ALAPERU: THE THRONE, AND THE GLORY
The review of the book in honor of the Alaperu of Iperu, Remo Land today 26th November 2022 by HRM Oba (Prof) AbdulKabir Adeyemi Obalanlege.
All protocols duly observed.
⦁ Please permit me to start this endeavor by acknowledging the author of this book Dr. Reuben Abati, a phenomenon who represents and has his hands in the three components of any successful book project; knowledge production, book publication, and media promotion. Dr. Abati is an intellectual, author, communicator, and media guru. Added to his feathers is his depth, and practical experience of Nigeria’s government and politics all of which he has laid bare by gesturing Oba Adeleke Adelekan Idowu Basibo, the Alaperu of Iperu Remo, the honor of a book that befits his stature and reverence.
⦁ The title of the book Alaperu: The Crown and The Glory grabs attention, the ideas are original, with contemporary significance. The book is unique in many ways, it not only tells the story of Alaperu, but it also helps to critically appraise the matter, values, sense, and importance of his revered Alaperu stool, and his contribution to Iperu land.
⦁ It also calls into reflection a whole range of assumptions about the life of Alaperu. And as demonstrated in the first chapter, it stretched to introspecting, analyzing, and prescribing a role of significance for traditional institutions in Nigeria. As a traditional ruler myself, I have taken a perspective that differs radically from any of the approaches I have seen in recent times. And that same perspective I believe could be a clue to strengthening the traditional institution in Nigeria, and advocating the moral efficacy of traditional stool. The book is systematically divided into nine chapters and arranged in orderly and sequential forms such that it adds suspense, glamour, and style to the literature.
⦁ One of the lessons worth emphasizing in the first chapter which is an introduction is the same as the gist of Pixelberry’s novel, The
Crown & The Flame. The story revolves around the choices we make and the value attached to the prestige, and honor with which we do things. It goes on to narrate how the fall of Kenna’s kingdom was helped to being restored by Dominic Hunter who could risk his life, and comfort hiding as spies among the kitchen staff of the usurper just because he sees honor, prestige, and dignity in retrieving Ken’s kingdom.
⦁ The interpretation I made from this parable is that Kenna Rys had long-time committed his stool to reputation, dignity, and prestige causing Dominic to see the usurping of Ken’s kingdom as an aberration. This is the same character the author in the first chapter presented the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II who like his grandfather had a reputation, and honor for speaking his mind no matter whose ox was gored. Meanwhile, like Kenna Rys, Muhammad Sanusi II was removed and exiled.
⦁ What then follows in the succeeding narratives was the author’s seeming discomfort with the traditional stool depicting subservience and sycophancy, unlike in the past when it symbolizes honor, reputation, and prestige. He summarized it as a conflict between tradition and modernity and echoed the demand for constitutional roles for traditional rulers within a democratic framework as a hypothetical measure to resolve the conflict. The chapter also touches on the history and trajectory of the traditional institution in Nigeria, from the period before colonialism, during colonization, and its operation in the post-colonial era traversing the political spectrum in Nigeria’s post-independence era.
⦁ The second chapter, the customs officer, introduced the subject, Alaperu of Iperu Remo, Oba Adeleke Adelekan Idowu Basibo from the cradle. Alaperu was no doubt a prince from one of the three Royal families in Iperu land, the Odoru Dynasty. He was well nurtured and his parents gave him the best education that was in vogue at that time. He also studied at Morley College and South Bank University at Elephant and Castle in London. He is a sportsman. He studied Economics and Shipping and Marine operations. He is sociable, he worked as a customs officer and left service meritoriously to ascend the throne of his forbears. What I considered fascinating and expository as revealed in this chapter is the dynamics and diversity of cultural realities and practices even among intra-ethnic relations in Yoruba land which may have originated from the acts of sanctifying retrogressive mythologies that are unhelpful for socio-economic development and political advancement. It is revealing that Oba Adeleke Adelekan Idowu Basibo descended from the female line of the Basibo royal family. He is a grandson of Metuluko, the daughter of Oba Basibo III. With this, I hope gender and comparative studies scholars will find this yet another example in their research endeavors, and this book a worthy material for patronage.
Chapter three is titled The Road to Alaperu Throne. Of the truth, the contest to become a king, especially in Yoruba land follows a lot of intrigues, politics, and financial muscling. I quite agree with the author that the enormity of the stool of Iperu land, and especially the prominence of the quality of subjects in the kingdom could invoke the wish of anyone to ascend the throne of the Alaperu of Iperu. However, experience has shown that power belongs to God, and only He can give it, and he freely chooses to honor anyone he feels he wishes to honor with power. The author revealed how destiny met nobility. It was destined and predicted that HRH Oba Adeleke Basibo will be crowned king, so, the road to Alaperu’s throne was a crow fly, that on 7th February 2002, he received his appointment letter as the Alaperu of Iperu. 9. Chapter four captured the Ipebi and coronation ceremony of Alaperu. The author described Ipebi as a place of seclusion where the king is expected to perform certain traditional rites and learn about the history, tradition, and conventions of the town which he is expected to rule with. The author established the dissimilarities in the number of days in Ipebi according to different communities. While it is 3 months or 2 months elsewhere, he noted that the seclusion period takes 19 days, going to the experience of Alaperu Oba Idowu Basibo. And he completed the rites on March 15, 2002, while the Coronation Day, and the presentation of staff of office was held on Saturday, March 30, 2002, at the Christ Apostolic Grammar School grounds along the old Ibadan Road, Iperu.
Chapter five deals with Iperu Akesan. The chapter dwells on the historical, social, economic, and political importance of Iperu land. The author went on to tell us that Iperu is the most populous town in the Remo Region of Ikenne Local Government Area in Ogun State, with a current population estimate of about 250,000. He also mentioned how Iperu has a connection with Awujale of Ijebu, Epe, and Oyo. The discussed the Iperu war, how it was fought, and how it ended was equally documented in the chapter. 11. Chapter six examined the challenges of Oba Adeleke Basibo since he ascended the throne while chapter eight discussed his achievements. The approach that the author devised to compose these two chapters is what I have found creatively unique. While Oba Adeleke Basibo recounts his challenges himself, his subjects gave accounts of his achievements so far. 12. Chapter eight is titled Reflections but we may consider it more appropriate as Alaperu’s Philosophies. Because the chapter entails his ideas and ideals on varied aspects of the society ranging from politics, tradition, governance, socio-economic policy, education, and the lingering secession agitations. 13. The last chapter Epilogue and New Beginning sets an agenda for the future. Then how best can the author honor the Alaperu if not closing this book with remarks, greetings, prayers, and best wishes from our indefatigable executive Governor of Ogun state, Prince Dapo Abiodun. Ladies and gentlemen, based on my assessment as an academic, and monarch, I found this book informative, inquisitive, and expressive such that it is worthy to recommend, and I am recommending it to the public. Let me conclude by congratulating our dear 21st Alaperu of Iperu, Oba Adeleke Adelekan Idowu Basibo on your glorious 20th anniversary on the throne of your forebears. I join the Governor and the government of Ogun state, your entire family, friends, and well-wishers in wishing you more years on the throne, in good health, increasing wealth, wisdom, and knowledge to continue to guide and lead your subjects to the Promised Land. Amen.
The Nigerian government has revealed the criteria for obtaining a loan from the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), which they say only companies with less than 250 employees are eligible for.
This was disclosed by DBN’s managing director, Mr. Tony Okpanachi, in a meeting with the Senate ad hoc committee investigating uneven disbursement of its loans. They also noted that their lending criteria are similar to those set by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Okpanachi told the Senate committee that only small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) with less than 250 employees and revenue not above N1.1 billion are qualified to access its loans.
He disclosed that southern Nigerian SME’s have received the most funding due to possessing the most requirements.
- “Our lending has criteria and they are the same as those set by the Central Bank of Nigeria. We do a risk assessment of the Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) before they begin to lend to businesses. We don’t want to give out money and the money fritters away. So we track the end users of the loans yearly,” he said.
He also said the DBN observed that there were issues with interest-based banking and loans in the north, citing that it has engaged two non-interest banks in Nigeria to cater to that region
The DBN boss said the process is continuous to get more businesses on board and urged participating financial institutions to build the capacity of small-scale businesses and train them on how to structure their businesses to be able to access the loans.
For the record: Nairametrics reported earlier that the Nigerian Senate set up a committee to investigate the uneven disbursement of N500 billion made by the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) to the six geopolitical zones.
The Senate stated that Lagos was the major beneficiary, with 47% of the total loan, while the entire northern region got 11%.
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, yesterday, dismissed a suit seeking disqualification of Labour Party (LP), presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
Joined in the suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/1743/2022 as defendants, are Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), LP, and Peter Obi as 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants, respectively.
The plaintiff, Allied Peoples Movement (APM), had approached the court for an injunction restraining the 1st defendant from acting on, according recognition to, giving effect to, or in any way or manner, dealing with the name of the 3rd defendant as candidate of the 2nd defendant in the forthcoming 2023 presidential election.
In his judgment, Justice James K. Omotosho dismissed the suit for failure of the plaintiff to provide sufficient evidence to grant the request.
The plaintiff, in an originating, summon had sought, among other reliefs, “a declaration that, in view of Section 131(c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the 1st defendant’s election time table and schedule of activities for the 2023 general election, the 1st defendant’s electoral guidelines for the conduct of 2023 political party primary elections and nomination of candidates for election, Sections 29(1), 77(2) and (3) of the Electoral Act, 2022, which mandate the 2nd defendant to maintain a register of its members in both hard and soft copy and make such register available to the 1st defendant, not later than 30 days before the date fixed for the party’s primaries, the 3rd defendant be disqualified from taking part in or otherwise contesting the 2023 presidential election fixed for February 25, 2023.
“Provisions of Section 131 (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended); the 1st defendant’s election timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general election, the 1st defendant’s electoral guidelines for the conduct of 2023 political party primary elections and nomination of candidates for elections, Sections 29(1), 77(2) and (3) of the Electoral Act, 2022 and the fact that the 3rd defendant became a registered member of the 2nd defendant less than 30 days to the party’s presidential primary election, which held on May 30, 2022, the 3rd defendant, herein, is disqualified and ineligible to contest the 2023 presidential elections as the candidate or flag bearer of the 2nd defendant.”
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday indicated that governors steal from local government council allocations.
The President, who spoke extempore after delivering his speech at the presidential parley for members of the Senior Executive Course 44 (2022) of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) at the State House, underscored that personal integrity is fundamental in the operations of government.
He recalled an instance of how a state governor would receive allocation on behalf of council areas in his state only to remit half of such allocation to the council chairmen.
These actions, he said, portrayed the sort of corrupt practices that is now symptomatic of Nigeria in dispensing resources meant for local council administrations, thereby undermining development.
Buhari, in his address, congratulated the members of the Senior Executive Course 44 on the successful completion of their course. He challenged them to revitalise and reinvigorate leadership at the various levels of establishments.
Thousands of Nigerian motorcycle riders and drivers could be thrown into the labour market following the announcement today by Ugandan ride-hailing startup Safeboda that it will be exiting the Nigerian market.
The announcement is coming barely three months after the company expanded its service from bike-hailing to include car-hailing.
While the details of the company’s exit are still sketchy as of publication time, an official of the company, who would not want to be named, confirmed to Nairametrics that the company will be exiting the country. Without giving further details, she confirmed that riders and drivers on the platform will be disengaged.
Riders still in the dark: However, when Nairametrics spoke to one of the bike riders on the platform in Ibadan, he said he was not aware that the company was about to exit the country. The rider who was shocked to hear the news said:
- “As of this morning, everything was still going on as normal, there is no such information. We have not been told anything.”
Surprising development: This is a surprising development seeing as the company had just recently announced a new product. Earlier in September this year, the transport startup launched a car-hailing service called SafeCar in Uganda and Nigeria. Announcing the launch, SafeBoda’s Co-founder Rapa Ricky Thomson, said:
- “We’re very excited to launch SafeCar in our super App with a safer, more convenient solution than what is offered in the market. We’ve talked to drivers and passengers, tested our product, and we are going to change transportation in Uganda forever, we are going completely cashless.”
Earlier in March, the bike-hailing company celebrated crossing 4 million rides, and 50,000 deliveries with over 10,000 riders and 100,000 passengers. The startup launched in Ibadan, Nigeria, in December 2019 but began operations in March 2020.
Prior exits: This is the second time SafeBoda is exiting a market since its founding in 2017. In 2020 SafeBoda exited Kenya after extending its services to Nairobi less than two years earlier. It explained that it exited Kenya due to the negative effects of COVID-19 on its business.
Christmas season is here. There is a certain feeling of lightness that cascades through bodies of millions of us human beings in several parts of the world, Christendom in particular. There is a certain inexplicable joy looking forward to the stupendous Event that is Christmas. Companies, factories begin to shut down from the middle of the month of December. Families plan big; transporters are busy; flight reservations are made well in advance. No group advertises the impending season than children, and they ask their mothers: “Mommy, what are you buying for us this Christmas?” Is it not instructive that it is their mothers they approach first! The mother may then say: “Go and ask Daddy?” It is simply because women are closer to Nature than men, equipped with abundant and richer spiritual endowments which connect them with Light Power more than with men for the fulfillment of their high tasks in our world. What I am getting at is that observation of simple things around us will prove to us that man is more than his physical body. You are in Jebba sleeping, and you find yourself in New Orleans attending a meeting. You have not left your bed and the eyes are closed. On awakening you discover that the experience was only a dream! With what faculty does a man go through such an experience? As with nearly all things that have suffered decline in the affairs of the modern man, the faculty to dream has not been spared. Dreams are to guide and to warn, but they have been interfered with such that in a majority of cases, what may have been dreamt does not come to pass; the warning is distorted, the guidance is of no avail, having been mangled.
All around us are activities by the unseen servants of the Creator, the Almighty Father. The conception of Almighty God by many a man is that He is a bearded old man close by who watches every movement, every activity, He is present at every meeting and listens to every conversation. He rewards and dishes out punishment. Many clerics claim that He speaks to them every now and then; indeed they had dinner with Him a few days back. Such is the audacity of man!!! This evinces lack of the knowledge of the structure of Creation which is multi-layered into planes and Realms, the vastness of which is beyond human contemplation, comprehension and grasp. It could not have been for nothing that the Lord Jesus Christ said in His Father’s House “are many mansions…” The mansions refer to Planes and Realms in the material as well as in the Spiritual. The Divine Realm, primarily the abode of Archangels and Angels, is outside of Creation. As we now know from the enlightenment of the higher knowledge made available to mankind today, the Abode of the Almighty is even outside the Divine Realm. They are separated by an ocean of flames that has no possibility of cooling as it is the natural consequence of the Radiations of God Who is Life, Light and Truth. Only His Two Sons, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit Who are Parts of Him—Christ as Love and the Holy Spirit as His Will and Justice Arms—can cross the ocean of flames because the Essence of the Father is their Essence, too, being Parts of Him in Holy Trinity. It cannot be so difficult to see that if the Lord Jesus Christ had stepped into this world with all His Powers and in all His Glory, it would have melted under His feet into nothingness. We can see from the foregoing what love and how much sacrifice He made in His coming, accompanied by angels to show human beings the way out of their derangement, chaos and confusion.
Peoples in different regions and cultures long came into recognition of the structure of Creation. The people of South West, for example, recognise the Spiritual Realm as First Creation –Akokoda Aiye and the Material Realm as Subsequent Creation–Aseyinda Aiye! They also long recognise the different planes and Realms as Dark Region, Orun Apaadi; Ethereal Region, Orun Alakeji; Light Region as Ojude Orun, the Fore Court; Paradise, Orun; Azure Island, Isalu Orun; Primordial Spiritual Realm, Ajule Orun; Summit of Creation, Oke Orun. The Ifa corpus speaks of Agbaagba Merindinlogun, the Elders at the boundary of the Divine Realm. It was not the Whiteman who brought the knowledge to them. If the Realms did not exist, they would not have recognised them. They gained recognition of them in their development and gave them names, helped in all these by Nature Beings. The eyes of some of them opened and they gave the planes names in their own language. It cannot be surprising that they made deities of these helpers and they formed religions to worship them, one of the deities being the Masquerade they call Ara Orun, that is a native of the Beyond who brought them tidings and knowledge, principal among which is that there is life after earthly life. The masquerader is usually thought to be a departed former member of the family. He may even have come to settle misunderstandings that ensued in the family after his departure, especially on land matters. The worship and celebration of masquerades is wide in many a culture in Nigeria—in the south East, South-South, North-Central, South-West, Republic of Benin and Ghana.
In the book, titled Tributes on ULLI BEIER, edited by Wole Ogundele, the renowned poet, Niyi Osundare, wrote an enrapturing poem he captioned ‘Iwa L’ewa, A Preface in Verse’. Other contributors were Bruce Onabrakpeya who was introduced as “definitely one of the most creative and best known Nigerian artists today. He has also established a successful art school, the Harmattan Workshop, at Agbarha-Otor, Delta State; Jimoh Buraimoh, said to be one of the “pioneer Osogbo artists and member of the Duro Ladipo Theatre…he has his own gallery in Osogbo, where he also trains young artists and Wole Ogundele himself who taught African and English Literature for almost three decades at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and in the universities in the USA and Germany.” Osundare wandered near and far paying glowing tribute to whom it is due—from Pius Okigbo to JP Clark, from Wole Soyinka to Nwoko. What caught my attention more is Ulli Beier’s foray into understanding and familiarity with the culture and deities of his community in Nigeria, Osogbo. In what he titled Glossary of the Yoruba pantheon in the poem, Osundare explained that Osun is the goddess of River Osun also goddess of fertility, compassion, and justice; Oya as the goddess of River Niger and Commerce renowned as the most powerful of Sango’s wives; Sango…the god of thunder and lightning and Ogun as god of iron and metallic lore of technology. Obatala is…god of creation and guardian of spiritual and communal ethos; Ifa, Yoruba supreme medium of divination, is the source of wisdom, knowledge, and the science of being.
This is saying, therefore, that the knowledge of the elemental beings is world-wide and this arose as here and there gifted men beheld them. Because they do not wear physical bodies, they are not seen by the generality of the people—even more so today than in ancient times. Those frequently seen are Gnomes who build hills, mountains, form rocks and sands as well as water Sprites. They are more in density than those with finer consistency. Uncorrupted children who are enthralled by nature, children who are excited in playing with sand, moulding birds with clay see, and talk with them, instead of they getting carried away by toy guns and toy cars. The children are more likely to see them who run after reptiles and who pester their parents that they would like to own dogs and who are in their elements running after their cats and taking care of them. Children who would like to visit zoological gardens. Alas, what modern parents do today is to rush the children to school at the age of three years to make them precocious.
Cicero said in “The Nature of the Gods”: “For the belief in the gods has not been established by authority, customs, or law, but rests on the unanimous and abiding consensus of mankind; their existence is therefore a necessary inference, since we possess an instinctive or rather an innate concept of them; but a belief which all men by nature share must necessarily be true; therefore it must be admitted that the gods exist.”
The people of old marveled at the love, efficiency and precision of these beings and they began to worship them and they would not heed the admonitions, warning and protestations by the beings themselves to desist from doing so pointing out to them that only God Almighty is to be worshiped. The beings guide herdsmen giving them signals as may be necessary on routes and water; same to fishermen as to where to cast their nets for appreciable harvest and to potters which clay will make solid pots; and which plant fibres should be used for weaving, principal among these which turned out to be what man was later to call cotton. The beings formed the foundation for good character, loyalty and hard work as people strove to emulate them. As the Greeks were way ahead of others with their sharper perception, it is believed that the Beings inspired the early great philosophers—Socrates, Plato, Aristotle to name only three, indeed to the extent that Plato admonished a skeptical youth that “ his good or bad behaviour would have consequences” It is said of him that he regarded belief in the existence of the Nature Beings as “the most important thing for the human being.” .
The knowledge of the Nature Beings is depicted in the scriptures both in the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament for example, it is said “God standeth in the congregation of the Almighty; he judgeth among the gods (Psalm 82:1). Again in Psalm 135: 5), we read: “For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods:” In Psalm (36:2) we have stated: “God of gods.” The gods in reference are the elemental beings which the early people called gods and goddesses. The experience of Balaam and his donkey is well known when his animal refused to move on at a point on seeing a Nature Being that gave a warning signal to it. But Balaam could not see the being. He kicked the donkey three times but the animal refused to continue. The narration is contained in Numbers 22, 28-34 and it reads:
“And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?
“And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.
“And the ass said unto Balaam, am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? Was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.
“Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.
“And the angel of the Lord said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten ass these three times? Behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me:
“And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times; unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.
“And Balaam said unto the angel of the Lord, I have sinned; for I knew not thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again.”
In the New testament, Apostle Paul wrote (1 Corinthians 8, 5-6): “For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) but to us there is but one God, the father, of whom are all things, and we in him: and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.”
Similarly, there is the account of the Lord Christ himself rebuking the wind and the Sea of Galilee when a violent storm headed to sink the ship in which the Lord was: “And He saith unto them: Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm. But the men marveled, saying: What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! (Matthew 8: 26-27).
I have gone this far to demonstrate the imperative of being conscious of the primary teachers of man and the help they still render to mankind till this day, building and forming. There is so much to say about them; they are numerous and they are in hierarchies. Indeed without them life would have been impossible on earth. The Lords of the Nature Beings are in higher Realms, principal among them being Mercury. The beauty, size and majesty of some of them and their swinging in the radiance from the Power of the All-Highest got men to come to the conclusion that they were gods and in admiration and homage began to worship them. But it should be made plain that they are not God, but only the faithful servants of the Most High.
This leads me to ask the question once more: What is true worship? I apologise I cannot cover the ground today to lead to the subject, constrained by space and time. It will unfailingly be treated next week).
(References: GONE TO JOIN OBATALA: Tributes on Ulli Beier; and Gnomes, Elves, Nixies…A World-wide Knowledge by Christopher Vasey).
Former US President Donald Trump didn’t just happen to the United States. He hit the world like the climax of a horror movie.
Scene after scene, act after act left the thoughtful in bewilderment, the reserved in shame, and even the incorrigible in doubt. Only the fantasts and ultra-right wing extremists were impressed by Trump’s macabre dance.
It was a phase like no other when he freely abused the expression, “To make America great again”.
Apart from his British double and ally, Boris Johnson, only clips from Uganda’s past, without their bloody trail, throw up a shadow of semblance in contemporary history.
If Idi Amin, Uganda’s maximum ruler and self-styled conqueror of the British Empire, was alive, Trump would have had a living black effigy, a master of doublespeak. He shifts grounds from subject to subject, changing the narrative before the audience had time to think, and then closing the story with a conclusion neither relevant to the beginning, nor logical in its summation.
Although Amin declared himself Field Marshal and life president, he only lasted between 1971 and 1979 – roughly the same eight years Trump aspires to rule the US. Amin’s cleverer latter-day successor, Yoweri Museveni, has been, paradoxically, the one to live Amin’s dream of a life presidency.
Museveni, who led a guerilla warfare to “liberate Uganda from Amin”, has been in office for 38 years and still counting. Now the whole world is worried about liberating Uganda from him.
With Trump, facts don’t have to be factual. Any line makes a syllogism so long as it justifies his ends. His presidency reduced the most powerful country in the world to a theatre of absurdities, an endless circus of drama where Trump was the scripter, its director, lead actor, hero, critic and more.
It was under Trump that the world really doubted for the first time in many decades the primacy of the US in global affairs – whether it involved the climate debate, migration (legal or otherwise), the pandemic or even the nuclear arms challenge.
With skin tougher than a reptile’s, Trump drove through scandals, not batting an eyelid. He rigged the Supreme Court with conservative justices, trampled over Congress and bullied the press. Trump was not just a master of the alternative universe, he also sustained it with hysteria that left normal folks doubting their own sanity.
A darling of the Christian right, he may as well have borrowed his moral compass from the Crusaders, an earlier generation of Christians, who lacked the grace to accommodate what they could not change, but did not lack the courage to undermine or destroy them.
Trump was never wrong as long as he called the shots. He must have thought Nixon was foolish to have resigned at the mere triviality that was Watergate.
Coming on the heels of the remarkable era of Barack Obama, Trump had the very effect of that bull inside a China shop. Frequently seeking judicial reinterpretation of his indiscretions, America lost its sense of outrage under him! With brazen incorrigibility, he simply blew out one scandal with another.
When, after four difficult years Americans had the chance to choose again, the confused, frightened world prayed that American voters would find the courage to escort DJT out of the White House and back to his Towers. That’s where his alternative facts and self-serving narratives move mountains and form the operational blueprint.
But he didn’t only resist by stirring an insurrection on the Capitol, he would go on to ask the courts and whoever cared not to accept or confirm Joe Biden’s electoral victory. Sounds like a tale from a thriller, but we lived through it.
To be fair to American voters, the majority of them didn’t elect Trump. He was the product of the Electoral College – a warped and archaic electoral system which sometimes allows the majority to have their say, but the minority to have their way.
If that system was meant to provide some balance and comfort in America’s complex federation – and possibly stop the emergence of demagogues, as some argue – well, it failed to deliver in 2016.
The Electoral College, that 230-year-old political contraption, became the very vehicle that took Trump to the presidency. Hilary Clinton had trounced him with a margin of 2.8 million popular votes, but the counter-democratic wisdom of the electoral college overrode the popular will of Americans.
In the words of one of the founding leaders of the US, James Madison, the Electoral College was meant to ensure that the president is elected “by men most capable of analysing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favourable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice.” Trump possessed anything but these qualities.
His Democratic opponent warned and admonished most prophetically, about the man lacking the temperament and wisdom befitting of the job. The electorate heard, and adhered, but the “College” did the reverse. The world felt the impact of that mistake, and America bore this burden for four long years.
And he stunned the world even more. He wouldn’t leave the White House without a fight and attempted a coup. He wouldn’t concede defeat or congratulate the man who beat him at the polls. He sulked, balked and bluffed. But in the end, he had to slink away like a bully humiliated by an underdog.
The mid-term elections in November in the US provided Trump with another opportunity to show-up in the ring again, hoping for a Red wave, which thankfully, did not happen. He still wants to make America great, to “save” America.
His fanatical crowds are unrelenting, cheering him at the podium like nothing happened before. And just like before, too, the world risks the mistake of under-estimating Trump, thinking he is going nowhere.
Whether Trump will succeed or not depends on the Republican Party, a party so beholden to Trump that it answers twice, even when he calls once. If he overcomes the loop, his brand of entrepreneurial politics and personality cult could generate a bandwagon effect that may be hard to stop.
As America approaches the 2024 elections, chances of a Trump on the ballot are a possibility not to be dismissed, considering how he pushed through the Republican primaries to the presidency in 2016. He feels even more surefooted now, despite the outcome of the midterm elections.
He claims he wants to save America. But America desperately needs to save itself from him. He’s never been short of this messianic complex. And he knows when and how to deploy it to devastating effect.
Trump 2.0 is a possibility and the man is seriously looking forward to it. He has the capacity of a brigand; he fights – fair or foul – he just fights, anyway. The end justifies the means. With Trump, the world should never say never until he has been retired by consent or by force.
Trump is not done, yet. And anyone who thinks otherwise should remember what his cousin, Mary, told The Guardian about him in January 2021: “He’s never had a legitimate win in his life. All that matters is getting the win, no matter if there’s an asterisk next to it.”
Why? Because asterisks are to a demagogue what the red flag is to the bull. America, watch your back!
A 25-year-old Father, Godsgift Uweghwerhen, is in police net for allegedly flogging his three-year-old daughter to death in Aladja community, Udu Local Government Area of Delta State.
He reportedly flogged the baby who was said to have been sick for sometime with a cane and inflicted bodily injuries on her.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the suspect committed the dastardly act on Wednesday after the child allegedly entered his neighbour’s apartment.
But he reportedly fled the scene immediately on noticing that the young child had given up the ghost as an aftermath of the merciless beating.
Nemesis however caught up with him at Ubogo community near Aladja as the Vigilante team in the area arrested him and consequently handed him over to operatives of the Nigeria Police in Ovwian/Aladja Division.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer for Delta State Command, Bright Edafe, confirmed the incident.
In a text message to journalists on Thursday morning, the PPRO simply said ‘confirmed’ without providing much details on the matter.
A Federal High Court sitting in Minna, the Niger State Capital, has ordered that the Chief of Army Staff, General Farouk Yahaya, be arrested for contempt.
Justice Halima Abdulmalik, who issued the warrant and presided over the case, said the order followed notice brought before the court in pursuant of order forty two rule ten of the Niger State High Court Civil Procedure 2018.
The judge ruled that the order is commuting Yahaya to be kept in Minna correctional custody for contentions of order of the court on October 12, 2022, adding that the COAS is to remain in custody till he has been “purged”of the contempt.
Also, the judge issued that the Commandant Training and Doctrine Command, Minna, Major General Olugbenga Olabanji, be arrested and imprisoned for a similar offense.
Justice Abdulmalik then adjourned the case to December 8 for continuation.
The PUNCH had reported that on November 29 a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja sentenced the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, to three months in prison for disobeying a court order.
The IGP’s committal followed a suit that was filed by a police officer, Patrick Okoli, who was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigerian Police Force.
The court also ordered the payment of N10 million to the applicant, being special and general damages for the unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional denial of his (Patrick’s) rights and privileges as a Senior Officer of the Nigeria Police Force from 1993 till date.
Abia State Governor Dr Okezie Ikpeazu yesterday presented a N157. 517 billion Appropriation Bill for 2023 to the state House of Assembly for deliberation.
The bill, christened: “Valedictory Expenditure Expansion and Budget” showed an increase of 6.95 percent from the 2022 budget of N147.787 billion.
Presenting the bill on the floor of the state House of Assembly, he said the government had pursued a number of signature programmes aimed at improving the livelihood of the people.
“On this occasion, I wish to once again commend your efforts on the early passage of the 2022 Appropriation Law implementation of which I started on 1st January”, he said.
According to him, “Your support has made it possible to sustain the January to December budget cycle and fiscal implementation in Abia State during my administration”.he added.
“As is our practice, I will present the highlights of the State 2023 draft estimates and budget proposals. The commissioner for finance will later provide the details of these proposals in his breakdown.”
The governor, who will vacate the office on May 29, 2023 after a second four year term, gave a breakdown of the Bill as follows: Recurrent N75.044 billion and capital N82.472 billion.