Alaroka in Yoruba language is simply defined as an individual who goes about predicting not-too-pleasant outcome(s) about another person. It does not matter whether or not the issue at stake concerns or affects him or her – the alaroka.
The word alaroka is derogatory and denigrating. It is like cancer in that it is almost incurable as its monstrosity coldly manifests. It is easier to deal with witches and wizards than an alaroka who has nothing to lose.
I would like, in this piece, to situate former commissioner in Edo State under Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s government, Mr. Kassim Afegbua as alaroka in contemporary Nigeria political landscape.
It is believed, amongst the Yoruba, that alaroka, as an affliction, has no atonement. Whereas in the case of a witch or wizard, some form of atonement is possible, it is not so, with alaroka.
It is imperative we understand the Afegbua persona in media affairs of Nigeria. Much was not heard about him until Comrade Adams Oshiomhole appointed him as a commissioner in Edo State. Thereafter he has been in the media limelight since Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s mistake of that appointment. Before this appointment, he was a tailor, making clothes and writing sparingly in defense of General Ibrahim Babangida for a fee. Thereafter, he became a cash and carry journalist, who is paid to write abusive pieces on perceived enemies of his paymaster(s).
Afegbua’s recent outburst on Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is as a result of his inability to milk Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as usual.
He is known to dine with whoever is involved before releasing his “time bomb”. And at other times, he will, during a chance meeting, relate with the person as if all was well.
Prelude to one of his escapades, he wanted Adams Oshiomhole to nominate him as running mate to Governor Godwin Obaseki in his first tenure, and which Obaseki as a colleague in the State Executive Council under Oshiomhole, and knowing him for who he is, quietly turned down. That was Obaseki’s offense. He went all out to write negative stories on Mr. Godwin Obaseki, but failed because both of them do not have the same family pedigree, and the reading audience already had an idea of his stock in trade. Afegbua is a relatively unknown family in Edo State, that has no bearing in Edo State politics, nor has he carved a niche for himself, apart from being a nominee of General Ibrahim Babangida to Edo State executive council. Before then, he was not one who could be heard or speak on behalf of his people, in a typical Edo setting. An expatriate Edo man, he claims to be in PDP, yet he worked for Edo State APC in the last governorship election because he was promised the position of Secretary to Government had APC won the election in Edo. He was initially suspended, but later expelled from PDP in his ward, and has remained thus expelled.
He was commissioned by a South South Governor, to bring down former national chairman of PDP, Mr. Uche Secondus whose case is before the Supreme Court. He is now being commissioned by the same South South Governor to attack, abuse and try to rubbish Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President, a statesman and a man who is old enough to have him as son.
He is of the position that PDP should zone her presidential ticket to the South because according to him, a Fulani man cannot hand over to another Fulani man. He was however silent on which zone in the South, it will be micro-zoned to, because his paymaster is interested in being the PDP flag bearer. Or, is he afraid to expose his paymaster who arrogantly believes that if it is zoned to the South, no man amongst his colleagues has what it takes to win the primaries. He has forgotten that from 1999 to 2023 presidency, the South has spent 14 years while the North would have done 10 years in both parties (PDP and APC) by 2023. The North still has one tenure of four years before it will come back to the South. Between 1960 to 1998, apart from Generals Aguiyi Ironsi and Olusegun Obasanjo who were Southerners, the rest in the military government were Northerners. Why didn’t people from the South risk their lives to plan their own coup to topple any sitting government? Most executed coup plotters from failed coup attempts were Northerners and they faced their lot with silent grief.
Afegbua, alaroka would stop at nothing to ensure Atiku Abubakar fails to clinch the PDP presidential ticket in June, 2022. He will soon realise that there’s a huge difference between Uche Secondus from Rivers State and Atiku Abubakar from Adamawa State. He will soon know that the Fulani are a qualitative minority who are in majority in Nigeria because of their compact unity. Afegbua is free to air his views on any topic of his choice, but to abuse Alhaji Atiku Abubakar – a man who has not abused him, a man that once fed him and who is an achiever in his own right, portrays Afegbua in the light of a man not properly brought up. The alaroka in Afegbua is incurable and will dog his steps till his end. And he may not live to celebrate 75 years in his lifetime, if he continues in his abuse of people older than him. Rather than continue to be a slave to money and paymasters, he should aspire to run. Or is he not old enough to run for elective office?
May God give PDP leaders the wisdom to do the needful at our present perilous crossroads, that peace may continue to reign in our Nation.
May God bless Nigeria. Amen!
Dr Femi Alaka is a public affairs analyst and writes from Benin City.