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Prince Yemisi Shyllon: Protecting Arts, Preserving History, And Promoting Peace



Prince Yemisi Shyllon: Protecting Arts, Preserving History, And Promoting Peace
Dr. Shyllon

By Toyin Falola
On December 3, 2022, the Pan-Atlantic University will confer an honorary doctorate on Prince Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon in recognition of his immense and impactful work in the furtherance and promotion of Nigerian art. Prince Shyllon’s commitment to art and engineering is legendary. I am addicted to the two television programs he sponsors on art and engineering. He is a vanguard, an avant-garde collector, a pathfinder in the proportion of Ogun, the Yoruba god of iron. Having been in his unique spaces—full of wonders and splendors—I also see a Sango in him. Shyllon, a prince of Ake, can jump off Olumo Rock and land softly on the ground. His achievements are hard to define in human terms.

There is a popular and acceptable sentiment that passion is never enough, that one must push beyond love and passion for a cause or phenomenon to have a chance at success. This aphorism might hold in several cases; however, for every established phenomenon, there is at least an exception—an outlier, defying odds, going against rationalized outcomes, defeating doubts, and conquering conventional beliefs. For the established belief that passion is never enough, Prince Yemisi Shyllon, who has more than succeeded in his areas of passion, is an outlier. He is a man who sided with his passion for arts and, in so doing, became the modern Ogun, the pathfinder, forging through never-before aspects and shaping out pathways in them. This, he did literally and figuratively. As an art collector—Africa’s largest collector at that—Shyllon has been at the forefront of discovering many African talents who have gone on to dazzle the world, finding their path and evolving into globally recognized and appreciated artists. If we traced back such an accomplishment with rippling effects of positivity on the nation’s global outlook and talent export, it would be to a passion that this successful man dared to chase.

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Prince Yemisi Shyllon and I have at least one similar education history, sharing the alumnus status of two of Nigeria’s best and most prominent universities. While our times at these academic institutions might have been inverse—he had his first degree at the premier university, the University of Ibadan (UI), where I had my most recent degree, and I had my first degree at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU)), where he had his Master of Business Administration degree—one cannot but admit that Prince Shyllon is a well-read technocrat turned collector and pathfinder. After a fulfilling academic sojourn in UI, leading to an engineering degree and a Master of Business Administration with distinction from OAU three years after his Bachelor’s degree, Prince Shyllon was positioned to have a fulfilling career. However, his love for law spurred him to bag yet another degree at the University of Lagos. The vastness of Prince Shyllon’s knowledge and experience is best summarized by his earliest academic endeavors—that a man could have excelled in engineering, marketing and finance (his MBA specialization), and the law tells of a man with sound and diverse knowledge. It is not surprising that after his academic sojourns, he quickly rose through the ranks in the corporate world, becoming the first African Executive Director of Nigerite Limited—Nigeria’s largest manufacturer of building materials.

Prince Shyllon’s emergence as the holder of such an elevated position at a multi-national at the prime age of 31 speaks to several things. Firstly, he strategically underwent programs to give him an edge and position him for the career he had envisioned. Secondly, his qualities exceed sheer brilliance and intelligence and include uncanny business acumen, such that he could rise from mid-level to senior career roles at a large firm in a matter of years. His focus, business acumen, education, and sheer brilliance also came to play when he served as the legal adviser of ETEX’s African region (the parent company of Nigerite Limited). When preparation meets opportunity, the resultant effects of the encounter positively blow out of proportion, and so it was for the early career life of Prince Shyllon. His technocratic and corporate expertise and experience go beyond his early years at Nigerite, as he also held top-level advisory and leadership positions in corporate and government organizations. As a 37-year-old proud Egba man, Shyllon was the Chairman, Board of Directors, Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation and Ogun State TV. He also chaired the Ogun State Government’s Raigate Investment Company and Gateway Tourism Corporation. Besides these roles, his stewardship extended to the national level, where he was a pivotal member of the National Think Tank.

READ ALSO: Elevating Africa: The Collections In the Yemisi Shyllon Museum Of Art

While holding all these positions and serving on several boards and committees for private companies, corporate bodies and organizations, and government institutions, some of which he still serves on to date, Prince Yemisi Shyllon had a much deeper passion for tourism and art. As a profound lover of African arts and believer in the touristic potential of the African continent, he started collecting artworks from his second year of undergraduate study at the University of Ibadan, and in 2007, his long-nursed passion birthed the Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Foundation of Art. Today, the foundation is Nigeria’s largest private art collection, with about 15 years of existence. Beyond being the largest private collector of art, Prince Shyllon has, through his foundation, realized his dream of promoting Nigerian art and artists. The foundation has resources—art galleries, art residency programs, collaborations with corporate institutions and government bodies, support and sponsorship—through which he actively promotes and projects Nigerian art and artists at a large scale to the global audience. Many artists had their earliest works collected by Prince Shyllon, thus paving the way for recognition and exponential growth for these artists.

To gauge how pivotal his work as a collector has been in the Nigerian, African, and global art scene, we must consider how Prince Shyllon has over 7000 artworks of Nigerian artists across genres, ages, and timelines. Also, he has over 55,000 photographs of various Nigerian festivals, many of which are fast going extinct and hardly preserved, no thanks to the decline in the national investment in and consideration of arts and tourism. Through his initiative of collecting and preserving these photographs, Prince Shyllon has registered himself as one of the strongest preservers of Nigerian history, although he never took an interest in history while in school. He believes he has a calling and a legacy that transcends him; therefore, he is not only collecting artworks out of passion but also to fulfill his mission. This is evident in how he has made his collection easily accessible to museums, educational institutions, and scholars, and in so doing, bringing much-needed attention to the beauty of African art (especially that of Nigerian origin) and how our stories and histories are being told through art.

READ ALSO: The Victims Of APC And PDP Reign

Prince Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon’s actions also reflect the belief that “the legacy transcends the man,” particularly in the way he has collaborated with other organizations and foundations to promote Nigerian art through exhibitions, documenting Nigeria’s major festivals, and art residencies. He is a man whose inner characteristics of generosity and selflessness are shown in his love for art. Through the Residency Program of his foundation, close to 100 artists of varying media and genres from within and outside Nigeria have benefitted from research into and a study of his collection, coupled with strategic meetings with Nigerian art stakeholders and the provision of a serene environment to work, study, and practice throughout the program. His generosity extends to other art-related initiatives, like the funding of a Professorial Chair of Visual Art and Design at the University of Port Harcourt. He is also famously known for generously donating artwork to the Lagos Freedom Park and the University of Lagos. The popular sculpture of a graduate on the University of Ibadan’s Oduduwa Road is also courtesy of Prince Shyllon.

Similarly, he donated to the Ade-Ajayi Garden at the University of Ibadan and restored Ben Enwonwu’s famous 1952 painting to the University of Ibadan Vice-Chancellor’s office. Prince Shyllon is an alumnus who keeps giving back to his alma mater. Beyond artworks, he also supported the restoration of the University of Ibadan Zoo, and in his magnanimous generosity, he contributed impactful financial resources to the creation of the Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art at the Pan-African University, Lagos, making it the first privately-funded university museum of art in Nigeria. His initial donation to this establishment was a grand generosity of 1000 artworks. Since then, he has served as the Grand Donor and Chairman of the museum’s supervisory council.

Prince Shyllon’s life, work, engagements, and interactions these past decades speak of and project his love for and commitment to the advancement of Nigerian art, for which he has received national and international recognition. He is a worthy example, and his life and deeds serve as an inspiration to many.

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In the end, the best lives are those spent furthering the cause of humanity and actively promoting peace and the good in our human races. Prince Shyllon has done this and continues to do so through his work, which is why I am beyond pleased at the news of yet another deserved recognition coming his way. Honorary doctorates are an honor, a privilege, but there are instances that they almost feel like something deserved. In such instances, the honored person is worthy of recognition and appreciation. The same sentiments apply in the case of this honorary doctorate coming Prince Shyllon’s way.

Congratulations on this recognition, Omooba Dr. Shyllon, Eniyan iyi, and thank you for being the quintessential proof that good still lives among humans.

Falola is a Nigerian historian and professor of African Studies. He is currently the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin.


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Overcoming Policy Execution Trap As Nigeria’s Development Challenge



Prof. Tunji Olaopa

By Tunji Olaopa

If I am asked to give a succinct and apt summary of the entire challenge faced by the Nigerian state in terms of her policy architecture and development management, in spite of contestation in the development literature, I will not hesitate in stating clearly and unambiguously that it is the challenge of policy implementation; the whole dynamics of getting things done. By elimination, the implication is that the challenge cannot be located as that of the dearth of development ideas, insights, models and paradigms. Right from her independence, Nigeria has been inundated with several ideas, both local and global, about development policy and frameworks. And yet, policy outcomes keep getting bogged down in the murky waters of political shenanigans. This means that the new administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu has its challenge mapped out, in red, for it.

There is no shying away from this postcolonial predicament that has limited and kept limiting Nigeria’s capacity to honour the terms of her social contract with Nigerians. Hence, the Tinubu government will soon be inundated with the impatient agitations of Nigerians for a quick and tangible fix that will address their sufferings. And they are justified since they have not been given any real deal for the past sixty-three years of sovereign independence. And the new administration is obligated because that is the reason for seeking office in the first place.

Prof. Olaopa’s new book on public policy and development challenges

How then can we begin to understand this policy execution challenge? It is simple: how can an administration in Nigeria transition from governance vision and policy intention to policy outcomes that elevate and transform the quality of life of its citizens? Failure to understand and give critical and political attention to this question lies at the heart of the governance failures of successive Nigerian administrations. The new Tinubu administration cannot afford such a glaring mistake. And so, a fundamental case must be made out of the question of how policy intentions get circumscribed in the dynamics of policy execution that occasions policy failures in past administrations.

Modern states all across the world are distinguished by the traditional four functions they discharge as part of their administrative responsibilities—security i.e. securing the sovereign territory against lawlessness, policy formulation and implementation, governance regulation and service delivery.The capacity to perform each and all of these functions very well within an integrated framework in the governance context is what delivers the dividends of democratic governance to the citizens, and it enhances the state’s competitive and human development rating in global reckoning. With these functions, we have the metrics to differentiate between high-performing states like China, India, the United States,Botswana, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirate, Germany, Rwanda and the Asian Tigers (Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea), and low- or even under-performing countries like Nigeria that is still cluelessly stuck within a dysfunctional vicious cycle within her arrested development.

From the perspective of governance, there must be something these states are getting right in the connection between leadership, politics, and policy articulation. For instance, there is a trajectory of relationship that links elite bargains to development bargains. In other words, development is a
function of elite nationalism and the extent to which the political class of a state can commit elite suicide and gamble on development on behalf of the people they are leading. In Nigeria, low
manifestation of elite nationalism has made it really difficult for the political class to set aside their personal and egoistic class interests in ways that enable them to clearly and ideologically discern and navigate the deadly developmental landmines strewn all over our governance landscape by the
neoliberal implication of ideological apparatuses and frameworks to which Nigeria is beholden. And here, the factor of development gamble of the Asian Tigers’ elites comes into bold relief. From within the ideological ambit of the developmental state, the leadership of the Asian Tigers were able to define a policy space that consciously and critically weighed the benefits and shortfalls of external influences, especially the type that came from the World Bank, IMF and the other cohorts of the neoliberal policy dynamics. Their developmental circumspection paid off!

Since we cannot argue that Nigeria has been stumped by the lack of vision documents, development plans and blueprints, or even policy expertise, the locus of the new administration’s focus  must be directed at the possibility of mustering the political will to undermine the mystified Nigerian Factor, and face the global neoliberal consensus in order to begin the crafting of an enabling policy architecture to drive development. And to achieve this translates to creating the delicate balance between ‘doing the right things’ (a function of decision making quotient) and ‘doing it right’(project and change management effectiveness), and overcoming the various political, cultural, structural and systemic constraints that trapped past well-meaning policies and intentions of Nigerian leaders in the dynamics of implementation.

There is first the conspiracy of elitist interest that ensures there is a poor resource allocation that focuses on elite bargain than development calculations and taking care of the national interest. Other constraints follow: (a) the disconnect between policy design and implementation due to  weak  implementation planning, risk assessment and incompetent change management strategies; (b) unstable and poorly managed macroeconomic policies; (c) policy and project discontinuity; (d) public service low capability readiness; (e) political interference; and finally (f) deep-seated political and bureaucratic corruption. In essence, development has failed not because Nigeria lacks the blueprint or paradigms to make it happen, but due to the dynamics of the politics that the political elite plays with Nigeria’s development potential.

Let me outline what we can regard as the “politics of policy implementation” that Nigeria has played for many years, a politics the new administration must take into serious consideration if it
does not want to fall into the category of failed administration right before it commences. This politics throws Nigeria’s development and policy non-performance right into the frame of the 2005 World Bank review findings about policy and development projects in Africa. According to the finding, 29% of development projects ever get completed, 45% of on-going projects are rated as satisfactory, while 26% of such projects invariably get cancelled. Such a review can never backstop a solid development project of a developmental state.

The politics of policy implementation in
Nigeria is founded on the following assumptions and practices. One: there is that dangerous presumption, that the new administration must resist, that once policies and development plan are designed, they are automatically implemented by the public service. And such a presumption is against the background of a scant investment in implementation analysis and planning, as well as the failure to facilitate the capability review, determine public
administration system’s capability readiness, and strengthening of the MDAs as the powerhouse of government administrative functionality. The MDAs, that is, are not working according to any
specific theories or praxis of change that can guide the functional integration of blueprints or paradigms. This kind of policy inattention draws attention to the policy contradiction: launching a
national development plan and strategy that are not implementation- ready in terms of adequate capability review of the MDAs integral to ensuring implementation success. Two: this
presumption is compounded by the uncritical reliance of past governments on policy experts and consulting firms who are tasked with designing high-end policies that are then dumped on MDAs whose capability reviews and implementation readiness have been neglected in the first place. The
extroversion of the policy design is then compromised by poor functional integration. The truth is that most of these consulting firms lack the appropriate deep content and solution frameworks that are in tandem with the context of policy dysfunction they are supposed to work with. Three: governance policy or project are hardly subjected to feasibility test determined in terms of scope and expectation that are captured by their framework of time, cost and risk assessments before
they are pushed into implementation. This makes it very difficult to benchmark funding projections for these policies and projects against revenue estimations, as well as facilitating in-built flexibilities that enable the policies and projects to adjust to volatilities and contingencies.

All the issues raised above constitute binding constraint that will undermine any governance possibilities the new administration requires to make a success of democratic governance. Undermining the binding constraints demands returning to the fundamentals. The first and most significant is that the new administration needs to interrogate the framework of how government business is currently being conducted. Governance successes are necessarily a function of how government business engages the complexities of the policy design and execution processes within a results-oriented frame. And that entails undermining the structural gaps between policy objectives, development strategies and policy outcomes. This demands second, setting the public service on a performance curve with the institution of a performance management system. This means that the public service must, for example, unfailingly now deploy KPI-based metrics to replace the cumbersome annual performance evaluation report (APER). And at the backend, it becomes imperative to have a monitoring and evaluation system supported by databases that enable staff and program continuous assessment, human resource development rooted in iterativep performance gap identification, supervisors-staff dialogue and multisource feedback mechanismsf for overall national development policy tracking and reporting.

The governance mantra must be on getting the balance between doing the right things and doing it right. And this cannot be achieved through the wanton multiplication or even duplication of
governance plans, programs and blueprints. What is needed is sequencing the blueprints into a coherent and feasible implementation programme, with the right amount of political will behind it. This gives the success of democratic governance a 95% chance of succeeding. The new administration  needs that fighting chance!

. Olaopa, a retired Federal Permanent Secretary, and Professor of Public Administration .

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Rigged Elections And The Moral Burden Of Illegitimacy



Prof. Hope Eghagha

By  Hope O’Rukevbe Eghagha

Adamu: A man who rigs his way to power carries a moral burden!

Orezime: A moral what?

Adamu: You heard me, didn’t you?

Orezime: I’m not sure I heard you right. Moral what you said?

Adamu: A moral burden, I said!

Orezime: Hahahahahahaha! You make me laugh! Are you from the moon?

Gani: Or Mars?

Emeka: In which country? In Nigeria? That principle does not apply in Nigeria! There is no moral burden on anybody in this country! The election which produced Bubu in 2015 was rigged. Where are the two million voters from Kano State who voted in 2015? Was an INEC official not burnt alive after that election? The one which brought Obj to power was also rigged by the forces which wanted him to ease the tension of the Abiola tragedy on the Yoruba people. Yet those men had the temerity to preach against corruption!

Orezime: The international community winked at the whole exercise.

Gani: Yes! That’s why those two could only preach; they couldn’t really act decisively. A moral burden? They spoke from both sides of their mouths on the issue of corruption. The late President Yar Adua confessed that the election which produced him was compromised. An honest man, he didn’t live long enough to right the wrong of the period!

Orezime: That’s why I laughed when Adamu talked about a moral burden arising from rigged elections.

Bankole: In the ideal world, any power that is stolen and acquired through a dubious means imposes a moral burden on the power holder. No matter what the person does, that power remains stained.

Orezime: What does that amount to in our country? Even the brigands who shot their way to power in the notorious days of military misadventure in Nigeria soon became legitimate.

Emeka: You are going too far in our history. See what happened in Lagos State in the governorship elections of March 18. Ethnic jingoists went about preaching hatred against Igbo people and warned them against coming out to exercise their constitutional rights. Security officials looked the other way when ballot boxes were snatched in broad daylight in places where the opposition was leading.

Gani: A serving state governor personally went about snatching ballot boxes and threatened to shoot whoever got in his way. The same governor declared somebody wanted without recourse to the Inspector General of Police! He worked against the party on which platform he won the seat to spite the party hierarchy!

Adamu: And to think that this is the President-elect’s state. He kept mute through the horrendous attacks on Igbo people in Lagos State just the way the incumbent president has looked the other way when herdsmen went on the loose!

Bankole: Rigged elections are so familiar yet notorious in our land. It was the main trigger to the crisis in the Western Region in the First Republic because the people reacted when they saw a rape of their rights and wishes! It soon snowballed into a conflagration that consumed the nation in the late 1960s. Already, the youths are talking about a protest in the ENDSARSNOW# manner. I hope it doesn’t result in disaster. We have lost too many lives already!

Orezime: What I fear is the rise of ethnic profiling in a supposedly democratic society. To be sure, Governor Sanwo-Olu and the party hierarchy did not single out any ethnic group for verbal attacks. They even courted them. Yet they didn’t caution their followers to stop the degeneration into ethnic hatred. It is a dangerous curve what is happening in Lagos. I don’t subscribe to the Lagos is no man’s land nonsense which some misguided fellows are spewing, but threatening anybody not to vote their candidate is a new low! Can a Sanwo-Olu victory be said to be legitimate if a significant percentage of the electorate is disenfranchised?

Emeka: Good question. They did not stop there. They rolled out the culturally dreaded Oro rituals on election night. Come on! Who is fooling who? The Oro festival was designed to drive fear into non-Yoruba in Lagos. In the 21st Century?

Gani: I am sure the reports from election observers will be damning.

Bankole: I don’t care about those biased observers.

Adamu: Where are we headed in this country?

Orezime: We are on the road to Kigali!

Bankole: May we not travel that route!

Orezime: It’s a good prayer. But what are we doing to avoid the descent into anarchy? Nothing. Those monkeys are simply interested in acquiring power.

Gani: The Obedient Movement seems to have lost steam once it was misbranded as an ethnic agenda to grab power at the national level. Peter Obi needs to tread carefully so he doesn’t become another June 12! Some people are egging him on to challenge INEC through protests.

Orezime: If he decides to lead a protest, it would be within his constitutional right to do so, especially as INEC is stalling on the issue of inspecting elections materials despite an order from the courts. Peaceful protests are guaranteed by the Constitution.

Adamu: No one can be sure whether a peaceful protest will remain peaceful after it starts. That’s the experience the ENDSARS people had.

Gani: It’s not enough to stop people from taking to the streets. Protests are fundamental to democracy.

Adamu: We do not want dead heroes! Mark my words.

Bankole: That’s ominous!

Emeka: It means nothing. Nigeria must change. We cannot go on like this forever! Things are just going down. No cash. No fuel. No power supply. No security. No nothing.  Peter Obi gave a glimmer of hope. Now that has been dashed to the ground.

Adamu: Rigging will remain a moral burden each time our President-elect travels outside the country, each time he meets foreign observers, especially those ones who have a dossier on him. History will also judge him and assess how he came to power. This applies to all the states as well where some politicians have turned themselves into demigods and have compromised poor INEC officials with mouthwatering sums. This is not how to build a democracy. The votes must be counted and must count. Seventeen people have their lives during the governorship and House of Assembly elections. We are supposed to count ballot papers, not bodies. Sad!

Bankole: The moral burden of rigged elections is on all of us. Without our connivance there would be no rigging. We can only hope that this will end some day!

Emeka: Tough luck!


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Professors On INEC’s Will (2)



Readers’ Showers Of Encouragement
Prof. Tony Afejuku

By Tony Afejuku

On Thursday, 2 March, 2023, the Financial Times based in London, England published a blistering editorial on the February 25, 2023 Presidential election which up to now is the talk of everywhere beyond our shores. The said Financial Times editorial was entitled “Nigerians badly flawed election fails to set an example.”  Indeed, it was a positively blistering presentation as any positively blistering presentation can be. Professor Olu Obafemi FNAL; NNOM drew the attention of the literati to the editorial that argued succinctly that “If Tinubu’s victory is challenged the courts should take a hard` look.”  In his summation of the editorial Professor Olu Obafemi, who headed the debating literati, said he had nothing to add to the efficacious editorial but he would be happy – by my inference – to have the viewpoints of others. Thereafter the debate began. The arguments and counter-arguments began. Whose will was INEC propagating:  Was it its will or the will of the cabal in the presidency or the will of the Nigerian people?

    By the way, be it noted here and now that the Financial Times, though headquartered in London as already indicated, is owned by Japanese, by Nikkei, a Japanese holding company with “core editorial offices across Britain, the United States and continental Europe.” Why this point is necessary here will reveal itself in the debate I hereby tender to fit my creative and journalistic purpose. But you will notice that there is a shift in focus from the substance of the editorial to the question of anti-black or anti-African Western propaganda.

This is how Professor Ademola Da Sylva, FNAL puts it:

    “The Western media are so powerful that they have their ways of turning non-Western genuine patriots and revolutionaries to look like some nameless demons all because they failed to toe servile line as underdogs! Idi Amin, for example, might not get it right in his choice of modus operandi, but he knew what he wanted for his Uganda people. His successful ejection of the British Asians was one of his policies that did not go down well with the hegemons because it devastated the British economy. So the Western media descended on him and painted him as a blood-sucking Dracula! Of course, there were Uganda compradors and cronies of multinationals from within who tried to undermine Amin’s revolution, too. Dedan Kimathi was also considered a “terrorist and a bandit” by the British imperialists; they got him arrested and hanged him, but we know he wasn’t a demon they tried to make us believe he was! Furthermore, no matter what we may think of Mugabe, the immediate past Zimbabwe President, he meant well for his country, he revoked the licences of large parcels of fertile lands, and also a large chunk of the lands from the White occupants and re-distributed the lands among the black peasants. That was ordinarily unthinkable in Africa by an African leader who wanted justice and equity for his people, but he did it and called the bluff of the West. Again, the Western media took over from there, painted a devil of him, and many Africans uncritically swallowed the gambit, too!  The first accusation of the West against these patriotic leaders has always been that they were antidemocrats! Democracy is anti-African governance principles. It is the primary reasons why we never get it right, but it has always paid the West because it keeps Africa underdeveloped to the advantage of the West. The truth is: Why would you want to change a leadership that is up and doing, responsible and responsive, and doing very well, why? That principle foregrounds our sense of monarchy. A king remains on the throne for as long as his reign brings progress and security. Where a king fails, as in the cases of the indigenous Yoruba Obas, he is made to commit a voluntary suicide, and another Oba replaces him. Anyway, let me pause here.”

    Professor Ibrahim Bello-Kano’s stroke goes thus: “My view is that if humans have (or bear) an original sin, according to Christian eschatology, and if humans need to pray and carry out religious duties to be worthy of divine grace, and if secular education requires progressive edification of humans, and if humans are brutes unless they are inserted into a humane culture complete in all its sides (as Matthew Arnold has argued), and if the classical calculators looked forward not to human nature, with its brutal immersion in self-interest and wars and strife, and if humans have repeatedly to struggle to rise above their petty narrowness, then how can their voting behaviour or action be perfect, pristine or excellent? Those who expect a perfect electoral behaviour or outcome in a country brutalized by a savage economic policy and an insensitive and thieving cast of state officials, and the electors riven by religious and ethnic divisions are expecting a miracle. Yet at the local level, the electors did succeed in electing a new set of people to represent them. The problem with macro analysis is that it is positivism at its worst. At the micro level, the elections were expressive of the will of the people. In Kano State, for example, the newly formed NNPP swept the board with more than 18 out of the available 22 seats for the House of Reps and 2 out of the 3 Senate seats.  Thousands turned out to vote. Finally, why should we believe anything the Western press says about us? Look at their reporting of the war in Ukraine. They keep saying, against the evidence and the facts, that Ukraine is winning the war with Russia, despite the former being slaughtered on the battlefield and having lost a staggering number of soldiers.

    “Humour comes from the ridiculous and the ridiculous from the comical. Here is an example of a statement that is hilarious because it is ridiculous and ridiculous because it is comical: “Ladies and gentlemen, meet the newly elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Reverend Mullah Professor Mr. Mallam IBK of Madagascar!”

 Do I have any doubt that our readers will find it hard and uneasy to follow the mind patterns and strokes of the debaters who are trying in their peculiar ways to say something tangibly tangible about our will as voters and INEC’s will as electoral umpire? Not at all!

To be continued.

Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.

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