When cornered by death or stalked by danger, an insect called the Malaysian Exploding Ant turns against its assailant, ruptures its abdominal muscles, causing its poisonous glands to explode.
With the explosion of the poisonous glands, the ant releases an irritating substance in all directions.
The released secretion is capable of immobilising or entangling the adversary.
The Malaysian Exploding Ant loses its life in the explosion, dying an honourable death, ‘ikú yá ju èsín’, teaching its assailant a bitter lesson – never mess with a Malaysian Exploding Ant. By falling on the sword, the ant preserves its clan, sacrificing itself for its colony.
In the olden days, whenever a tyrannical Alaafin of Oyo poked the eyes of the earth with his blue heels, the Oyomesi – a fraternity of powerful chiefs – would storm the palace, and open to the Alaafin, the calabash of death. Abomination! The king must never see the inside of the empty calabash. Èèwò!!
The statement, ‘See Paris and die’, is totally different from ‘See calabash and die’. ‘See Paris and die’ proclaims Paris as the ultimate scenic city in the world where every mortal should visit before dying. But an Alaafin that sees an empty calabash is on the journey of no return.
The youths that stormed the Lekki tollgate three years ago were Nigeria’s exploding ants, who, condemning police brutality and demanding improved welfare and infrastructure, resorted to legitimate protest because they were tired of living under conditions unfit for even animals in the wild.
The government wait didn’t to see whether or not the youths would rupture their abdomens in harakiri at Lekki, rather, it sent its sheriffs and soldiers after them, singing a Bob Marley lyric, ‘kill them before they grow’, and yet call them ‘leaders of tomorrow’ a day after the massacre.
The youths were mistaken; they had thought their leaders were only wicked, little did they know they were heartless, too.
After marking the Lekki tollgate with the blood of innocent citizens, the regime of Nigeria’s President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), denied that no youth was killed, calling on wailing parents and relatives to produce the pheromones in the blood of the dead.
However, the late Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, blamed Buhari’s regime for allowing the protest to get out of hand. After the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government crushed the youth’s resistance against oppression at Lekki, Buhari and his party went home and slept with their two eyes closed. We had won, they thought. But revenge is the unforgiving cousin of karma; it’s brutal and unforgetting.
Millions of Nigerians youths nationwide had a voice in the Lekki tollgate protest because they all are affected by the actions and inactions of the directionless Buhari regime. So, they lay in wait and bide their time. Their time came last Saturday. And they utilised it to the hilt.
From the ruins of the earthquake that shattered entrenched political structures and disembowelled godfathers along with their godchildren, I seek interpretations to Nigeria’s new political map etched through the ballot nationwide on February 25, 2023.
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Obi is not the hero of the 2023 presidential election, he is the arrow. He’s not the vehicle of the struggle, he’s the driver who preached to not make monetary inducement a guarantee for support. With his message of hope and an assurance that Nigeria could be born again, Obi got support across ethnic and religious lines because poverty speaks only one language: lack.
Nigerians who queued behind Obi are the heroes and heroines of the 2023 presidential election. Even when the struggle became intense and had to cross ethnic and religious lines, the heroes and heroines remained resolute for the horrors they’ve been subjected to by the APC and the PDP in almost 24 years is worse than errors of the struggle.
Being a product of the All Progressives Grand Alliance and the Peoples Democratic Party, Obi is, surely, no saint, but his lyrics make sense to a nation in need of a messiah different from those of the betrayers resident in the two leading principalities and powers of darkness called parties.
Make no mistake about it, Peter Gregory Obi must have been pleasantly surprised with the numbers thrown up by the election. Not in his wildest imagination would he be sure to sweep the broom into the Lagos Atlantic or snatch Plateau State from the jaws of the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress.
Obi, with the backing of his supporters, knew he had something big in his hands, but like the unpredictability of football tournaments or new inventions, he wasn’t sure how his innovation would turn out. He simply put his product in the market, and b-o-o-m, the rest belongs to history.
Globally, braggadocio is a sauce with which politics is eaten. Former US presidents Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Bill Clinton fit the bill of braggadocious leaders exuding the air of infectious confidence.
The presidential candidate of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, publicly said it would be belittling of him to even take Obi’s name on his lips, now that Obi has slammed him in Lagos, he should tender an open apology to Obi for belittling the new face of opposition in Nigeria.
To be continued.
Email: email@example.com; Facebook: @tunde odesola; Twitter: @tunde_odesola.
Published in The PUNCH, on Friday, February 3, 2023.