Elebuibon must not lead Yorubas back to gbetugbetu, By Sola Adeyeye

I respectfully but very strongly disagree with this view. Quite frankly, he (Chief Elebuibon) is canvassing a totally retrogressive view that will get us quickly defeated and let the world further leave Yorubas mired in silly and ineffectual superstitions.

Dependency on metaphysical and supernaturalist motifs is not unique to Yorubas and Africans. Across the world, ritualist practices in aboriginal communities have been shed in many countries in the light of better knowledge and societal progress.

Unlike in the days of Moses, Joshua, Kings David, Solomon, Asa, Hezekiah and Jehosaphat, Israeliites no longer carried the Ark of God to any war. Indeed, the gallant exploits of King Jehu were accomplished without the Ark! Certainly, God had to teach the Israelites that the Ark should not become a graven image on which their trust was reposed!

Christians often talk glowingly, (albeit ignorantly) about Ebenezer, the location of a great victory achieved by God’s presence. Most never recall that Ebenezer later became the location of tragic defeats for Israel by the Philistines! It was the death place for Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli; and the place where the Ark of God was captured by the Philistines!

Though Yoruba Christians still melodiously sing Ẹbiniseri wa rèé o, from the time of King Josiah, there is no record of Israelites carrying any ark again! The God of Israel led them to embrace new paradigms that have made Israel one of the most innovative on the planet.

In like manner, Saudi Arabia and Iran no longer depend on amulets inscribed with Quranic verses. India has moved away from talisman! Elébùìbọn must not lead Yorubas back to gbètugbètu, àfọ̀sẹ and egbé! Olodumare must not leave the Yorubas stranded in pre-medieval ritualism.

Traditional observances are circumscribed by finite boundaries. And so are life and all the phenomena associated with it. Perhaps life as we know it also exists on some far-flung planet in a different galaxy of a different star. Perhaps!

For now, we believe that the universe is an ever-expanding entity that transcends and defies finite boundaries. It is a multiplication of endlessness by infinity!

Once upon a time, ships came ashore from distant Europe, carrying men who looked like albinos. Many of the natives ran away fearing an invasion of the gods. But not the wise men and their wives who knew how to talk in the dialects of the gods. The gods always responded to incantations! And so they chanted. And chanted…. And chanted!

Six months later, the chanters were all in chains on sugarcane plantations across the ocean. The “albinos” were immune to incantations!

When Obasanjo advocated the use of juju to confront apartheid South Africa, he retained enough commonsense not to attempt a military attack on South Africa. At a time that South Africa already had trident submarines, it would have been sheer buffoonery for him to launch a war with an amoury of lizard tails, cowry shells and smelly amulets.

Rather than gloating in traditional powers that did not work against Europeans or even Arab invaders, we must put our heads together to plan a modern defense of our domains. Our heroes past who gloated on the basis of supernaturalist motifs were subdued by modern weaponry.

For example, superstitious bravado did not prevent the valiant Ogedengbe Gbogungboro from being chained by the British and disgracefully marched through the same communities where his very name once struck terror.

The struggle for a truly federal Nigerian republic is a just one. But let no one be deceived by the notion of the inevitable triumph of just causes on this side of eternity. History is replete with just causes that were defeated by earthly forces. Australia, Canada and the Americas are now occupied by the descendants of unjust brutal foreigners.

Much of world history are tales by the victorious rather than by the just. While many might tout bullet-proof vests made with amulets and cowry shells, our “Manhattan” group must remember that success comes not from the glare and glitz of bravado but from the secrecy and darkness of uncompromising planning and deligent execution.

-Prof. Adeyeye served as Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria from Osun State

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