Pius Adesanmi,:

Reuben Abati, columnist and polemicist, once had cause to complain about
the penchant of Nigerian lawyers for prodigious Latinisms. It is not
unusual for two Nigerian lawyers holding an ordinary conversation in a
Lagos beer parlour to begin to sound like Julius Caesar's special
advisers with their "locus standi", their "pro bono", their "amicus
curiae", and their "mutatis mutandem" in saecular saeculorum!
Unfortunately, what is playing out between the Iruekpen and Egba
traditions lies beyond the province of Latinisms and Euromodernist
legalese. I'm actually interested in seeing that endogenous culture
contact/clash play out while hoping it would not eventuate in bloodshed.
That is what makes that continent tick! That is how it continues to
confront and confound the agon of modernity. We,
African(ist)intellectuals, are often unable to engage these dynamics
satisfactorily because we are saddled with Euromodernist epistemological
tools and prescriptions which alienate us from the "experience vecue"
(apologies to Fanon) of the real producers of the cultures we process
for consumption in academe. Hence we grumble about
"retraditionalization"; we evoke the need to "move forward" etc. The
good news? The lived experience of the people always knows when and
where to draw the line between itself and the schemes of modernity. It
is for instance gratifying to note that the Iruekpen people have
insisted that they are dealing with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, their son
in-law, husband of their deceased daughter and not with the President of
a modern nation-state. They have also insisted that they still have not
"heard" what happened to their daughter. President Obasanjo and the
local/international institutions of modernity (media) have disseminated
the news of her demise. Chief Obasanjo is yet to explore the traditional
avenues of contacting his in-laws to notify them officially of his
wife's death. It is apposite to turn some of Mr Yemi Oke's questions
around: when Chief Obasanjo went to Iruekpen to take a bride, did he not
know that you are given only the aye (the living) and not the oku (the
dead)in that part of the country? Did he not know that his bride price
did not extend to the oku? And when he offered to pay a fine, did he not
know that there are areas of the African soul that even modernity's most
powerful instrument - money - cannot touch? And why should the
abomination of an Egba man not burying his wife in Egbaland be more
equal than the abomination of an Iruekpen man burying his daughter
outside of Iruekpen land?