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The Waterfronts Parliament: THEY ARE INSATIABLE

The People of the Waterfronts gathered as usual in their Parliamentary Hall, ready to look into the silly ways of the People of the City. They knew that the only way to checkmate the People of the City before they run amok is to be constantly be on guard to warn them against the consequences of their actions. It was obvious that they are like kids playing with knives without knowing the danger involved. That is the only way to explain why they still carry on with their silly ways, despite the dangers the year 2015 portends. They have been warned that 2015 might turn out to be the year of dismemberment instead of continued unity, yet they behave as if this would never happen, despite their clear evil dance that calls for it.
One silly way the People of the City behave is the habit of attacking whatever their opponents do, be it right or wrong, and supporting whatever their political party does, irrespective of its despicability. Take for example these two issues that occurred recently. More than 700 doctors were sacked in one fell swoop because of embarking on a strike which the Lagos State government felt was not right.
The strange thing is that all ACN states, the ruling party in Lagos State, supported the actions, while no PDP member saw any sense in it. Not even one. Why? Is the decision so just that no member of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, could find any fault in it? Or, is the decision to sack the doctors so wrong that no member of the Peoples Democracy Party could see any reason to support it?
Now take this recent action taken by the President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. People have died, starved, displaced and disorganized because of clamouring for the validation of Moshood Kashimawo Abiola’s mandate. The announcement of the cancellation of MKO’s victory at the polls so traumatized the nation that when democracy was to return, a Yoruba man was chosen as a palliative measure to console the Yoruba people. The same event caused the popularization of June 12, some insisting that it should be declared a national democracy day. Several people have called for the immortalization of MKO, (as he is popularly known) over the years. Finally, Dr. Jonathan has immortalized the man by renaming the famous Lagos State University, Moshood Abiola University. This great honour done to the acclaimed winner of the 1993 presidential election and who finally died for it has now turned to be a curse for the government.. The honour was done on May 29, 2012. On that very day, someone was bold to post this on the internet: “MKO Abiola does not deserve this honor. Abiola is a symbol of everything that is wrong with morals in Nigeria, yet, he’s been honored! For what? Even if the president thinks highly of Abiola, he should have named one of those Federal universities after Abiola. Renaming UNILAG after Abiola, takes the luster out of that college, and is aterrible idea”.
Another posted this: “Each and everyone of UNILAG’s alumni, past and current faculty and current students should feel extremely diminished upon hearing of the renaming of their great institution (one of Nigeria’s original institutions of higher learning) as MKO Abiola University.
The founding fathers of UNILAG would weep if they are still alive or turn restlessly in their graves if they could upon hearing about the name change. This news is like waking up one day to learn that one’s alma mater, a full fledged University to a polytechnic institute.
The President had stated in his address “that the Federal Government has decided that late Chief M.K.O. Abiola be honoured, for making the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of justice and truth. Destiny and circumstances conspired to place upon his shoulders a historic burden, and he rose to the occasion with character and courage. He deserves recognition for his martyrdom, and public-spiritedness and for being the man of history that he was. We need in our land, more men and women who will stand up to defend their beliefs, and whose example will further enrich our democracy. After very careful consideration, and in honour of Chief M.K.O. Abiola’s accomplishments and heroism, on this Democracy Day, the University of Lagos, is renamed by the Federal Government of Nigeria, Moshood Abiola University, Lagos”.
Pray, how does MKO Abiola’s name reduce the value of the University? If he was so obscure and inconsequential, how come his death shook the nation? Was he the first to be killed politically? The students of Unilag protested against the name change. This very Unilag students, did they not protest against the annulment of the election won by Abiola and also his death? Didn’t they suffer for it?
The thoughts of the People of the Waterfronts were disrupted when the Old man of the Waterfronts got up. The appointed time has come. The deliberations must begin, not a minute earlier and not a minute later. Like a programmed machine, the Oldman of the Waterfronts gets up once it is the appointed time, no matter how deep he was in his thoughts or deep in conversation. It is as if the ancestors, eager to have their share of the local white brew, never lets him forget the appointed time. The appointed time to begin the deliberations is the appointed time to give them their share of the local white brew. Accordingly, he stretched his left hand and picked up the bottle of the local white brew. His right hand picked up the little glass cup, permanent companion of the bottle of the local white brew. He filled it and began his call on the ancestors.
“Odumodu, great ancestor of the People of the Waterfronts, he who dwells at the domain between the Land and the Sea, we have gathered once again to look into the entrails of the People of the City. They are so mysterious that no one could understand them. Take, drink and give us the clue to understanding who they really are. Are they ever satisfied? When, will they really know what they want and go for it? Why are they like the water at the base of the canoe, tossed here and there? Take, drink and do not let their senseless ways affect your descendants, the People of the Waterfronts.
“Otumo-Ogugu, Favourite of the Maidens, he who goes in and out of the Maidens, detecting the unfaithful ones, take and drink. It is only you the ancestors that can understand the ways of the People of the City. Now they blow hot, a second after, they blow cold. May you guide us through their wily ways!
“Osokolo, another Favourite of the Maidens, he who pursues the Maidens out of the Waterfronts, reminding them of their duties at home, take and drink. What can we do without you, our ancestors? No one can understand the snaky footsteps of the People of the City. Join your co-ancestors to save us from them.”
The Oldman of the Waterfronts refilled the little glass cup and walked to the entrance of the hall. He transferred the filled little glass cup to his left hand and began to speak.
“We call upon you, you that are ever-grumbling creatures. Nothing satisfies you. Let it not be said that it is because we neglected you that you have taken to your destructive habits. You eat with the left hand, so take, drink and turn your eyes elsewhere. We want peace in the City. Be satisfied and leave us alone.”
The Oldman poured a little bit with his left hand transferred the little glass cup to his right hand and called on all the elders that have passed away, poured some for them and walked to the table and continued.
“You that eat on the table, we never forget you. Take, drink and assist us”. He poured all, refilled the little glass cup, drank all and allowed the bottle of the local white brew and the little glass cup to go round the hall. They took a glassful each, ready for the deliberations. The bottle of the local white brew and the little glass cup returned to the table.
Okolobo, he of the Creeks, got up to speak, immediately the bottle of the local white brew and the little glass cup, returned to the table.
“People of the Waterfronts, the People of the City are insatiable. What I am trying to say is that nothing can satisfy them. A few years ago, the People of the City shouted, ‘MKO Abiola is our man. Immortalize him. Without him there would have been no democracy. Name June 12 after Abiola, he deserved it. He is a martyr, in fact the country should be named after him. He is democracy personified. We so much love him that we did not mind a Muslim-Muslim ticket in 1993. His reign would have made the country an Eldorado.’
“People of the Waterfronts, the People of the City who annulled the fairest and freest election had to go to his tribe to select a man to rule them when democracy returned in 1999. His kinsman refused to immortalize him nationwide, the successor of his kinsman did not. Now the great grandson of Odumodu has done what Napoleon could not do, naming a well-known university after him. This insatiable People of the City who sacrificed lives protesting against his death are now saying that the very person they died for never deserved it. Can you imagine? That Abiola, who, when he was alive, could single-handed, build a university for them, never deserved a university being named after him. Well, let us be satisfied with what Olalekan Ige said, “Abiola represents struggle, pride and living. Abiola occupies a responsible place in the history of Nigeria and humanity. Abiola paid the ultimate price any human being can pay. Abiola gave his life and wealth to Nigeria. While alive, Abiola made people from every ethnic group. He sent people to schools home and abroad. He was one of the people who made Lagos glow. His house at Ikeja was a home for all. He could have ran away like many people but he chose to stay. Abiola was a brilliant and intelligent human being. He was one of the most influential African and contributed immensely to diaspora activities. He was personally invited for the inauguration of President Bill clinton in 1992 in recognition of his contributions to the emancipation of the black race.”
“Grandpa, please my throat is dry.”
The Oldman of the Waterfronts filled the little glass cup, swallowed all and allowed the bottle of the local white brew and the little glass cup to move to Okolobo. ###

By Kenneth Amabipi
0803 668 7846
Email: kennymaps@yahoo.co.uk

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