Kongii and the illegitimate sovereign (a fable)

Mon, Sep 18, 2023
By editor


By Steve Usuji

AN IMPOSTER AND USURPER: Once upon a time in a faraway land,  there lived a king who hijacked the stool. It happened that the throne was vacant and  all the heirs began to joust for the grand stool. A particular parvenu in the land who had no known link to royalty nor to the kingdom for that matter, jumped into the ring.

People merely mocked the upstart, sniggering that he must be suffering an extended hang over period. He would be better when he is relieved of his inebriation, they laughed.

But mockers were still at it when the imposter morphed into a monarch. This will not stand,  they said, stomping on their walking stick! 

But the kingmakers had sold out. They were suborned with gifts nobody gave them before. They were shown wonders they never saw before and their minds were distorted beyond repairs. You really cannot blame them.

Most of the elders of the land were swept away by a flood of patronage they didn’t see coming. Things happened too fast for most of them. The mere concept of Chief Jagba, the imposter, on the throne of Jankara was at best a bad dream in Jankaraland until it became a reality. It is said that the spirits, even witches and wizards of the land couldn’t divine what happened. 

But King Jagba was ensconced on the throne of Jankara anyways. He made his co-travellers chiefs, prime ministers and consorts. They ruled the land and hold court but the people do not have any impulse to be in the King’s court. There’s a king in the palace but no king in their hearts. 

King Jagba co-opted most of the elders and wise men in the land except a few. But the fall of a particular sage by name, Kongii caused a storm that threatened the entire Jankara land. Kongii was a wizened, bushy, gray-haired man (not unlike a giant gnome) who would touch the century milestone age if he stretched out his hand properly enough. That’s how old Kongii was. Kongii was loved not only in Jankara but far and wide across lands and seas wherever the sun shined on the universe. He was not merely loved,  he was almost held up among the pantheon of great deities. He was indeed a man of great learning, wisdom and an iron-cast moral authority. 

Kongii was not royalty but he was a walking throne and sceptre all by himself. Great sovereigns across the seven seas deferred to him and sought not only his counsel but his good face. One word of condemnation spelt the beginning of the downfall of a monarch. Just as one word of laudation raised the worst monarchical profiles.

 All this was before Jagba smashed, grabbed and made away with the totem of Jankara kingdom.

While Jagba schemed and eventually grabbed the Jankara’s crown, Kongii didn’t make nary a whimper much unlike him. Jankara people,  known as Jankariwos, were sure that the coup in the palace would not stand. Unless Kongii was no more living, that potentate would soon be routed from desecrating the land.

Woe alas! when Kongii eventually spoke, he chided the people as deploying fascisistic methods against King Jagba! Aree! Something must be amiss! Someone must be misquoting our Kongii. Could it be that he has become too old, or too wise and knowledgeable for we the ordinary mortals in his much advanced age? Perhaps he speaks in tongues now having finally morphed into the realms of the spirit world? 

Poor Jankariwos were yet floating in an ocean of confusion when Kongii spoke a second time. This time he was unequivocal. King Jagba is more deserving of the crown than everyone else. In fact the mass of the people clamouring for a supposed bona-fide candidate merely seek to shock and awe the people of Jankara kingdom to submission. The kingdom has been in a state of suspended animation since then. If Kongi could fall, then the kingdom has fallen the people surmised … now Jankaraland had a King without a sovereign. Though the king be dressed in the most colourful of robes, the people only see a shadow, a shroud of incubus. In the Palace,  there was a king but in the hearts of the people, there was no king.

Moral: when a king is illegitimate, the kingdom is voided. You can buy  the stool, the kingmakers and all the elders and wise men of the land but you can’t buy legitimacy. 

THE CRUSHING WEIGHT OF ILLEGITIMACY: No matter how hard you try, an illegitimate state of mind is a forlorn, melancholy situation. This is at the core of the Bola Tinubu presidency. This government cannot take off or function because it’s being crushed by the deadweight of illegitimacy. When you have no moral authority,  when a sovereign is forever seeking to please,  to be understood and be affirmed, such a one has no mind of its own, it acts on impulse all the time.

ANOTHER JAMBOREE TO NEW YORK: Last week,  we pointed out President Tinubu’s junket to India in the guise of attending the G20 Summit. We wager that Nigeria probably had the largest contingent to India in a summit Nigeria was not officially invited. In serious countries, just a video goodwill message to the G20 would have sufficed. But no less than 50 people were in India with the president under the guise of seeking foreign investors. But that’s a fat lie, we merely wasted scarce forex on a binge.

Here we go again, the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA) meeting holds in New York,  United States from tomorrow,  19th September.

Only about a five-member contingent would have sufficed.  But we see a horde of over 70 people going to New York. There are six state governors, seven ministers about five senior aides including the Chief of Staff and the National Security Adviser (NSA). As it had been in the past, Nigeria is bound to have the largest contingent at the 78th UNGA. We shall soon constitute a nuisance there, milling around noisily and shopping like children of bandits.  

This had always been our story since the eras of Olusegun Obasanjo,  Goodluck Jonathan, Muhammadu Buhari and yet again,  now under Tinubu. Tinubu’s people are telling us that he inherited a failed economy; they tell us to tighten our belt. But only the people are yoked by austerity, government officials are living even larger than before. 

It doesn’t matter to the government that we suffer acute forex crisis, officials globetrot and burn scarce forex as if it were some sacred incense.

NOTHING CONCRETE DONE, THINGS STILL TOPSY-TURVY: There’s still no palliative to the mindless yanking of so-called fuel subsidy. Inflation escalates, naira crashes daily, fuel and cooking gas prices  inch higher.

Apart from our vanishing economy, at the level of wielding presidential authority to quickly impact the state, it still seems like there’s no president in the land. Two examples will illustrate this point.

One, 31 days after eight National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members travelling from Akwa Ibom to Sokoto  were abducted by bandits in Zamfara State, the hapless youths still languish with kidnappers. 

Not a word from the NYSC management,  from Akwa Ibom State government nor from the Presidency. The parents of these youths have been abandoned to negotiate ransom with bandits. Bandits remain on rampage around the country without let. The NSA,  Mr Nuhu Ribadu is busy shuttling the world with the president while the security situation worsens. No fresh ideas or roadmap is presented or pursued.

The second example is that within the week, the President appointed Mr. Zaccheus Adedeji as Chairman of FIRS and Mr Yemi Cardoso, one of his lapdogs as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Of course, Cardoso is not the fit and proper man for the job, but the issue at hand is that Tinubu has completed the personal capture of the economic superstructure of Nigeria. His cronies now head the economic ministry and coordinates the entire economy, they also head the CBN, FIRS, Customs, Immigration, while he’s Petroleum Minister. 

Fact: Tinubu’s cronyism is worse than Buhari’s. 

FINAL VERDICT: Tinubu has brought nothing new to government and there’s no plan yet that he’s on to something new. Those deluding themselves that there’s some work or reform going on to make things better in the next few months should perish the thought. There’s nothing going on here…


September 18, 2023 @ 20:38 GMT|