Funke Egbemode: For dancers messing with Oyetola’s elephant
The elephant is passing, their farmer snaps his fingers, has anybody’s father ever killed an elephant with hoes? Ask them as they dance and boast if they would fight the mountains of Adegboyega Oyetola with cutlasses and hoes on July 16.
Do they even know this Oyetola?
Have you met Mr Adegboyega Oyetola? Have you spent some length of time with him? What strikes you after five or six visits or meetings with him?
If you ask those who work with him, they’ll tell you Mr Oyetola is difficult to read. I will put it this way: Governor Oyetola has a poker face. He’s an open book that is difficult to read. You can sit with him for hours and he can listen to you for all those hours, patiently, without even interjecting. Many who have met him tell me my principal is a good listener. I always smile and nod when I hear it. Those comments work for my image-making job.
True, the Governor of Osun is a patient listener, because he listens and does not rumble and ramble like some people who like the sound of their own voices. Many misread Oyetola’s unreadable face. Because he’s soft-spoken, they think he’s a man they can order around. Because Femi’s daddy walks gently, they even think he can’t run.
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Whether you meet him behind his desk in Bola Ige House (White House) or find him in his long white robe at the Government House, Okefia, his poker face is always firmly in place. I think it’s the way he was formed and raised. The unruffled look, the listening ear, the patient air about him, the gentle gait; all are the essence of a long-distance runner, the hallmark of a man who deploys yesterday’s knowledge to solve today’s problems and design the path to a better tomorrow. But what do the brash think of Oyetola? They think he’s a man they can run rough-shod over. They think he can’t hurt a fly, and yeah, he can’t hurt a fly but wait until the fly buzzes close to his ears. On those occasions, I’m not there o.
Ask all the unsmart men and women who have taken Oyetola for granted. They are today nursing their wounds. All those who underrated him are biting their fingers. Indeed, they are helplessly watching their fingers rot away, falling off one after the other.
Now, you would assume that those who burnt their fingers yesterday underrating Mr Oyetola would serve as lessons for others, but no, new ones are rushing into the pit that swallowed their forerunners. Again, such foolhardiness works for Oyetola, works for me too. I’m always happy when I hear people who should know way better, huffing and puffing about how they will win July 16 elections. I know they are headed for the decorated ‘a o m’erin j’oba’ pit. Their destructive drummers are urging them on, telling them Oyetola is easy game. Chaaai, how do you not fear a man you cannot read? How do you underrate a man who they said had no political structure but has, without breaking a sweat, demolished the structures of those who we have since discovered were overrated?
It’s not just that I don’t understand where the leaders of the clan of the overrated derive their confidence from, I’m also worried about the number of people who look up to them that they mislead. If their unfounded arrogance did not have huge consequences on both the polity and the future of their followers, I’d find them hilarious and laugh like a virgin. But a virgin I’m not and the matter is serious, so I’m not laughing.
Those who boasted that they were going to deal with Oyetola at the primaries have been dealt blows below and above the belt, blows they’ll never forget. They don’t even have fingers left to bite. Those who said Oyetola can’t unseat their tiny little butts have since found out that the man can quietly make a full grown adult behave like a baby babbling on a potty, in public view too.
Those who befriended every media platform, and ejaculated on all, thinking they were decimating Mr Oyetola’s camp have been castrated. Now, they are left looking at the beautiful bride called July 16 impotently. All they can really muster is unproductive production, if you get my drift.
I heard that they are raising funds from all kinds of dark places to fight Mr Governor’s re-election bid. They are still boasting and promising their gullible ‘magas’ that they are on ground. After all that generous trouncing at the governorship primaries, I wonder which maga is still listening to them. I mean, even my humble apprentice politician self was shocked at how Striker Oyetola bounced them like balls from Ejigbo to Ede, from Ilesha, to Ilobu and Iwo, until they were covered with dust, tears streaming from their eyes. So, what has changed? Nothing really. The Oyetola who wore his face cap and gently moved round the State speaking softly but working straight 48 hours with only power naps and ginger and turmeric tea, is still the one here. He won’t shout. He won’t prance. He won’t threaten or make empty boasts. But he packs a punch and is set to give them all bloody noses.
Yet, they still under-rate him. They think he’s not a politician. But he has taken away all their campaign bullet points and shot them in the knee. They say he can’t fight but he has gently eased them into political wheelchairs with puffy lips and black eyes. Instead of them covering their swollen lips, they are still mumbling. Please, will someone tell them that all their angry goat can do is kick dust. It cannot do anything to its owner. Oyetola is their owner now, and any further kicking by their goat will give the cook ideas about ingredients of isi-ewu or goat-meat pepper soup.
We don’t want to kick their old butts harder than we did at the primaries. We don’t want the money-bags wasting money and energetic dance steps thinking because Oyetola is not jiggling and wiggling, we can’t do anything.
My nicest advice is that the prancers and dancers should go and ‘sempe’ until Oyetola is done in 2026. Because if you accuse a man of impotence and he dared you to send your wife to check his ‘weapon of mass destruction’, and your wife is now spitting and vomiting, bros, it is not malaria or Covid-19 o. There are simply consequences of and repercussions for taking on a man like Oyetola. His gaze is on the goal post. He has scored before and he will hit the net again, like he always does, quietly and gently – and point blank.