OP-ED Opinions 

The Edi Called Sowore By Dele Farotimi



Edi, sometimes rendered as Eedi, with an accent on the è sound, is the Yoruba word for hubris. But whilst I am completely ignorant of the cultural etymology of the Graeco-Latin word: hubris, I am very familiar with the spiritual and cultural etymology of the Yoruba eedi. 

The story is whispered amongst the elders of how when a man of power is at the peak of his powers, spiritual, and or temporal, the only enchantment that he needs to be constantly alert to, is edi. The one-eyed spirit of hubris. 

Edi is depicted in Yoruba mythology as being one-eyed. This is indicative of the narrowing of focus and the attendant loss of perspectives, twin afflictions that invariably lead men to presume to be God, and to discount the warnings that the truth should allow them to discern. 

In President Buhari’s Presidency, there is the Honourable Babaloja-General of the Federation; our prof Vice-President. I warrant that he was the most intelligent person that I ever knew, until he became unrecognisable in the Ahistophelian dimension of his Damascus Road transfiguration. The golden boy of Lagos politics, and the apogee of Jagaban’s advertised genius, Babatunde Fashola, is also a key player in the Buhari administration. However stupid one might believe Festus Keyamo to be, he is a certificated SAN, too. 

Buhari has enough people around him to tell him the truth of the illegality surrounding Sowore’s continued detention. I am happy to warrant that the Jagaban will not be happy with the situation, and I am not sure that any thinking person in the security services believe that Sowore is the threat that they have labeled him. The persons exercising the powers of the Presidency have been caught by Edi. Buhari has enough legal and political expertise available to warn him of the idiotic nature of the Sowore hubris, why is it so difficult for him to hear them?

For daring to declare a revolution for which the people were not mobilised, for which a single gun was not procured, and to which no soldiers were recruited, the Nigerian state hauled a couple of citizens before the court, ignored the order that they be released, charged them to court in a highly prejudicial and malevolent manner, opposed the application for bail, and when draconian and unconscionable bail conditions were imposed and met, it turned around to refuse to obey the law to which it must subject itself, if it would retain its very legitimacy. 

Buhari and his handlers are acting as men possessed by Edi, and have acted most hubristically in the manner of their treatment of Sowore, Mandate, and tangentially in the matter of Agba Jalingo. Actions have consequences, and Buhari is poised to reap the fruits of the ongoing hubris that is feeding the illusion of his invincibility. 

When it was Dasuki, corruption was the excuse for executive lawlessness. It was pretty easy to label El Zakyzaky and the Shiite terrorists as they were slaughtered, maimed and unlawfully imprisoned. But even the most ardent supporters of the infallible saint have lost the capacity to defend the patently indefensible. It has taken Sowore to remove Buhari’s mask and to unmask the would be Democrat for the aspiring dictator that he is. 

We are not a conquered people, and the Nigerian people will not be cowed by the threats of mass incarceration. Let Buhari and his handlers be reminded: we have seen and survived military dictators before, and he has neither the evil genius of Ibrahim, or the murderous brutality of Sani Abacha. We shall survive him and Nigeria will emerge from the experience better and stronger.

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