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Saturday, July 20, 2019

NAN DIRECTOR KILLED BY HIT AND RUN DRIVER AFTER WATCHING NIGERIA-ALGERIA MATCH, SEE PIX


A hit-and-run driver has killed Mr Christian Okoro, the Head of Technical Services of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Okoro, 50, was killed around `sharp corner’ area of Mararaba, along the Keffi-Abuja Road, while trying to cross the road to pick his car.
An eye witness account indicated that Okoro had gone to watch the Nigeria/Algeria AFCON Semi-Final encounter at a football viewing centre and was on his way home after the match when the speeding vehicle knocked him down and zoomed off.
He was said to have earlier gone for his community meeting and was heading home when he decided to join some friends to watch the crucial match.
“The car was speeding, so when it hit Okoro, the impact was very heavy on him. He died instantly,” the witness told NAN.
Meanwhile, Okoro’s corpse has been deposited at the National Hospital, Abuja mortuary, while a condolence register has been opened at the NAN headquarters in Abuja.
A senior Police officer, who confirmed the incident, described it as “saddening and unfortunate”.
“The matter has been reported to us and is being investigated,” the officer told NAN, craving anonymity.
Born on June 20, 1969 in Enugu-Ezike, Igbo Eze North Local Government in Enugu State, Okoro attended St. Theresa College, Nsukka, Enugu State before heading to the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu, where he bagged a Bsc in Electrical/Electronics.
He was a member of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), and the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN).
He joined the services of NAN on January 8, 2004 and steadily rose to become an Assistant Director, Technical Services.
He is survived by his widow, Cordelia, and four children.
The Acting Managing Director of NAN, Malam Ibrahim Mammaga, who led the management and staff of NAN to pay a condolence visit to his family, described Okoro’s death as “a huge loss” to the NAN family.
“The death of Okoro has robbed NAN of a dedicated staff. Okoro was a huge asset to the agency. He has left a vacuum that will be difficult to fill,” he said.
He prayed God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Alhaji Abdulhadi Khaliel, Head, Administration and Human Resources Management (A/HRM), who also reacted to Okoro’s death described it as “devastating and painful”.
“Okoro was a peace loving officer, who was committed to duty and always ready to learn,” he said.
Mr Julius Enehikhuere, a Deputy Editor-in-Chief, described Okoro as “a jolly good fellow and a committed staff who was always there for the editorial department”.
“We shall miss his team spirit and deep commitment to duty. His sudden exit is shocking to all of us. We pray God to comfort the family,” he said.
The agency’s Assistant Director A/HRM), Mr Moses Uzoagba, also described Okoro’s death as “a personal loss to me”.
“Okoro, apart from being a colleague, was my personal friend. We have been together for years and I will greatly miss him,” he said.
Another staff, Mr Livinus Ugochukwu, said that Okoro was a personal friend whose death had hit him like a thunderbolt.
“The news shocked me to my marrows; I am particularly sad because his children are still very young,” he said.
Mrs. Kemi Olumorin, who worked with Okoro in the office, described him as “a transparent boss that was always ready to listen to his subordinates”.
“He was approachable; he had a listening ear and was a good boss. He was a very considerate leader and could feel your pains,” she said. (NAN)

Lagos Governor, Sanwo-Olu At War with Party Members!



-Lᴀɢᴏs Rᴇᴘᴏʀᴛᴇʀs
The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is currently enmeshed in a silent war with prominent members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state over his choice of cabinet members. If not promptly addressed, the crisis may result to the governor inheriting the same fate that befell his predecessor, Akinwunmi Ambode.
Some days ago, Governor Sanwo-Olu transmitted 25 names of his choice commissioners and special advisers to the State Assembly for screening, but the list has been greeted with criticism from members of his party.
According to a source the party chieftains are of the opinion that Diaspora professionals who dominated Sanwo-Olu’s list can’t solve the enormous problems facing Lagos State because they can’t relate naturally with the problems like those on ground.
They have therefore expressed their grievances to the Governor, arguing that he can’t afford to abandon those who worked tirelessly for his election for most of the people in his list, who are just coming to reap where they did not sow.
Only Tunji Bello, Gbolahan Lawal, Toke Benson, Wale Ahmed and a few others are politicians who truly understand the Lagos game that are part in the list.
An APC stalwart told our Correspondent that the party hierarchy are “behaving like a lost dog who will not listened to the whistle of the hunter.” He claimed that “to show that they no longer care about the people and those who are loyal and worked for the success of the party in the last election, they included Tunbosun, son of former commissioner of information in the state, Dele Alake as a nominee in the list sent to the Assembly.”
He further argued that “what does the 28-year-old young boy know in the politics of the state apart from the fact that they’re compensating his father?”
Dr Akin Abayomi, Head of Department of Haematopathology, Tygerberg Academic Hospital and Professor of Haematology, University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town is one of the Diaspora professionals in question.
Also in the list is Rabiu Olowo, a Chartered Accountant (ACMA, CGMA), Certified Internal Controls Auditor (CICA), Certified in International Financial Reporting (ACCA Cert.IFR), and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) with an MBA from the University of Lagos.
He was appointed Training Director in Nigeria for the Texas-based Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) between 2010 – 2011. He currently serves as an Advisory Council Member with the global ACFE headquartered in Texas, USA.
He has significant experience in evaluating and developing Internal Control Systems for organizations that cuts across multiple industries from Banking & other Financial Services, Manufacturing, FMCG Commercial Operations & Supply Chain, Start Ups etc.
“ Though they will claimed that these people are technocrats but I want to tell you that we have surplus and sound professionals who are party members who also worked tirelessly during the campaign for the success of the party in Lagos State. Yes, most of the Nominees are giants in academia and should be the pride of any party but the issues here are more than Academic qualifications. The main issue for consideration is compensation and recognition for work done and which those that compiled the list have deliberately thrown to the dogs. The issue is about a systematic message being given to Lagosians that “Lagos is a No-Man’s-Land”and they are being brazen about it with the implication that Lagosians (Indigenes) do not have among them, party men and women that can fill these positions.
Many felt scandalized when the present Governor was nominated to replace the former and to the detriment of the indigenous party members. The former and the present Governors are from Ondo & Ogun States respectively. The irony is that, those perpetrating this “In your face shenanigans are the same people that frowned at an Igbo man becoming a Governor in Lagos State. That means, “what is good for the goose is no more good for the gander”?
Participation in Politics is anchored on the desire to use it as a route to be appointed and elected to serve your own people simply because the Law makes it compulsory to belong to a political arty.
To be honest, that list was given to Sanwo-olu and we are all aware of the source.
The perpetrators of the brazen action will get away with it this time around but a note of warning here. That is, nothing lasts (power) lasts forever. History is replete with such events and how Saraki’s hitherto invisibility was unraveled recently in Kwara State should be an abject lesson to the Power Mongers in Lagos State and very soon enough will soon be enough in Lagos too” ,said the party man.
.Another sore point in this whole drama is that many of these nominees doesn’t even have a voters card talk less of knowing anybody in political terrain in Lagos State.
Right now, the aggrieved politicians are waiting and hoping that justice will be done in the second batch of political appointees and that’s if there will be anything like that and if there is none they will only mumble and bemoan their fates.

US rapper, TayK,19, found guilty of murder, faces up to 99 years in prison



American rapper, TayK is facing between 5 and 99 years in prison after he was found guilty of murder.
A North Texas jury on Friday found Tay-K guilty of murder for his part in a home invasion robbery that left Ethan Walker, a 21-year-old father dead and another man wounded in 2016.
Jurors also found the 19-year-old guilty of aggravated robbery in the robbery and shooting of Zachary Beloate, who was wounded but survived.
Tay-K, whose real name is Taymor McIntyre, had pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of aggravated robbery related to two other victims inside the house. But McIntyre pleaded not guilty to capital murder in the death of Ethan Walker, 21, and to another count of aggravated robbery related to the shooting of Beloate.
He was first arrested in July 2016 on capital murder charges at the age of 16 alongside six other people. He was later placed on house arrest until certification hearings were to be held, but before that he and another suspect cut off their ankle monitors and went on the run.
McIntyre was later captured in May 2017.
The six other defendants involved with the case have been found guilty.
According to Star-Telegram, the jury deliberated about four hours over two days before returning its verdict on McIntyre's case. Had he been convicted of capital murder, he would have automatically been sentenced to life in prison with the chance of parole after 40 years.
Following his murder conviction and three aggravated robbery convictions, he faces five to 99 years or life in prison on each.

Friday, July 12, 2019

NIGERIAN PhD STUDENT DIES IN IMMIGRATION CUSTODY IN MALAYSIA


A Nigerian PhD student in Malaysia has died in the custody of that country’s Immigration Department, the Singapore based television Channel News Asia (CNA) reported on Friday.
Thomas Orhions Ewansiha died on Tuesday, apparently of seizure in his sleep,while in detention at the Bukit Jalil Immigration Depot.
Director General of the Immigration Department, Khairul Dzaimee, said yesterday that he was still awaiting the post-mortem report of Ewansiha, as well as a full medical report to identify the cause of death.
Dzaimee claimed that Ewansiha was among 20 foreigners picked up in an operation on Jul 4 at Desa Aman Puri in Kuala Lumpur, following tipoffs from the public and had attempted to flee during the operation but was captured.
He later produced his passport and was found to be holding a valid student pass upon further checks.
“The action of the subject in trying to escape created doubts on the validity of the student pass held by the subject,” Dzaimee said.
Ewansiha was suspected of committing an offence under the Immigration Act. He was held for 14 days for further investigations, Dzaimee added.
While undergoing the documentation process at the Kuala Lumpur Immigration office, he was provided with basic medical treatment by Civil Defence Force personnel as he had an old wound on his right leg, Dzaimee said.
Ewansiha did not inform Immigration officers of any sickness, he said.
The subjects detained in the operation – including Ewansiha – were sent to the Bukit Jalil Immigration Depot at about noon the next day. They were treated “appropriately” in accordance to the standard operating procedure (SOP) during detention, Dzaimee said.
At about 12.05am on Jul 9, the officer on duty was informed by the other detainees that Ewansiha “suddenly” had a seizure while sleeping.
“The Special Medical Unit on duty immediately examined and treated the subject and contacted Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Hospital (HUKM) for assistance,” said Dzaimee.
The assistant medical officer – who arrived with the ambulance at 12.30am – examined and assisted Ewansiha, but the student was later pronounced dead.
Following the incident, the supervisor and officer on duty lodged a report at the Bukit Jalil police station.
Limkokwing University of Creative Technology said in a statement yesterday that it was informed of Ewansiha’s death.
The 33-year-old was pursuing a PhD in Management at the university and is survived by a wife and two children.

Ayinla Omowura: 37 years after the sybarite !


On May 6, 1980, leader of a Yoruba genre of music called Apala, which had quite a sizeable number of cultic following, was stabbed to death on the head with a beer glass cup in a barroom brawl at Itoko, Abeokuta. Ayinla Waidi Omowura, son of Yusuff Gbogbolowo the blacksmith and Wuramontu Morenike, had finally been killed by the scary black club of Death which he had sung sarcastically about in two previous pieces of vinyl he did before his death. He died before getting to the Ijaye General Hospital, Abeokuta. On the day Omowura released each of the 20 albums he did for EMI, the company recorded at least 50,000 copies sale.
It took a few weeks after before fans could come to terms with the departure of a man who to some was the enfant terrible of Apala music; who, with an admixture of a quartet musical instruments of Sekere maracas, akuba, Iya-ilu and agidigbo, attacked societal ills in his characteristic acidic tongue. Omowura, though illiterate, projected the image of an ombudsman to the oppressed.
Born in 1933 in Itoko, Abeokuta, Omowura, as early as when he was in his teens, was said to have been apprenticed to his father’s blacksmithry trade. Unconfirmed sources said that while growing up, Omowura interspersed this early childhood vocation with acting as political thug to some politicians of the time. He was also said to have once been a driver.
By the early 70s, along with other Apala prodigies of the time like Haruna Ishola (who reportedly invented the genre), S. Aka, Ligali Mukaiba, Yusuff Olatunji, Kasumu Adio, S.K.B Ajao-Oru, Fatai Ayilara, Ojubanire Ajape Saka Tewogbade and others, he had successfully transformed not only Apala but his fortunes as well, into a genre of music that was not strictly the pastime of the Yoruba lower class as it was hitherto perceived. He recorded 22 albums. Omowura held society spellbound by his song, occasionally infusing his Egba dialect as a musical motif, delivered in a rich voice that was perhaps accentuated by his rumored passion for cannabis.
In his social critic garb, Omowura was the scourge of the then emerging fad of women bleaching (Volume 15, Oro kan je mi logun) where he compared, sarcastically, the body of a woman who bleaches with that of the frog and wondered why the white man does not, comparatively, flee after the black skin. His songs were also the nemesis of ladies who changed husbands’ houses like a chameleon changes color (Pansaga ranti ojo ola) where he espoused the concept of the Onibambashi — most likely a barroom argot — classification of such women. Paradoxically, Omowura was said to be the toast of married women beer salon operators in his Abeokuta and Mushin homes and on several occasions, had to engage their husbands in physical, as well as musical scuffles to assert his supremacy.
One of such was his justification of women running beer salons in his Oro mi dori o dori track which became almost a national anthem for fans of this bohemian Yoruba musician. In a very scurrilous attack which made him and his song almost like leprosy to feminists for his perceived anti-women biases, Omowura attacked societal malaise and projected a high moral universe. He sang with an authority of being in possession of a musical inspiration and mastery of his trade that verged on blatant arrogance. He tells his competitors, for example, that until the weaverbird gains easy access to the liquid inside the coconut pod could any one of them attempt to outshine his genius and that he is the alujonnu elere (musical gnome), having surpassed them all.
The high point for Omowura, who sang on virtually every domestic dislocation of his household, was in the late 70’s when he bought a brand new Mercedes Benz car. For this, a track entitled Merzi tun de, heralding the arrival of the musical behemoth on the music scene graced one of his albums and, of course as usual, coated with a caustic diatribe against his enemies who thought he had reached the twilight of his musical inspiration.
As a commentator on issues of the contemporary society, Omowura reeled out innumerable tracks either commending government policies, excoriating bad ones or warning society on ills strung round certain governmental and individual acts. In E fara m’Omobolaji, Brigadier Mobolaji Johnson’s tenement rate policy in Lagos state received his dissection and applause. He enjoined Lagosians not to kick against this laudable government policy but give support to Johnson and didactically, detail by detail, tutored his listeners on the process of the payment of the tenement rate. In another breath, Omowura sang about the 1976 Udoji salary increment (Vol 7) and like an informed commentator that he was, urged that the largesse be extended to the private sector (e je ka san’wo Udoji na fawon private companies).
His view of a musician was one who fully participated in the cumbersome process of dialogue and interrogation of the complex situational issues of society. When General Murtala Mohammed was assassinated, Omowura delved into a soul-inspiring, tear-jerking elegy (Dimka, eni o pa o!…) wherein he outlined the fallen soldier’s sparkling qualities while excoriating General and Colonel Iliya Bisala and Buka Sukar Dimka for plotting the fine soldier’s elimination. When the Obasanjo military government thereafter decided to have Murtala’s picture and name embossed on the Twenty Naira note and named the Lagos international airport after him, these again formed the subjects of his musical engagements.
He was one of the few musicians who paid tribute to a fallen colleague of theirs, Ayinde Bakare, who was found murdered after some days of frenetic search for him (Vol. 3). Perhaps if he had not been a musician, Omowura would have been a footballer. His love for the round leather game was reflected in his commentaries on some football matches played in the country that he obviously watched. The 1972 and 1974 Challenge Cup matches (which later became the titles of an album and a track in Vols. 3 and 6 respectively) between Mighty Jet and Bendel Insurance, as well as one between Enugu Rangers and Mighty Jet engaged his attention where he recaptured the events on the turf by doing a re-rendition of Eyimba eyi!, Rangers’ Supporters’ Club song, to cheer their clubside.
Among others, FESTAC ’77, a cultural event that attracted participants from all over the world, also attracted the musical commentary of Ayinla Omowura, also known by his fans as the Eegunmongaji or Anigilaje. As a prominent worshipper of the Yoruba god of iron, Ogun, wherein his notoriety and that of his musical ensemble got its renown, the Egba-born musician saw the cultural event as another avenue of pouring libation to the gods, this time by the government.
Commentaries that also engaged the attention of Omowura were the 1973 census, wave of robberies, change of driving path from left to right, the rumoured banning of wearing of lace materials for the rumoured belief that it courted armed robbery and several others. When, for example, Nigeria changed her currency, the musical crusader and commentator thought it fit to educate his long list of fans on the worth and look of the Naira denominations.
Like every other musician, women made up the coatings of his world. Those who knew him while alive spoke of an Haji Costly (one of his aliases), decked in the latest lace material in town, with a hanging, dangling necklace doing a swing on his neck, and a member of his band permanently stationed beside him to invite over any lady in whom he had a philandering interest.
Incidentally, however, his songs come across as anti-feminist as he hardly perceived anything of good in the womenfolk, except seeing them as commodities. For example, in his popular track entitled Enirobi simi, ibi a ba(Vol 15), a song which he used to dispel rumours making the round that he had been kidnapped by his enemies, in gutter-like acidic outrage against those he termed the peddlers of the rumour, Omowura easily took a shuttle to the maternal homes of the ‘rumour peddlers’ and categorically asserted that such people’s mothers were the ones who were suffering from a fit of malady.
Frustrated by the truancy of one of his sons, in Omo afekosofo, he sang about a child who rubbishes the joy of education offered him by a father who is ever ready to foot his education which is his joy of tomorrow. Education, he said, is more enduring than a wait on parents’ wealth. He reminded the prodigal son that his parents could abruptly go on a troubadour of no return for which the parents would give no prior notice and that truancy does not pay. Like a prophet, Omowura went on his journey without giving notice.
He spoke about Death’s morbidly dark complexion, dilating eyes and the prolific strikes with his club (iku oponu olodi ab’ara dudu hoho!) as well as the certainty of everyone’s death. He sang so masterly about death in an existentialist manner that reminds one of the existential philosophers’ treatments of death, especially the void of Martin Heidegger’s Sorge.
Omowura was very fetish like many musicians of his time. Incantations and curses lace virtually all his songs and husbands cross with their wives are recorded to see his LPs as temporary ego victories over such wives at home. He told any competing musician who had the gumption to belittle him on the bandstand to prepare to take his hands off life’s menu as such a defiant musician was done with the meals of this world and should prepare to start eating with the dead at the cemetery(Olorin to ba f’oju dimi lode, jije, mimu e tan nile aye).
His dirge at the death of Seriki Amodemaja, an Egba chief and prominent Ogboni fraternity chieftain, was a masterpiece in its own right. So also is the elegy to Akanni Fatai, also known as Bolodeoku. Both songs are spiced with his characteristic eulogy of the dead and philosophical interrogation of the concept, process and inscrutable essence of death. In the elegy to Amodemaja, Omowura mocks as well as dramatizes the inactivity and solemnity that follow death and the pain of the departure of a loved one. Coupled with another masterpiece celebration of life of another Ogboni chieftain in a track entitled Shifu Lawal Omopupa Oluwo,(Vol 6) with the cadence of his celebration of the edan,an insignia of Ogboni people and the masterly infusion he made of the music and dance of the Ogboni into this particular track, critics come to the conclusion that Omowura was himself a member of the cult.
Critics also locate the incident of his death in his perceived over-indulgence with violence and belief in the rescue potential of the talisman. An unconfirmed account of his death says that Ayinla Agbe’japa Oba – the Tortoise Priest of Oba, a section of Egbaland, whom he paid obeisance to in virtually all his albums; whom he, in one of his tracks, annoyingly equated with God by ascribing some omnipotent epithets to (Ogbagba ti n gba ara adugbo lowo ewu!) – who was also his spiritual consultant and advisor, his babalawo, had warned him of an impending bloodbath that week and forbade him going out for any musical show. Sure that danger only lurked at a musical engagement, Omowura had reportedly refrained from honouring any show that week but had gone out, this particular evening, with a friend to a beer parlour for relaxation.
Knowing the built-up animosity between him and his former band manager, Bayewu, who resigned from the band allegedly without handing over his official CD bike which Omowura had bought for him, this version of his death continues, a fan was reported to have rushed to meet him at the beer parlour to inform him that Bayewu was also at a beer joint not far off. An effusion of anger had reportedly seized Omowura as he drove hastily off to accost Bayewu. In the cause of the exchange of umbrage, the manager had reportedly hit his boss with a beer glass cup on the head, so mild that it ordinarily shouldn’t have led to death. Omowura had reportedly slumped, his tongue zooming out mysteriously. Another version of his death says Bayewu and Omowura were feuding over a woman friend and that the former had intentionally murdered his boss. The account’s defence of this conclusion was that, both of them had been handed frighteningly protective phials and concoction, with an incision done on Omowura’s head, which forbade blood touching his head. Bayewu was hanged by the state some years later.
Omowura picked quarrels easily with fellow musicians of the time as ferns are picked in a plantation. He was known to have at one time or the other feuded with Dauda Epo Akara, Ayinde Barrister, Haruna Ishola (whom he later did a track to pay tribute to as the numero unoamong musicians all over (ninu elere gbogbo agbaye pata o, Ishola mo fear e ju), among several others. It was indeed the feud with Barrister that later served as the foundation of the prolonged musical enmity between Barrister and Kollington Ayinla, a known musical surrogate of Omowura’s. Kollington was so committed to the Omowura enigma that his first known album was used to take a swipe at Fatai Olowonyo, Omowura’s Egba kinsman who also engaged in a bitterly violent musical war of supremacy with the late Apala exponent. They were both reported to have also engaged in physical battles on several occasions. Thus, when Omowura was assassinated, Kollington not only took on the form, tenor and pattern of Omowura’s music, but inherited his adversaries too, one of whom was Barrister.
In fact, most of the sharp-tongued tracks in Omowura’s albums a few years to his death, were references to Olowonyo who, as it were, seemed to be well out of the class of the late musician in the trade of gutter language. For example, in a track entitled E lewure wole, Olowonyo literally took Omowura to the cleaners, alleging that the Toyota car he had just bought was acquired from the proceeds of theft of neighbours’ sheep and goats, among other pungent punches that indeed visibly hurt Omowura. Alao Adewole, Omowura’s lead drummer, in the group’s next album, had to prologue the leading track with a talking drum symphonic reply to Olowonyo’s tirade, asking the world to, e wo man yi to so pe mo gbe’wure (look at this man who claimed I stole goats!). Omowura himself later came up to tell the world to cultivate a fighting arena for him and his challenger, so as to determine who was the champion in his E fa’won were sile (Volume 6). He said those poking fun at him for purchasing the Toyota did not even possess the bike of the palm wine-taper!
Olowonyo thereafter went personal in his attacks on Omowura, deriding eegunmongaji’s dark, tobacco-stained teeth and drooping lips. Stung by this jab, Omowura was said to have contacted a dentist who bleached his tobacco-stained teeth. As a follow-up, Olowonyo again did another LP where he acknowledged that indeed, Omowura had found an answer to his burnt teeth but demanded where he would find answers to his flabby lips. In a solemn, escapist reply, Omowura then told Olowonyo that he who had found favour in the sight of the world, the world would in turn overlook his inadequacies (eni aye n fe o larun kan lara). Rumours had it that, frustrated at this barrage of mud-slinging, Omowura had eventually gone talismanic against Olowonyo, culminating in his popular track, A ti fi’koko de won monle (I have shrouded his essence in a black pot), which fans saw as a spiritual binding of Olowonyo, who, thereafter, even after Omowura’s death, had hardly produced an album, almost forty years after. Such was the nature of the musical supremacy squabbles of the time. A few years before his death, Omowura had gone to observe the holy pilgrimage in Mecca. It was said that it was during this pilgrimage that he and Olowonyo decided to mend fences.
Omowura also, along the line, feuded with and sang to abuse his lead drummer, Adewole, in a track entitled Nibo lowa ta o ri lode? (Vol. 15) where he urged Adewole to send an application to him to become his cook rather than attempt to establish another musical outfit. He even claimed that the LP Adewole managed to produce was so inferior that it could not be marketed, necessitating him hiding the sleeves underneath his agbada in shame. Omowura, however, later celebrated the resolution of the rift in a track entitled Ipari ija Ayinla pelu Adewole (Vol 18) while blaming his enemies for the prolongation of the tiff and their desire to have it fester.
Omowura’s classic tribute to Yusuff Olatunji after the demise of the respected musician is considered today as, not only a strong philosophical composition unique only to Omowura, but equipped with all the trappings of a human quest to know the logic of death’s strike. Omowura wondered, for example, in the vinyl, how, with the famed resistance and melodious goje flute of Olatunji, death could be so callous, unfeeling and insulated from good rhythms that it could ever pull down a big mansion that the death of Olatunji represented to the music world.
Despite his talent and inspiration, Omowura was blessed with a crop of equally talented composers who made his job of singing a lot easier and he acknowledged their composition in his songs. Men like Bashir Igbore, Razaq Tuntun, Aremu Orifogo, Ateni Se Mess and others acted as guiding spirits to Omowura and he generously and liberally tapped from their compositions, with acknowledgements.
Omowura lamented his illiteracy and tried to rise above its limitations. In 25 X 40 for example, he tried to impress it on his listeners that his unlettered disposition could not vitiate his intelligence. The desire to one day travel abroad (abi London ti e wi ti ya?, bo s’America a jo n lo ni, etc) featured prominently in his songs, so also a fervent wish to be around to witness the good of his children which he expressed in very deep Yoruba (isu omo a jinna fun wa je). Unfortunately, he never lived to witness both.
In spite of his limitations and foibles, Omowura remains a great musical beacon in Yorubaland and the eternality of his advocacies and evergreen texture of his songs are beginning to be seen by a Yoruba world that shut its mind off his melody, musical scholarship and social criticism, simply because of his low class, illiteracy and obsessive identification with the rejects of society.
Adedayo, PhD, is an Ibadan-based journalist.