The recent political development in Lagos state as it relates to choice of governorship candidate of the ruling party and the dismal choice of successor to Fayose single handedly made by Fayose of Ekiti state prompted my review of political game and absence of deep thought process as well as non-appreciation of impact of few words of wisdom from the external support before getting to the top of the ladder.
As the saying goes; ‘remember those who laboured to ensure you get to the top of the ladder and when you are about to fall they will be there to give you a safe landing’.
The above proverb takes me to God’s wisdom in resolving who is crowned the king of the birds. It is a well-known fact that every specie has a leader either by size, strength, prowess, attractiveness, boldness, etc.
In the case of the birds, it was difficult to find one to be made a king. God felt it will be necessary to select among the birds to crown as king. Same approach He applied for the animals by choosing Lion by virtue of boldness and tactfulness. The acceptance of His choice by the animals shows that the lion’s boldness did not show sign of arrogance. Arrogance creates room for people’s doubt and question their choice hence reversal of choice becomes unavoidable.
The difficulty of choosing a king for the birds by God was herculean. Does God listen to the cries of the people? The answer is yes but how quick depends on the unanimous position by those appealing to our God for a change of position already taken.
God did inform Esikpogho, the bird that few days from the time He spoke, he (Esikpogho) will be crowned the king of birds. Esikpogho was elated and knowing that the words of God cannot be altered and God will not alter the position, went out to inform the birds and threaten to deal with all the birds after his installation as king. The birds became restless and gathered to put their petition before God. Esikpogho careless and stood on his ground to apply the big stick when he is finally installed.
God heard the voice and petition of the birds and summoned the birds to decide who they considered as the best bird to replace Esikpogho as He contemplates a change in leadership. God needed an answer from the birds before the date set for the installation of Esikpogho. There was unanimity among the birds and a choice of Titibiti who happens to be absent and busy in the farm was made.
The birds met God before the deadline to present the name of the bird they considered as a better king. God was surprised that Titibiti was not among them but chosen as the king of the birds and God had no objection to the request and granted their request on the condition that Titibiti will accept and appear on the date of installation.
A delegation was led to the farm of Titibiti and met Titibiti doing his usual work and not willing to compromise on what gives him and his community joy and happiness because he considered that farming guarantees food security and also sustains the other birds’ means of livelihood.
Titibiti received the delegation and got the news of his election as King of birds. His only objection was that the position will affect his farm work and may not be able to continue to farm again and also the installation is about to take place when he was yet to have his bath after a hard day’s work. The birds said they are worried who becomes their king and not the mode of dressing as long as the character of would be king can be attested to and does not have unquestionable character. Titibiti flew among the delegation to appear before God.
Esikpogho on sighting the delegation, he laughed and mocked Titibiti because he looks dirty due to farm work. Unknown to him, because he was blinded by his advisers assuring him that God will not alter His position, he was full of confidence of becoming the king of birds.
God came out and asked the delegation if Titibiti was able to come. The delegation presented Titibiti and God announced to the entire birds that forthwith, Titibiti becomes the king of the birds. That Titibiti will cease to excrete on the ground and only on other birds and shall fly high in the sky and shall be rare to find. That his humility earned the special treatment is saying the obvious.
The story of Esikpogho and Titibiti reminds of my interaction with His Excellency AyodeleFayose in October 2008 exactly ten years ago and we both communicated for some time before returning to political life. It is left for whoever read the story vis-à-vis my communication with him as attached. I held on to this to see if he really knows the line of life God carved out for him. All I saw throughout his second coming was a man who believed he was closer to God than anybody hence he made choices not approved by our Maker, God. Making a choice of a successor should not be a sole decision. When people revolt, it becomes disgraceful. We should not ascribe or arrogates the position of God who directs the affairs of man to oneself. I only made a move to reach him but no room despite a specially packaged message sent directly to him on his victory and was received. I had also thought that he will go back to his mail box to see if he could still open the channel of communication before making a choice as I could have been frank with him based on my previous communication on the steps to take to claim the office.I am not laying claim to any special power but God has so designed a way of speaking to unassuming person(s) to convey message to the appropriate quarter. To use such message to gain favour unapproved by God is reason most prophesies go opposite. Below is a communication with Fayose ten years ago. It gives the reality and sincere with God.
“From: BONNY OHOMINA <email@example.com>
Subject: DISCUSSION ABUJA – LAGOS VIRGIN NIGERIA FLIGHT ON 17TH OCTOBER 2008
Date: Friday, October 24, 2008, 10:12 AM
Nice and thank you for the opportunity to share your thoughts and inspiration with me in our flight on above subject date.
The delay in writing you was due to my schedule visit to London the following day. I am expected to return to Nigeria on 27th October and I quickly decided to make use of available service over here to express my gratitude to you as I took home some lessons of life from the frank discussion.
You made my day on the 17th as I have looked forward to coming across you several times. Accra/Lagos flight not to my advantage as I usually see you at a distance but because the mind had wished a possibility of meeting you, the Abuja route created the avenue. What a luck!
All I can say now is to continuously pray for you and others who do not have god fathers to rise up and chart a new direction for the nation. It is unfair to clap for a nation like Ghana for the stride in political and economic progress and Nigeria the supposed giant of africa living in abject poverty with a few dictating the direction the nation will take.
The reward of the righteous is the grace pass over from generation to generation.
Please note that the race is not yet over. The Lord has given you a task but Wisdom, Knowledge and Power you shall seek. Bow to no other god even in the face of threat to life except to our Heavenly Father, God who sees man’s heart.
The Lord will bless you and protect you.
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2008 17:50:53 -0700
Subject: Re: DISCUSSION ABUJA – LAGOS VIRGIN NIGERIA FLIGHT ON 17TH OCTOBER 2008
my appreciation of your kind words. pls keep in touch.
From: BONNY OHOMINA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: RE: DISCUSSION ABUJA – LAGOS VIRGIN NIGERIA FLIGHT ON 17TH OCTOBER 2008
To: “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tuesday, March 3, 2009, 12:04 PM
You may be surprised that after a long time I have decided to communicate. I have been watching you and the role you play in Ekiti politics and seeing you becoming the bride. I just pray that your bride position should be similar to that of OlusolaSaraki who was able to use his wisdom hidden from others and perfected his political strategy since second republic. Recall that saraki was in NPN and fought to install AdamuAttah. Attah set him aside in the sceme of things and Saraki waited for the 1983 election and join hands to sponsor Adebayo of UPN. If he had allowed the lobby by NPN to allow Attah run for second term and win, that would have ben the end of his political career as a father of Kwara politics. I am sure you are aware of his position during the time of Lawal and how he went to unseat him and finally planted his son who is running his second term. A feat no politician has achieved in Kwara politics. Take a look at those coming for friendship now and note how you were set aside before the judgement. Release of your five cars is insufficient to make you forget those who wanted to eliminate you.
My mother would say ” when someone has declared you an enemy and comes to you for reconciliation when he is in difficulty, watch his action when he succeeds through your help as his action can not change from seeing you as an enemy”.
If Oni succeeds today, he has 4years to stay in office starting from the date he is sworn in. He cannot be prevented from going for second term. Therefore your stake can only wait for another 8 years. History of your good work would have faded in the minds of the people and opinion about you as someone who is only interested in satisfying your interest will remain.
One advantage you have is that if Oni fails to get the mandate, and PDP wants to dislodge AC or any other party 4years from now, you stand a better chance of return to the race as PDP would have no option than to consult you to take the state back. Your pedigree is a testimony. Don’t let the Governors consulting you now to support Oni deceive you as they were not able to save you when OBJ was fighting you. Atiku’s visit to OBJ recently has reduced his rating and chances of him running for presidency is slim. Be careful.
Go to the one that would remain grateful to you even though political differences exist but your future plan is best known to you. Please make the mistake of OlusolaSaraki and become a more powerful person to be reckoned with.
Best of luck and I pray that you apply the best wisdom in this crucial time of your political career.
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2009 14:01:51 -0800
Subject: RE: DISCUSSION ABUJA – LAGOS VIRGIN NIGERIA FLIGHT ON 17TH OCTOBER 2008
noted.but would u say fayemi 2 will not run for 8yrs.did awolowo achievements not stand d test of time.irrespective of his struggle and tribulations.may god guide me alright all the same
From: BONNY OHOMINA <email@example.com>
To: “firstname.lastname@example.org” <email@example.com>
Thu 3/5/2009, 9:30 AM
For Fayemi to run if he wins will be an opponent. But if you have to struggle with an incumbent within same party, it might be tall order as the forces in the party will prevent any suitable candidate from coming up. If you have an understanding well documented saying Oni is to spend 4yrs period. Then you stand a better chance of returning. Toni Aneni in his words ‘ no vacancy’ hence Edo had Lucky Igbinedion for 8yrs without meaningful development unlike like yours which was less than 4yrs due to intra party crisis where there are visible development. Awolowo pursued a programme that ran for decades before his demise and during his time, he was the only person who saw the cog in the eyes of the people and professed a way out – Free Education.Other infrastructures he put in place are stories today as time past but education empowers more generations to come. Infrastructural development decay but education does not. What you succeeded in planting well in Ekiti is infrastructural upliftment and could start decaying within the next 8years. Ogbemudia legacy in Bendel (Edo and Delta) is a story to the new generation but can no longer move them to support him if he ask the people to come along with him as time had flew past generations. ‘The eye cannot see itself except by way of reflection’. How a pendulum will swing depends on the tilt applied. Best of luck in your decision.”
It is now history and my prayer for him is that he manages his case in court in a more matured manner devoid of sentiments so that it does not lead to prison sentence. He should apply diplomacy and possibly do away with his loud mouthed lawyer(s). I am afraid that if the case is not in his favour, he may ask his lawyers the next line of action. The response from his lawyer maybe, you go to prison and we go home to appeal. I pray it does not go that way. Failure has no parents.
I also took interest in the politics of Lagos and shocked that the effort we made to ensure that the incumbent has a victory in 2015 became a display of Esikpogho lifestyle later in the years after.
I may have sympathy for certain individuals like Fayose because of the way I perceived him then, it does not make me to depart from the political party that has made Lagos the destination point of all citizens in Nigeria. The transformation of Lagos started from AD to ACN and finally APC dear to my heart as far as Lagos politics is concerned. Though a non-card carrying member of APC in Lagos I have over the years developed soft spot for Lagos chosen leaders of the party in Lagos. The way I voted for PDP Presidential Aspirants since 1999 to 2011 until 2015 when I did a strategic position assessment and no visible development seen after a decade and I voted differently as far presidential race is concerned. I can see growth in Lagos and if same party continues it will gladden my heart as development to date is monumental because good heads are saddled with responsibilities in Lagos. I had no regret for the choice I made in 2015 and definitely shall repeat it in 2019.
The question I always ask my opponents in debates when castigating the de-facto Leader of APC, is ‘does it mean that no nobody can come out to display the rare traits of the leader so castigated? How come the state, Lagos has grown more than other states as if the other Governors are sleeping or forgot the purpose of governance? We have all ended up in Lagos even after retirement and hope our children continues to explore opportunities in Lagos as most of us have even taken up residency position for future benefits. I am shocked to learn that Rivers state has at least 57% unemployment rate followed by Bayelsa. Katsina has 3% unemployment rate. It is well understood that Katsina as an agrarian state will always pursue that agrarian line. Rivers and Bayelsa known for oil producing and over the years, its citizens engaged in income generation either lawfully or unlawfully and the closure of unlawful venture has impacted negatively in the unemployment rate coupled with unbridled use of funds for non-asset generating income by the respective state governments. It is worrisome that despite the huge revenue allocation and the 13% derivation, the states are yet to channel the resources to areas where income generation can be sustainable.
There is the need to avoid the life of Esikpogho who only sees his picture on the throne but failed to realise that picture is like a shadow that moves along the body of the owner and fades away when the day is bright and not be controlled by the light like when in darkness.
Coming back to the Lagos politics, the Esikpogho and Titibiti story perfectly fits Lagos APC primaries recently held. It is a lesson to everyone to note that a change of heart can come if the people cry out. Not a cry that support the thief or someone earlier branded a thief who is unable to travel out of Nigeria to the most industrialized nation. Receiving forgiveness from someone who had invoked curse on himself if he should forgive the branded thief. That an assemblage of pastors present to witness the forgiveness does not erase the curse. Total submission to God and ensuring that the people who were present when the curse was pronounced are also present when forgiveness is being made. Spiritual issue not treated with glove hands. The delegation that went to Titibiti also present when he was crowned as king of birds. I have held the view that most struggling spiritual personsare given the grace to foretell the future. However, when the power of grace is now focused on those that will elevate them physically, grace continues to diminish as they continue to increase their wealth from sources questionable.
When a spiritual leader/ruler is richer than his followers, the spirituality loses its taste. A bini adage says the richest person’s wealth is counted as part of the Oba’s wealth because the rich man is one of the subjects of the Oba. It is a thing of pride to a Bini Oba when he sees his subjects increasing in wealth and he will urge his subjects (binis) to use their prayers to lead the rich man to continue increasing in wealth.
I sometime wonder on the conflict of wealth acquisition and spirituality. A choice must be made. To be the wealthiest leader and also most spiritually blessed leader cannot happen because our God is wholesome. He knows His children and no one can cast aspersion on others by way of loyalty to his spiritual leader. Do not cast the first stone.
The curse issue is a digression but it is mentioned here so that we can digest it as the issue of forgiveness still on the gas burner. It becomes a political discuss as former boss claims to have forgiven his deputy because he has now realised that he could not stop him from obtaining the party ticket and his pet project, “3rd Force” unrealizable coupled with the stand of the President in power on certain issues he is not prepared to compromise which is best known the forgiver. Only option left is to find a landing place hence forgiveness of sin. As the saying goes, “the devil you know is better than the one you do not know”.
The heart is difficult to read hence the saying “your best friend has his own best friend and strategy must be kept secret except to those who shared same vision”.
We leave the issue of 2019 election outcome for another day and let’s reflect on the Esikpogho and Titibiti story for guidance in our relationship.
Bonny Ohomina B.Sc., ACTI, FCILRM, FCA
Business/Financial Consultant and Political/Economic Analyst
It is not in my character to give the English names of the birds called Esikpogho and Titibiti. Research.
Let it be known that I do not position myself in foretelling and as such will not discuss the issue of spirituality with anybody as I maintain my relationship with my creator based on my understanding of God.