‘Who No Know Go Know’ – Fela Kuti, The Abami Eda, Resonates From Heaven, by Kola Johnson

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Nkrumah shout Tay we no hear,we no know

“We let am die,we no hear,we no know

“Who no know go know o o o,who no know go know

I say who no know go know o o,who no know go know”…..

Hmmmh! When the Afro-beat king-pin,Fela Anikulapo Kuti,a.k.a. Abami Eda (the weird one) came out sometime in the late 70s or so,with this epic hit, expediently reproduced above;with apology – in an imperfect extract – for want of exact recall – at the height of the economic recession in Ghana;in excoriation of the Ghanaians over the regicidal extermination of it’s revered ruler,the Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, little did it occur,that the same buck of karmic retribution would like a hydra-headed monster,soon negotiate a manorial foothold on the Nigerian hemisphere,for its bad turn on Awo.

At the apotheosis of it’s fame and Glory,the Osagyefo, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana wielded a primacy beyond rival contestation in African politics;in no less a grandiose scale in which he conjured a dominant imagery in the larger global scene – projecting Ghana to popular world acclaim.

Fela Anikulapo Kuti

Such was Kwame Nkrumah’s collosal stature in those days of treasured memory, that Ghana was literally Africa,and Africa,inversely Ghana,even if in connotative miscognition from the outer world, especially the Euro-American lens.

Those were the prevalent good old days, hitherto extant, until the disastrously stuporous dislocation,riding – as of course commonly known – via the beguiling diabolism of the C.I.A. the globally notorious apparatchik of the U.S. – using the treacherously disposed Euro-American myrmidon in the local space – who would in turn cash in on the expeditious absence of the legendary Ghanaian ruler – then on a diplomatic peregrination to Peking,to confer with Chairman Mao of the Republic of China,on the raging cataclysm of the Vietnam war – to oppiliate the great Ghanaian dream,and the festering global contagion of Nkrumahism – through a coup detat stage-managed on that fateful day of February 24,1966

Nkrumah’s turn in Conakry,Guinea,his exilic shift,would at least on the face it,seem like a continuum of the presidential grandeur of his earlier Ghana days.His Siamese twin appendage and affectionately bossom friend,Ahmed Sekou Toure of Guinea,would least allow a gaping deficit of the slightest minutiae – adorning him as he did,with the regal paraphernalia of a co-president of the Republic of Guinea,in compensatory consolence for his political buffeting,occasioned by the treacherous shenanigans of Ghanaian local lackeys of the American CIA.

But no place like home.Nkrumah longed for native Ghana,in restively hysteric tick-tock vigil,for a teleological wand of fate,to usher a pro-Nkrumah coup de tat,with intent to ride back on, to the treasured home of his ancestors – intensifying in the interim,from far away Guinea,his conscientization of the progressive bloc and the hoi polloi,back home,in his primordial native Ghana – divulgated via a spirited furore of Radio broadcast,later compiled in book form,titled “Voice From Conakry”

From optimism came a recession to jaded hope,as his stoic defences caved in to a depressive fit.Nkrumah eventually took ill of cancer;flown to Bucharest,Romania,where he eventually kow-towed to the weirdly ripper.

In a remark sententiously accusative of the teeming mass of Ghanaians as culpable machinators of Nkrumah’s evanishment,Amilcar Cabral of Guinea,could not have been more succinct when he expressed amidst mounting pathos of elegy,that Nkrumah actually died of the cancer of national betrayal.

Meanwhile,as the reactionary band of nihilists had relished in the truncated patroonship of the former Ghanaian ruler from the vessel of state, little did they advert to the portentous ramifications for the larger Ghanaian nationhood and it’s people,as the emergent post-Nkrumah’s Ghana,a nation hitherto the shining glory of Africa,wallowed in tumult,and the Ghanaian malady,defying the successive league of faineant potentates Kotoka,Ankrah,Africa et al.

Kofi Busia,a world renowned scholar and Oxford-educated professor of sociology and arch-enemy of Nkrumah,got there,only for this same enigma of the Ghanaian malady to
rubbish his Oxonian erudition and intellect.

Desperately out of his wits end,he woke up one day,bitten by a nightmare incubus.Suddenly,he had a brainwave,and in a startling next minute fury,he had sent hundreds of thousands of aliens packing in frenzied fit of callous ruthlessness that saw Nigerians – a lot of them born in Ghana – as emergent casualties of the most horrendous order – dislocated from their familiar primordial universe,to the Siberian winters of misery and uncertainties.

Ironically,the demographic option,rather than avail as a palliative, Ghana’s parlous economy ballooned to a complex web of intractable question,attaining an excruciatingly unbearable state,driving hundreds of thousands of Ghanaians from the frabjous bliss of familiar fatherland turning a licentiate bunch of nuisance in reproachful consolence with scrappy menial subsistence and unabashed beggarly buffons; just as the ladies were guttled in crass prostitution.A regal tribe of the Osagyefo; a tribe of proud noble carriage.Cry the beloved country.!

Fela Anikulapo Kuti

Passionately, Ghanaians longed for the Messianic conjury of their great leader – unfortunately oppiliated by the magisterial cosmism of the group karma, Ghanaians were fated to suffer,in penitent atonement for the fossorial rig of of sadism on Nkrumah’s bleeding heart

But as the karmic remission was to lay out in full course,in the celestial horometry – Nkrumah, subject to the nodding consent from the supervening karmic realm,said” let there be light”.Again,there was light.

As for Nigeria,the charnel house (grave yard) of its worthy heroes;they also killed Awo in the machiavellian conspiratorial parallel in which Ghana inspired the extinction of the legendary Osagyefo

Indeed,more than any Nigerian,living or dead,the great Awo dipped into his own personal till;in terms of his excruciating exertions in the strategic mental,physical, intellectual and spiritual – mortifying his flesh on the immolatory alter of spiritual and intellectual altitude – all deployed in their formidable armada,to the benevolent fructification of the Nigerian dream.

Ironically,the inverted code of reciprocal appreciation,as was often the vogue in our own peculiar clime,was such that hounded him on the mortifying crucifix of the most malignant persecution – immured in the gulag of the power cabals,for at most sheer phoney alibi,among subtle ignoble hostilities deemed beffitting of one of the most inspiring statesmen that had ever lived.

A moment that readily surged forth in memory was sometime in the Second Republic.That point in time,when the popular mass of the people were illusively temulent with the delirifacient opium of the oil wealth,Awo deploying his power of forensic disquisition,and sagacity, exercised a panoptic vision of the landscape,and what did he see:a portent of hard times ahead.

Quite as would have been expected of a quintessential statesman of his class,he sounded the reveille for the powers that be,to brace up – and what would we have in return for a supposedly patriotic buggle of a red alert,other than artillery shelling of the most devastating verbiage – with the aggressive and abrasive party hounds in the mould of the Sulaiman Takumas,Uba Ahmeds,Adisa Akinloyes,Umaru Dikkos,and of course,the Chuba Okadigbos,among others,at the Arrow -head of the mounting vitriolic offensive cascading with uncontrollable virulence in their pestiferous denigration of the man as a prophet of doom.

Economic Adviser to the then president,Alhaji Shehu Shagari – in the person of Professor Edozien was not wanting in the fray – dubbing the legendary sage a victim of macro-economic illusion.

Fela Anikulapo Kuti

In an article titled “The Unforgettable Awo” written in relatively recent years ago, Professor Gbadegesin formerly a U. S. based lecturer,and ex University Vice-Chancellor, recalled in stirring pathos of lamentation,how the NPN- led Shehu Shagari administration,would even afford to throw every sense of scruples to the dogs,amassing hard-earned public fund to send the party National Secretary,Adisa Akinloye to the UK,where he got grossly immersed in falsidical propaganda theatrics running helter-skelter,to virtually every perceivable,nooks and crannies,all in the stage-managed comic , phoney make-believe of debunking Awo’s well informed prognosis.

The ballistic railerys and revilement flew in their torrents ,with sustained and intensified gusto.Hitherto,it was unimaginable how just an unphysical sheer harangue could have literally fallen just short of the biblical crucifixion with all its sardonic brutishness,until the advent of that experience of which I was a privileged first hand witness

Indeed on this all-important reference,curious minds fired by an objective sense of truth and history would do well to negotiate a fossorial recourse to the archive.

Yet,this is just a tip of the ice-berg,of the burden the great Awo was fated to carry to the other-worldly realm of treasured memory,even though as they came,Awo bore the buffetings with stoic calm and dignified equanimity – but certainly not without vestiges of lingering scars;even if buried in the recesses of the deeper surreal subconcious

From the roof-top; the mountains and the moon,Awo cried himself hoarse; bebbluberred in effusive jeremiad pathos – exegeting on the time bomb of crucial national questions and the frenzied desperation demanded of urgent positive resolution.

To this,the great Awo gave his heart,soul,and blood and indeed his whole life.In his chequered Odyssey in the political hippodrome,he made this his abiding cant,creed and religion.He slept with it,woke with it,wined and dined in it,cogitated and soliloquised in it,ever chewing its thematic cud with rapt immersion of the alchemist in quest of the philosopher stone.He reached for the Mars and possibly beyond,in a furore of sustained lucubration.

He got the answer;mounted a terrimotive blitzkrieg of campaign spree;unequalled in modern history; in sheer scope,intensity and magnitude and the forensic pulpitry of a supremely superior order – essaying the problem;the panacea and the competent will and ability to connect the building bridge to fructification.

We rejected him,oppugned and stymied his sublime vision – styming by that logic,his subliminal will for further life experiencing.We killed him.

This is to express in succinct clarity,that Awo’s dramatic demise,just as in the pattern of Nkrumah, his friend and compeer in the ideological left wing,was causatively more of the depressive inability at salvaging the labyrinthine rudderlesness of the national vessel;his disappointment at the progressive purulence of the polity,the systemic dysfunction;the fading efflorescence of the Nigerian dream;the lamentable parlousness of the people’s plight,coupled of course with physical exertions of immensely flagellating proportion on the arena of political life absorbing a better part of him,sapping every ounce of his essence,for a transmogrifying heavenly turn

As the eerie pathos of mourning caressed the landscape attaining a zenith under the incumbent administration,Awo like Nkrumah his Ghanaian counterpart,is bebblubbered in morosive lament at the contemporary experiential conundrum of his teeming compatriots – a ready wand of conjury stretched in Messianic rescue – unfortunately checkmated by a disappointing repellance by the supervening karmic forces,for the group karma Nigerians must suffer for their dartled missile on Awo’s bleeding heart.

Who no know go know o o o

Who no know go know….

Hmmmh! Fela Abami Eda (the weird one) again resonates from the celestial heavenly; haranguing fellow Nigerian ingrates for their conspiratorial crucifixion of the great Awo.

Meanwhile as the karmic remission for the conspiratorial anti-Awo sadism plays out,a depressively melancholic Awo tarrys in bated breath frenzy, for the nodding assent of the higher Karmic Lords,to say let there be light.But when will that be? .

That memorable day, when Justice Sodeinde Sowemimo kow-towed to the pro-establishmentarian puppetry that saw Awo sentenced to prison on state-inspired trumped up treason charges,and he pleaded that his imprisonment might usher a pall of darkness for the nation,his ominous fore-boding would sure have been discountenanced as an escapist-self-serving- -way-out-stunt,meant to bail himself out.

Indeed throughout his lifetime,till the very moment he breathed his last,this immortal sage will never shy away to orchestrate even in an increasingly louder cadence the sardonic prognostication,for which he had harboured a tremulously grievous fears,and the need for a concerted serious and urgent step to circumvent it.

Unfortunately on such occasion,the automatic refrain was often that that prophet of doom,is at it again.

Today we now know better,who indeed is the prophet of doom,on one hand,and the political free-booters vandals and brigands,whose interest starts and ends with sucking the nation’s blood to the marrows.And of course by now,we all should be getting to grips with the fact that it’s not for nothing that this peculiar homo sapien is awesomely hallowed with the honorific epaulette of
the great sage.

Incumbent leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu deserves our prayers to surmount the burden of which he was an innocent inheritor.If the foundation is destroyed what can the righteous do.

*KOLA JOHNSON IS A WRITER AND JOURNALIST.

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