The Scarcity Of Omoluabi And The Battle For Reorientation
Yorubas, let’s face it, we have a lot of work to do and we have a long way to go. Yorubas priority at the moment is not a new nation. We are already a nation, but what do we do with it, what have we accomplished as a Yoruba nation. As it is now if we are to judge by our results and statistics then it’s safe to say we are not fit to form a new nation. Yorubas’ priority at the moment should be value reorientation. We need to refine ourselves as a people. Our mantra as Yorubas is omoluabi (a people full of character and virtues), a virtuous people, a dignified nation. But let’s be truthful, there is scarcity of omoluabi right now across Yoruba land. We are not behaving as Omoluabi at all. Our land does not look like the land where Omoluabis live and dwell. If at all, we have been the exact opposite of Omoluabi and that is not a recent tragedy. Then we do not need Oduduwa republic, what we need is to urgently transform the Southwest, and by extension, the whole of Nigeria and Africa into a land full of omoluabis.
The people we are trying to run away from, the Fulani herdsmen, the bandits, the rapists, and kidnappers are they not found amidst us in large numbers? Yes, we can separate from the Hausa, Fulani,and Igbo but the evil we are running from are prevalent among our own Yoruba people too. Where will we send those Yorubas who don’t characterise themselves as Omoluabis, are we going to kill them all or send them to other nations, are they not same Yorubas that will constitute the new Yoruba Nation? The local government chairmen that steal people’s money with effrontery, won’t they metamorphose into the new Oduduwa citizens and Oduduwa leaders? The governors, ministers and senators who are looting money with reckless abandon, depriving all of us of good roads and good hospitals, won’t they come back to contest Oduduwa elections? The Obas that take bribes and the Chiefs that do not mind selling a piece of land to five different buyers, who will get rid of all of them? Will you kill all Yoruba Obas and chiefs completely and then bring in new citizens to start the new country? Do you think all the Yorubas right now have the right value system that it takes to build a country? We are fighting the wrong battle. Our battle should be to instil values into the Yorubas and all other nationalities in Nigeria, then we will discover the country of our dream.
A great nation is not built or established by the virtues of her wealth, but by the wealth of her virtues. A people that are deficient in virtues cannot build a great nation, no matter what you call that nation, Oduduwa, Biafra etc.
The real battle that Yorubas need to urgently face is the battle of re-orientation. We need to reorient not just the Yoruba people, but all Nigerian people and all African people. We need to bring a new value system to the Yorubas in particulars and all Nigerians in general. We must bring a value shift to our land. We must find ways to bring re-birth to our people. We must be Omoluabi again. It is people with the right value system that can build great nations.
Great nations are not built because they have same bloodline. Great nations are not built because they have same ethnicity. Great nations are not built because they all speak same language. As a matter of fact, the greatest nations on earth are also very diverse. Those claiming that Nigerian tribes and ethnic groups are different people are not been truthful with themselves to the end. Show me one nation that is completely made up of just one ethnicity out of the 200 countries in the world. You can’t find one!!!
On the other hand show me all the great nations or countries of the world and I’ll show you a people that comprise of various nationalities and ethnic groups. The greatest countries in the world today are a melting pot of diverse people. Look at USA, Germany, France, England, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, China, India, Russia, Brazil, etc all these nations are as a result of amalgamation of different ethnic groups and tribes. Great nations are built because values have been built and entrenched into every citizen. Great nations are built because values have been given priority and made into institutions that reforms every citizen.
It does not matter how you enter into the United Kingdom today or United States from where you go in, the society has been structured in a way to reform you and refine your behavior. You cannot throw dirt on the street, speed as you like on the highways or be rude to people you meet. That is a nation that has been built by the wealth of virtues.
The fact that we are all Yoruba people means nothing. That is not going to build us a great nation. Being sons and daughters of Oduduwa cannot even buy us a sachet of salt. That appellation is completely useless without imbibing the right value systems. All our titles, labels and self-appraisals don’t build nations. It all means nothing. Bragging about the achievements that our fathers made is absolutely nothing. That will not build us a great country, what counts is the content of our character.
You know what will build us a great nation? It is the value systems of virtues and character. It is the values of tolerance, dignity of labor, hard work, honesty, integrity, service etc. Without teaching every citizen to obey and embrace these values, we can kiss a great country goodbye. There are value systems that are responsible for every great nation that you see on earth today. It is those values and virtues that we need to look for and train our people in. We must inculcate within ourselves the right value system. We must instill in our people every where all over Nigeria the virtues that makes a nation great. If we are able to generate new value systems through training, laws and implementation right now, we will all be amazed at how quickly Nigeria will rise. No nation can be lawless and dream of being great. It is when we elevate the right value systems above all else that we can have a great nation. Promoting, propagating and inculcating the right value systems, that is how we will be able to change the whole of Nigeria. We will not bring about change just by renaming geographical location. We will not have a great country through secession without a transformed system of values. There will be no difference in our situation through merely renaming of territories. If Yoruba or Igbo nation go away now, they will still have the same people who are living in their lands now with same character flaws and lack of a value system for development and civilisation. It’ll only be a smaller version of Nigeria, with all the same issues and problems.
Our fathers knew and appreciated this truth to a certain extent. The best years that the Southwest has ever known were the years of Awolowo and his action group. Although that period was also affected negatively in many ways, history tells us that the Southwest has not known better than those years. What was the secret and how was Awolowo and his team able to bring about development? It was through value re-orientation.
Awolowo and his team understood the importance of value reorientation. They preached this gospel like their lives were dependent on it. They created songs for elementary school pupils to sing to help raise awareness. They laid emphasis on the teaching of values in families. Criminals were publicly shamed to serve as deterrent to others. The rule of law was upheld to a commendable extent.
The result of that transformation was that the Southwest became a reference point not just in Nigeria, but also in Africa and the rest of the world. Let’s first reintroduce the value of Omoluabi to all our Yoruba people, then there won’t be any need in breaking away to form an Oduduwa Republic, since the virtue itself will be screaming out through all Yorubas everywhere that yes, we are Omoluabis indeed, the authentic Yorubas. In the words of Chief Obafemi Awolowo “If we are in the habit of practising the opposite of what we preach, our admonition will not only lose their force and cogency, but also we ourselves will forfeit every claim to credibility. An ounce of example, it has been widely said, is far better than a ton of precepts.” If we Yorubas want to claim to be any better than those we want to run away from, we must first of all prove it by reforming ourselves and become a true reflection of what we profess. Let our lifestyle first tell the world that we are Omoluabis, then we could have an excuse to say we will go and build a better nation somewhere else. The truth however is that once we sincerely become men and women of values, then Nigeria itself will become a new nation.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, CHURCH AND NATION
By DR. SUNDAY ADELAJA