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Emi Lokan: Beauty of understanding time and seasons

By Biodun Okunola
19 June 2022   |   3:44 am
Human history has proven again and again that the biggest wars are not fought on the battlefields but in the mind.

Tinubu. Photo/facebook/TinubuSupportGroup

It’s my turn/ With no more room for lies/ For years I’d seen my life/ Through someone else’s eyes../ It’s my turn/ To start from number one/ Trying to undo/ Some damage that’s been done/ But now it’s my turn/ To reach and touch the sky/ No one’s gonna say/ At least I didn’t try — Diana Ross

Human history has proven again and again that the biggest wars are not fought on the battlefields but in the mind. Everything is absorbed by the subconscious and as we have learnt from one of the greatest war strategists, Sun Tzu. The best wars are those fought without firing a single bullet. It is best to first defeat the minds of the aggressors thereby rendering their arsenals waste – a psychological warfare. Many Nigerians have interpreted Asiwaju’s Abeokuta outburst in different ways. Many have questioned his effrontery and right to unapologetically demand that it was his turn to run as the flagbearer of his party which he stated quite pointedly as Emi Lokan. This writer will argue that the assertion Emi Lokan can be interpreted in different contexts and in this article as the knowledge of the right time to strike a red-hot iron.

Emi Lokan reverberates the idea that those who must win battles must understand time – the time to fight and not. The statement shows that the individual already mentally own what they ask for even before making the demand. They see beauty in whirlwind – opportunities in chaos. How beautiful will victory be if there was no need to fight? That was what Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu did, he did not need to fight, he only made a demand when he knew it was time. Did Sun Tzu not admonish that it is by knowing ourselves that we win battles? Asiwaju simply knew the time to reap where he had sown over the years. Those who condemn him for making that statement never denied that he deserves to contest the election; they vilified him because they are jealous and lack the audacity to make legitimate demands. I do not hold the view that it is wrong to understand time. His declaration to run for the office of the president by going to the Aso Rock, quite unexpectedly, his campaigns strategies culminating in the ‘Battle of Eagle Square’ shows strategy and ingenuity. If Nigerians master the art of making legitimate demands and questioning attempts to cheat them of what they deserve, we will not become the world poverty capital.

I believe that one of the reasons people do not succeed at a venture to which they invest their resources and time is their failure to understand time. This contest has shown that if we understand when it is our time and turn, there is a tendency that we labour less and achieve more. The strategy of Emi Lokan holds the promise of helping individuals, organisations and states in understanding their responsibilities and expectations and making the right move at the right time. At a time when the world and indeed the black race squirms and screams for leadership and development, if Nigeria and Nigerians understand that Awa lokan, we will make more strategic choices in politics, policies and leadership and rise above the present ruins to lead Africa to become the doyen of a new world. When dealing with people who are selfish and believe that emi nikan (only me), you must also learn to demand your right and tell them Emi lokan!

Emi lokan carries with it the understanding of the burden of responsibility. Accepting to lead a people outside the woods rather than taking a piece out of the commonwealth which is called National Cake. Asiwaju smelt danger, confronted injustice even while it was being planned – he turned to politics before it turned on him, he brought down his adversaries and sustained wounds in Abeokuta but those scars became stars in Abuja. Everyone may not be pleased with his ways, but at least one person is happy he acted the way he did – himself. For the first time he made a demand and it was public and resounding. He has stated repeatedly that power is not served a La Carte and he clearly made a demand – he did not fight, he did not curse or cause chaos. Just a demand. Perhaps Emi lokan stems from many painful years of labour to build heroes, building several of them but realising that he is the finest of them. We often don’t realise that while building others, we are refining ourselves – perhaps his search for light pointed at him and he became the right person he has been looking for, leading him to cry out ‘Emi lokan’. When his enemies sowed fear, he refused to see it, he rather chose to see the other side of it. Many people underestimated his wit and they declared victory too early. For me, Asiwaju through this statement did what many thought he could not do, and he gave who cares to learn the audacity to dare. Asiwaju has been vindicated at the convention that he does not need to prove anything or defend himself – he only needs to be himself.

Many are surprised to see him in the company of those who set his traps so quickly but some of us would have been surprised if this did not happen. He embodies the kind of forgiveness which brings freedom, peace, happiness and progress all at once. This is one reason he has remained a bridge builder from the West to the East, North and the South of our country and beyond. He does not believe in ruining friendship and relationships.

He has clearly shown that he is a serious man with a serious purpose. He has turned mirrors into windows. He demystified his backstabbers and haters, and he punctured their over-bloated ego ballooned by eminimotoyist idea by those who forgot the road they rode to Abuja. Many brought themselves into political obscurity by forgetting the river from which they drank. Asiwaju has won the most important election of his lifetime: In one night, he became a character of two important verses of the Holy Bible: The Lord did not allow his enemies to triumph over him. He also prepared a table before him in the presence of his enemies, and He anointed his head with oil and the results of the primaries shows that his cup ran over. His political sledgehammer landed on their heads in one swoop, and they all went on their knees in submission to his political ingenuity. He exemplifies Oke – the mountain in Ifa divination system. When the hoes and diggers conspired against Oke, Ifa admonishes Oke not to be afraid as they shall all rub their mouth against the ground and Oke shall be victorious over them except Eji Ogbe ceases to be the King of Ifa. Just like you conquered your enemies, I pray that for every good thing that today and tomorrow holds, Emi Lokan!

• Okunola is a freelance writer who enjoys the theatrics of politics.

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