By Pastor Stanley Ajileye
Taiye Gbudu was one of my older classmates in class One at United Primary School, Egga-Adde, Ekinrin-Adde.
Gbudu is not his real name, but rather, he acquired the nomenclature based on his prowess and vibrancy in moonlight tales.
His name in the school register remained as Taiwo Otitolaye, but not sure many will remember him untill you add “Gbudu”
Nearly all pupils are used to one moonlight tale or the other.
When teachers are at lost of what to teach, they often asked us to come out, one after the other for folks stories. For the teachers, it was a kind of *I no go kill myself*
Whenever I was called upon, i had then, only one tale. *Alantere*.
The smallest girl in our class then, Sidikatu Nasiru, will always come up with her, *Menola* story.
Unlike the rest of us, Taiye has many stories, but the most prominent of then was *Gbudu lekuro*.
Taiye Gbudu would always conduct the rythm of his fable with gesticulations and dexterity that are laced with confidence.
With time, *Gbudu* found its way into our lexical of nomenclatures. Being a bully, we dare not call him to his hearing. He is from Ekinrin-Adde.
United Anglican Primary School, jointly established by Anglican churches of Ekinrin-Adde and Egbeda Egga, gave me the first opportunity in life to mix-up with people outside my community, an adventure that taught me one of the greatest philosophy in brotherhood.
Egbeda Egga boys were then notorious in *ajomo* (joining forces against a common enemy). You offend one, you offend all. This, more than anything else, made the fear of Egbeda boys, the beginning of wisdom.
I was ten years old in primary one….. Shhhhh…… ! It wasn’t my fault that I started primary school at 10, when some of my age mates, especially, *Awon Omo Oga* (Teachers’ kids) were in primary five.
Our father, was well known as great lover of education, who was bent on getting all of us, (his children) educated. Our father had three wives, and because family planning was not fashionable then, they were all in strict obedience to God’s injunction to be fruitful and multiply.
We had to queue up at the base of our educational ladder. My turn did not come until I was 10.
But then I was not the oldest in class. I fell within the average age of the class then. The likes of Taiye Gbudu, Taiwo Ojo and Bangbaye of Egbeda were the big bullies in our class.
Having spent many years in *Jelesinmi*, where I marked time, (as against the pressure from some quarters, for my dad to keep me with my uncle to learn bicycle repairing), I could read and write names conveniently, so I was made the Class Monitor, with my responsibilities including, closing the classroom’s windows at the end of each day, carrying the basket of Mr Nubi (my class teacher), and writing the names of noise makers in the class, whenever our teachers were busy making their own noise in headmaster’s office.
It was this last role, that often rail-road me into problem with the Egbeda boys and other bigger boys from my own community. I was frequently a target of their *ajomo.*
A day came, my pencil developed smoothness. I wrote names in abundance and submitted same to Mr Nubi, who gave me a cane to do justice of two strokes each to them. I wiped and wiped until my arms ached. Taiye
Gbudu was a victim just like many boys from Egbeda.
Gbudu vowed to deal with me on the way home after school. He actually went ahead to wait for me outside the school, for me to lock the windows and come for some beatings. He already got his own cane.
Unknown to him about five Egbeda-Egga boys were hanging around for a return match with me also
After securing the class windows as a responsible class monitor, I carried my teacher’s basket on my head, I wish I could get raptured on seeing five boys that ate my strokes of cane.
They commanded me to put the basket down, which I refused, using it as an alibi for escape. After all, it will be disrespectful to put the teacher’s basket on the field.
In fear, I decided to stylishly beg them, it did not work. They insisted, and without delay, two of them forced the basket off my head as another gave me a blow. The fight started with only me and them around.
Meanwhile, Taiye Gbudu who was waiting to “kill” me saw us from a distance. I was fighting with four out of the five. The fifth was a referee.
Gbudu raced in. I was scared thinking my foes have increased, but when he came, he joined force with me, descended on them , saying: you want to kill my brother? The boys ran without carrying their boxes. We pursued after them; scattered their school boxes.
He then held my hand, and escorted me home, promising to deal with them the following day.
Today, when I hear Gbudu, I remember his philosophy of brotherhood.
He forgot the pain of the strokes , be buried the bitterness he had towards me. He did not even wait for me to apologize to him. He ran in to defend his brother. This is *Gbuduism* a philosophy we need in Okunland at a time like this.
For so long, we have harboured hatred and resentments towards one another. We have nurtured bitterness into becoming a giant monsters. Unimaginable resentments and acrimonious relationship has consistently drifted Okun people backwards in the political equation of this state.
Between early seventies and late eighties, we were broken into either the camp of Awoniyi or Daniyan, who will never forgive themselves.
The syndrome of *adiye da mi logun nu, Maa fo leyin* is consuming us. It is time to *gbudulize* our mentality.
Today, we are still at it. despite the fact that, we have seen the hand of God, delivering the candidacy of a major political party to us for the first time in recent history of this state, many are still poise to doing the spoiler.
Democracy is a game of number. No single community’s vote can secure a win. As a matter of fact, votes of the entire okun or Kogi West can never secure a win.
So, it is obvious, that a party that can win the coming election is that party that has a spread across the three Senatorial districts. Not parties that has no structure, no executives, no offices in any other senatorial district. No ward Excos, no Local Government Exco, not even party flags in so many Local governments. Such parties will definitely need more, to go into election.
Our traditional rulers hasn’t the special responsibility of securing the golden opportunity that fate has thrown at us. Let candidates make sacrifices in the best interest of Okun. They should be pleaded with.
Gbuduism should be our philosophy for now.
Let’s not count our individual offences , let’s put the bitter strokes inflicted on us behind.
Let’s join forces with our brother Dino, who is privileged to win the ticket of a major party with spread.
November warfare is our war, Let’s stand on Gbuduism.
*Stanley Ajileye is the Director General, Kogi Equity Roundtable.*