By Bolaji O. Akinyemi.

What’s in a name? That which we called a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.- Williams Shakespeare.

I beg to disagree with William Shakespeare on this, not on the strength of my intellect or literary prowess. Shakespeare was a literary giant at an era the English language reached its evolutionary peak as a global language. The 16th century, when it enriched legal communication, not even the translation of the Bible from Latin to English was spared of its flair and beautiful twist of words; prose and poem, thus giving us the version that remains the favourite of all who held the faith of God in Christ in expected esteem, “The King James Version”.

The Bible can’t be ignored when human history and evolution is the subject, the first mention of the word “name” in the Bible is in Genesis 2:11. The Hebrew word is “shem”, meaning reputation. The flower rose, was probably named on the reputation of its fragrance by whoever observed the same and thus pronounced the name; rose!

Man was named by God for who he was and the purpose he was meant to serve; Adam, mankind, human being.

The drama that followed the creation of man is intriguing. God brought everything he created to Adam for naming and whatever name Adam pronounced was stamped on the identity of such creation. The turn of the woman is of interest, Adam called the woman God brought to him Eve, meaning life, living or causative; life giver. This no doubt is not a random pronouncement. More of a product of observation or of the influence of the divinity on him to understand the purpose of the female gender and thus pronounced the name Eve!

“Name” in Yoruba is “Oruko” in ifa mythology, it’s from a compound word, “Oru” and “ko”, oruko.
“Ooru” as in, to foam by inert ability or internal reaction. Palm wine foams.

“Ko” to “self speak” as in a Cock crowing to announce its maturity.

There is an agreement between the Bible and Ifa mythology on names, whence the Bible believes a name is a product of reputation, which of course is believed to be earned in English. Ifa is of the opinion that Oruko is whatever self speaks by innate ability at its appointed season.

Bother less about my authority on ifa mythology, I am of that lineage a descendant of “xyz” who migrated from Ijebu iloti to Orile Ilugun to Agbo ile Olokuta in Abeokuta North Local Government of Ogun state, myself have migrated to Abule-Egba in Lagos State. My present location has not changed my parternity and lineage, my Grandfather; Yusuf Ogunseye, who was an Ifa priest and Islamic cleric told me many stories of historical implication. A Yoruba saying stated; “bi omode o ba itan, a ba aro ba, aroba si ni baa itan”, if a child is deprived of written history he will be privileged of oral history, and oral history is the father of modern history.

Ifa of course is the deity of wisdom and intellectual development.

Dr Akin Fapohunda is the reason for our tour in Biblical history and brief study in Ifa mythology. I will concern myself with the family or the surname; Fapohunda, which is a short form of a statement of summary of encounter; “Ifa pa ohun da”; meaning
” Ifa has changed his voice”. This could only happen when there has been a consultation with Ifa on an issue, on which ifa has spoken, and probably one of the parties to which the message was meant was not satisfied and there has to be a 2nd consultation in which case Ifa says something different from what was said at first. If any of the party seems aggrieved and queries why Ifa is double speaking; since it is an insult for deities to double speak like mortals, the priest will often say” Ifa pa ohun da”! Deities indeed don’t double speak but if the arrangement of human interference is compounded and complicated deities may speak several times!

My worries on the mission of Dr Fapohunda centres on the mythological understanding of the name of his forebearers and ancestral tendencies. This leads us to the existence of two opinions on his mission. It is therefore our responsibility to examine other available thoughts on the Nigerian Constitution to avoid human complicated and compounded interference which the priest often serves.

I will assume that Fapohunda is a self appointed priest of our consultation on the Nigerian constitution, except he, or some persons says otherwise.

Fapohunda’s proposition on the constitution; his name is my worries.

Dr Akin Fapohunda, was a Senior Lecturer in Multimedia Technology and Digital Image Processing at Bingham University, Karu, Abuja (1999-2018). While expertise in law is inconsequential in constitutional drafting and review, Constitution basically draws strength from the resolution of a group of people agreeing together to co-exist under rules they so jointly decide.

The zeal of Dr Akin Fapohunda at offering himself as an unsolicited consultant to Mr President at substantiating a draft earlier rumoured in the public and denied by the government should worry all, on matter that bothers on all of us as citizens of Nigeria.

The “element”, “we the People” is the DNA from which acceptable constitution must draw its life. As mischievous as I found his position, it is of necessity that Dr Akin Fapohunda’s views be interrogated, summarily he is for the Annexure of Decree 24 of 1999, aside from his, there are other schools of thought.
It is very revealing and indeed interesting;
NINAS with years of research and advocacy is suing for a fresh start.

NCEF however is for repeal of four junta decrees to pave way for LIFTING OF SUSPENSION of 1963 republican CFRN for amendment with contemporary realities; to birth American style federation plus modifications.

The silence of Patriots to 2014 Confab report cum draft constitution has not helped matters.

Contributions were several and diverse on the efforts of NCEF, this in itself is a prerequisite to acceptability of draft of any constitution for consideration and transmutation into law. Two of the contributors worthy of note are Pastor Wemimo Okupe and Da Jonathan Sunday Akuns, Galadima Daffo and a Christian Elder, mentor of mine in the push for a better and greater Nigeria.

Having been privy and privileged to a Zoom presentation made to the National Christian Elders Forum twice; on 2.5.2024 and 18.5.2024, focused on the democratic exigencies for National Assembly to restore the suspended 1963 republican CFRN for amendment rather than the one called 1999 CFRN, I stand with the position of NCEF which duly give recognition to members of the National Assembly as elected legislative representatives of the people.

The solo effort of Dr Akin Fapohunda in his second coming on subject matter is curious.

This is not his first coming. In 2021, Dr Akin Fapohunda was Secretary of an erstwhile Eminent Elders Forum that made a presentation to NASS on 9.2.2021, which did not prosper. That exercise focused on 1963 CFRN.

At his second coming in 2024, same Dr Akin Fapohunda position has shifted from his support for 1963 CFRN. He is now pushing a narrative that seeks to convert an annexure of decree 24 of 1999 as the CFRN and to redefine the federating units from the existing 36 littoral states to the shadow 6 national geopolitical regions. How a draft by an individual will be different from decrees by few under the military that has rendered the nation impotent should be of concern.

The efforts of Dr Akin Fapohunda in his second outing I will describe as “Ifa pa ohun da”, it woefully fails the democratic litmus test of We the People in all ramifications.
… 1963 CFRN is the only democratic template upon which the Republican strands of Nigeria are hinged; it’s advisable to restore the 1966 CFRN from suspension for amendment with contemporary realities such as the existing littoral states in order to recalibrate the FRN along the governing path of USA cum Switzerland; this will be modified to align with the cultural traits of the FRN such as uniform number of states per national geopolitical zones, etc.
The fear of electoral supremacy of yore from any part of Nigeria is being checkmated by the ongoing Renaissance of Hausa ethnic people away from “Fulanism” or “Fulanisation”.

In the likelihood of the FRN going the way of USSR/Czechoslovakia, the littoral states in each notional geopolitical zones will easily ‘amalgamate’ into a standalone Republic such as the erstwhile Biafra of Odumegwu Ojukwu (May 1967), Niger Delta of Isaac Adaka Boro (February 1966), Benin of Albert Okonkwo (September 1967), Benicrosia of the Middle Belt (envisioned), Oduduwa (envisioned), etc.
Upon the restoration and subsequent amendment of 1963 CFRN, the emergent entities from the ashes of the FRN will be on sound tenets of democratic foundation; the path of Dr Akin Fapohunda will birth such entities from the chaotic oligarchy of junta decrees like the burdensome 1966D1, 1966D34, 1979D104 & 1999D24.
Let it be known that We the People share the same sentiments about the need to restructure the FRN to one that works for all but we differ significantly in strategy with the position of Dr Akin Fapohunda.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, specialising in Constitutional Law, shared a point of caution with me on the circulating draft, of which he wrote; “I have my deep hunch about this Bill. Section 6(g) thereof has the clause “Pastoral and transhumance population.” Have we asked ourselves the meaning of “transhumance” at all? Look it up in the dictionary, please. After that, ask yourself whether there is any legal instrument on transhumance in the whole of West Africa, including Nigeria”.

I look up the word transhumance as advised; it is a type of pastoralism, defined as, the action or practice of moving livestock from one grazing ground to another in a seasonal cycle, typically of lowland in winter and highland in summer.

Of course we can confirm there is a legal instrument of transhumance in West Africa a treaty to which Nigeria is a Signatory.

As asked by the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who owns and moves with livestock in the whole of West Africa?

“Is Nigeria following the security and migration safeguards in this Protocol? Are the herdsmen moving all over West Africa armed or not? Have Fulani elites in Nigeria not openly boasted of taking over Nigeria, using the same ECOWAS Protocol? The answers are all known to us.
After digesting these, then you will probably “shine” your eyes.
Shine those eyes more by reading the Bill and discovering the overbearing powers of the National Ranches Commission, including its power to set up Ranches in any part of any given State.
Further shine those eyes by interrogating the meaning of “lands at the disposal of the Federal Government” – in section 17(1)(a) of the Bill. Where are those lands located? Are they still big enough to accommodate Ranches? Is this not a way to bring back the hitherto defeated Waterways Bill under Buhari? What is the fate of the Land Use Act, which has all these years enjoyed constitutional flavour, vis-a-vis this Bill? The answer can be found in the condescending provision in section 18(1) of the Bill, which requires that the Governor be merely ‘informed’ that the Commission wants to establish some ranches in his State! And we are applauding such a Bill?
Now, let’s even interrogate the only provision in the Bill that has excited us to high heavens: section 22(7), which provides thus:
“No livestock or cattle shall be allowed by any individual, group of persons or organisations to wander, roam, move and or graze outside the National Ranches.” The same Ranches that are accommodating armed herdsmen from all over West Africa on account of the Transhumance Protocol?
Finally, the financing of the Commission, pension rights for the potential land grabbers and murderers by our commonwealth? Haba, Nigerians!
Shinnnnnnnnnne your eyeeeeeeees!”

With such strong words of caution, the legal luminary ended his warning to me, you and all Nigerians.

The logical thing we are left with in our circumstances is the lifting of the suspension of the 1963 CFRN. On this there should be no compromise!

Dr. Bolaji O. Akinyemi is an Apostle and Nation Builder. He’s also President Voice of His Word Ministries and Convener Apostolic Round Table. BoT Chairman, Project Victory Call Initiative, AKA PVC Naija. He is a strategic Communicator and the C.E.O, Masterbuilder Communications.
Facebook: Bolaji Akinyemi.
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Instagram: bolajioakinyemi
Phone: +2348033041236

By osibanews

Eliel Otote A is an Actor and Filmmaker, with a bias for journalism. He was a freelance feature writer with the Nigerian Observer in the 80's in Benin City, he also presented programmes on both radio and television. Eliel is the Editor and Publisher of OSIBAnews Network Magazine, of which this blog is an affiliate.

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