The Rebel’s Orchestra 

Posted on May 16, 2024


The rebel’s orchestra! That is what the juju music legend, King Sunny Ade, calls “ilu ote, ijo abosi”; that is, the tricks by rebels in their sentimental malice to get at their targets and cause them maximum pains. 

Rebels are never enemies’ enemies; they are enemies of proven friends and nemeses of the establishment. But they operate covertly, making it difficult to differentiate between a friend that wears the daggers in his smiles and the one that enthuses a warm embrace.

Brutus proved it against his cousin Julius Caesar. Scottish King Duncan’s genius was rebuked by his supposed loyal army General Macbeth after a generous and sumptuous banquet where Macbeth urged “pre-eminence” for King Duncan, who in turn declared Macbeth as “a gentleman in whom I build an absolute trust” until Macbeth’s 20 gashes from his “unkindest” cuts on the head proved too fatal that dispatched King Duncan to the great beyond in an act of betrayal.

But Macbeth paid heavily for his breach of faith. William Shakespeare explains this in a verse: “Now, minutely, revolt upbraids his (Macbeth) faith breach: those he commands only live in command, nothing in love”, after which Macduff “surprised” Macbeth’s Castle Inverness in Northern Scotland.

Satan, the legend of the legions of doom and the brightest of the angels of old, flattered Jesus Christ to acknowledge His pre-eminence and holiness, calling Him the son of God, took Him to the top of the mountain and asked Him to bow for him. Satan also asked Jesus to jump down from the mountain, assuring that the Angels of the Lord would protect Him against striking His feet against the stones and promised to “dash” Jesus the world as a reward; all in a music of love arranged and conducted in the rebel’s orchestra intended to ruin Jesus’ spirituality and demean the omnipotence and omniscience of the Almighty God.

In the same Bible, Adam’s friend, Eve, created the path for his destruction. Delilah undid husband Samson. What of Amnon and Jonadab, not to talk of King Rehoboam and his young advisors? Or Ahab and Jezebel! Or Treasurer Judas Iscariot too in his rebellious act against the anointed!

Sergius Paulus and Elymas were great friends in the Bible, but Elymas the magician sought to prevent Barnabas and Paul from preaching the words of salvation to Sergius. But Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at Elymas and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?”

In the holy books, there are rebels and there are rebels, all ranged against their acquaintances or even benefactors to cause them deep pains in the hearts and destroy their destinies.

Also, consider the late Lt. Col. UK Bello whose confidence in his friend and course mate, Major Gideon Orkar, paved the way for the rebels led by Orka himself to gain access to the Dodan Barracks where Col U.K Bello met his death in the hands of Orkar’s backers in the coup against General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB)? Or how did the late MKO Abiola meet his death? In his enemies or friends’ hands?

Without premonition or having the faintest idea that he was being led to his Golgotha, the same Babangida in his maradonic antics corralled the late Dr Tai Solarin into an elaborate national empowerment scheme to bear the People’s Bank leadership mantle that finally dismantled the public image of the iconic socialist beyond redemption. The man never recovered from the embarrassing anguish he found himself until the clock ticked to meet his Maker.

In the contemporary world of politics, particularly in Nigeria’s political waters infested with sharks and whales in human skin, there are wolves in sheep clothing among friends that have caused deep pains in the hearts of their compatriots, courtesy of friends undoing friends for the gains that come from man’s inhumanity to man in the marketplace of competing interests for money and power.

In pursuit of money and power, friends-turned -rebels had poured rancour in the vessels of their friends’ lives and inflicted deep cuts in their hearts that rendered them prostrate in their journeys of life.

In the rebels’ paradise, the rebels ordain themselves the field marshals of co-soldiers by default, defraud the grace of the communion that bonds men of their platoon together, recreate the destinies of their victims in secret places to draw universal hatred, steal the peace and innocence of the mind that defines their victims’ strengths and ruin all the prospects that are likely to benefit others and seek to convert those prospects for personal gains.

Like all the belzebubs in their hells, they gain all the world of vain and remain lonely in their kingdom where gnashing of the teeth and burrows in the arse deny them the peace of mind.

Yet, the lure and allure of the beat of rebel’s orchestra never fade, for after losing out in their rebellion against the run of order over vaulting ambition, the solemn rhythm of the rebel’s anthem still grows into a heavy percussion for maximum effect after devising devious means for a sly, impish come-back bid to complete the rout.

The means include: wooing their erstwhile victims back into their arms by sending them warm greetings when such victims achieve milestones and holding birthday events for their victims, including arranging birthday greetings in paid newspapers advertisements, and top it as unsolicited fawning and cringing media promoters/writers in pseudo names to burnish the image of the erstwhile victims they had earlier callously soiled over money and power.

Such are the cunning schemes of smart bogeymen in the business of survival after ruining the lives of their compatriots and after all efforts failed to hit the limelight again after a long spell living a lonely life of a snake.

But in most cases, these victims are not fooled; they only enjoy the mirth of the drama of shame and desperation for survival in a complex power game by their undertakers.

During the 2023 presidential election, we saw a chummy co-habitation of strange bedfellows living in command but never in love in several political parties. Soon, the bubble burst and Nigerians watched in awe as camps of enemies in friends’ camps swelled.

By launching a bitter media insurgency against Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who was APC Presidential candidate, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku of PDP and Dr Peter Obi of Labour Party became the two Charing Cross of the same feathers just back from visiting the Court of Rome, as they also put asunder their party, PDP; the political party they built on a quicksand, as Obi left PDP further divided to join Labour Party. While Obi’s cake in the Labour Party has since gone sour, Atiku is today struggling to remould his fate among the raging and vicious wolves in PDP.

Atiku, evidently President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s bosom friend, was a beneficiary of Tinubu’s political benevolence that secured the Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN’s) Presidential ticket for Atiku on December 20, 2006 for the April 21, 2007 presidential election. But today, like Herodias would want the head of John the Baptist harvested, Atiku wants Tinubu’s head on a platter after Nigerians chose Tinubu over Atiku in the 2023 presidential contest.

The rebellion against Tinubu that started in local partisan caucuses has since widened into a national and international amphitheatre of hate moderated by Atiku who launched sundry accusations against Tinubu bordering on inappropriate conducts, including conflicts of interest, that hurt national interest.

To get at Tinubu at all costs, Atiku recently upped the ante of his media belligerence by launching a widely publicised charge of conflicts of interest against the President over his 38-year-old son’s (Seyi Tinubu) membership on the board of Gilbert Chagoury’s company even though the young budding businessman never holds any political position and he is never a civil servant to warrant that charge, whereas as a civil servant in the Nigerian Customs Service, Atiku allegedly floated a blue chip company called Intels, which later allegedly became a hydra-headed Special Purpose Vehicle that allegedly drove public enterprises into the courtyards of cronies in the waiting hands of renowned alleged Atiku’s doormen when he was Vice President and chairman of the fraudulent privatisation programme of the Federal Government.

After Phillip Shuaibu exhausted himself on the dance floor enjoying the rebel’s orchestra where Adams Oshiomhole was a pitiable spectator, the former Edo Deputy Governor has today kissed the canvas in a pay back reward after his energetic lead vocalist’s role in the rebel’s orchestra in Edo State went awry.

Like a wild fire, the rage is almost the same in most parties across the nation.

Today, erstwhile friends have started digging the trenches in the battle of attrition to be witnessed in the next dispensation. All in the name of constant interest without common goal, and inclination towards toppling the communal ethos that define Africa’s sensibility of care for others!

Such is the privatisation of public interest that places the fortunes of others at the mercy of the selfish and callous few.

Recently, a cynic accused me of a chummy liaison with a fellow that appropriates such a despicable idiosyncrasy. But I told him that I had vowed never to sit in court with callous pretenders, audacious hustlers and irritatingly unconscionable scavengers who call themselves ‘men of trust and loyalty’ and friends of infinite love but who in actual fact are worse than Judas. They betray their benefactors and seek to ruin the destinies of their leaders, including their bosom friends.

I insisted that the luciferian antics of these narcissists bore me and indeed made me sick so much so that I had grown wiser to escape the snares set to use me as a “blind catcher” for selfish ends, apologies to Nigeria’s notorious “gbajue’ (419) syndicates.

I also explained that I had refused to be used as a cannon folder to seek the solidarity of others to achieve redemption for the selfish ends of other people, and that indeed, I had refused to banquet with any Dimka whose hands are still breached with the golden blood of Murtala Mohammed, to celebrate the glory of Ajoke’s husband. In that orchestra of perfidy, I sing no more!

Yet, the mirth and chaos of the echoes of the rebel’s orchestra are often accompanied by an eddy of sustained malice. As we all know, the sensuous and sensual spirits of the hedonists die hard: they live with the Cupid’s excesses in mirth and comfort.

But all the same, the rebel’s orchestra still sustains the malevolent essence of the flow of melodious rhymes of a rogue comedy to further hurt their victims in the large amphitheatres of pains scattered across the country.

At the head of the symphony are Nigerian veteran swindlers in currency speculation, oil and fertiliser subsidy thieves, pipelines vandals, kidnappers that tender human zoos, experts in budget padding and the marksmen in the game of death, including their Yahoo Plus counterparts, who are all choristers and instrumentalists in the rebel’s orchestra but who are at the same time building worship centres and public utilities for the same fellow human beings whose lives they have ruined in their paradoxical rebel’s orchestra that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is trying to disband in his revolutionary moral re-armament.

Even though only the anointed, the wise and the discernable can survive the dance steps that accompany the rebel’s orchestra, one thing is certain: those who moderate and conduct the rebel’s orchestra will be the last exciting acrobats and opportunist breakdancers to jig on the floor of shame.


Olujobi, a journalist and politician, writes from Ado-Ekiti

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