Bad Omen (Àmi Buburu)

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‘You have ceased to be one of my Chiefs with immediate effect!’ Oba Adegoke declared with fury in his eyes, ‘Balogun, leave my ààfin (palace) immediately!’ he roared.

Balogun laughed croakily. Undaunted by the king’s pronouncement, he stood with shoulders high as though he had no care in the world.

‘Kabiyesi, I thank you for your verdict,’ Balogun began, ‘I want you to know that a man that has stayed long in the jungle can still speak the language of animals anywhere he goes.’

‘What arrogance!’ Oba Adegoke grabbed his staff of office to pronounce a curse on the deposed chief, but the other chiefs present in the palace quickly intervened.

‘Don’t do that Kabiyesi!’ one of the chief’s pleaded, ‘please, your highness, lest you regret your actions afterwards.’

No sooner had Balogun left the palace than the other Chiefs bowed before the king, eulogizing him:

 Kábíyesí, ki áde pẹ lorí ki bàtà pẹ l’ẹ́sẹ́…

‘You can get up, my loyal chiefs,’ Oba Adegoke patted each of their backs with his feathered hand-held staff, ‘I’m delighted to know that I still have some loyal chiefs left. I’m not surprised at that fools conduct in the first place, after all, even Jesus had one disloyal disciple amongst his other disciples.’

*******

‘Although a wounded lion knows its chances of survival is slim, yet the proud beast still fights on with the little strength it has left,’ the defeated Balogun announced before his supporters, few hours after his dismissal from the palace.

‘Once in power, always in power!’ one of the supporters cheered.

Thank you very much,’ Balogun nodded in approval, ‘Oba Adegoke thinks he has seen it all, but I am going to prove to him that I am the son of the great Jagunmolu.’

‘Oloye Balogun, when do you want us to strike?’ the leader of the group inquired with much enthusiasm, ‘my blood is already boiling.’

‘Relax, I want the matter to die down for a while before striking.’

******

‘Emi la oni yoosi (2x)

Bi ati fe o ri, bee na lo ri

Emi la oni yoosi’

Oba Adegoke’s chiefs danced around the palace to mark the successful conclusion of the business treaty between the village and the Republic of China as facilitated by the Commissioner of Mineral Resources . As they danced to the beat of the talking drum, the white men clapped in approval, patiently waiting for the king to sign the memorandum of understanding.

Suddenly an upheaval erupted outside the king’s palace, followed by wailings and scampering for safety within the king’s court.

Oba Adegoke turned to the Chinese men in bewilderment, ‘My friends, hope you did not bring your Police to cause commotion here?’

‘Oh, no, Oba Adigoki,’ one of Chinese men replied, ‘we are business people; no Police with us…’

Suddenly one of the guards ran into the palace and prostrated before the king.

‘Kabiyesi! Please run for your life…’

Within a twinkling of an eye, the whole of the palace was deserted. The hoodlums dashed into the palace, grabbed the king’s staff of office, and vanished into thin air.

*****

‘What have I done to warrant this humiliation?’ Oba Adegoke lamented, while his Chiefs shook their heads soberly.

‘I’m finished! those criminals should have murdered me first before stealing my ọpá aṣẹ (staff of office).

‘My instincts tell me Balogun has a hand in this wicked act,’ one of the Chiefs added, ‘the way he spoke on that very day, I knew the battle was not over yet.’

‘Shut up, Otun!’ Oba Adegoke flared up, ‘you knew something bad was going to happen, and yet you kept quiet; shame on you. And who would have thought that my guards were bunch of toothless bulldogs?’

‘Kabiyesi!’ one of the servants bowed before the king, ‘Please exercise a little patience, our olóògun (warriors) have gone after those criminals.

*******

Oba Adegoke woke up with a start. Still not convinced that he had been dreaming, he dashed into his palace and found his staff of authority still intact. ‘This is a bad omen! àmí buburu!’ he sighed, ‘hmmm! I have to fortify my kingdom like never before, he muttered as he goes into a deep thought.

Remarks: In what would’ve been thought to be impossible in modern day Nigeria, Oba Adegoke’s nightmare, in a similar manner recently played out in our National Assembly. During a plenary session, a gang of hoodlums stormed the Senate chamber and stole the mace representing the symbol of authority in the hallowed chamber. Though the mace has been found, the aftershock of that unfortunate incidence has further multiplied the anxieties of the public over the security of lives and property in the entire nation.

Will this incident bring about improved security in Nigeria? Stay tuned for updates on the outcome of the unfortunate mace stealing incident to find out. 

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