To the pristine Egba forest near Ogunmakin this wet and soggy morning for what was billed as an international press briefing by the newly self-ennobled sovereign of Kelenusonu Republic, Lambert Adebiwonnu Adesokan, Elegiri 1. In Yoruba linguistic parlance, Kelenusonu means shut up or mind your language.
In the general atmosphere of fear and trembling that followed the Igboho uprising, the ancient combatant had retreated to this idyllic haven of his great grandmother and carved out a piece of the land which he promptly named Kelenusonu with himself designated as Sarkin Tulasi. There, he proceeded to hold court among swinging monkeys often entertaining himself with arcane conversations with the grizzled leader of the tribe whom he christened Ogbeni Atingisi.
After Sunday Igboho retreated following a determined assault on his homestead by a combined security team, Baba Lekki had been inconsolable. For days, he kept on bemoaning the fate of the gallant but politically naïve freedom fighter.
“Oosa Anlugba!!! We told this boy not to go through the land of King Gezo. They are crazy people. They fought us for a hundred years. We told him not to tarry until he has reached Gambia and the land of the Akus. Those ones are our people who value the price of liberty and freedom”, he would cry in the dead of the night.
Thereafter fearing state apprehension, the old contrarian fled in the dead of the night to his mother’s ancestral village. As for Okon, he had become a pathetic shadow of his former jaunty self-assured self. Fearing that his role as an agent provocateur in the whole brouhaha might soon be uncovered, he had restricted himself to the loft, occasionally coming down to forage for food. But whenever a black cat was sighted in the vicinity the mad fellow would jump back, screaming, “Na dem Yoruba boy. Na dem Igboho boy who wan finish me.”
Strangely enough and to one’s amazement, the makeshift Kelenusonu Hall built entirely from bamboo shoots and by community efforts was filled to the brim, bristling with cads, crooks, con-men and the odd political wannabe all the way from the old capital. There was also a sprinkling of area boys who hold the old codger in considerable affection and respect who had traced him to his forest liar.
The old contrarian sat resplendent among the teeming crowd dressed in ancient hunter’s uniform venting off the stench of stale palm wine and raw tobacco. He was assisted by a wild leering man whom he called emeritus professor and who bore an eerie resemblance to a celebrated professorial gadfly from one of the nation’s first generation universities. The fireworks started immediately with a bleary-eyed Okon who had spent the previous night drinking Burukutu opening proceedings.
“Baba, I wan take permission reach dem Guinea kontri. I hear say dem koop leader get dem German and French wife. Make man take dem German one”, the mad boy sneered.
“Okon, this is a serious meeting. Dumbouya go dumbu you. I have no time for your petit-bourgeois nonsense”, the old man snapped, waving the mad boy off.
“Isokay. Whether na petibujara or Obubra, I dey wait for who fit drive me comot here”, the mad boy screamed. A serious-looking man with a scholarly mien raised up his hand.
“Baba, what is your view about this VAT palaver?” he demanded.
“Fiscal fatherism can never become fiscal federalism”, Baba noted tersely and sat down.
The emeritus professor jumped up to elaborate. “First seek yee the political kingdom. The system of paternalistic authoritarianism combined with military command mentality can never lead to fiscal federalism. All the legal gallivanting is nothing but Shakara Oloje”, the professor noted.
At this point, the leader of the monkey tribe leapt on stage and Baba Lekki began cradling and patting it. Several other monkeys jumped in and a vicious fist cuff ensued between simians and humans with the monkeys overwhelming by sheer number. The makeshift stage collapsed and everybody fled for dear life.