Monday, 20 June 2016

Day MKO was attacked at Oba Market by Area Boys


By on 12:05
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Jamiu Abiola clears Dad's name in hisnew book
Moshood hit the ground running with his new business. He began sales in front of his father’s compound. At first he made no profit but within a year there was a slight improvement. He had discovered new areas like Ikoku and Ikija where firewood, for an unknown reason, was always scarce. He focused on those areas and was able to expand his business rapidly.

After his first year he could afford to hire a truck to convey his goods, and because the truck came with a driver, he had company on the way. But on his first trip to Oba with the truck, he had an unpleasant experience. He had just arrived at the same place that he bought his firewood when an angry middle- aged man with a swollen jaw and a big forehead approached him. “You are not from here. I am sure that you can’t trace any of your family roots to Oba but yet you have done well from our resources. Before you walked to get here but now you own a truck”
MKO Abiola; The Star Boy

After greeting the man, and tilting his head downward in accordance with the Yoruba traditional way of greeting older people, Moshood explained to the man, who must have been at least three times his age, that the truck was not his. He also said that he was grateful to the community for allowing him to buy firewood from there. The man hissed then walked away. Feeling very uneasy, Moshood carried on with his business. He greeted the elder firewood seller from whom he always bought his goods and who had witnessed the scene.

That day’s negotiation was lengthier than any previous one. Moshood had come with a truck to buy a much larger quantity, which he believed entitled him to a sharp discount, but the old man refused to see things that way. “My son, you might be hearing me but you are not listening at all. This product is as scarce as a bat in broad daylight. That is why the price cannot come down even if you come with fifty trucks” Moshood did not relent. “This is the first time that I am hearing that-I mean listening to news that firewood is scarce. And if you are not careful sir, this will be the last time that I will come here. I will simply go elsewhere”
The old man, probably tired of talking, caved in and gave him a discount. It was not as big as Moshood had hoped for. Moshood inspected the firewood and paid him. Then with the help of the driver, he began loading the wood into the truck. But all of a sudden the same man that he had seen before suddenly reappeared, and this time with four other men about the same age.

“I knew envy was behind your actions. But why? After all you younger folks have always been advised to exploit what we have in Oba. But of course such words fell on deaf ears until now that you have seen a small boy doing what you have all failed to do” 

MKO & Dad, Chief Salawu Adenekan

The man pointed at Moshood and shouted. “That’s him. That’s the rude boy I told you guys about. He’s tiny but don’t be deceived by his size. He’s a greedy brat” Moshood was frightened. The men moved toward him and he knew what was next. They would beat him up and steal his money. The firewood seller moved unbelievably fast and stood between him and the men. He was furious. “Anyone of you who does not respect my age or fear my curses should dare lay a finger on this boy” He stared at them in disdain. “If the likes of you are the future generation of this village then we are doomed”

The men froze. There was hardly anything that men in the village feared more than the curse of an old man. Watching the way that the men looked at one another, Moshood realized that they did not know how to handle the situation. Finally the man who had instigated the conflict looked at Moshood and asked. “Why were you rude to me? You think you are better than me, don’t you? I am here to teach you a lesson”
Moshood defended himself. “I was not rude to you, sir. I greeted you politely when I saw you and told you that I am not the owner of this truck”. Referring to the old man, Moshood added, “Baba was a witness. He saw everything

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The old man confirmed his statement. But instead of reacting to that, the man changed to a much more complicated topic. “The real issue at hand is the people of Oba. We will remain victims as long as others, and not us, are the ones who gain from our resources. Even a small boy like you has become a usurper.”
Moshood was tired. He wanted to leave. The old man reacted to the comment. “I knew envy was behind your actions. But why? After all you younger folks have always been advised to exploit what we have in Oba. But of course such words fell on deaf ears until now that you have seen a small boy doing what you have all failed to do”  He paused briefly. “But it is not too late to start trading in firewood. I will even offer you a better deal than him because you are inhabitants of Oba. Your success will make the whole community proud”
The men looked apologetic. This encouraged Moshood to say something. “If any of you decide to trade in firewood, I can be helpful with the marketing. The demand is growing every day”.

The GDA with the Author of The President That Never Ruled, Abdul-Jamiu Abiodun Abiola

They ignored him. But they apologized to the old man before dispersing. Moshood thanked the old man and left as well. Once he entered the truck, the driver scolded him. “Why did you tell them of the high demand for firewood?”
Moshood smiled, and after a long silence, he explained. “My father always says that anyone who is not willing to share what he has is unworthy of what he has or what he wants to have”

(Excerpts from the book, The President Who Never Ruled by Jamiu Abiola; get copies in any book shop across the world or write Jamiu Abiola through jamiulinguist@yahoo.com. Read How MKO became a Musician & Newspaper Editor in our next post on this blog)

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