“Theresa May greets Prince William with awkwardly low curtsy during visit to new rehab centre”
….Theresa May, the serving Prime Minister’s “Yoruba” style, curtsy to greet Prince Williams, was a symbol of respect to both the individual and the institution of the monarchy. Olusegun Obasanjo, a former president of Nigeria, would repeat the public respect for individual and traditional institutions by prostrating to the Ooni, a far younger man in public, but all that changed with Omoyele Sowore, a presidential aspirant refused to prostrate to the Ooni of Ife.
WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED?
Sowore’s online publication, Saharareporters, acknowledged his refusal to prostrate, but withdrew the story this way: “PAGE NOT FOUND The requested page “/2018/09/11/refusing-prostrate-sowore-and-takeitback-movement-tear-gassed-ooni-ife%E2%80%99s-palace” could not be found.”
“PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the meeting was scheduled for 12 noon but was delayed because the monarch did not show up until about 3:00 p.m. Mr Sowore, Publisher of Sahara Reporters online newspaper, protested the delay and initially refused to prostrate to the monarch, the gesture of homage tradition demands for the monarch.” https://www.premiumtimesng.com/regional/ssouth-west/283125-sowore-aac-members-attacked-at-oonis-palace.html
The line that captured the paradigm shift, was this: “initially refused to prostrate to the monarch”…it would have far reaching strategic implications on his presidential ambition.
THE MAGNETIC PRINCIPLE OF THE CENTRE OF INFLUENCE AND ITS SPHERE OF INFLUENCE.
If the Centre of influence is a magnet, then the areas around the magnet that can attract a metal to the magnet, called the magnetic field is the sphere of influence of the magnet.
The throne of the Ooni of Ife is a cultural magnet, that builds a magnetic field around whoever sits on it.
Central Intelligence Agency’s World Facts Book puts the percentage of Yorùbá in Nigeria at “21%” (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ni.html)
Based on this percentage, by the CIA, Wikipedia puts the population of the Yorùbá at over 40 million.
“The Yoruba constitute over 40 million people in total. The majority of this population is from Nigeria, and the Yoruba make up 21 per cent of the country’s population, according to the CIA World Factbook, making them one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa”
Based on this: The potential (not the actual) sphere of influence of the chair of the Ooni of Ife is over 40 million people.
Anyone who sits on the chair of the Ooni has a potential sphere of influence of over 40 million people. This number can swing votes away from anyone who is disrespectful to an Ooni, Chief S. L. Akintola (as we shall see in part 2) by his disagreement with the Ooni at the time; Oba Adesoji Aderemi, turned those potential numbers against himself.
Sowore had reenacted the political blunder of Akintola (as we shall see in part 2). By refusing to prostrate, he swung 40 million potential votes against himself, that so far is the worst political blunder by anyone in the 2019 presidential race.
THE 9 STRATEGIC WHYs OF CENTRE OF INFLUENCE AND SPHERE OF INFLUENCE
1: Why do young writers seek a more accomplished writer to foreward their books and display the name of the older author on the cover page?
Answer: The older writer is the centre of influence that makes his/her sphere of influence available to the younger writer.
2: Why do people seek political endorsements?
Answer: To “inherit” the sphere of influence of the one that endorses them.
3: Why was Tinubu attached to Abiola, for the same political reason, Nnamdi Azikiwe was attached to Herbert Macaulay?
Answer: Both men inherited the sphere of influence of their various principals. Zik, inherited Herbert Macaulay’s and Tinubu Abiola’s.
4: Why do politicians in a state like Delta, go and greet Ibori, even with his negative record?
Answer: Ibori is the strongest political centre of influence in the state, with the equally strongest sphere of influence, even when in prison. That sphere of influence, is a potential political leverage.
5: Why did the entire, house but one in Kwara, move with Saraki to PDP?
Answer: Saraki is the single strongest centre of influence with the largest sphere of influence there.
6: Why did a comparatively unknown underdog called Ambode, defeat a more popular Jimi Agbaje?
Answer: Ambode leveraged on Tinubu, the one man with the single largest centre of influence, that controls the largest political sphere of influence in the state.
7: Why did Femi Pedro, drop out of political relevance, when he fell out with Tinubu?
Answer: He disconnected from Tinubu, the centre of political influence in Lagos and fell out of the sphere of influence of Tinubu, loosing electoral value in the process.
8: Why did APC go after an Akpabio, who has a questionable financial record that is contrary to Buhari’s anti corruption claim?
Answer: Buhari desperately needs votes from the South South and what looks like a plea bargain arrangement was used to attract Akpabio, the man with a strong centre of influence whose equally strong sphere of influence is need by Buhari, if Buhari is to get the national spread required to return to office.
9: Why did Buhari put Nnamdi Kanu out of circulation?
Answer: Nnamdi Kanu is the one single individual whose centre of influence commands the largest sphere of influence in the entire South East and is a strategic threat to Buhari’s 2019 intentions.
All the answers to all the questions, lie in understanding the impact of the magnetic principle the individual’s centre of influence has on the sphere of influence around him!
When Sowore was rude to the Ooni of Ife, he was strategically ignorant of the fact that he was not only rude to the Ooni (the Centre of influence) but to 40 million Yorùbá within, the sphere of influence of the traditional ruler!
…..that amounts to political suicide!
HOW IT WORKS:
Scene 1: The population of a given people is 40 million.
Scene 2: Of the number (in a hypothetical sense of assumption) 10 million are apolitical.
Scene 3: The politically active population are assumed to be 30 million.
Scene 4: A young man called Mr Young, who aspires to a political office, is a “centre of influence”, whose sphere of influence is worth 10,000 people.
Scene 5: 10,000 out of 30 million?
Scene 6: Another man called Mr old is a “centre of influence”, whose estimated sphere of influence of a 15 million people.
Scene 7: If Mr Young gets an endorsement from Mr Old, the strength of Mr Young’s centre of influence measured as his sphere of influence would be 10,000+30 million.
Scene 8: If Mr Young looses the endorsement from Mr Old, the strength of Mr Young’s centre of influence measured as his sphere of influence would remains at 10,000, without the 30 million! This is politically dangerous.
PRINCIPLE OF SUBSTITUTION
My Young is Sowore and Mr Old is the Ooni.
Scene 8: is the graphic illustration of what Sowore, by refusing to prostrate, has done to himself!
IMPLICATIONS OF SOWORE’S ACTION ON HIS PRESIDENTIAL AMBITION
He self disenfranchised himself, in his ethnic strong hold.
With Buhari’s ethnic polarization of the country (the worst since independence, made worse by his recent appointment of another Northern to the super saturated Northern dominated security team). Viewed within the context of the global right wing revival (many thanks to Donald Trump) Sowore would most likely have one trouble too many, self created problems at home by his rudeness to culture (for an insult on the Ooni, is an insult to culture) made worse by the Yoruba/Igbo rivalry, the born to rule attitude of the “hawks” of the ruling caliphate, and the unpredictable nature of the South/South and Middle belt, from Mr Sowore’s perspective, it seems he has imploded and foreclosed his chances….he is politically still born!
However a comprehensive research before the elections and an exit poll after will, paint a clearer picture.
1. Who are the professionals (if he has any) that make up his think tank and what specific portfolios do they handle?
2. What is his crisis management doctrine, and how has it been deployed in this reputation set back called disrespect to the Ooni?
……and the political novice imploded his votes.
Values in the traditional context of the word are a powerful political tool if deployed correctly. In Yoruba land a male prostrating to an elder is a sign of respect, that can collapse the sphere of influence of the elder to the one who prostrates before him.
To be rude to an Ooni, while having a political intent, amounts to suicide. For the Ooni is the living symbol of cultural values, to be rude or disrespectful to him is to turn a large chunk of the Yorùbá race against you in two major ways….. logic and emotions
SOWORE THE POLITICAL ANTICLIMAX OF 2012 JONATHAN.
Jonathan understood the strategic point of the power of centre of influence and its effect on sphere of influence, in a political sense. As a serving president in 2012, he knelt before Pastor Adeboye for prayers, the effect of that tactical move on Pastor Adeboye’s sphere of influence was politically electric, Jonathan collapsed the vast sphere of influence of the respected clergyman, it paid off!
On December 15, 2012, Pastor Adeboye prayed for him,while he knelt down (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsBmugKjFkY/).
That simple act of humility collapsed Pastor Adeboye’s sphere of influence for Jonathan’s political benefit, on the contrary, the arrogance of Sowore to the Ooni, has turned away the sphere of influence of the Ooni from him, with damaging political consequences on his presidential ambition!
Jonathan again tried to pull it off again, before Pastor Adeboye and at another venue before traditional rulers, in the South West, it back fired! His reputation had gone head of to compromise his intent.
To be continued….
Amaso Jack, is a political strategist and analyst, he lectures at Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos State.