Ondo State: of the Drinkard and the Polygamist

By Sola Ajisafe, Esq

Late Chief Ade Adenegan from Ondo town was my Principal in Community Grammar School, Ifira Akoko. He had a nack for two philosophical statements which moulded my thoughts and engraved in me some form of moral duty. He would always say, ” those who can do, those who can’t teach” and ” if you want a task done, give it to the busiest person”. This was in the late 70s and I was unable to understand the import of the statements. Recent events in our party particularly the just concluded Congresses have shown me the import of these time tested statements.

Growing up in the ancient town of Oka, I became fascinated with the lives and character of two individuals in society. A Drinkard (not a drunkard) and a Polygamist ( not a Polyginist) became people of interest to me. Being a product of a polygamous home with polygamists all around me, I began to study how they navigate the dangerous corners and bends in their marital life.

Unfortunately, my father was not a good object of research in this stead as he remained until his death the only man that I know who never quarelled or had conflict with anyone or who never displayed anger or emotions on anything. Not to his two wives, his children or whoever. I turned my attention to other families.

After much study, despite the dubious characterisation given to polygamy, its attributes and character, the virtues of the marriage principle is sublime and the nature of the practioners is top notche. Although, I do not indulge in it nor do I envy those who practice it, I however consider them as special beings. I consider myself ill equiped and totally incapable of been one. I call them “Okunrin mejo” instead of the fabled ” Okunrin meta”.

For me, honestly there is a great correlation between being a polygamist and running a political party. The similarity is extremely striking both in practice and theory. The contraries and contradictions are effussively related.

They both promote pluralism and encouraged strife and confusion. These attributes are the template for its indefatigability and uniqueness. I suggest that serious and not serial polygamists are better and should always be considered for the post of Party Chairman. Through the pratice of polygamy they would have undergone similar training before applying for the job. If this is not true for all places, it aligns more with the progressives and especially the Yoruba nation.

In all honesty, the first four years of Adetimehin ( despite his inadequacies and short comings ) has proved this theory to be true. Only a polygamist can properly and effectively run a progressive party to success. Adetimehin proved his mettle. His thirteen years as an opposition figure was not a fluke. His sagacious and exuberant nature, his disarming applications of anecdotes and short codes during discusions and his understanding of political issues, human relations and political historicity of places and persons were unassailable patterns of a successful poligamy deployed in running a polifical party. All hail the Jagaban of Ondo State politics, Engineer Ade Adetimehin.

A Drinkard in the other hand is a believer in the cultural relativity embedded in the Palm Wine Drinkards Club popularly known as Kegites Club whose guardian angel is known as Baccus ” the god of wine”.

Unlike the erroneous believe that “Kegites” are drunkards, cultists, rablerousers, unserious people, never-do-wells and irritants, it is petinent to state that, Kegites are none of the above. I have been a member for 29 years and still counting and I will live and die as one.

A Drinkard is a man of innate capabilities who dislodges his inabilities and life challenges with innate attributes using the instruments of sound ideology, intrinsic belief in integrity and principled personal discipline of courage and radicalism. All these are projected through songs, dance and music. This is the Kegites way.

Unlike the wrong notion that every Kegite or the Kegite Club is akin to unbridled consumption of alcohol or illicit substances, it will shock you that a great number of members do not drink or smoke. For instance, I joined the Kegites club in 1992 at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Ogba Lagos and continued at LASU in 1996. Prior to that, I have never drank nor smoked in my life. Since then, I have never indulged in both and cannot see myself going into them.

As a personal rule, I do not have anything against those who indulge in it, I am just too week and ill prepared for it. Maybe if I had a choice I could have been a great consumer of both alcohol and cigarette or “Ogbese Weed”. Late Odetayo, the Kegite Chief who initiated me never drank or smoked. During the ceremonial pouring of libation, he would bless the ” holy water” and instead of drinking pour it to the ground “bless the gods” and pass to someone else.

Unmistakably, what you see in Aketi as his strong and weak points are the peculiar nature of an average Drinkard. They must have been inborn but developed overtime based on their relationship with the Kegites Club. They love to sing, dance and merry. They are dutiful, committed, hardworking, maniacally stubborn, radically minded, courageous and ideologically sound. They could be easily overlooked, underrated and taken for granted ( at your own peril).

An average Drinkard is slow but steady and sure footed. By the dictate of his understanding of the Kegites code he is a potential rebel but a rebel with a cause. He dares to fight where agenls fears to thread. A Drinkard is a deep person. This deepness stratifies his willingness to being an achiever, a success and a trailblazer.

in definite terms anyone can only attempt to overlook the challenges that have been faced by this duo in the running of APC and governance of Ondo State. These myriad of challenges had led to astronomical sucesses both in the political turf and delivery of governmental policy and plans in the State. If anyone doubts this, the fact that of all the States in the South West, only Ondo State came out unscathed in the just concluded State Congress shows the synergy that exists between the Drinkard and the Polygamist in the effective depening of democratic practices and the delivery of democratic dividends to the people of the State.

Both the Drinkard and the Polygamist have shown a great sence of sacrifice, commitment, understanding and leadership. They have given every Ondo State indigene something to be proud of. Just like the Amotekun initiative that has become a success story and many other ground shaking governace and political exploits, both the Drinkard and the Polygamist have answered the biblical fable, ” can any good thing come from Nazareth? Our people have answered affirmatively, ” come to Nazareth (Ondo State) and see”.

Ffor those who expected another political war as a result of the Congreses as its the practice here, the Polygamist has rallied the people of APC and said” eni ba nwo iseju alakan, a pe l`eti omi”. That is the man waiting for when the Crab will sleep will stay long by the river band.

Kegites wise, the Drinkard (Aketi) has led Ondo State APC to sing the Kegites popular song thus,

Egbe l’Egbe awa, sewele oooo…2x
Ki ma ise egbe osi
E lo so f’araye
Ki ma ise egbe iya
Egbe l’egbe awa
Sewele, sewele k’arowo ra Danfo.

Ki l’o m’egbe yi wu mi, Emu ni oooo…2x
Oguro Ile
Oguro Ile-Ife
L’o m’egbe yi wu mi
Sewele, sewele, k’arowo ra Danfo.

Thank you our leader, thank you our Chairman for making us proud.

Published by WonderLady

Journalist, Educationist, Writer, Human Rights Advocate

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