Name is everything. From Simerin to Australia, people bear names for many reasons. More than the purpose of identification, names carry serious meanings in Yoruba land. The elders even agreed in their wisdom that one’s household is a major reflection of the name a child bears. For instance, you get a clue that Adeniyan, Adeniyi, Adebayo etc are likely to posses royal blood in their veins. Likewise, you do not need to ask whether the god of iron is worshipped in some families when you see names like Ogundiran, Ogundele or Ogundipe.
There are names that tell stories of hurt, betrayal, joy, religious piety and heroism. Names document history and by them, a lot are etched in the sand of time. That is how powerful names could be in Yoruba land before the holocaust of misrepresented values occasioned by globalization and religious contortions. How Ogunjobi became Olujobi may still be studied tomorrow as we find a true path to our ancestry. How Ijabiyi became Stone in the name of acculturation is still a big social conversion. It is instructive to note that names matter.
Aiyedatiwa is before us today for a perfect x-ray. This time, we do not need to go into the scientist’s laboratory. We only need to query the thoughts of Hon. Lucky Orimisan’s forebears while giving out that name. What could have conjured that name? Were his forebears vilified to a point where they had victory? Did they stumble on so much luck that they agreed to the blessings of God in their conquest? Was the name a product of hard work, perseverance or what the Bible calls long-suffering? What could have propelled Aiyedatiwa? To what end is the inclusion of all in the name?
In Yoruba land, the pronoun ‘We’ (Àwa) is used to represent a group of people. Ẹni kàn kí ń jẹ àwa loosely translated as one person cannot be ‘We’. You should begin to ask why Hon. Lucky Orimisan’s forebears didn’t selfishly choose to be Aiyedatemi but preferred to be Aiyedatiwa. I am probing the sense of inclusion in the name. I am interested in the show of camaraderie in the name. I am lost in the ineffable joy of collective ownership embedded in the name.
Dear people of Ondo state, government exists to provide succor and create pathways for the majority of the people. This is what democracy has promised. Utopia doesn’t exist. No matter how you try, it’s nigh impossible to achieve that. Even in absolute monarchy, there is no way a king can please everyone. Even God who created us all has been accused of one error or the other by mankind. To do nothing in life will be to please humans who do not sometimes know what they want. If it rains, men cry. If it suns, men yell. The yardstick for excellence especially in a democracy will be to do good to the majority of the people.
As we behold Aiyedatiwa, a name that reflects collective faith in ourselves, collective ownership of our patrimony, inclusion in governance and prosperity of Ondo state, we are assured that serious progress will be made as we see governance as joint venture. It is instructive to note that development, no matter how novel should be about the people. How do we effect positive changes unless the people who direly need help are carried along in the development trajectory? How will they be carried along unless the leader who holds the position in trust for them deliberately include them? It is time to birth that inclusivity that we all yearn for in Ondo state.
Aiyedatiwa is beyond mere symbolism of inclusivity but a practical and divine arrangement to the fulfillment of Abraham Lincoln’s definition of democracy as government of the people, by the people and for the people. Aiyedatiwa L’Ondo.
Sunday Olugbenga Abire is Special Assistant on New Media to the Governor of Ondo State.
Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not of Precision Online Newspaper.