Saturday, November 25, 2006
ORIGIN of JUJU MUSIC,
Article MT111 – from Musical Traditions No 1, Mid 1983
a major African recording star
Whereas the last twenty years have seen a colossal amount of research carried out into all forms of black American traditional and popular music, the equivalent developments in Africa, often reflecting and drawing from these cultures, has largely been overlooked. The music of Africa is as diverse and as complex as the continent itself. In addition to the countless forms of native tribal music, many fascinating musicals hybrids have developed as a result of foreign influence – American, British, Latin, Arabic and Cuban amongst these.
The two most popular forms of West African popular music are currently High Life and Juju. Broadly speaking, and I must stress this, High Life is essentially Ghanaian in origin, favouring driving brass sections while Nigerian Juju music is more reflective and heavily features the guitar. An easy, though not entirely satisfactory, comparison would be between R&B/Soul (High Life) and Blues (Juju).
The development of Juju as a recognisable form also closely resembles that of the Blues from a rural background (the field holler and country dance tune) to a modern brash popular form (the music to be heard in a South Chicago bar). Juju is based on the centuries old traditional music of the Yoruba – choral singing and complex percussion – and was brought from the Nigerian countryside to the towns of Lagos and Ibadan by migrant workers in the Twenties and Thirties. Here the guitar lead was assimilated, often Western influenced, and, as cheap imports became available, progressively amplified. As with the Blues, Juju is essentially dance music however the vocals are far less radical or rebellious, normally extolling the virtues of traditional Yoruba values and achievements.
Although not the founder of Juju, I K Dairo MBE was an important and influential exponent of the music and a top selling African recording artist of the sixties. This article is a portion of a slim volume ‘Songs of I K Dairo MBE’ delightfully written by Benson Corporo Okagbare, printed by the Nigerian National Press and published in 1969.
Isaiah Kehinde Dairo, a humble, gentle and a very polite man who today is and who forever may be holding the hegemony of the Juju empire was born in 1930 at Offa in Northern Nigeria. This genius who brought Yoruba’s indigenous Juju to nation-wide recognition attended the CMS School at Offa for only two years after which financial strains forced him out. In company of his retiring father who served the Nigerian Railway Corporation as a carpenter for many years, he left Offa for Ijebu-Ijesha – his hometown. The year was 1937. Shortly before they were to leave Offa something remarkable happened: the father drawing on his carpentry skill made a drum for young Dairo. Little could it be guessed that such a gift summarised his whole mission on earth. Isaiah was so fond of this drum that he would not part with it – early in the morning, at meal time, going to fetch water or doing any other thing his drum was beside him. At Ijebu-Ijesha, he became a barber after some months of training. When he was not busy at barbing, he was on his drum so much that his father was alarmed. At evenings he would go and watch his predecessors of Juju music at play. These were Orioke, Oladele Oro and Mike – all of whom were then based at Ijebu-Ijesha. From the knowledge I K gained from his father as a carpenter, he made drum after drum for himself. Not long after, he succeeded in gathering some boys to make up a band. One Taiye Igese was the captain. This was in 1942. The band soon broke up .
Dairo who afterwards was to become the most popular of Nigerian musicians, went to Ede as an Osomalo – a pedestrian cloth seller from one locality to the other. He did this for four years after which he became a road worker for six months. When he saw that pays were not regular, he became a labourer clearing cocoa farms at Oko Apara near Oshogbo. At Oshogbo I K heard rumours about the construction of the Queen’s College, Ede and of the Ede Water Supply Scheme. Soon after, he was at Ede working in these undertakings under Cappa and D’alberto. Wages then ranged from l/9d to 2s daily. Kehinde made a little of savings at Ede and with this he came to Ibadan. At Ibadan, he again worked with Cappa and D’alberto who were then busy on the University of Ibadan. This was the place where I K experienced the greatest hardship. He carried blocks upon blocks on his bare head so much that these shove a ring on this head. He was, however, relieved of this heavy labour when he was made a carpenter. Pays there were within the range of l/9d and 2/3d daily. I K indeed did much of labourer work to earn a living: to free himself from the fetters of inherited poverty. What an encouragement to some of us! If Isaiah had not inherited wealth, and if he had none thrown to him, he was bent on achieving one. And this he has done.
Kehinde did not at any time leave his drum behind. At day, he did his manual labour; at night he played with Ojoge Daniel – a Juju musician based at Ibadan. Ojoge soon stopped him and I K sought fresh avenues. Jobless he roamed for some time until advised by one Enoch to work with Hausa labourers in producing gravels for road. In those days labourer work was much valued and before one was taken he must have, at least, seen the foreman – to offer some sort of bribe. This was probably the only certificate required for entry.
Having wandered so long, I K felt homesick. Twelve years had elapsed since he left home and he had yet nothing. So with only a sixpence a guitar and carpentry tools, he reached his place of birth. With nothing but confidence, he formed his first band. The year: 1957. They were all ten. The band went by the name Morning Star Orchestra. They were invited to marriage ceremonies, burials, etc. to play. Fame attended this group and in 1961 they were to compete with some other Juju bands at the WNBS/TV. I K won of the 16 artistes invited. The new name of Blue Spot is also traceable to this time. Of the many that I K could remember connected with this name are one European ‘Black Lench’, MacGregor, Adebo, Olu Falomo and Kunle Olasope. I K thanks all of them.
I K has played in various foreign countries. He has played in England and he represented Nigeria at the Negro Arts Festival held in Dakar in 1965.
I K Dairo was the first African Musician to be honoured with the title of Member of the British Empire (MBE). He has won this owing to his originality and the improvement he gave to the Juju Music – an improvement, an innovation, which can hardly be forestalled by any living artiste. He introduced the talking drum into Juju, he introduced the accordion and made the guitar an essential part in Juju music. The father of Juju is as old as the Yoruba race but the father of modern juju is I K Dairo. This is particularly seen in the number of Juju musicians that have sprung up following closely the footprints of I K Dairo. Some, which are also admirable, have been striving to reach I K Dairo’s record. In this bid they have not only imitated I K’s brand of music, they have gone the whole length to copying his exact words and ideas. They add slight changes to effect disguise.
The ship of the Blue Spot hit a huge cataract on the 23rd day of February, 1968 after a long laborious journey for eleven years. The nine people with whom I K Dairo started in 1957 left on this date. The nine could not advance any reason why they decided to leave. On their departure, I K gave to them the van they were formerly using, and also placed at their disposal all the playing instruments which he bought for them. The nine have long formed a band that operates here in Lagos. I K has since made up a new Band which is indeed superior to the former. His later songs Ekun Rere and Baba Nigbati nba sako lo state this vividly.
The Yorubas are famous for their enjoyment of life. They therefore have a variety of music: they have the Juju, the Sakara, Bembe, Were, Pankeke, the Apala and many others. Each of these has its origin from one or a combination of the dialects. Juju comes from Ondo Province, Ijebu is very much associated with Apala and Sakara Pankeke is famous in and around Ilorin, etc. The Juju through I K Dairo has been the only one which has won not only national attention, but also international recognition. Haruna Ishola has put the Apala on a line of fame too. It is currently attracting audience from non-Yorubas. He is particularly famous in Dahomey where the Ajase people prefer his records in their radio request programmes .
I K has a character trait which is peculiar to him; he does not like to be interrupted when he talks and if you interrupt he will go on talking without a break in the line of thought . This peculiar character trait is much to his advantage. In any hotel, whenever he is playing and Bacchus is at work, people go very close to him. Some even go to the extent of entering on the stage to talk to him. All these do not disturb I K. In certain cases when the crowd – particularly girls, in miniskirts crowd on him while playing, he will close his eyes to avoid distraction; he prefers the audience far from the playing stage. I K is one of the greatest admirers of beauty; he has a great likeness for girls but he loves them and admires them as he would his sisters. This is another candle placed on a candlestick. I believe others will see light.
“The girls I sing of are not my girlfriends or lovers. In certain cases I pick up certain names and sing of them. Most of the characters are fictitious I am currently composing a song on Sunbo – I know nobody of such a name. I sing of girls and of ‘love’ because these are, in face essential factors in our lives. They are necessary compliments to whatever we are ‘Love’ is indeed one of the essential ingredients of music and love songs are most appealing to all and sundry. I therefore sing them merely to give satisfaction to the people whom I am happy to see satisfied. I have carefully avoided flooding the market with such songs as they are most likely to encourage immorality”. I K then concluded that if a musician was to retain his glory long he must abstain.
I K is a Christian and he belongs to the Aladura sect (Seraphim and Cherubim). He and his family have chosen to serve the Lord. All along with his music, I K Dairo observes his religious duties. Some of his songs are religious some are taken from song books and are adapted to the rhythm of the juju music. The tone and the language of the psalmist are detectable in some of his songs. He is a preacher and a reformer through the medium of record.
One of the reasons why I K s records sell like hot cakes is that they are full of prayer and good counsel. Any sane man will prefer good statements of prayer and advice to those of meaningless collection of sound – or less so, of curse, abuse, sorrow or regrets.
It is necessary at this point to state that most of I K’s 80 songs are in two or three parts. Sometimes these parts are related sometimes they are not. Any listener to a record of I K will note that beats change after certain intervals. When these happen it is usually another song within the same record. This is a good device for eliminating monotony from his songs. This system is being employed by all musicians irrespective of brand. It is the same thing outside the Yoruba World. English songs are not like this. For a record there is only a theme. Monotony is broken by instrumental interludes and the song resumed – it is never another song as in the case of Nigerian songs.
I K is no factionist. He is not politically inclined. He sings of people in different parties. He sings of Kola Balogun, of Chief Awolow, of Late Major-General Ironsi and of Major General Gowon. He is more of an objective commentator on current Nigerian Affairs. He is no tribalist nor a stooge of any power. His songs in Urhobo, Hausa, Edo, Akan and in some other languages are living witnesses to this. I K sticks tenaciously to conviction.
He is a true embodiment of public opinion.
Benson Corporo Okagbare
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The Origin and Development of JuJu Music
|Posted 11/25/2006 7:44 AM – email it|
Cover Story : Above The Law
Posted by admin on 2007/1/29 14:14:28 (4193 reads)
While Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu breaks the law with impunity, Aso Rock and the Police look the other way. Here is why
By Ademola Adegbamigbe
The jaw of any tourist, researcher or journalist who visits the Molete, Ibadan, Oyo State home of Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu will, for hours, hang slack. This is because of the surfeit of materials that can serve as proof and symbols of the crude politics of this Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) top notcher. First, the environment exhibits the opulence of a man of means who controls an army of ultra-loyal supporters (mechanics, drivers, bricklayers, butchers and the disaffected) whose daily needs Adedibu meets. Like a Mafia boss who does no piety without a reward, watchers of Adedibu’s brand of politics say he deploys these people for political thuggery since he can make them cause mischief at the snap of his fingers. Adedibu has, for years, been able to use these rabble to control power in Oyo State.
On Wednesday 24 January 2007 when TheNEWS journalists visited, the environment was thronged by people seeking one favour or the other and perhaps those waiting for instructions to cause some mayhem in some remote places. Adedibu breezed out of his house at exactly 9.30a.m. Those who had been waiting collided with one another to prostrate before him. With little notice of the fawning heads on the floor, the Lord of the Manor, his hands characteristically inside his agbada, bent forward, walking briskly. When the magazine’s journalists were introduced to him, he, in an avuncularly disarming way, grabbed the hand of their leader, clasped it under his armpit and led him and his colleagues to his court where the interview was to take place. Others followed in tow. But before this, the crew was able to survey the environment.
On entering the premises, the first structure that catches the attention of any visitor is the one-storey central mosque which has four minarets, each with the star and crescent symbol of Islam. One of these has a megaphone through which the muezzin calls the faithful to prayer. A spiralling staircase connects the ground and top floors, held together by 28 pillars. Adding to the rarefied atmosphere are Arabic letters on relief, etched against a black background. Behind the mosque is an ablution section under construction. A road separates this house of prayer from a row of one, two and three-storey buildings painted in the national colours of green-white-green. Still occupying the right side of the compound is another ultra-modern structure being erected. Alhaji Adedibu’s main residence, which the visitor faces as he approaches, is undergoing renovation, with new pillars serving as reinforcement.
While the perimeter walls have also been raised with an internal layer of granite, the compound itself has been so expanded so that one could see the Molete bridge at a distance. The wall was broken to allow workmen and heavy equipment access to another sprawling structure springing up at the back. Apart from pigeons that were feeding on remnants of the previous night’s feast, over 15 rams and 10 cows roamed freely, grazing and chewing the cud at a section. Occasionally, the visitors received some dour, sideway glances from the beasts as if to warn them (intruders) that a kick from their hindquarters could be dangerous below the belt. About 95 mattresses, probably used by the politician’s army of supporters and thugs were dumped in a heap in an open space.
Adding to the grandeur of the compound were over 100 vehicles when the journalists visited last week. Among them were a blue modern Volkswagen Beetle, grey Peugeot saloon, a Pajero jeep, a white Nissan pick-up van, blue 505 Peugeot and an Oyo State House of Assembly Coaster bus. Also in the fleet was the grey Chevrolet Express with registration number Oyo AE 85AYT, with which Oyo State House of Assembly’s mace was confiscated by Adedibu and his hoodlums. The most important among the structures in Adedibu’s compound is the court where he receives visitors and dispenses justice. Arranged in two rows were 13 leather settees, seven black leather-top centre tables and a giant “port-a-cool” fan, enclosed in a mammoth wooden structure that looks like an abandoned high-definition television box.
Here, Adedibu’s politics, which respects no ideological categories, is on display through photographs, plaques and other memorabilia. On the outside wall are portraits of late politicians like Adegoke Adelabu, Ladoke Akintola, Obafemi Awolowo, Tafawa Balewa and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. Inside the hall are photographs of Adedibu’s moments with other politicians like suspended Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Senate President Adolphus Wabara, the late Chief MKO Abiola, General Buba Marwa and others. Among all these, three objects were particularly striking. First, the PDP billboard at the entrance, with a website, www.bjvision2007.com, describes Adedibu as “an institution.” Second, is a photograph showing a publisher of a national daily presenting an award to Adedibu, for “political consistency.” Closely linked to this is a plaque, presented by Alhaji and Alhaja Kasali Ajani, congratulating Adedibu on his honour as “the most consistent politician in Nigeria.” To the artwork, the couple added a quote attributed to Adedibu himself: “Men acquire a particular quality constantly acting in a particular way.” How symbolic and apt!
For watchers of his politics, Adedibu has been constantly acting in a particular way, using generosity, thuggery, money, craftiness, sycophancy or loyalty to the powers that be to escape the long arm of the law. All these have manifested in the Rashidi Ladoja impeachment saga, the Oyo Assembly impasse, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) machines accusation and others. In spite of Chief Adedibu’s breaches of the law, he is not asked any question by the authorities. Rather, he struts the land with an exaggerated swagger. Last Monday, six Direct Data Machines of INEC were allegedly found in the home or Chief Adedibu. That was 24 hours after two were discovered in the home of a top government official when Adebayo Alao-Akala was the governor.
Mr. Sunday Ehindero, the Inspector-General of Police, threatened to arrest anyone caught in connection with the crime. “In the case of Chief Adedibu and reports that some INEC machines were allegedly found in his home, I want to say that we are investigating the allegation. In fact, I have directed the Commissioner of Police, Oyo State to personally investigate the matter,” he said. “If investigation proves that the allegation was true, I want to assure you that the full weight of the law would be brought to bear.” Adedibu’s response when TheNEWS confronted him on Wednesday 24 January 2007 showed that Ehindero’s threat was mere effusion of gas. In Adedibu’s words: “They are telling lies. How can they get six? If the whole local governments are yet to have six, how then can they have six in my house? Where were the machines? Were they discovered by the police or by the SSS or by anybody? Who discovered them? Where were the machines at the time of discovery? Did they find the machines in my house really? These are questions they must answer and nobody has ever asked me, whether the police or SSS, about the machines. My accusers want to bring something out of nothing. The accusation is not correct.”
He reasoned that there is no official place designated by INEC for registration. Registration, according to him, cannot be rigged and it is impossible for a person to register twice because of thumbprints. He swore that registration did not take place in his house. But he unwittingly injected a contradiction when he told TheNEWS: “My properties are very many in this area. If they stand in the front of any of my properties and are registering there, all other places where they are registering people, which I can take you to, are in the front of the house of some other people. What is the problem of registration of people in my own house? Why should anybody connect those things to my house?” To further prove that Ehindero’s boast was needless, this magazine met Isyaku Maigoro, the Oyo State Resident Electoral Commissioner in his Agodi, Ibadan secretariat office and asked whether the commission would prosecute Adedibu. Magoro reacted angrily: “Why are you here? If you need anything, go to Abuja… Why should I arrest him? He is not our staff.”
Another incident which requires police and Aso Rock questioning was the attack by Adedibu’s thugs on Senator Lekan Balogun, a convener of the PDP’s stakeholders forum. In the process, the hoodlums allegedly confiscated a pistol belonging to a State Security Service (SSS) operative. Adedibu later returned the gun to the police. Narrating his experience to TheNEWS, Senator Balogun said: “I went to the Oyo State House of Assembly to see the group of 18 lawmakers loyal to Pa Lamidi Ariyibi Adedibu. There was a prior understanding that I was coming. Unfortunately, the honourable members were not there when I got there. Coming out of the legislative complex, the hoodlums approached us and said, he is Adeojo’s man and I asked if I looked like Adeojo. They said, he has brought Ladoja’s lawmakers and I asked them, where are they? Then they started shouting, we do not want peace, we do not want peace, we do not want peace. Before we knew what was happening, they had brought out offensive weapons like machetes, cutlasses and others and started attacking us. If not the protection of my security aides I would have been killed. One remarkable thing about the crowd is that I know virtually all of them.”
He reeled out the names of the thugs that attacked him: Sule Adu, Lati Elewe Omo, Concord, Egbeda Tunnila ( a woman), Gala, Alado, Ismail Agbaje, Alhaji Bola, Wasiu, Lateef Azeem, chairman Iwo Road/Dugbe National Union of Road Transport Workers. Balogun advised the authorities to arrest and prosecute the Ibadan politician. Alhaji Adedibu, however, told this medium that Balogun was lying. He argued that the Senator, in his purported reconciliation moves, went to the House of Assembly to meet the 20 majority members without informing him. He implied that the fracas and the seizure of the gun were in self-defence. In his words: “He (Balogun) went to the House of Assembly to meet the 20 members of the House, the majority members, without informing me, without informing the people that he was coming. And when he was going, he went with security, with guns. What do you expect of them? We know who he is. He is for Ladoja. The people are not for Ladoja.
He was coming with security, with guns in their hands. What did he expect them to do? It was the women that handled him, not the honourable members, because the honourable members were not there. It was only the supporters of the honourable members that were there. So the women disarmed them. It was the women that disarmed them. We don’t have any respect for Dr. Balogun here. He is for Ladoja. He sent him to appeal to those honourable members who were not in the House at the time he went there. He never told them he was coming to meet them and he was going, he went with security with guns in their hands. What did you expect the people to do? And you can see the lie that he was beaten. If he was beaten, where was he hospitalised? Where are the wounds on him? They didn’t beat him. It was women, women.”
Contrary to Balogun’s claim, Adedibu swore that he did not inform him about his mission, because on both sides of the quarrel, “I am the main issue.” To him, Balogun was just trying to gain cheap popularity. On whether or not he was afraid of arrest over the matter, Alhaji Adedibu said defiantly, to the admiration of his supporters: “I am available, I am available.” His followers, who attentively listened to the interview with the journalists, yelled like wolves in a pack. The attack on Balogun was one of the domino effects of the crisis in Oyo State House of Assembly and the impeachment of Governor Rashidi Ladoja, which were engineered by Adedibu. Trouble started on 12 January 2006 when 18 members of the Oyo legislature, who were loyal to Adedibu, impeached Governor Ladoja. They did not form a quorum in the 32-member House and their decision was taken outside the legislative chambers, at a hotel. Alao Akala, Ladoja’s deputy, was sworn in as the new governor.
Three days before the impeachment, three members of the House had filed a suit in an Ibadan High Court, under Justice M. Bolaji Yusuf, challenging the process. Moreover, they filed a Motion on Notice for an interlocutory injunction, restraining the Acting Chief Judge of the state from setting up a panel to investigate the alleged offences of Ladoja. Although the ACJ was reportedly served the notices and, through his counsel, told Bolaji Yusuf’s court that he would not act in any way to endanger the motion and notice, he inaugurated a seven-man panel that probed Ladoja. Consequently, the 18 lawmakers, without forming a quorum, purportedly impeached Ladoja. The removal of Ladoja had the indirect approval of President Olusegun Obasanjo. He actually advised Ladoja to resign or be impeached. In fact, Adedibu, in his threat, gave the actual time that the governor would be booted out: after the Sallah holidays. It happened.
Adedibu who Dr. Ahmadu Ali, the PDP chairman, referred to as the “garrison commander,” allegedly complained that Ladoja “is too greedy.” He added that he was “collecting N65 million as security vote every month. You know that governors don’t account for security vote. He was to give me N15 million of that every month. He reneged. Later it was reduced to N10 million. Yet he did not give me.” However, Ladoja reacted that they did not reach any agreement about money. “We did not reach any agreement about sharing money. When he asked me about his own share, I asked him under which account should I put it… The understanding of both of us of what governance is supposed to be differs. The difference is that I see governance as service while he sees it as business…After we had our quarrel in 1994 and we wanted to make up in 2002, he came to see me and said, Rasheed what do you want? I said I wanted to be governor and he said, then let us work together. I said without him, we had been winning elections, so what is it that you can do that I cannot do and he said three things. One, he asked me: do you know how to abuse people? And I said no. Then he asked: can you take away your clothes in the public and fight? I said no. Thirdly, he asked: can you tell lies against somebody and swear on the Qur’an and again call witnesses? Again I said impossible. Then he said, those are the things we always use in politics.”
However, all these changed on Wednesday 1 November 2006 when the Appeal Court, sitting in Ibadan and presided over by Justice J.O. Ogebe threw out the purported impeachment of Ladoja. The court held that this violated Section 188(1-9) of the 1999 Constitution which contains the correct processes of impeaching a governor. After this judgement, Adedibu and his men vowed that Ladoja would not resume. They were emboldened by Ehindero’s statement that the police “would only maintain the status quo ante bellium.” After the judgment, Adedibu had stormed the governor’s office in convoy with his well-armed boys, including one of his toughies, Tokyo. He boasted that the judgement of the court would not be upheld as long as he was alive, adding that there was no way Ladoja could return to Agodi, the seat of power. “The ruling of the Court of Appeal has nothing to do with what we want. What we want is Akala, not Ladoja who does not know anything. He lacks respect for elders and the party. He is empty and that is why he was unable to execute a single project when he was on throne. We will not allow him to come back to the governor’s office. If he likes himself, let him stay clear of the governor’s office,” Adedibu threatened.
The menacing look of Adedibu’s supporters and their dangerous driving caused panic in the entire town, more especially at Iwo Road, Ibadan-Ife Road, Agodi, Beere, Dugbe, Molete and Mapo. Although nobody died, the commercial activities of the day were disrupted as many people had to go back to their different homes to avoid being attacked by hoodlums. Akala boasted that nobody could move him out of the secretariat and governor’s office because his name was not mentioned in the ruling of the court. He pointed out that the concerned party, which is the state House of Assembly, had appealed against the ruling. Moroof Atilola, who had assumed speakership of the House, also warned the same day that Ladoja should never attempt resuming if his life was precious to him. “I want to appeal to the erstwhile governor not to think of coming back. But if he feels like daring it, then he should not be bothered about what happens to him.”
The third day, hoodlums invaded the home of Ladoja’s supporter, Honourable Fatai Buhari, representing Ogbomosho North, South and Orire Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives. It began at about 3p.m. at Oja Igbo area of Ogbomosho when hoodlums in the camp of Akala went out and destroyed a billboard belonging to the legislator. They moved to Ibapon in Ogbomosho South Local Government throwing stones. Eventually, they burst into the legislator’s residence and beat his wife, Hajiya Sayo Buhari. On 4 November, Akala’s deputy governor, Gbolarunmi led party supporters armed with machetes and other lethal weapons into the streets. Members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) played a prominent role in the fracas as they joined in the attack on perceived enemies as early as 7a.m. Again on 6 November, Adedibu’s hoodlums took over Ibadan, causing mayhem in a bid to prevent Ladoja from taking over power that day. The trouble spilled over to the Popoyemoja office of the former governor of the state, Alhaji Lamidi Adesina. He reportedly lost millions of naira to the fracas.
On 13 November, NURTW members became lawless over the arrest of their Chairman, Tokyo by men of SSS who whisked him to Abuja. But Adedibu secured his release effortlessly, with the help of Aso Rock. A fall-out of this power tussle is the impasse in the Oyo State House of Assembly where the 18 pro-Adedibu group declared that the 12 Ladoja loyalists had ceased to be members. This became a subject of protracted legal tussle. But this came to an end on Tuesday 9 January 2007 when Justice Masud Abass of Oyo State High Court 13, Ring Road Ibadan, ruled in favour of the Ladoja faction. Justice Abass, in his ruling on the suit filed on 18 December 2006 restraining Atilola Morufu Olawale and Taiwo Oluyemi (Adedibu loyalists) as speaker and deputy speaker of Oyo State, authenticated Abraham Adeolu Adeleke and Titilola Ademola Dauda (Ladoja loyalists) as speaker and deputy speaker of the state.
Abass ruled, inter alia: “It is hereby declared that the 1st and 2nd plaintiffs (Abraham Adeleke and Titilola Dauda) are speaker and deputy speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly respectively. It is hereby declared that the 1st and 2nd plaintiffs have not been validly removed as speaker and deputy speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly and The 1st and 2nd defendants (Atilola Olawale and Taiwo Oluyemi) are hereby restrained from parading themselves as speaker and deputy speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly respectively until the 1st and 2nd plaintiffs are validly removed from office as the speaker and deputy speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly respectively.” Shortly after the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court reinstated Governor Ladoja as the governor of Oyo State, the 18 pro-Adedibu lawmakers vowed not only to disallow Ladoja from resuming the office, but also prevent the 12 pro-Ladoja legislators from going back to the House and ensure that Adeleke and Dauda never presided over the affairs of the state House of Assembly.
To prove their seriousness, aside from hijacking the House of Assembly by besieging the premises with political thugs and over 100 mobile policemen, they further seized the mace and kept it with Adedibu, their godfather, thereby making it practically impossible for the other faction to conduct proceedings. They brought the mace to the Assembly amid heavy security in Adedibu’s ash-coloured Chevrolet 3500 car marked Oyo AE 85 AYT. Determined to make the government of Ladoja fail, they kept passing resolutions against the decision of the state government. And to worsen matters, they have scared away the 12 pro-Ladoja lawmakers with political thugs and mobile policemen. To claim their mandate, the 12 lawmakers secured an interim injunction from a High Court restraining Olawale and Oluyemi as speaker and deputy respectively. Granting the injunction, Justice Abass said: “ The 1st respondent, Honorable Atilola Morufu Olawale is hereby restrained from parading himself as the speaker and/or acting speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly pending the determination of the motion on notice. The 2nd respondent, Honourable Taiwo Oluyemi is hereby restrained from parading himself as the deputy speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly pending the determination of the motion on notice.”
However, rather than allow the original officials to assume control, the Adedibu faction disobeyed the court order by appointing Oloye Akinrinade as Acting Speaker. That still left Adeleke in the cold. The lead counsel to Adeleke, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has urged the High Court to enforce the rulings of the Appeal and Supreme courts. Apart from the courts, the Oyo legislative war has shifted to the electoral plane. The Adedibu faction have claimed that the seats of the 12 lawmakers had been declared vacant by INEC, which wanted to organise a bye-election to fill them on 13 January. But the Ladoja faction stormed the Abuja office of INEC with a protest letter and a copy of the High Court ruling in their favour. With that judgement, INEC reversed itself. The tension in the Oyo Assembly prompted the House of Representatives to threaten to take it over. According to Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambulwal, the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) leader in the House, Section 11 of the 1999 Constitution empowers the Lower House to take over any state assembly where there is a breakdown of law and order.
“We hear stories of hoodlums eating amala, drinking beer and dancing owambe inside the state House of Assembly after they chased out the legislators,” Tambuwal said. Why have the police been impotent in dealing with the Adedibu menace? The Oyo State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, AbdulRaheem Shittu reasoned: “The Nigeria Police is one of the most effective police in terms of training, orientation, experience at beating people into line. When you now have a situation where they have failed or refused to carry out their constitutional roles and responsibilities, then I think in particular, the press and the general public should start asking questions. What I would expect is that they ought not to be partisan. They are supposed to be fair to all parties concerned. So when they refused to be fair and they assumed a partisan posture, they are in the best position to tell us why they are maintaining that position which would give one side the opportunity of thinking that they are unfair.”
Adeleke, the speaker, also told TheNEWS that the Adebibu faction is using the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Jonathan Johnson to foment trouble. The other reason is Adedibu’s control of the masses, who he feeds with amala every time. He challenged TheNEWS to “come here every Friday and see what we do with less privileged people. You will see how many people we are paying their school fees, how many people I sponsor in school.” In one of his articles in Thisday, Eniola Bello wrote: “With them (the masses), Adedibu has succeeded in having substantial control of Ibadan, nay Oyo State politics since the political transition programme of the Babangida administration. And to ensure the loyalty of the followers, Adedibu became a political mercenary available to the highest bidder.” Examples were the late politicians, General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, MKO Abiola and now the Obasanjo government. According to an Aso Rock source, Adedibu is such a grassroots mobiliser that any attempt to “deal with him could lead to chaos and loss of votes for the PDP in Oyo State.”
However, Adedibu warned that his people should not be referred to as thugs. In his words: “When people do something wrong and you want to fight for your right, they will say you are a thug. The day Awolowo was made Premier of the Western Region, we applied to use Mapo Hall and we paid two pounds. They gave us receipt and approval to make use of Mapo and Adelabu was Chairman of the council and at the same time, member of the House of Assembly. Awolowo was coming from John Rankin, where he was sworn-in. But before we got to Mapo, Adelabu had locked the hall. Was it legal for him to have done that? Awolowo said we should leave it but we said no. He had taken the laws into his hands and we had to react. So I broke down the door. So I don’t understand when they say ‘thuggery, thuggery.’ What is thuggery in that? They didn’t say anything about the man locking the door illegally.” With the likes of Adedibu parading the corridors of power, can Nigerian democracy mature or survive?
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Breaking News : Oyo PDP Gov. Ticket: Ladoja Knocks Out Akala
Posted by admin on 2007/2/2 16:01:02 (1502 reads)
By Gbenro Adesina/Ibadan
There was jubilation by supporters of Governor Rashidi Ladoja of Oyo State this morning at the Agodi government secretariat as news filtered in that the governor has been given the ticket to represent PDP at the 14 April governorship elections. The PDP ticket, P.M.News gathered this morning, was given to Ladoja by the PDP leadership in Abuja following the indictment of Otunba Adebayo Alao Akala, the deputy governor of the State of allegations of corrupt practices during his brief stint as the state governor, by the boss of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Malam Nuhu Ribadu. Akala had earlier won the PDP ticket while Ladoja was impeached from office.
Ribadu, had at a colloquium held at the University of Ibadan, declared that he cannot work with the duo of Otunba Alao Akala and PDP chieftain in the state, Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu, who had bastardised the laws of the land and rejected due process. P.M.News gathered that the decision of the PDP leadership to withdraw the ticket from Alao Akala followed the damning condemnation of both Adedibu and Akala by the EFCC boss. Meanwhile, the Oyo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Abdul-Raheem Shittu, has declared that the 18 legislators loyal to Alhaji Adedibu cannot impeach the governor because he has not committed any offence.
Reacting to the purported plan by the pro-Adedibu legislators to begin impeachment proceeding against Governor Ladoja, Mr. Shittu said: “They have embarked on unconstitutional path again. What they are trying to do is not in accordance with the laws of our land. “The person who presided over their illegal sitting, Hon. Oyewole Makinde, has no legal backing to do so. “The Supreme Court and the court of Appeal have ruled that the substantive governor of the state is Ladoja and the Speaker of the State House of Assembly is Hon. Adeolu Adeleke. The rulings are there, they’ve not been upturned. “So, what they are doing is illegal and should be treated as such.”
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|Juju Scare: Council Workers Locked Out|
As protests continue to rock four local councils in Lagos following the reinstatement of their suspended chairmen, hundreds of workers at the Itire/Ikate local Development centre were this morning prevented from entering their offices following the discovery of fetish objects at the gate. The objects, a palm frond a gourd and a black pot containing palm oil and animal parts were tied to the gate of the council secretariat. P.M.Newsinvestigations revealed that the fetish objects were placed at the entrance of the council early this morning by people believed to be opposed to the return of the suspended chairman of the council, Kayode Oseni.
There has been a number of protests at the council since the state government reinstated the suspended chairman. As the locked out council workers stood in groups, discussing the latest development, thousands of protesters stormed the council secretariat demanding the removal of Kayode Oseni, as the council boss. The protesters chanted songs and carried placards deriding the reinstated chairman. Some of the placards read: “We want Akeem Bamgbola, not Kayode Oseni; Oseni, Go Home, we don’t want you’. As at the time of filing this report, more than 50 armed mobile policemen had been deployed to the council to maintain law and order.
Reacting to the development, the reinstated chairman of the council, Hon. Kayode Oseni confirmed that a palm frond and some charms were placard at the entrance of the secretariat. He said the charms were placed there by those who wanted to threaten council staff. “I have asked my men to remove the charms and we are prepared to give adequate protection to our staff, including visitors,” he stated. The reinstated council chairman disclosed that he would resume office today to continue to serve the people of the local government. “We are also not mindful of the intention of evil people who might want to cause trouble, but we are going to ensure there is peace,” he added. And in Surulere local government area, the reinstated chairman Hon. Wazee Uthman has vowed to resume office today. He said he would resume office and continue to cater for the needs of the people in the area.
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Breaking News : How We Raped 3 Varsity Girls —Danfo Driver Confesses
Posted by admin on 2007/1/31 15:17:13 (210 reads)
By Oluwole Adeboye
These are certainly the last days when, as the Holy book predicted, all sorts of immorality and evil acts will be perpetrated by human beings. This prediction came true on Sunday when a commuter bus (Danfo) driver and his gang (12 in all) attacked and raped three undergraduates of Benue State University who came to Lagos to participate in a musical programme. The victims (names withheld) were bruised, humiliated and brutally violated by the hoodlums who took them to their hideout at Ijegun to carry out the dastardly act. Narrating how he and his gang raped the students, one of the suspects, a danfo driver, Femi Scorpio, 20, who is now in a police cell, said he and his colleagues were in his vehicle when they saw the three scantily clad undergraduates on a commercial motorcycle (Okada) going to Egbeda from Idimu.
“I couldn’t control myself when I saw the fresh, big protruding breasts of the girls struggling to get loose from the skimpy dresses they were wearing. I was moved from the inside. “I was in my danfo bus with my colleagues and we decided to hit them (girls) on the okada with our bus. “Immediately their Okada fell, we came out and forcefully rushed the girls into our bus and drove them to our hideout at Ijegun. “The girls were begging us not to harm them but we threatened them with machetes, broken bottles and charms to keep quiet. “At Ijegun, I took one of the girls while my colleagues shared the others. I asked my own to follow me. When she refused, I threatened to kill her and she reluctantly followed me to the place where I raped her several times. She begged me to use condom but I refused to listen to her because I was already charged,” he narrated.
P.M.News investigations revealed that one of the suspects, identified as Bogun Yusuf, still on the run, threatened the girls with his gun before they were raped. Meanwhile, the police at Idimu Station, led by CSP Sunday Adetunji, have launched a manhunt for the fleeing suspects. P.M.News also gathered that the victims are currently receiving treatment at a private hospital in Lagos.
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In PM NEWS today
Opinion : I Remember My Father
Posted by admin on 2007/1/20 11:30:59 (274 reads)
Daddy, it is now exactly four years since you left us. I know when I say this, readers will think it was a simple matter of you passing away as we all will one day. It is more complex than that. It has been four years since you walked out of the family home in Lagos, telling my mother you wanted to see your mechanic about fixing the car, and that was the last we ever saw of you. Perhaps people will remember the many photographs of you we published in newspapers, the radio and TV appeals, the handbills, all to no avail. When people ask me how I have coped with this dreadful tragedy I do not wish on my worst enemy, I say that I hope you are in a safe place, far away from this cruel world. People think they can comfort me by saying we will still find you. I tell them no. I would rather think of you as resting with our ancestors than you wandering around like a vagrant with no home or kin. That is the only way I have been able to cope. I have not told your grandson what happened (or did not happen) to you. Whenever he asks after you when we go to your house to see mummy, I tell him you have gone out. How do I start explaining to a twelve year old that his grandfather went missing four years ago and we never found him? I can’t even explain it to myself.
Mummy gave us a scare towards the end of last year. Her diabetes got out of hand, and in September she went into a diabetic coma for two days. We stood over her calling her name, willing her to wake up. I kept asking my self, ‘What if she doesn’t wake up?’ I thought of you and wondered if we would be faced with yet another case of non-closure. I am sure you heard my prayers. She is much better now. In January 2003 exactly the same month we lost you, a Kenyan friend of mine, Wanjiru Kihoro, was involved in a plane crash in Nairobi. She was in a coma from that time till she eventually passed away in October 2006. I went to visit her in the hospital in Nairobi where she was being kept alive by scores of tubes running through her body. I talked to her, held her hand and stroked her hair. Of course there was no response. I thought of you, and asked myself, which was better or worse? Having a loved one lying there lost to the world? Or having a loved one disappear into thin air? I did not have answers then as I stared at my comatose friend and stole glances at her elderly, heartbroken father willing her to wake up. Now, after her family has been able to bury her and mourn properly, and are able to lay flowers at her final resting place whenever they wish, I know the answer.
What makes it possible for a seventy year old grandfather who served his country and humanity diligently all his life disappear without a trace? We know it happens in other parts of the world, but there is a sense that here in Nigeria, life is nasty, brutish and meaningless. Those who should care about fixing the roads to prevent accidents have other priorities. Those who collect our taxes so that we can sustain law enforcement agencies either use the same institutions to brutalise us or look the other way because they are consistently outnumbered, outmanoeuvred and overwhelmed by armed bandits. Those who should ensure that our children can attend school and gain productive employment would rather see generations to come roaming the streets hungry, desperate and dangerous.
In this kind of society there is so little hope left for people that they turn to the divine and diviners for relief and sanctuary. Alas! this does not help much either because these institutions grounded in faith are now being manipulated by middle men and women who do not have the same agenda as their flock. These sites of worship and hope have become reflections of what has driven people there in the first place – corruption, unholy and unhealthy competition, partisanship, injustice, brutality and crass commercialisation.
Daddy, I am not saying I have lost hope and you know it is not like me to be cynical. I just feel that after all these years as a sovereign country, we should be doing a whole lot better than we are now. I look around and see people who do not have a thumbnail’s worth of integrity running the affairs of this country. We keep being faced with hopeless leadership choices – between the devil and the deep blue sea, between the frying pan and fire, between being thrown to the dogs or to the wolves. Yet, I can not afford to despair.
Two years ago your son-in law, ‘Gentleman Kayode’ as you fondly called him, said he was thinking of running for Governor of Ekiti State. After much consideration, I agreed to it. He is now his party’s candidate for the elections in April. I told myself then, and I tell myself now, I want to be able to have better choices. We all deserve better than what we are getting now. Years from now, I want to be able to tell my children that we made a difference. If we do not make an effort to change the course of our drifting country right now, we will all, like you one day, disappear without trace, even if only in the metaphorical sense. Like Hugh Masekela sang, ‘I want to be there when the people start to turn it around’.
I miss you Daddy. I miss you everyday. I take courage in the fact that I can hold my head high and say, ‘I know a man, who worked hard for everything he had, who loved his wife and no other, who cared deeply for his children and gave them equal opportunities. A man who never borrowed money, who lived within his means, who served his country as a senior civil servant till he retired and never abused his position as a custodian of considerable financial resources. A man who served his community diligently without the need or desire for rewards. A man who was never late for anything, always kept his appointments and his promises, and who treated all around him with fairness and compassion. A man who never said one thing then did another. Yes, such a man did exist. He was my father, Emmanuel Akinola Adeleye.
– Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi is the Executive Director of the African Women’s Development Fund based in Ghana.