Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Bukola Saraki’s Predicament in Yoruba Worldview By Abimbola Lagunju

It is a common Yoruba belief that any predicament that befalls any individual has a source and cause. There is no predicament that afflicts a man without some source. This belief gave origin to divinations and healing in Yoruba culture. Divination priests (and now their pastor-counterparts and Muslim clerics) seek to understand the source of a problem facing an individual and then proffer what they consider the most appropriate solutions.

Yoruba belief has four major categories of causes of a predicament:  Akoba, Afise, Afomo and Afowofa. Of these four causes, two are externally induced, one is self-provoked and one can be said to be accidental.  Akoba can be roughly translated as being set up by others deliberately or inadvertently to take the blame for an offence not committed. Afise means a deliberate attempt by others to induce predicament in the life of an individual. Afomo implies getting into a predicament for being at the wrong place at the wrong time or walking into a predicament. Afowofa is self-induced predicament.

An important prerequisite for solution out of a predicament is that the afflicted individual gives a true narrative of his life and his ise owo (deeds professionally and socially). It is a process of relieving the conscience of its burdens and trusting the diviner or the healer to help find solution. This practice of demanding a true account of the individual’s past records in order to find a solution for his predicament cuts across all religions. The Catholics call it confession, while other diviners and healers call it other names.

Bukola Saraki has a problem with his narrative. Conceited, arrogant and cunning, he has lost himself in his maze of self-deceit and lies. He tells a warped narrative. He seeks to self-attribute his predicament to Akoba by telling the discerning populace that his “political distractors” are responsible. To checkmate Akoba, he rigged himself to the post of Senate President, believing that by sitting high above his “distractors” as he did in Kwara State for 8 years, his predicament would go away.

Disquieted by the persistence of his predicament, he turns his attention to Afise. He says it is because he is “fighting corruption” and the bigger corruption is fighting back by inflicting him with false declaration of assets and fraud. Saraki wants us to believe that bigger corruption wrote his declaration of assets on his behalf and committed fraud in his name. He opened a warfront against the bigger corruption and their Afise. Bukola adopted a three-pronged strategy for his war. He consulted his marabout in Ilorin to consult his ancestors to fight his war. Not sure of his ancestors’ capacity or willingness, he consulted the Chief Imam of Ilorin to go higher up and get the angels to fight his cause. While still awaiting the reply from heaven, Bukola engaged the services of earthlings - lawyers and his spokesperson to publicly accuse Afise of misdemeanors and plotting to bring him down.

Confused by his gradual demystification and rapid loss of face as well as his apparent failure to attribute the growing storm of his predicament to “Akoba” and “Afise”, Saraki instructed his lawyers to run to the High Court as well as the Appeal Court to convince them that he could not and should not be arrested and brought to Code of Conduct Tribunal to answer for what “Afomo” has put in his way. His confused SANs could not find appropriate laws to stop the storm and resorted to inventing their own puerile and despicable interpretations of the law.

Everyone but Bukola understands that the cause of his predicament is Afowofa through his shameless greed, disregard for the laws of the land, mad ambition and delusion of grandeur. Bukola is either too arrogant or delusional to share this in his narrative. A troubling question to ask is whether he really understands his own actions, history and life. Is Bukie cooked mentally?

Afflictions from Afowofa have no solution. Only charlatans in all religions claim to have solutions to predicaments from Afowofa. True priests of all deities call the affliction and its consequences Kadara (destiny) and in severe cases of Afowofa, like Bukola Saraki’s, the individual is confined to an asylum or solitary confinement so he does not harm his society.

In the case of Bukola, these two solutions combined are the best to save Nigeria from his toxicity.

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