was numerically and vocally probably the most dominant”.
“Its main proponent … ..poured his scorn and disapprobation, not on me, however on the Union and its complete membership. Fairly appropriately at the moment, he mentioned that NAUT/ASUU was a union with out spine or backbone, a union that had always betrayed its members up to now and would achieve this once more, no matter its management underneath me/us. Of me this comrade requested what had occurred to our longstanding follow of sustaining a distance to conservative, bourgeois organisations that we knew we may by no means change from inside. Why had I unilaterally departed from this follow and had gone and accepted to be ASUU’s nationwide president?”