His Majesty asked for a council briefing meeting today to hear our views of issues facing the kingdom and him as a the new king. We were asked to come prepared with a list of pressing issues in priority order.
One matter dominated that meeting; that of the British and their activities around the coast and elsewhere, stripping natives of their cultural identity and in most cases denying them their human dignity.
During the meeting, we the chiefs, made no bones about our concerns about the British presence continuing to cause a source of intimidation to our people and culture on account of their trying to convert us to their own way of life; a way of life which demeans others and their cultures when they refer to other human beings as savages, though they themselves are no better in any shape or form.
During the reign of our late king Omo n’Oba n'Edo (His Majesty Adolo), the council received news from the Oba of Abeokuta concerning receiving many copies of the book they call the bible in different languages with a personal message from the queen of England that she hopes that the books will show him just how much she values the word of her God, a strange god to the Yoruba people. This same queen had sent another King a finely bounded copy of the same book (her bible) with the message that the so called bible is the secret of her country’s Greatness. As a discerning people, we the Edo and the royal council in particular, agreed to treat this queen of England and her bible with caution as we do not need another god, we already have an effective one of our own.
What was most peculiar to us then was why grown up adults on account of receiving a finely bounded copy of a book with words of a strange god give up their way of life and adopt a hierarchical one; one which this new god sanctions, why is it okay in this new god’s eye for some people to be superior to others but only so long as they believe his own words. This story of the British just did not add up and was very unimpressive indeed.
His Majestywondered how the British were receiving news of his succession to the throne and what their next move might be; we needed to be prepared.
Chief Omonzuci, one of the Uzama chiefs suggested sending word to our boys with the British for an audience with the council. Reliable and fast messengers will be dispatched in the morning with this directive, His Majesty and the council will meet with them in one moon's time (one month) here at the palace.
So who are these boys? Our boys are some of our people who work for the British. Some of them have done well by being sent to England to be educated so that they can interpret for the consuls when dealing with the local chiefs. However as the British treat them badly particularly by referring to grown up men as 'boy’; their loyalty leans more heavily towards a culture that respect their human dignity as such their loyalty to the crown and our people is never in question. More about them later.
The meeting ended on a very positive note, His Majesty Omo n’Oba n'Edo seems much geared up to taking up this British challenge; with our full backing of course!
Long Live the King!Chief Irriah