Agama Lizards Also Greet
Something of a permanent emotional frisson for me every July in Ilorin…
The route from the hotel to the city campus of Kwara State University, where Professor Adeleke Adeeko and yours truly have trained PhDs and lecturers annually since 2015, takes you past the gates of the palatial mansion of a deceased former Governor of Kwara state.
An eerie, contemplative silence always grips Professor Adeeko and I as we drive by.
As an Ilorin regular, I knew when that sprawling mansion was being built.
As an Ilorin regular, I was witness to the buzz and glory and carnivalesque that the mansion hosted when the owner was in office… and alive.
Now you drive by the decay
Now you drive by the rust
Now you drive by the rot
Now you drive by the emptiness
Now you drive by the silence
On occasion and if they are in a very good mood, the new tenants and owners of the mansion, Agama lizards, will nod greetings at you as you drive by, before returning to more urgent tasks of territoriality and driving other lustful males away from their harems of about 30 female lizards to one Agama. Agama lizards are always coveting their neighbours’ wives because they are very poor Christians and do not always respect the Bible. You should go and see what they do on the grounds of this once sprawling centre of all things important in Ilorin.
On occasion, our driver will volunteer a lecture on the past glory of the weed and spirogyra-infested waste of that compound. He would wax philosophical in his deep, musical, Ilorin Yoruba.
Ile ola d’ahoro is the greatest Yoruba philosophy.
Ile ola d’ahoro is the greatest Yoruba pedagogy.
For you, non-Yoruba speaker, Ile ola d’ahoro translates better Biblically. Today’s splendour is tomorrow’s abomination of desolation.
No man, no woman has immunity against the dangerous possibility of this philosophy.
It cautions the Yoruba against vanity.
It cautions the Yoruba against pride, vainglory and excess.
It teaches a Yoruba person that your omoluabi is the only antidote to the devastating possibilities of Ile ola d’ahoro.
I always tear up driving past the Agama-infested mansion of this former Governor.
And I will tell my Oga, Professor Adeleke Adeeko, that no Nigerian should occupy any public office – President, Senator, Rep, Governor, etc – who has not first visited Ilorin to take that humbling morning drive past that mansion.
It is a drive by that should be able to knock the coconut head of even the most arrogant public office holder in Nigeria into some humbling, sober reflection.
These arrogant, power drunk APC incumbents defecating on public aesthetics with so much impunity should go to Ilorin to be greeted and humbled by the Agama lizards that have taken over the domain of one of theirs – a deceased member of their one percent family whom they have forgotten the same way they too shall be forgotten by those hailing them today.
I mean, how dare they? Just who the heck do these people think they are? Just because you and your social media almajiris have successfully clobbered and intimidated our people to fear and silence, you think you can just up and do anything you like? Defiling the entrance to Abuja and blocking the view of the city gate with that ugly, partisan monstrosity?
It is like Washingtonians waking up to some idiocy of the Republican party blocking the view to the Washington monument.
What manner of a country is this?
What kind of people are these?
What manner of impunity is this?
No one who has never been saluted into sober reflection by Agama lizards should ever occupy public office in Nigeria.