Tolani Ajayi is a name recently tossed in the news, I dare say, probably for the wrong reason. I’ve heard that name too. I’ve said ‘probably’ because I don’t assume the stance of the average public, who wouldn’t waste time to condemn the criminal act you, a 21-year old 300 Level undergraduate of History and International Relations at the Redeemer’s University, Redemption Camp along Lagos/Ibadan expressway, have committed. It was reported that you stabbed your father, Charles Ajayi, who happened to be a preacher and Senior Advocate of Nigeria before his death.
In retrospect, you have your mother and sibling to apologize to, saying anger made you kill your father and that you regretted your action. You also said in spite of your history of using drug (no tag), you were not under the influence of any such thing when the incident happened. However, trust Nigerians, it is most convenient to do a hatchet job on others without appreciating the fact that they (like everyone else) need a similar treatment. So, bone that side.
Whatever happened to “Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart”. The people who claim to believe such a scriptural quote are the same persons who have become the ‘man’ looking at your eventual action and condemning you, lazily and without so much effort at objective introspection. “Tolani Ajayi killed his father, then, he is a bastard”. That seems rather obvious but we should admit that the quite obvious sometimes, and oftentimes, may not be the reality. There’s the likelihood of a lion been concealed in sheep. Well, should I call him inexperienced, untraveled and unreasonable who concludes that “Since I’ve never seen it before, then there can never be such a Nissan Car with a Volkswagen engine running in it”? Of course not, I’ll just remain silent and walk away in order to avoid him rubbing off on me. Ignorance!
Of course, anyone would have heard from such members of the group who ‘sleep, facing a similar direction’ such other clichés as “That boy killed his father, he is using drugs”. I’m not surprised. And I do not expect anyone to be surprised at this level of thought of average Nigerians, or other nationals, of contemporary existence considering the new trends. Just a few people have managed to retain the reading culture that liberated souls before us and open up to us the world and the almost imperceptible elements that make the world what it is. More do not even know there’s a culture called the reading culture. Many more have given in to shallow thoughts, or no thought at all and if any thought would be permitted at most, then it just has to be thoughts of pleasure (music, food, sex, movies, play, add-more-items…). Who cares about really doing justice to any issue; who does? Well, not that it matters in certain spheres.
Please, come with me. I see a purple table in a room, dimly lit by a red bulb and just because too much analysis of a situation takes off a part of one’s time for pleasure, one jumps at the conclusion that the table is purple and nothing else. Let me inform you quite aptly that a blue table will appear purple under red light. You know that, for a fact. So, if you’re asked what the colour of the table is, the correct answer is not ‘Purple’ but ‘Purple under red light’. That answer assumes you don’t know what the true colour actually is but you’ve provided us an answer that lets us know the relativity of the situation. The actual thing to do is to view the table under the red light; then, go the extra mile by taking out the table to be viewed under white light. If practicable, the table can be viewed under various lights; only then can an objective response be offered.
Bringing us back to the issue, you killing your father doesn’t necessarily make you a bastard or a drug user. Even if you’re both, not all bastards or drug-users kill their fathers and not all those who kill their fathers are bastards or drug-users. It may be critical for us to unlearn and relearn the things we have known and be home with the true definition of words and terminologies. As religious and secular believers, we need to adapt whatever it is we believe to contemporary situations we find ourselves. “As you lay your bed, so you lie on it” isn’t a law that can be circumvented just like no one can cheat nature.
Having said that, in no way will lAkUnLeScReWs justify murder. Murder is criminal and a murderer must face the full wrath of the law as prescribed by the authorised agents of the law. However, certain codes are essential to guide the social relations of man and his neighbours, especially as it concerns passing an unbinding sentence on others. You see a car speed past you on an occasion and few revolutions of your car’s tyres forward; you find that that car turned upside down, the tyres still rolling in the air. Of course, even this writer will conclude, “Crazy; he sped too fast. I wonder why they never exercise patience.” Hmmm. Wait a minute…isn’t it likely…; I mean, wait a minute…is it not at all possible that the accident was not entirely due to over-speeding or not at all due to over-speeding? The driver could have lost control of the car, right? Not good enough? ok. A man gets drunk daily that he sleeps shamelessly and habitually in a dirty gutter. Hmmm? Is it a possibility that his wife pushed him too hard to that point? I know several unofficial Judges will ask, ‘why must he resort to drinking to evade his wife’s problems?’ But hey, the world is a free place. If the God-believing people claim that God gives humans free-will, then, why is it so hard to “Live and let live”? Why do we always expect others to be like us? Even adopt our weaknesses? Or we claim not to have any? God gives freewill to people, who are not ready to freely give freewill to others.
Tolani Ajayi, I know very fittingly that you didn’t pick up a knife, went into the room of your father where he was resting peacefully and without having done anything, you stabbed him. I’m sure there must have been some provocation. And I also know that you reacted the way you did for several reasons. One possible reason is because the sensitivity of your mind has been altered due to drugs even though I understand you were not under its influence at that time. It could also be that your father constituted an albatross around your neck, depriving you of the ‘real’ joy you crave. Oh, how about this…of course, I know…it could be that your father doesn’t just understand you; he doesn’t know your innermost feelings, your desires, your inclinations, your faith and all that. He has always imposed his personal wishes and likes on you and you tolerated him for years. Just a possibility! He was never there to groom you. JAP! He forgot to fully implement, a Pastor that he was, that Bible verse “Train up your child in the way he should go and when he is old, he’ll not depart from it”. Rather, he subscribed to the pajawiri (emergency) approach. JAP!
However, I need also tell you that the deed is done. It should not have happened. There are better ways to show your grievance and your deviation from a path that was being imposed on you. Obviously, not death. But if you only acted out an instruction in a book like “The Maffia Manager by V”, then maybe I should be at a loss knowing who to blame. You, for picking up the book in the first place, reading it and obeying instructions? Or your father, for neglecting your growing years and not really bonding with you to know the kinds of books you read, the friends you keep and the trend of your growth in order to be able to politely influence your growth? Now, your father is dead and it happened with your hands. Like a brave soldier, brace yourself to face the full wrath of the law as may be spelt out to you.
P.S.: Goodbye, Bamidele Aturu, 49.
Bamidele Aturu “came to prominence as a fighter against power abuses when, as a member of the National Youth Service Corps, he refused to shake the hand of a military administrator of Niger State, Col. Lawan Gwadabe in 1988 during his NYSC passing out parade declaring that the military had caused great harm to the democratic aspirations of Nigerians.” – Sahara Reporters