ADEBAJO: A LOOK INTO HISTORY

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I do not know what came over me today – 14th of August, 2013. I just felt the urge to get to know more about the history of my family name, lineage and township. And I think it was worth it.

In this write-up, I will be taking a glimpse at the meaning and history of ‘Adebajo’, my surname; ‘Adekunle’, my first name; ‘Ago-Iwoye’, my hometown; and ‘Ebumawe’, the monarchical title of the Ago-Iwoye people.

My sources of information include my dad, Mr Nelson Adetola Adebajo, the son of Arowogbaaya (Ibipe township); my mom, Mrs Fatimah Kikelomo Adebajo (Imere township) and a book by Barrister J.O. Ajibola, ‘A Brief History Of Ago-Iwoye’, being a lecture delivered to a youth club at Ago-Iwoye court hall on Friday 30th December, 1966.

ADEBAJO

Many decades ago, in the era of slave-trade (19th century), an era infamous for its perilousness and during which a caring mother would hesitate before sending her child on an errand … a man called Ṣomade (the wicked ones have taken the crown) – grandfather to my dad, was abducted by the Ẹgbas to be sold to the whites as a slave. But the people of Ibipẹ* would not sit back and allow this to happen because Somade was not an ordinary man, he was from a royal background. They sent 3 slaves to Abẹokuta that they may be bartered for Ṣomade.
His return home was considered very special that his progenitors were named after the event. Ade bo ni ati ajo, the crown [king] has returned from the journey.

ADEKUNLE

In the past, I was often confused when I think about (or tell others) the surface translation of this name, which I bear. ‘Ade full for house’? 

Now if you ask me what it means, I can definitely tell you something more logical. And that is: this sort of name is found in royal households, but not just any. Ones in which princes (male heirs) abound, at least two [2]. Funny enough, in my family, there are four [4].

Other names that can replace it include Adedeji, Adepọju, Adedimeji, Adeṣubomi, Adeyinka, Aderogba, Adeṣupọ etc.

AGỌ-IWOYE

Before 1931, there was no place going by the name Agọ-Iwoye. The present Agọ-Iwoye, prior to this time, was simply known as Agọ (meaning camp). It was as a result of the efforts and petition of the Agọ-Iwoye Progress Union (inaugurated in 1926) that the town came to be known, both informally and officially, as Agọ-Iwoye, which means the ‘camp of healing’.

Why this name? The answer is 1831. The Gbedeke war of 1831 (or Iṣamuro war as called by the Ẹgbas), a war borne out of greed, tribalism and white egocentrism. The trend back in the days was that the whites enticed various lands to fight wars and raid one another, in order that there may be slaves available for them to buy. This war forced the people of Iwoye (not Ago-Iwoye) to flee for their dear lives, as the Egbas ruthlessly attacked and destroyed their land.

They pitched their tents in a new area known as Imọṣọsi (whose leader was Meyẹlu), finding only a few settlers there. Seven townships comprising of Ibipẹ, Iṣamuro, Idọdẹ, Odoṣinusi, Igan, Imosu, and Imere emigrated from Orile-Iwoye and settled at Ago. They rotated the central leadership between their various Baloguns (war-leaders). The first Balogun to be made leader was Balogun Meleki of Igan township.
This explains why Ago-Iwoye was once referred to as Agọ-Meleki.

However, when a British commissioner visited between 1893 and 1895, asking for the Baalẹ of the town, the then chief-Balogun, Ogunfowodu, became to be called Baalẹ and so was his successors. This went on until Oba Alaiyeluwa Akadi Adenugba was installed in 1932, as the first Ebumawe of Agọ-Iwoye.

EBUMAWE

The people of Idoko who were among the early settlers of Ondo worshipped spirits, and they hated twins whom they always put to death. At one time, Oduduwa had twin children, one a male and the other a female. Oduduwa sent both these twins and their mother away from his headquarters to the remote part of his kingdom so that they might not be killed (cf. Johnson’s History of the Yorubas, page 25), and they finally settled at Idoko.

The people of the District, knowing that they were from the Royal family, and recognising in them the essence of twin, called them ‘EBU-MARE’ and ‘EṢE-MARE’ respectively, Ebu and Eṣe both mean POTENT and MYSTERIOUS. ‘MARE’ means – HERE IS or HERE ARE. That is, these are potent and mysterious beings. These names later on became to be known as EBUMAWE and OṢEMAWE.

The female child settled at Ondo and became a ruler, while the male, Akingbade, travelled from Idoko, through Okun-Ori-Imedu, Epe, to Ijebu-Ode, and then to Wojaiye and Ibipe. The only settlers they found were the descendants of Sapoku, the Isamuro people who made him king. Hence, Akingbade became the first Ebumawe, and many others ruled after him until the Iwoye towns were destroyed by the Egba people in the Gbedeke war of 1831.

Extracted from ‘A brief history of Ago-Iwoye’ by J.O Ajibola (Page 19/20)

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SIGNIFICANCE OF BEING PATIENT

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THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BEING PATIENT
“o you who believe! Be patient and excel in patience and remain steadfast, and be careful of (your duty to)Allah, that you may be successful.”

One faithful day, during the hour of Salatu-l-Zuhr (afternoon prayer for muslims), a musafir (traveller) was urged to lead the congregation in prayer. And after the completion, he narrated a short but beautiful story on the virtues of patience and forbearance. In shaa Allah, I will retell this story, as accurately as possible, using his own perspective.
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There was a time I had problem with my skin, so I paid a visit to a clinic that specialises in skin diseases, or so it seemed. I was told to wait, along with some others, at the reception. There were four of us; two appear to be conscious muslims and the last individual is a lady.

As time went by, the lady began to sing Christian songs, apparently seeing that those with are belong to another faith. Ideally, the muslim brothers ignored the lady’s clear attempts at provoking. Not getting the result she wanted, the lady raised her voice, and even turned in the muslims’ direction. Yet, they remained calm. In fact, being a muslim myself, and witnessing the whole episode, I felt obliged to address the woman and correct her lapse. More so, that my appearance would not present me as one who is biased. However, I remained silent.

After some time, the two brothers left the reception. And I asked the lady why exactly she pulled the stunt, knowing full well that they are muslims. She then said; “No o! Don’t you know those guys? They’re not muslims! One bears the name Paul and the other one is Samuel.” I was shocked at this response, but not for too long as I soon found out that she had a mental impairment.

Just imagine what could have happened if the reaction of the muslims had been retaliatory or violent? Who knows what might have ensued.
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The lesson I learnt from this story is to be patient in all situations. Things are not always as they seem. A muslim does not act based on emotion, but on reasoning. He does not allow his ego to rule over his intellect and moral code. If everyone goes mad, a muslim must be able to keep his head.

The truth is that if the two brothers had complained or shouted at the lady, everyone would heap the blame on them. The world is forever watching the muslim ummah for mistakes, flaws and shortcomings so that they may capitalise on such, and tarnish the image of Islam. We cannot allow this to happen. And that is why we must always act with caution, making sure to follow the example of the prophet (PBUH) to the letter.

This reminds of the story of how Hazrat Hamza (RA) reverted to Islam. One day, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was in meditation at the foot of Safa mountain, when Abu Jahl rebuked him in an extremely objectionable language and struck him. Uttering not a word, the Prophet (PBUH) returned home. Hamza had just returned from hunting, and he came to know about this incident. He rushed angrily to the compound of the Ka’aba, and saw Abu Jahl sitting among other Quraish leaders. He reproached and hit him, making the Shahada (the testimony in the oneness of Allah and prophethood of Muhammad). If the prophet had not been patient, and had he spoken angrily back at Abu Jahl, Hamza most likely would not have died as a believer.

The Prophet exhibited this attribute on countless occasions, and because of it, many believed and followed his path. It is, therefore, imperative for us too to inculcate it. May Allah (glorified and exalted is He) make it easy for us.

Amin.

THE PARABLE OF RAJI AND MAMA ALAKARA

RAJI AND MAMA ALAKARA: FOOD FOR THOUGHTPrtScr capture_4

Mama, sell akara for me now… I have been standing here since… you no wan make I chop ni?”, rants Raji, a student of the University of Ibadan, and a member of the hall of Mellanby. Raji, on this very night, around 09:30pm, is at the front of a long queue of students who are waiting to buy the quite popular bread and akara of Mellanby hall. He uses every means available to convince the elderly lady at the centre of attraction. He would shout, plead and even argue against the others by telling those belonging to other halls of residence to return to their halls and buy akara there. Why must he queue with them as he is a stakeholder in the premier hall, he says. However, despite all these, the akara vendor refused to attend to him. Why? Because he jumped the queue. Not just this, but because he does so, every night.

A few minutes before this time, coming from a programme, I arrived at the hall. I decided to branch at the stand, to get a space, before proceeding to my room. I had to do this because it was of utmost importance to me to charge my cell-phones and laptop, due to the unpredictable and sporadic nature of our electric supply.
While going to my room, I saw the same Raji just moving towards the gate, that is, towards the akara seller. I did all I needed to and headed back to the place. There, I met the situation earlier described.

Raji was relentlessly demanding that he be attended to, and the “mama” kept refusing, firmly I must say. Everybody thought there was no way she would give in to his request, there was no way she would unfairly attend to him before others who have patiently stood up for several minutes, for the same purpose. I could hear the individual staying behind me saying if the akara vendor sells to Raji, then he would be vexed as ‘ese ni o’ i.e. ‘it is a sin’.

But we were wrong.

In a little more than no time, what I can say was anticipated but still is to everybody’s amazement, she eventually gave in, and sold akara to him. Adding that if he behaves the same way the next night, he will not get the same result.

Raji got what he wanted; he succeeded in breaking the protocols, delaying the others and infringing on their equitable rights. YET, nothing was done about it. Nobody got angry, or at least, nobody showed it. Nobody strongly protested it. Nobody said anything or did anything to correct the corruption which has just been committed with impunity.

This got me thinking.

The truth is that, in every country, there are dominant traits. Traits that seem to define the people of that country. Traits that are inextricable from the actual existence of the people. Once these traits are observable in the all the affairs of the people, they will get to the centre, the leadership. And once they are seen at the centre, know that they originated from the grassroots.

In Nigeria, these traits unfortunately include lateness (African time), nonchalance with things that are not ours, the spirit of forgiveness (which does not always work for us), the belief that ‘laws are made to be broken’ and of course, corruption.

The word Nigeria is today synonymous with corruption; this is because it is so widespread in the economy that those in the government are nothing but advocates of corruption and selfish interests. It is now thought that anybody going into politics, no matter how saintly, is automatically going there to fill his pockets. We now find youths publicly asserting that if they find themselves in the seat of power, they would not “dull” themselves, they also would not hesitate to have a long-lasting taste of the symbolic national cake.

Just like Raji, politicians, who are established monsters, incessantly demand to buy the masses’ votes and mandate. And just like the akara vendor, the electorates always eventually give in, mostly due to their forgetfulness, ignorance and spirit of forgiveness. Even those who promise hell if this happens, are in one way or the other, silenced. This cycle of corruption getting rewarded with forgiveness by its victims, keeps rolling and things keep getting worse. This will indubitably go on until somebody rises to the task of breaking this vicious cycle, until ‘mama alakara’ stands her ground and refuses to sell her akara to criminals and deceitful persons, until Raji realises that you cannot always get what you want by whatever means you utilise, you cannot ‘fool all the people, all the time!’

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OBITER: YOU CAN FOLLOW THE PRODIGY’S RATIOCINATIONS ON FACEBOOK HERE!

AN ESSAY ON THEOLOGY

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MY ENCOUNTERS WITH THE HOMO-PAULINUS
AN ESSAY ON THEOLOGY

“Why should I accept a theory from someone who, in the simplest possible terms, cannot satisfactorily explain it himself?” ~ Adebajo A.F.

In my on-going quest through this serene yet tumultuous world, I have met persons of different tribes, faiths and dispositions; whether physically or virtually (i.e. online). This might be partly due to the multi-religious and heterogeneous nature of Nigeria, where I hail from. I, as a person, just like the people I have met and the acquaintances I have made; also have an identity: a set of beliefs, ideas and opinions I strongly hold on to, my world-view. For instance, I believe there is a God, and He is one (no strings attached), I believe in the prophethood of Muhammad (PBUH) and many who have come before him, I believe that there is no naturally superior man or race, I believe this world is a test for mankind, a journey to the hereafter etc. My beliefs, be they invented or accepted, are of course, open to criticism or even condemnation. However, there truth-values do not depend on the existence, or in fact, the possible existence of these criticisms, but on whether, indeed, they can withstand further objective debate.

The world is designed in such a way that it is harmonious, yet much divided. Everybody, down to each single individual, has a specific and unique combination of ideologies; many of which violently contradict. It is these contradictions that make this world beautiful and exciting, as we tend to learn many grotesque things every day and meet many a strange people. But then again, it is these inevitable contradictions in thought that cause tribal, racial, religious and ideological rifts among men, leading to avoidable deaths and tragedies.

Since my days in senior high school, I have found myself engaging in inter-faith debates. However, then, I knew more or less little or, in fact, nothing on the subject. I, like many other ignorant mature ones, would (although very rarely) resort to argumentum ad baculum (appeal to force), when other defences prove futile. But as time went by, most especially after my introduction to the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria), I became more familiar with theological and metaphysical topics. And the various discoveries I have made on this journey, in my personal research, only gave me a stronger, logical conviction that my creed is the not just the best for the settling of worldly affairs, it is a perfectly divine set of ideas that guarantee eternal peace. It is both mundane and transcendental.

Man is naturally a homophilosophicus, a reasoning animal. He is naturally curious, asking questions about the nature of things, demanding answers to everything imaginable. Once he gets a satisfactory answer, he feels fulfilled. However, after a flaw is detected in that answer, the quest starts all over. Perhaps, to seek a new answer or patch the defect in the already found one. This is the nature of man, always seeking perfection, cognitive consonance and a good understanding of his place in the realities of life. This is who we are, and it is a good thing.

But… this good nature is usually suppressed by the environment man finds himself. I believe man passes through three phases of reasoning. As soon as he is born, he becomes sort of an iPod because his parents will start downloading their thoughts into his brain. They tell what to do and what not to do, what to believe and what not to believe; and he just accepts all the files, including viruses too. As time goes by, he turns into an automaton, able to act on his own but still depending on his earlier programming for survival. Many never leave this stage, they become affixed to it. However, the last phase is that of a homo-sapien. At this final stage, he becomes truly philosophic, weighing and assessing ideas before accepting or rejecting them. His bias and sentiments do not take the better part of him.

It may be a cause of wonder what actually I mean by the word ‘homopaulinus’ in the title. The Merriam-Webster dictionary, ‘Pauline’ means “of or relating to the apostle Paul, his epistles, or the doctrine or theology implicit in his epistles. So, who are the homopaulinus? They are men who follow Pauline propositions in their day to day activities. And they are no other than the modern-day Christians. What? No, that can’t be, you say. Christians are followers of Jesus Christ, the son of Mary. They even bear his title. Well, my reason for saying otherwise is quite simple. Paul, a self-acclaimed apostle (taking the place of Judas Iscariot) is an ex-Jew known for fervently persecuting Christians, who then mysteriously converted to Christianity after seeing a vision of Jesus. He wrote over half of the book in the New Testament, that is 14 books, if the book of Hebrew (one of the books with doubtful authorship) is to be included. Most of what Paul taught in his epistles strongly contradict the gospels of Jesus and his disciples.

Davis D. Danizier, on http://www.liberalslikechrist.org/about/paulvsall.html, said: ‘There is more than enough evidence to support the view that the “Christianity” that we have inherited is the legacy, not of Jesus of Nazareth, but of Paul of Tarsus.” He also quoted Jeremy Bentham, a famous English philosopher, as saying “if Christianity needed an Anti-Christ, they needed look no farther than Paul” (paraphrased). Pauline contributions to the Bible are the most solid sources that vindicate or give divine backing to acts such as slavery, degradation of women, celibacy; there is even evidence that he supported gaiety. Most Christians follow his principles, thinking that they follow Jesus. I’m sure few people are aware of the fact that “the conversion of Paul is the only event in the lives of the saints that is universally commemorated in the church as a feast day…celebrated every year on January 25.” For more Biblical references pointing to how Pauline and Jesus’s teachings are not compatible, see the work of Edgar Jones in http://www.voiceofjesus.org/paulvsjesus.html.

Now back to the crux of this write-up. I have a lot of Christian friends, some of whom I have find myself one time or the other engaging in religious talks with. A couple of course-mates in Olabisi Onabanjo University, some in the University of Ibadan, evangelists here and there and even my room-mate who constantly and indefatigably attempts to convert me. And one of the major things I have noticed about them (I.e. Christians) is their reluctance to give in to logic, science and common sense as yard-sticks when judging fundamental issues of faith. They say, how can billions of people who believe in nearly the same thing be wrong? They say why is it that they derive so much peace and pleasure from reading the Bible? They say Christianity provides a remarkable moral-code and ideal way of life and that is all that matters. They say if it is wrong, why does it feel so right? They talk about the inscrutability of speaking in tongues. However, all other faiths; Buddhism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Idolatry, Hinduism; feel right to those who practise them. Their scripture also pacify them. But they cannot all be holistically right as God is one and He can only wish to be worshipped in one way, and one way only. He cannot sanction abortion in one religion, and oppose it in another. He cannot give room for polygamy here and severely condemn it elsewhere. He cannot have the same image as man here and say that there is none comparable to Him somewhere else. He cannot describe Himself as 3-in-1 or 1-in-3 here and assert that He is one, no strings attached, there.

Only a people are right, the Catholics, Protestants, Hinduists, Buddhists, Judaists or Muslims. And that rightness can never be determined using emotional states or how one feels while practising ones faith. It cannot be determined by guess, for example by choosing at random from a heap of papers containing names of world religions. It can only be determined by using that one thing that makes us human, the one thing that distinguishes us from animals, the thing naturally given to all from birth- our intellect, the ability to separate right from wrong, ability to identify good and bad arguments, logic. I hereby submit that logic is the only available yardstick for the task of separating the wholly divinely authenticated religion from the others which misguide billions of lives daily.

The unfortunate thing is most Christians will never give in to this fact. They always fidget and forcefully oppose you if you mention logic while discussing theology, perhaps because they are well aware that Christianity, if subjected to critical intellectual bashing, will not survive even a minute. When shown facts that state that there are inconsistencies in the Bible, making it not wholly the word of God; they simply reply that you cannot judge the Bible like other texts, you need the holy spirit, the inner eye, to be able to understand it. Or at times, they say it does not matter, as long as it teaches them morals (which is not even so, and those that it teaches, they often do not follow). They prefer to grope in their state of complacency than engage in deep thoughts which bring emotional inconvenience but intellectual progress.

History, in fact, shows that Christian leaders, from time, have never been in good terms with science, whenever it appears to derail from established biblical propositions. The church seemed to have always been at war with scientists and natural philosophers. As Carthaginian lawyer, Tertullian said around 200 A.D.: ‘what indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem? What concord is there between the academy and the church?’ Scholars like Copernicus, Galileo, Michael Servetus were persecuted because their theories were considered heretical or inconsistent with the content of the Bible. Copernicus, who first postulated the theory of heliocentrism, in fact delayed publishing his work until he was on his death bed for fear that the church may violently disagree with him. Servetus was burned at the stakes by the protestant Switzerland. Galileo, an Italian scientist, was convicted for his heliocentric views i.e. the view that the Earth revolves around the sun which contradicts Christians’ placing the Earth at the centre of the universe. He was asked to “abjure, curse and detest” his views and then placed on house arrest for life. So, it is not a surprise, to find Christians, today, doing the same thing, but more mildly, as they no longer possess the power to do and undo, imprison and maim.

Another thing I have noticed in my encounters is their use of rhetoric. Christians greatly enjoy twisting words to evangelise and form a defence in discussions. For instance, you find them saying ‘no, no, no…you get it all wrong. Christianity is not a religion. It is a way of life’. I recently learnt that, perhaps after noticing a flaw, they now flatly equate Christianity to not just a way of life, but life itself. They even go to the extent of saying religion is not the solution, it is our problem, it is the opium of the society. What we need is to accept Jesus Christ. And if you ask what the difference is between the two (i.e. religion and way of life), the same perambulation will continue. They also often say that ‘can you say that in the religion you are now, you are enjoying a true relationship with God?’ Or perhaps, ‘what is your testimony? What is your personal experience that makes you stick to your belief?’ All these in an effort to confuse you. It is like they have been programmed to reply the way they reply. Whoever agrees with them solely on the basis of how they present their arguments and not on what the argument actually is, is like a bling man backing a bling man.

The incontrovertible truth is that the whole propagation of Christianity is an emotional enterprise. It feeds on the manipulation of human emotions. I am yet to see a successful pastor (in terms of followers) who is not ‘mouthed’, who cannot speak fluently and persuasively, who does not apply the principles of rhetoric. Their preaching is mainly on love, total cleansing of sin and salvation. For God so loves the world that he gave his only begotten son, right? Even non-Christians reflexively know this verse which is ever found on the lips of bible-thumpers. Well, it has been established as an interpolation. If you peruse the Revised Standard Version, never will you find this deliberate, ‘grave mistake.’
The fact that music constitutes 80 percent of an average Christian’s notion of worship also corroborates this claim, as music is the most effective way of tampering with a man’s state of mind.

My room-mate, while trying to tell me what Christianity has got to offer me, always resort to the holy-ghost and morality. ‘You see, you need the presence of the Holy Spirit in order to live a sinless life. Once you become born-again, you are no longer yourself; it is Christ that liveth in you.’ I then ask him: ‘are you saying since you’ve been born again, you have never sinned against man or God.’ And of course, he will reply in the negative. He will say, the holy-ghost only acts as guidance, it does not actually control ones actions as that is still subject to our will. Then, I say, what is the difference between the holy-ghost and the human conscience which every man possesses, even the atheist? No doubt, he thereafter resorts to prevarications.

I am certain that many Christians too have hidden doubts about their held believes. Many Christians have never completely read the bible. Many of them do not know how the bible came about, they do not know the origin of Christmas, new year, Easter; they do not know the origin of the trinity, praying on Sundays or closing of eyes. But the sad thing is not this profound ignorance, but the lackadaisical attitude they display toward it. They do not know and they do not care.

All they know is they can never become muslims. Islam is simply not an option because “muslims are terrorists, paedophiles, women haters, polygamous, dirty and blood-thirsty illiterates, who kiss the ground, worship the moon-god and bow down to the sun, towards a black stone in the desert.” And because of this, they prefer to just stick to what they have, no matter how absurd it is.
In conclusion, I wish to cite the story of a man called Dr Laurence Brown (www.leveltruth.com, http://www.drlaurencebrown.com, http://www.truetojesus.com, http://www.realityofgod.com, all sites belong to him). Dr Brown used to be an atheist before God changed his life. His two daughters were born in more or less an interesting, miraculous manner. In 1989, his first daughter, Pristina, was born, and she was able to stand by herself on the very first day of her life. But he did not get any message. 10 months later in 1990, his second daughter, Anna, was born in the George Washington hospital in the US, one of the best. He was much concerned to find that Anna was blue, from the chest to the toes. This means that her blood did not have oxygen. With scanning, they saw that her aorta was very narrow at a point. She was dying and her body was suffocating. There was a surgery, at the time, which could allow the aorta to be replaced by a graft. But the possibility of survival was slim, children who undergo it don’t often do well. His expectation was that she would be acted on, live a few years, have to do the surgery again and then eventually die.

He left the intensive care unit because he was not helping the doctors do their job. And there was a prayer room nearby. He entered it and prayed with sincerity the first time in his life. Hitherto, he felt he was always in charge, he knew how to handle his problems. He had never been in a helpless situation in his life. Dr Brown used to be an atheist, denying the existence of God and in fact, convincing others as well.

He went into the prayer room, thinking it was just a prayer room, nothing more. No cross, crucifixes, no religious symbols at all. and immediately, he felt it was the right place to be. At that moment, he knew there was nothing he could do with his worldly power to help his child. And the power that can help her (if it did exist) was that of the Almighty. As he was an atheist, his prayer was: ‘oh God, if you are there, I need help…if you save my daughter, and you guide me to the religion that is most pleasing to you, I will follow it.’ He made a deal. He went back to the intensive care unit about 15 minutes after he had left, and he noticed immediately that something had changed. The cardiac surgeon then told him that Anna was going to be fine. The doctor tried making a scientific explanation for this turn-around, but they all knew it could not be and he did not buy into it.

He, therefrom, in a bid to keep his promise, started searching for this religion that was ‘most pleasing’ to God. He studied Buddhism, Taoism, and Shintoism. It did not take him long to decide against these religions. He then worked his way to Judaism. In Judaism, he found some truth. But he was not satisfied. There he found the prophesy of three men to come (John the Baptist, Christ and the prophet). He moved to Christianity. He found Jesus calling himself the son of man. He found him saying in 3 different places in the bible that ‘God is one’ is the first of the commandments. He could not find the concept of trinity anywhere in the bible. The bible scholars would say but it says so in the first epistle of John, chapter 5, verse 7; but he also found out that that verse was nothing but a forgery. It does not exist in the original manuscripts, and modern bibles do not contain it (scoffield’s reference bible). He could not find a priest in any sect to answer his questions and clarify his doubts. He could not find himself accepting many Christian doctrines, such as the trinity, original sin and so on.

He felt confused and lost. It was like he was not making any progress. And due to the fact that, in the west, the last religion most people consider is Islam, it was Islam he studied last. Reading about Islam and Prophet Muhammad, everything fell in place; the prophecy in the old testament, the oneness of God, accountability of every man for his own deeds, direct relationship with God, all these which Jesus truly taught. He found a consistency between the two teachings. And eventually, he accepted Islam. He found all the answers to his questions in Islam. And he “found Islam as the conclusion in the chain of revelation.”

Concluding his story, Dr Brown says, “if there is one message I have for the audience, it is this: we come to the religion of truth not on our own except as we ask for it. Allah guides those who he wills. Pray to Allah by whatever name you know him. Pray to the creator with sincerity. Ask him to guide in your heart and in your mind to the religion of truth, and to make you pleased with it. You will find, if you are sincere and if Allah answers your prayer, you will find that the religion of truth enters your heart. And in shaa Allah, you will join us as a brother or sister in Islam.”

YET ANOTHER SIGN !

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YET ANOTHER SIGN !

As if to say, ‘for the sake of the doubting thomases among you, I will show you yet another sign’. It was on a Wednesday afternoon {27-03-13}, that my very good friend, Jimoh Mujib, called me and said a brother of his just told him of a miraculous tree near his abode in Ibadan. This tree has inscriptions of ‘Allah’, ‘Allahu Akbar’ and ‘Muhammad’ {PBUH} on it. It is worth mentioning that this is barely four weeks after the extraordinary meat was discovered by a sister in the University of Ibadan.
Much excited to hear the news, I decided that we should waste no time and go to the spot to see the tree for ourselves immediately after our last class for the day. After all, seeing, they say, is believing. At around 05:30pm, we set out for Moniya, the town where the miracle is said to have surfaced. During the journey, my friend took time to tell me about Moniya, its environs and its peculiarities.
First he told me of a masjid which we passed by. The construction of this masjid was completed about three months ago. However, the shocking thing is that, it actually kicked off, even before his Dad was born, that is perhaps more than 50 years back. He then told me of the inhabitants of the neighbourhood. Cautioning me to keep my cell phone in my pocket, he said acts of immorality and incidents of theft are rampant there, despite the fact its population constitutes majorly ‘Muslims’. Moniya is much unindustrialised, judging from the state of its road, the condition of its people and the looks of its houses. This is notwithstanding the fact that it is located precisely opposite the Akinyele local government council.
Eventually, we got close to where we were headed for. The news of the tree seems to have gone viral, as everybody we asked about it knew of it. Someone even told us we would not be able to see it as it is often surrounded by scores of people. Truly, on getting there we met a lot of people there, but not too much as to deter us from seeing the tree. The tree had already been fenced, it also had someone stationed in front of it to regulate the movement and actions of people near it. Some photographers, about three, were also there selling pictures of the tree, some with lettering, at the rate of a 100 naira.
With not too much stress we entered the fenced arena where the tree is and we saw for ourselves the vivid Arabic inscriptions of the names of God and His final messenger. But this is not the only scene that struck us. We saw two elderly women kneeling down and supplicating towards the tree, and a man scooping out sand from around the tree into an empty pure water sachet. No need saying that all these are innovations {bid’a} and acts of idolatry{shirk}, judging from the Islamic perspective.
After feeding my eyes as well as my phone, we proceeded to the house of one of the notable scholars in that environment, Alhajj Wasi’, so that we may inform him of our discoveries. On getting there, he told us that the religious scholars have gone to a great length to ensure that people desist from committing acts of shirk, in relation to the tree. He also said notable people and media houses from far and wide have come to see it. People came from Enugu, Cotonou, Sarki and even Lagos. And the stations that came included BCOS, MiTV, AIT, radio Nigeria: Amuludun and Eko Aditu. He also said that the crowd that filled the place on Monday was enormous, numbering up to 10,000.
From the Alhajj’s house, we went back there, with the intention that my friend would admonish the people, to tell them that the tree is only a sign from Allah, and it should not be worshipped in leau of the person that created it. During his speech, we showed those standing the picture of the miraculous chunk of meat discovered in UI, to tell them that it is not the signs that deserve our dedication and supplications but the being Whose name is written on them.
During the course of our stay there, I went up to the gentleman manning the tree, and threw some questions at him. He identified himself as Sharafadeen Oye. Concerning the population of people at the spot some days, he said they were very many, ‘afi bi omi’ i.e. just like water. People slept there, and in fact the place was jam-packed with food vendors. He also said some of the letterings on the tree are just coming up, and the other ones are not as clear due to excessive rubbing of hands on them. People did all sorts of things with the tree. Some bowed to it, prayed beside it for children, exhumed sand to take home, hugged it, broke its branches and so on. They even went to the extent of breaking the fence in order to get to it; so that another one had to be erected and barbed.
The signs were first seen on Sunday, but it got much attention on Monday and Tuesday. The attention it got was such that both students and teachers failed to go to school, in order to see it. We eventually left the scene for Mujib’s house at around 07:10pm. And then, we got back to school at almost 9 O’ clock.
What I can say I learnt within that 4 hours journey is that the Muslim ummah is no more what it used to be. We have derailed from the pristine path of Islam, and from the example of the Holy prophet Muhammad {PBUH}. Allah is showing us all these hints, not for any other thing but for us, as mankind in general to have a rethink on our ideal purpose of being in this world. Without an iota of doubt, we have gone astray. And until we trace back our roots, mankind will forever be turmoil because, take it or leave it, true Islam is the only solution to both our worldly and spiritual problems.

HERE WE GO AGAIN !

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HERE WE GO AGAIN!

‘’Adewole … Ole! Adewole … Ole! Adewole … Ole! ’’
This is the chant that permeated the cool breeze of the serene Thursday night atmosphere on the 14th of March, in the various halls of residence in the University of Ibadan, especially in Zik, Indy and Mellanby hall where I reside. As the saying goes; ‘boys are not smiling’.

It is uncommon to see greatest UItes come out in the open to vent their grievances and resentment. However, on this day, it was absolutely warranted. They were pushed to the wall, and had to fight back. The remote cause of the protest is one that has been confronted in recent past, and which has led to a total cessation of academic activities. It is the issue of sporadic power supply.

I find it awfully lugubrious that the premier university, ‘the first and the best’ is, unlike many other residential universities in Nigeria, unable to boast of constant power supply. Residents of Teddar hall {the VC’s hall} and Mellanby hall {the premier hall} had to succumb to two whole weeks of darkness and near inactivity, while their counterparts in other halls enjoy the little electricity supplied them.

Despite the efforts of the hall excos, writing letters and attending meetings, the school authority still maintains that the students’ plight is none of its concern. The installed inverters that the VC always brags of as an epic achievement were rendered redundant as there was no power to charge them. The kitchenettes were deserted. The reading rooms too had suddenly gone untenanted. Only the high-spirited ones went there with their dimmed torches and reading lamps. The scenario is even worse in the various borehole sites; with long queues of buckets in the few places where water is rushing. Students move from one hall to another just to get water; and cases in which early-morning classes are missed is not uncommon.

Students from the affected halls of residence also have to visit neighbouring halls to press their clothes. The various lecture theatres are always filled with long strings of extension cables brought by desperate students who had run out of better alternatives. Aside from this, UItes became more cautious in the unnecessary usage of devices that depend on light, particularly mobile phones. Intellectual scholars have now forcefully metamorphosed into savages, as they now roar jubilantly to celebrate the slightest indication of power.

It is worthy of note that rumours abound that the reason for the power outage is that the school authority plans to save money by using less than the 1 megawatt allocated to the university. It is of course added that this is just to give room for embezzlement.

Without further ado, the authorities vindicated the popular saying that ‘the only language government seems to understand is protest and strike’, by supplying the much-anticipated power just a few minutes after the peaceful but potent protest started. However, this is not to suggest that the predicament UItes are facing in terms of power supply is, in any way, over.

A few days later, on the 18th of February, we experienced a déjà vu. A similar procession is held by students from Mellanby and Teddar, and again, the light was brought almost immediately to calm the nerves of the infuriated students, but the students have refused to be deceived. As a matter of fact, as I write this in my room {09:10pm}, scores of mellanbites are outside shouting; ‘We must go! We must go! We must go!’ and ‘no bobo!’

The questions that cross my mind now are: Is this supposed to be seen in the acclaimed premier university of Nigeria? For how long will we continue like this? For how long will power supply in the University of Ibadan be appalling, sickening and utterly nothing to write home about?

WHY LAW ?

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WHY I CHOSE TO STUDY LAW.

My decision to study law was not haphazard, but as a result of a number of factors. These factors are what I plan to tersely discuss in this article. The decision is one I’ve made while I was more or less still an abecedarian: during my primary school days. At the time, I understood the significance of choosing ones career at an early stage to give room for the development of passion and adequate preparation. In short, I did not want to be labelled an NFA, id est., someone with No Future Ambition.
Whether, my parents coerced me into it, whether I envisioned it in a dream or whether making this very fundamental choice naturally follows from my zodiac sign being ‘Libra’ – you’ll soon get to know.
The will-soon-be-mentioned points are the reasons for my choosing to be a lawyer, but some of them may equally be considered as reasons anyone should choose law as a profession. The reasons I made the decision, stood by it and never once faltered in my determination to be learned person, thus include:

PROMINENCE OF LAW
No doubt, Law is one of the most renowned and widely recognised professions. Whenever and wherever, good careers are mentioned, law is always among – and then, perhaps, Medicine, Engineering and Accounting. Hence, this was one of the factors that contributed to my decision, as well as the decisions of numerous other children.
Again, Lawyers enjoy a great amount of veneration from others. Anyone tagged as “D-LAW”, is always seen as a reservoir of knowledge and an insightful personalty. Even as a law student, I enjoy this show of respect from people on sundry occasions. And it not only endeared me to the profession, but also re-assures me from time to time that there’s no other course I’d rather take.
UNIQUENESS OF LAW
Apart from the prominence law enjoys as a profession, it is also a quite unique career, most distinct from others. It is mainly because of this peculiarity that non-lawyers express envy towards us, especially in the university environment.
One, law is the most conservative profession. The up-till-today use of wig, gown, latin and archaic expressions attest to this fact.
Secondly, law students are the only set of university students that use clothes of uniform colours: id est., black and white attires. White represents deep wisdom, purity and innocence, while black represents power, authority, as well as blindness i.e fairness and justice.
And lastly, law is the only course in which a department, prima facie, constitutes a whole faculty. All other faculties [and colleges] are split into several departments.
ADVOCACY LAWYERING
A lawyer is either in the profession by accident/coercion, or for the fame and fortune he might get. If not, then he is in it to get and advocate justice, either for himself or for others who have been wronged. No law student would tell you that his own objective for studying law is to defend the wrong-doer against the wronged, or to protect the oppressor from the oppressed. All would-be legal practitioners desire to be advocates of justice, paladins of freedom and heralds of equity. I am no exception.
I have said it before and I will herewith reiterate it: The greatest problem the society, the nation and the world at large is facing is not malaria, neither is it bad roads. Our greatest problem, incontrovertibly, is corruption.
The question now is, which professionals or practitioners are in the best position to tackle this problem? It is definitely not doctors; they only treat those who are the major source of this problem when they’re ill, and then abandon the victims of the corrupt circumstance we find ourselves. It is definitely not journalists; they can only bark, they possess not the necessary canines to bite. It is not engineers. Neither is it accountants. I am of the strong belief that it is none other than lawyers. It is they that have the essential weapon to bring corruptionists to book and prosecute all who involve themselves in unwholesome conducts.
So, just as we have advocacy journalists, there are also advocacy lawyers. These are lawyers that believe in a cause, and utilise their profession in the fight for that cause. Persons like Gani Fawehinmi, who loudly spoke against bad leadership and Nelson Mandela, who publicly condemned apartheid and gave legal aids to blacks who needed them, are perfect examples.
HISTORICAL IMPACT
Law is a profession that has produced many leaders and influential personages who have left indelible trails in the sands of time. They succeeded both in legal practice and extra-legal practice, most of them being renowned politicians, activists and orators.
Paragons of this instance include Abraham Lincoln, the man who greatly promoted the abolition of slave trade and prevented the disintegration of the American union; Nelson Mandela, the first black President of South Africa who played a key role in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa; Mahatma Gandhi, a non-violent revolutionary that successfully clamoured for India’s independence from Britain. Another good example is John Grisham, a world best-selling writer of fictions. And in Nigeria here we have the likes of Patrick Obahiagbon, a controversial orator, political-activist and well-recognised grammarian, and a host of others making names for themselves in the the entertainment, most especially, movie industry.
INDISPENSABILITY
It is worth mentioning that law is also a quite essential and indispensable profession. Most, if not all, institutions can do without medical doctors and engineers, but tell me a company that can live long without prompt and periodic legal succour. In fact, most gatherings require the presence of a lawyer to guide them through their proceedings, and put them to order whenever they dabble into illicitness.
Nations like Russia and France, have in time past, banned the operation of lawyers. But later on, despite the antipathy they harboured against them, they had to rescind the ban, after realising the “indispensability” of law, and by extension lawyers.
LUCRATIVENESS, BROAD RANGE OF OPPORTUNITIES
In time past, Law was a very unrewarding profession. Orators in ancient Athens, Greece, who could be referred to as the first lawyers were required by law not to request for payments for their rendered services. It was like helping out a friend in difficulty. In early ancient Rome too, precisely 204 BC, there was a law banning advocates from taking fees [but the law was widely ignored]. Emperor Claudius later abolished the ban and legalised the legal profession, but he also imposed a fee ceiling of 10,000 sesterces for anyone willing to work as a lawyer.
Nowadays, the tide has turned. Lawyers, are today, one of the most paid professionals. A lawyer who knows his onions well could get paid in millions for a single case, with no stress. The best part is that there abounds a wide range of opportunities for anyone who has been called to bar or who has formal knowledge of legal practice. Such a person could become an advocate, a solicitor, a legal adviser to corporate bodies or to the government, an arbitrator, a lecturer. He can as well successfully seek jobs in fields such as politics, journalism, entrepreneurship and so on, if the competition in legal practice proves too fierce for him.
NATURAL POLEMIC DEXTERITY
Well, I wouldn’t say I was much of a debater, even up till this moment. However, I was a lot better than most of my mates. I was naturally daring, audacious and may be stubborn at times. Recently, perhaps a couple of months back, I found out from my mom that this attitude was inherent in me since I was young, that I even showed it to her apprentices.
I can recall many occasions that I challenged my primary school teachers, secondary school teachers and even university lecturers – and on those occasions, I often got penalised. Even my family, most especially my mom, complain about my habit challenging their dispositions. As a result, one of my brothers always suggested that I train myself professionally as lawyer.
If there is any activity I had interest in and loved doing, it is debating. But please, do not at all confuse debating with public speaking – that I developed just recently. About two years back, I was a poor public speaker, I was very apprehensive of facing a crowd and if at all I did face a crowd, I was always trembling. But gradually, I have been able to improve in that aspect as well.
MY SIBLINGS
YES! Without doubt, this also contributed to my choice of career. It is not the case that all my siblings, or should I say brothers, were lawyers or would-be lawyers. Rather, it is quite the opposite. The three of them chose to go to the science department while in senior high. My eldest brother, now a graduate and bonafide member of the Nigerian labour force, studied computer science while in school. The ‘second in command’ is currently ‘reading’ Estate management in a federal university of technology. And my immediate elder brother is studying pure chemistry at present.
It is a source of pride for me, actually, to be the only ‘black sheep’, the only art student, the only historian, the only literary expert, the only political analyst and, most importantly, the only learned child of the four of us.
“THE INCORRUPTIBLE JUDGE”
“The incorruptible Judge”. This is a book I read in my early childhood. It is authored by Olu D. Olagoke. The theme of this book centre on a judge who is morally upright, who is incorruptible. Then a matter got to his court involving, if I remember corectly, his friend and a rich personality. He was presurised and offered a bribe. However, he would not budge. He stood his ground, and repeatedly asserted that he will only judge based on the pieces of evidence adduced before him in the court. And eventually, he did convict the accused person for he was glaringly guilty.
His attitude is analogous to that of Justice Sowemimo, who told Chief Obafemi Awolowo in 1963, when the latter appeared before him for a 3-count charge of conspiracy and treasonable felony, that,”Here we have one of the first premiers of the autonomous region standing trial. If you were the only one before me, I would have felt that it was enough for you to have undergone the strain of the trial. I would have asked you to go. But I am sorry. I cannot do so now because my hands are tied.”
In a nutshell, I desired to be like this judge. I wanted to be a principled man, who has clearly defined his values, and then would stop at nothing to defend those values. A man who would not compromise his integrity because of familiarity or mere gratification.
CONCLUSION
Well, there you have it. This is the synopsis of the major factors that culminated into my choice of law as a career. I might decide to add some more later on. I did not see my future in a trance, I’m not a gifted dreamer. I was not coerced into the decision, my parents gave me absolute freedom in the aspect. And neither is it because my zodiac sign is libra, in actualty, by bbirthday falls in that of virgo. It is my eldest brother is a libra, and he is not a lawyer.
I want to believe you’ve been exposed to some new facts, as a result of your reading this article. If my guess is right, then I’m glad my effort is not wasted.
Now all want to ask you is, after reading this, if you desire to choose a career for yourself, or perhaps your advice is sought regarding career choice, WHY NOT LAW?

THE ROLE OF YOUTHS IN TACKLING CORRUPTION

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THE ROLE OF YOUTHS IN TACKLING CORRUPTION

WRITTEN FOR THE PURPOSE OF: A LECTURE ADDRESSED TO 77 STUDENTS FROM ADEOLA ODUTOLA COLLEGE, SENIOR SCHOOL
COURTESY: COWYL NIGERIA
DATE: November 23, 2011.

The word ‘youth’ means young people in general. Since you are young and I am young, then we are the youths.
Corruption is undoubtedly a negative trend that is widespread not only in Nigeria but all-over the world. Corruption is the reason education is not free. Corruption is the reason our schools lack basic amenities. It is the reason commodities such as food and oil are becoming more expensive by the day. Corruption is the reason the government is finding it hard to pay the 18 thousand naira minimum wage. In fact, it is also the reason why groups such as the Niger-Delta militants, MEND and Boko-haram etc. are springing up. Corruption is responsible for poverty, unemployment, social decay, educational backwardness and many other ills in our society.
Corruption is defined in the dictionary as dishonest, illegal or immoral behaviour, especially from someone with power. Therefore, corruption is not only restricted to government offices. Every sector in the country, be it economic, academic, political, social or religious, are affected by this evil called corruption.
However, it is defined by transparency international as behaviour on the part of officials in the public sector, whether politicians or civil servants, in which they improperly and unlawfully enrich themselves or those close to them by the misuse of public power.
Nigeria is one of the most infamous nations for corruption in the world. It was ranked in 2007, according to the transparency int’l corruption perception index, as the 147th least corrupt country, Ghana ranked number 69 and South Africa, 45.
It is very unfortunate that a whopping 80% of our oil wealth goes to less than 1% of the entire population.
Sanni Abacha is allegedly the 4th most corrupt President for embezzling up to 2-5 billion US dollars.
According to the world bank, between 1960 and 1999 , $400 billion was stolen. That is a staggering amount of money because if you were to put 400 billion dollar bills end-to-end, you could make 75 round trips to the moon . concretely, those 400 billion dollars could have translated into millions of vaccinations for children, thousands of kilometres of roads, hundreds of schools, hospitals and water treatment facilities that never came to be.
Seeing how inimical corruption is to the growth of our economy and success of the youths, then we no doubt will agree that it is important for us to fight it head-on. Fighting corruption should not only be the duty of bodies like EFCC, NDLEA, SSS, ICPC and so on. We the youths also have a role to play in tackling it. So, as youths, what are we expected to do to abate and curb this negative trend?
First and foremost, we need to always do what is right. Mahatma Gandhi, the man that liberated India from the shackles of Imperialism, once said; ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’. If you want our leaders to be honest and less corrupt, you also must be honest in all your dealings. It is ridiculous to accuse a person of a crime that you yourself are guilty of. So let us examine ourselves right now. How many of us can proudly beat our chest and say we have never consciously told a lie before? How many can beat their chest and say we have never taken what does not belong to us? How many of us in this gathering can unequivocally claim that we have never engaged in examination mal-practice? The truth is that almost all if not all of us have engaged in one corrupt activity or the other. We need to change our attitude if want our leaders to change theirs, because personal development is a prerequisite to national development. And the incontrovertible fact is that our personality cannot be good if our mentality is wrong. If you are the type that goes about with the mental-mind that corruption is justifiable means to an end, if you are the type that seeks for a public office because of private gains; then you are a liability to this nation
In short, we need to evaluate ourselves and determine the extent of our corruption. After the evaluation, we must endeavour to correct our mentality i.e. it must be at the back of our minds that corruption is wrong and it cannot get you anything that will last-long. It will only cause us shame and embarrassment. After adjusting our mentality, it must show in our personality. We should not be the ones that will be caught in acts such as lying, theft, bribery, favouritism, exam mal-practice, embezzlement etc.
Secondly, in our fight against corruption we should preach what is right. What I mean by this is that you spread the message to your friends, family, relatives and even stranger, whenever you have the chance and by whatever means is at your disposal. It may be through the school magazine, through morning talks on the assembly ground, through the social network, the internet in general etc.
Thirdly and lastly is that you need to demand what is right from others, the leaders and people in power. If it is your class captain/prefect that you find culpable of corrupt practices, call him/her to order. If he/she fails to take to correction, report him/her or take other disciplinary actions against such person. If it is your teacher, do the same. The future does not belong to cowards. Wole Soyinka once wrote, ‘he dies he who keeps silent in the face of tyranny’. Gani Fawhinmi also said, ‘stand on the right thing, even if you are the only one standing’. Any leader that is corrupt is a tyrannical and despotic ruler because he is self-centred and he fails to consider the outcries and interests of his followers. We must note that the best way to demand what is right from people in power without prejudice is if we ourselves do not benefit from their corrupt activities.
In summation, to tackle corruption we should ensure we always think the right way, do the right thing, preach the right thing and demand the right thing. We must say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH to corruption if we desire to move forward.