A Possible New Kwara and the looming apparition of Afonja Kankafo
By: Bolaji Aladie
Once upon a story of one of the Yoruba race generalissimos named Afonja Kankanfo who reigned with grits and might in a geographical location history accounted to be the present capital of Kwara State. The story of his reign is a very popular one which an average student of history and any enthusiastic knowledge-seeker can easily connect to. In order not to whip up unnecessary chauvinistic sentiment, the genesis and revelations of this historical allusion would not be needed but the possible inherent lessons therein, with the hope that; it will strike the expected consciousness, provoke the curiosity of the present and shapes the future that would be here in no distance time.
As the story goes on, there came a period in the life of Afonja Kankanfo when in his quest to enlarge his coasts and expand further the tentacles of his immediate commands, he lets go of his trusted kiths-and-kins-dominated battalions of many years whilst replacing them with the superficially-invincible ‘Jamah’ warlords facilitated for him by his guest-turned-friend, Alimi. To Afonja, the thirst for indomitable troops is more battle-rewarding than what family connection can bring. Despite all entreaties and admonitions from those who foresaw the danger ahead, Afonja’s stance remained unchanged, the shining new loins must take the place of the ‘rags’ in his wardrobe.
Not long after the consummation of the impairable interests, the battle of conflicting ideologies ensued between Afonja and his new formation. What they began to represent and demonstrate was very much apart from what Afonja envisioned. The ‘Jamah’ began to pursue an agenda different from that of their host. Before Afonja could realise what was happening to him, his authority and kingdom alike have gone into the hand of his newly trusted friends. He has lost it all right from within his enclave.
Like a brave warrior, Afonja fought hard to reclaim what belonged to him but it was too late as the mission of ousting him from his throne has been long completed before the physical battle started. Not even the later help from his discarded erstwhile battalions who out of brotherhood bond rose to his calls could avert the danger. The rest, as they say, forms the history of how the Yoruba race lost one of their ancestral lands into the hands of foreign mercenaries accommodated by his leader at that given time.
One thing about history is that it has a way of rebirthing itself in a different form at any point in time. Could the present political happenings across the heart of Kwara point to the rebirth of the past? Only time shall tell.
Bolaji Aladie is musing randomly from the Source of the Yoruba race.