BY STANLEY AJILEYE
My mother’s favourite song was a lyric from the album of Evangelist
Joseph Adebayo Adelakun. The track is ‘Wa ba mi gberu mi baba’ .
Mama who died in 1988 at an unripe age of 57 was a food vendor who on
daily basis treated the community to early morning doses of Amala,
Gbegiri and Ewede. To make this happen, she always had need to sleep
late and wake up early as a mark of responsibility. Any day she woke
late, students of Baptist High School (BHS) Ekinrin Adde were
disappointed of their breakfast. It was usually a thug-of-war
controlling her customer population as the shout of Iya Oke from the
student population rented the air. Oke my immediate elder brother was
a student of BHS; so it was convenient for his school mates to lay
claim to that affinity: Iya Oke, Iya Oke and Iya Oke, leaving the rest
of us jealous as we wonder if she was less our own mother. Anyway, we
all accepted Iya Oke as mum’s trade name, leaving my own egbon to
relish the grandeur of the popularity and fame it gives.
Now back to Mama’s song. As early as 4.00 hour, Mama’s voice is
already blaring like gramophone with this old song of Adelakun, the
The track ‘Wa ba mi gberu mi baba’ , now an evergreen tune, is an
outcry for a relief from an over burdened individual. Adelakun, in
this song called unto heaven for divine intervention in the face of
the oppressive regime of the devil, which would rather increase the
yoke and burden of men than consider amelioration of same. His
philosophy was like David, who, in the 23rd chapter of his song said
he will lift up his voice to the Hill of the Lord where help comes
As Mama sang each morning, I sometimes suffer inner condemnation and
guilt, especially when we failed to wake up and assist her in drawing
water from the well. So many nights, we feign sicknesses that range
from headache, to stomach trouble, all in a bid to escape waking up
midnight to hunt the dry wells in the neighborhood for water drops.
It was easier for me to feign stomach trouble at that time than any of
my siblings. After all, the doctor has confirmed to our parents that I
was ulceric. It became a convenient alibi to suddenly grip my belly,
rolling from one side of the bed to the other, heaving intermittently
as if in pain. How irresponsible I was. Mama often would then take up
the extra burden of first warming little drinkable water for me, then
apply pinch of salt and stood by me until I claim to have a little
relief. Then Mama will continue her song which most times pricked my
conscience. The most terrible line in the song was the phrase that
says: ‘Satani lo n di okuta seru eni to fuye’ (It is satan that
needlessly increases the burden of men). That line hit me more forcing
me to rise reluctantly to join Mum at the well. Yes my conscience was
not dead; hence it beat me back to the glorious part of a responsible
The difference between human and the devil is in the state of the
conscience. When the conscience of a man is dead, the remainder is
called the devil.
Today, men in political offices are men with dead conscience. Men who
would rather increase the burden of common men than, bring them any
form of relief. Shameless men that we call leaders who are drenched
in irresponsibility. They seldom pay salaries, and when they pay, they
do so in disheartening percentages.
The greatest show of Satanism is when leaders connived to deny its
citizenry, relief materials that came freely from Federal Government.
Yet, salaries are not coming as at when due.
There was this trending video from Kwara state, where an Iman prayed
over a cup of rice and a sachet tomato that was given to a household
consisting of about twelve members as Covid-19 palliative. It is
surprising to discover that uncountable bags and cartons of
palliatives were secretly starched away in the same State, leaving
people to die of hunger and starvation because the conscience of
leaders are dead. I today join my voice to that of the Kwara Imam to
pray that God will pay all our governors back in their coins.
I also remember my home town, Ekinrin Adde, a town with a population
that is slightly above 25, 000 was given one bag of rice to share as
covid-19 palliative. I remember sending a message to the community
then, that they should return two bags to the state government in
appreciation of that disgraceful gesture. I remember someone in
government called me then to let me know that the donation of a bag of
rice to my community was a show of magnanimity by the government and
certain government official, since, according to him, Kogi State did
not receive palliative from Federal Government, because there was no
lock-down in Kogi State.
Today, the wind has blown and the anus of the hen is exposed. As Kogi
people were dying of hunger, several thousand bags of palliatives were
stockpiled by criminals who called themselves political leaders for
their own selfish electoral advantage. God will pay them and their
dead conscience back in their own coins.
In Lagos State, an aged mother was so devastated during the lockdown,
that she made a public call to whoever can sleep with her and offer
her five thousand naira only in return to enable her feed her family
for a week or so. Is it not an irony that, in that same state, at that
particular period, food meant for the commoners were wickedly locked
up in government ware houses and palaces by people without conscience?
The story is same across the states in Nigeria with the exception of
Borno State, where the palliatives doled out by Federal government,
was shared to the last grain.
Governor Babagana Urar Zulum will go into history as the only governor
with a conscience in Nigeria today with. May God give to him the sweet
rewards he deserves.
Most of our leaders are men with the heart of beasts who are no longer
fit for the community of men.
If our Law Makers have conscience, will they be comfortable with N29
million to N36 million per month while the teacher that taught them is
denied a regular pension of N30, 000 per month?
If a governor has conscience, will he live in opulence with his family
only to rob poor individuals of daily meal just because of election?
Now the youths’ voices are up unto the hills. They have soro s’oke in
the tune of Adelakun and heaven is responding so loud.
The tune must not stop, it must get louder until more governors flee
their state. My mama’s prayer song must be held back. The youths must
Wa ba wa gbe’ru wa o Baba
Bawa gbe’ru wa dori
Mase da wa da bukata wa o
Jesu Oba Iye
Eru aye wa to wuwo bi irin
Baba wa ba wa gbe o
Isoro aye ti to wo wa lorun
Baba wa f’opin si
Satani lo ndi’kuta
Londi’kuta s’eru eni to fuye
Jesu nikan labani gbe
A se laigbowe eyin……..