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The Anomaly In Kwara (2)



Why I May Make Public Lagos ENDSARS Report - Adegboruwa


Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa

A lot has happened in rapid succession, since last week when I wrote the first piece on the religious crisis in Kwara State, infamously stoked by the government in power purely for political expediency. Some new facts have also been made known to me, concerning the mutual agreement between the government of Kwara State and the owners of the mission schools in question. It was said that sometime in or about 1974, there was an agreement between all stakeholders, on limited involvement of government in the funding of the mission schools, without interfering in the day to day management thereof. In that agreement of 1974, it was stated that:

(b) The names of schools remain the same by proprietors.

(c) Religious orientation and practices in the schools remain generally undisturbed.

(d) The right to nominate Board of Governors with responsibility for the day to day management and welfare of the institution remain unchallenged. The Board of Governors will continue to function normally except in regard to staff matters which responsibility is now taken over by the State Schools Board.

(e) The total tone of the institution remains the responsibility of the Board of Governors as the main organ of the proprietors.”

It then becomes crystal clear, at least from item (d) above, that the purpose of government intervention in the mission schools was to assist in the payment of the salary of their teachers, while the issues of management of the schools and general policy formulation, reside in the Board of Governors.

READ ALSO: Buhari Meets With Security Chiefs Before Medical Trip To London
There should have been no issue about this at all except that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has intervened in respect of policy formulation, orientation and religious practices.

The agreement was signed in 1974 whereas the Constitution came into force in 1999 and with its supremacy clause in section 1, the provisions of the Constitution must, of necessity, prevail over private or public agreements. In the same vein however, there is a need for the government to respect agreements, especially as a way of engendering public confidence in governance generally.

In this regard, the global concept of uniform in schools will be defeated where different religious establishments work tirelessly to incite their wards to adorn separate outfits.

To the extent that the provisions of Chapter Four of the Constitution are unique and equal, it is doubtful if the right to religious practices by non-stakeholders attending private schools can override the right to freedom of association and to own property. However, I verily believe that this is a balance that the Kwara State Government must work out and sustain.

I received some responses to the first piece and I have decided to share them, largely unedited, in the hope that those concerned would take note and adjust themselves accordingly.

“Kemi: Good morning sir, I think this problem was foreseeable. Government took over these schools because the churches were tired of running the schools without thoughts of future problems like this. Secondly sir, the churches ought to have given conditions to government before the control took effect. Now the only solution I see here is to return the schools while those who gave out their land to build the schools should seek compensation from the churches.”

“Ayemoro Adebayo: Kwara State governor should apply wisdom to resolve the issue without being biased, it is only in Nigeria you see people fighting over religion frequently. Can men fight for God? Many people are ignorantly putting themselves into bondage, in the name of religions. God didn’t create human beings to fight for Him but to serve Him, whoever that’s serving Him wholeheartedly will not plan to destroy others.”

“Adebayo Azeez: The fact that the schools are partly funded by government would not make the churches to allow what they don’t believe in the schools they established in their names.”

“Pius Isiekwene: Thank you sir, for your fine commentary. Probably as you were posting your article, yet-to-be-denied news spread that the gates of two of the affected schools were forcibly uprooted in the dead of the night and removed under a contrived 30-minute blackout reminiscent of the Lekki Toll Gate fiasco of October 20, 2020. I just wonder, as you do, what could have happened if these blood-thirsty aggressors had been the victims of this government-incited madness?

“Edafe Great Sakoko: Please sir, what is the position of the law today on this issue ? I do remember the Court of Appeal judgement in 2019. You are a rule of law advocate and I do expect you to support the enforcement of court judgements and not our emotions.”

“Ayeh Kootoh: The governor of Kwara State seems to be the governor of the adherents of his faith and of Ilorin rather than being neutral and be the governor of a multi- ethno-religious Kwara State. He should heed the advice of Hon Abdullahi and hand over the missionary founded schools (Islamic and Christian) to their original owners like Lagos State did during Tinubu’s tenure or maintain status quo and wait for Supreme Court to give their verdict on the ownership of the schools. Common sense seems not to be common here or is it the fear of the emir or the jihadists that’s affecting him?

“Hameed Awobifa: Ayeh Kootoh, are you aware the CAN has gone to appeal court of law on this matter and lost and now to Supreme Court? Why don’t they allow court to come out with the final decision?

“Ayeh Kootoh: Hammed Awobifa, apparently, you read my text in order to respond and not to understand. Read my text again. (The ownership of these missionary founded schools is in contention and it is awaiting adjudication by the Supreme Court and the dress code of these schools hasn’t been changed, so why can’t your Muslim brother governor wait for the Supreme Court pronouncement before asking Muslim girls to be wearing hijabs in Christian schools?). It seems you hate CAN so much and relish the rubbish being spewed out by Isaq Akinola of MURIC concerning this issue.”

“Hameed Awobifa: Ayeh Kootoh, honestly I expect such reaction like yours. But before you start vituperating over what I said I would rather recommend that you go and read the judgement very well. Oga, but let me quickly correct a notion which that court of appeal referred to that the plaintiff (former owner) willingly gave out the ownership to the state government as far back as 1974, which the government has been funding and controlling. So I wouldn’t have joined this issue if not raised by Big Sam Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN.”

“Sanni Moses JP: The Kwara State government didn’t handle this issue well. I will advise the Kwara State government to learn from the way Osun State government handled a similar case too, during the administration of Rauf Aregbesola.”

“Hameed Awobifa: Sanni Moses JP, but CAN in both Lagos and Osun didn’t handle it this way. And more so those cases were also settled at the law court.”

“Ayeh Kootoh: Hammed Awobifa, you so much believe in these your courts because the justices and judges there are more of a particular religion. Let me shock you, Christian and Islamic organisations got their schools back without going to court in Lagos. Google is your friend if you doubt this fact.”

“Iyeme Victor: In all of this, the governor and his led government have been silent. It’s so sad and barbaric.”

“Hameed Awobifa: While I really appreciate your position taking your precious time to educate us readers, I am still confused whether you do this as a pastor or a legal luminary because I know you well to be very objective in your dealings considering the appeal court judgement of 2019 on this same case. Are you now saying the court is wrong legally and we should go by way of our own way of dealing with the issue? I’m not and I will never be in support of any religious crisis because it’s always fueled by the elites in those groups.”

“Elizabeth Oyeniran: The fall of a man starts with a step, I hope it won’t be too late for the governor and his cabinet members to reverse their steps.”

“Olayode Fortune: Thank you for this eye opening. Your position herein is an indication that you took your time to do the findings about the prevalent issue in Kwara State. Truth be told, the governor made a mistake to have allowed himself to be deceived into making a pronouncement permitting the use of hijab in these schools. Sadly, the case has been at Supreme Court since 2019 and the status quo should have been maintained. Now for him to reverse his earlier pronouncement has become a thing of shame.

“On the other hand, there are too many people in his government who do not understand governance and are fundamentalists, the SSG and CPS are not helping the matter and this can be seen in the way they respond to questions from journalists and their press releases. They are just one sided – this in itself would do a lot of damage to any system.

“After a week of attacking and vandalising a church building, the government has not seen the need to make any comment and this has empowered the Muslim fundamentalists the more, such that yesterday, they went on rampage at Sabo-Oke area of the state, destroying and vandalising other churches’ properties. Should a reasonable government not acknowledge the reality on ground and make it known to all? But he keeps playing the ostrich. Let’s see how far this would take him and his government. Olayode Fortune, Ilorin, Nigeria.”

A major issue for concern as raised in some of the responses posted above is the revelation that the gates of some of the schools were uprooted and taken away allegedly by those campaigning for hijab. Should things go this way? Can any government, elected to protect lives and property, sit in the comfort of a government house while the house is on fire? This is tantamount to lording it over the owners and management of the schools, in unleashing the adversary upon them through inciting pronouncements and press releases and having done that, to sit by and allow them to be cowed and subjugated, through force and violence. The rule of law is meant to protect the weak and the meek and it is not proper, for any government, least of all one that boasts of no viable alternative, to halt the career of these young children through religious bickering, orchestrated purely for political gains.

Let the Kwara State government take a cue from the experiences of other states in the resolution of this issue, let the owners of the schools also embrace dialogue and let the agitators refrain from force and violence. As experience has shown the world over, nobody truly has a monopoly of any option; thus, the deliberate choice of peace and engagement should be the primary target of all concerned.

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Death At Dawn, Rebirth At Dusk 



Dele Jegede In Conversation With Prince Yemisi Shyllon
Prof. Toyin Falola

By Toyin Falola




Twilight-zone, Afterlife, What-Mays, and Whatnots;

Questions that transcend mortal thoughts.

Uncertainties plucked by the hands of certainty

pondering life beyond the galaxy.


Philosophies, religions, and sciences; 

Ancient lenses to dissect and ponder.

Beliefs, opinions, and standpoints in their multiplicities;

Scalpels that open the heart of certain death

Blazing free the skins of uncertainty.


Science, a nobility I revere,

But it stammers answering to the afterlife.

For science is knowledge and knowledge from experience 

But the dead neither speak, nor take records.


Their journeys, ordeals, triumphs or woes?

No one bears witness.

But as dead, we must all be witnesses;

witnesses that testify not.

So, for now, we survive the knowledge of death.



On my Agbàlàgbà head lies my Ọ́kpụ́ Ágwụ́

With eagle feathers, rare and honorable

Adorning it for three scores, a decade, and some more days.

I had flipped my Kente given by the Gaa

And danced to crescendos from Gàngàn drums


I have been celebrated and celebrating 

For the miracles, I have worked with pen, paper, keyboard, and brain

I have taken the tales we tell in my village square beyond the Atlantic

Changed the songs that disdain us into appraisals

I have called my brothers not to point to our fathers’ house with their left hands


I have honed Africa and beyond

To answer the calls of the people’s need

I have reached the thinkable and done the unthinkable

So, I danced and keep dancing. 


Suddenly, I felt a touch on my host?

Electrifying my hand, leg, brain, and my whole

Telling me that my jur from the Dinka people awaits me.

That my hourglass tells of crossing the bar.


I thought I knew what it was like,

But my grasping convictions of approaching jur were perceptions

Just surviving the death of the knowledge of death

So, arms wide open ready to abound


What was there to fear?

No catacomb of secrets

No palm oil-drenched white garments

I have taken many to my gourmet

To feast and to see.


What was there not to fear?

With medicine men and women,

Syringes, lights, water, ECG, Oximeters, voices, and touches

Hovering around me like a sacred etutu

Making conversations with me and beyond


I was thrown into a pool of reminiscence

one leg and a part of me were already in the boat

It beckoned but I heard another. 


A loud voice like my mother’s.

Who takes a journey without locking his home?

Who takes the jur with unpatched palm fronds on his hut?

While the thunder rages up the sky?

The walls are broken and Balogun journeys?

So, I left the sea to clear the cobwebs and light up the night lamb.


The past few weeks have opened new lights of understanding to me. I now see the world from different hills and have helped to reach new resolutions. I know I have written about “transitioning to nothingness,” but my emphasis was on the “nothingness” with lesser attention on “transitioning.” I think we need to continue to ask questions. Philosophies, religion, sociology, psychology, science, and other ramifications are mere perceptions and we are uncertain. The transitioning occurs when death becomes an angel to hug not a beast to fear. We do not know what it entails but one must always endeavor to go with clean hands. 

My recovery from an illness may have offered me a fresh opportunity to shout some more, point to societal needs, and settle unfinished businesses. No, not those caused by my personal undoing, but rather those of the people who would be left unguided, and for matters untold about life, society, and individuals. I can say I have passed through the lessons of tantra transfiguration, to use an elegant phrase that I recently came across, to move from secular to sacred activism. No one survives death because of its finality, but when it seems that you did, it is a renewed quest, offering a new purpose.

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Professors On INEC’s Will (3)



Readers’ Showers Of Encouragement
Prof. Tony Afejuku

By Tony Afejuku

The debate has progressed well so far. Our professors, whose strokes have centred on their fellow professor’s manned INEC have tried as best as they could not to confine their impressions solely to the prism of subjectivity. Even when their impressions seem to be subjective, they still make allowance for contrary views, for opposing views. This obviously gives clarity, objectivity and logic to the subject at hand. Is the will of INEC of a professor minder and mincer of words’ control the will of the people or of the masses? On whose side are the Professors who are as concerned as almost everybody is with what is going – or with what has gone on – primarily about our Presidential 2023 elections? Our Professors who are debating the subject constitute the courageous and prophetic Nigerian voices of our day. Their authentic and responsible thoughts are not restricted to the local or regional. They are also not confined to electoral duties and responsibilities expected of the umpire and the will that belongs elsewhere. The truth about the quality of leadership about our country and elsewhere is also told in the debate of the literati.

Professor (Mrs.) Razinatu Mohamed in her submission, in her salvo-cum-explosion actually, drew attention to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s explosive explosion in the presidency. If Professor Osinbajo had provided the right vice-presidential leadership there would not have been the need for him to explode as he did as per a viral video Professor Razinatu Mohamed referred her fellow debaters to. “What has he been doing in the eight years of their administration? Irritated my foot; he is complicit.” Not done, Professor Razinatu drew attention to the kind of leaders that Nigeria and Africa need: “Leaders that understand the rudiments of modern socio-economic development and systems; Leaders that understand the crux of requirements for economic growth. Leaders that could demonstrate to the rest of the world that just as the world needs Africa, African countries need the world in a symbiotic relationship and partnership context where assistance becomes a dual role…..” 

Razinata’s concern is clear. Nothing in Nigeria will climb out of its hollow hole. In fact, the will of the people will remain hollow so long as a hollow mincer and minder is in charge of its electoral affairs. 

Professor Da Sylva perhaps responds better to Professor Razinatu Mohamed’s algebraic stroke. “Unfortunately, Nigeria’s democracy is trapped in its primordial self-made ethnic and religious sentiments and so, standards, merit, competence and pedigrees are measured by their curious divides of religion and ethnic inclinations. Until we all come to realize that heavens help those who help themselves, Nigeria ain’t going no-where – meeen!” 

    But below is Professor Da Sylva’s sledge hammer response to Professor Razinatu Mohamed’s Osinbajo hammer blow:

“Prof Osinbajo’s office demands he does what he did. Besides, it shows maturity and spirit of sportsmanship on his part. Every loser in a game “healthily” contested, is naturally expected to do the same. The only difference which again shows Osinbajo’s magnanimity is that in this context, the contest under reference was neither healthy nor just. The umpire seemed compromised and merely worked to a prepared answer. Yet the gentleman did the needful. I guess, brothers and sisters, that we should put all that behind us, and work for our common good, and the wellbeing of the country, provided the mythical Aso cabal will let the President-elect be, and let the masses be, and as such, they should not create any cause for us to think otherwise, lest they provoke our sense of patriotism to take appropriate action! I guess that those were the reading or feelings of the dirty-minded Aso Villa cabal. People that kill with sword never wish that any folk should pass a sword over their heads, a wise saying goes in Yoruba. The human principalities simply suspected that should they allow PMB to give the VP the intended latitude, they might not be able to control him. I remember on his return from London, he commended the efforts of his VP while he was away. He said he would still continue acting while he would still have some more rest at home. The following day everything changed, PMB decided to take charge as the President. I suspected some back door politics was playing out. My co-debaters, quite naturally, you’ll agree with me that, it is not over-ambition or sheer opportunism as you might insinuate for any deputy in an office to aspire to the next higher office, in a legitimate manner, there is nothing really unusual about it, and it would amount to killing a mosquito with a sledge hammer, should Oshinbajo be crucified for that, if at all. And as for his wishing Buhari’s non-recovery, I think that, again, like my Sister R, is a little unkind and not fair to the gentleman who I know to be a servant of God. He knows as much as I do, by our true Christian orientation and Biblical injunctions that, should he ever wish Buhari’s death or wish him any form of misfortune in those trying periods of the President, God Almighty who we serve would deal mercilessly and ruthlessly with him. That is what Psalm 41:1-13 is all about. So rule that out, because it is not, and could never be in his character. I can vouch for him. Rather, I saw him in those times that he acted for his principal, as someone zealous and appreciative of the trust his principal invested in him, and as such he tried to do his very best to merit the trust and the opportunity! I know and I am also sure that this is what an IBK, or a Razinat, would have done too had they found themselves in a similar situation! It does not amount to wishing one’s principal any evil, not at all. Not everyone can be like Chief Obafemi Awolowo who resigned his position under Gowon when the regime became financially reckless shortly after the civil war. Awolowo also gave very profound argumentation to justify convincingly his actions. He also turned down some other appointments including the “49 Wise Men of the Constitution Drafting Committee.” Oshinbajo couldn’t have resigned, normally, and naturally his principal, PMB should have supported him as a capable successor, but again, the President’s ethnic and religious bigotry took the better part of the President. Besides, PMB’s mind was long poisoned against his VP, a clean job by the Aso Villa cabal. IBK, Lady R, until the faceless cabal is permanently silenced the wheel of Nigeria might continue to go round in a circle, and to nowhere in particular”.

And Professor IBK takes the floor: “Prof. DAO, yours is a powerfully convincing submission, at least in a large measure. Now I am willing to hold a slightly different opinion about Osinbajo. Yet, I cannot fathom why he chose to run against Tinubu, days or weeks after the latter had begun his campaign in the party primaries. There’s much we don’t know about why OSBJ decided to run against BAT. Nothing is wrong with that politically but a little problematic from an Ethical or, at least Moral, point of view. Osinbajo did a poor job of it and came out a distant 4th in the primaries. I think he didn’t read the situation correctly and was probably misled by some cabal of sorts. Either way Osinbajo made a politically fatal error in this regard. Perhaps he must have sensed, or was told, that BAT was not the anointed candidate, or that BAT would be crippled by some ill-health or a medical condition. I remember the party’s screening committee publicly recommending that only younger contestants would be recommended to the NWC or such. Clearly there was an attempt to sideline BAT. Whatever the explanation, Osinbajo make the error in his campaign of promising to be more Buhari than Buhari. A man despised by whole sections of the northern population, a man whose reputation for laziness and incompetence was on the ascendant. Anyway, all is now history and Osinbajo has not given a good account of himself in this particular case. Prof DAO, I think your concept of the Trickster should account for Osinbajo’s situation here. FULL DISCLOSURE: a very close family member of mine was drafted to head Osinbajo’s campaign effort in Kano. We discussed extensively about Osinbajo’s pledge to carry on with Buhari’s policies. There was bewilderment and shock within the members. A week later half of the membership resigned on account of Osinbajo’s increasing identification with Buhari’s policies. Many mistakenly thought that Osinbajo was Buhari’s anointed one! I could go on…”

Interestingly interesting and intriguingly intriguing, dear, dearly dear readers: this debate.

To be terminated by the columnist-terminator and terminator-columnist next week after Professor Olu Obafemi’s summation of the debate he presided over.

Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.

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With Us, Not For US



Barrister Ijeoma Fynecountry

By Ijeoma Fynecountry

The 21st of March of every year is international day for the celebration of persons living with down syndrome. The advocacy and push for communal and political recognition of the basic fundamental rights for persons living with various types of disabilities, particularly intellectual disability, just as enjoyed by their peers who do not have any form of challenge – physical or intellectual has recorded a substantial success around the globe, especially in more developed climes. 

While the same cannot be said of the situation in Africa and Nigeria in particular, scanty breakthroughs have also been seen over the years, with the consistent and dogged efforts by some specialized organizations such as Down syndrome Foundation, Nigeria (DSFN).

The theme for this year’s celebration is “With us, Not for us”. This theme is apt particularly in the current era where the push for inclusion has taken a center stage in the campaign worldwide. While it is comforting to know that people, government and communities alike are now becoming more empathetic to the plight of persons living with disability, it is also necessary and most important that their rights as human beings deserving of not just empathy but actual concrete benefits accruable to other citizens without disability, is massively taken into consideration and actually provided for.

Therefore, it is not enough for the government to map out and create as in Lagos state and few other states, sections in the public schools to admit children or persons with intellectual disability, it is necessary to adequately equip these special schools with the needed “specialized” manpower, infrastructural and educational aids to attain the targeted educational goals for these persons. Likewise in the provision of better healthcare, economic, social needs of persons with disability etc.

Persons with intellectual disability do not just need to be specifically educated in accordance with his or her type of disability, but MUST also necessarily be able to aspire to or expect to be employed according to his or her learned ability. That way, a full right, befitting of a person, be him a person with disability or not, is assured. For what is the need of going through a learning process, acquiring a specialized knowledge about a craft or handiwork and eventually still not being given the opportunity of gaining employment as supposed, not due to lack of knowledge but for having a disability? No human being should be subjected to such. Our government should do better. The society at large should do better.

The theme for this year is enjoining all stakeholders – the government, communities, corporate organizations, religious bodies/organizations, individuals to open up their hearts, and recognize the very urgent and important need to help in the actualization of these basic human needs, rights of persons living with intellectual disability as we are all human. No human rights or needs should be prioritized over the other no matter the state of their health, mental and physical capacity. Stand with us by taking actual intentional steps towards uplifting and elevating the humanness of persons living with disability. It is not enough to say that you are for persons living with disability, your specific, intentional, targeted actions toward ensuring the practical applicability of these rights matters.

Fynecontryis a Lagos-based legal practitioner and the legal resource person for the Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria.


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