I must declare thus: I am neither a fan nor a foe of Senator Babafemi Ojudu. Apart from the fact that we both hail from Ekiti (he, a son and I, a daughter of the soil) and that we’re both alumni of the Great Ife, our paths cross no further. I’m in the academic world, while he, Ojudu, currently plays on the political turf.

Ojudu is Mendacious. He is the God of illusions. To be mendacious is to be given to, or characterised by deception or falsehood. I find it spectacular, yet repugnant that the man Ojudu fits perfectly into this description. That is the impunity with which he plies his trade.

Ojudu is the master of deception, craftiness and treachery. In fact, he is the Duke of Deception. A demigod of deceit and manipulation. He lies bare-facedly. I liken him to Dolos, the God of trickery and guile. . So tricky and cunning is he that he could even trick the gods into believing his lies. He lies with impunity and he lies unashamedly. He is of the philosophy that a lie oft repeated and oft un-disclaimed passes for the truth. He lies everytime and anytime about everything and anything. Ojudu will never tell a story except it involves him playing some heroic role. He is ever willing to trick everyone into believing that he is the Special One in Ekiti politics and no one has governed, nay, can govern the state without putting him into reckoning.

Again, like I said earlier, I am not a politician and I am not going to hold forte for any. If it pleases them that Ojudu, the master of cunning deception, craftiness and treachery should continue to be relevant, so be it.

But, Ojudu interests me in no small measure as the most prolific lier Ekiti has ever produced. It doesn’t matter to him if it produces a “kiss-and-tell” result, exposing those he calls his mentors as weak and desperate politicians, while he is the hero and Mr. Fix it of the struggle. Imagine, Ojudu is the one linking everyone to everyone, without anyone linking him to anyone. Ojudu recently told the whole world that the VeePee, who he works directly for, has no influence in the government as the Number Two man. More recently, he narrated how he and a political mentor of his were busy running after some political thugs in their desperation to influence the outcome of an election, to the extent that it was even one of the thugs that thought him what to do. Yet, the person he was doing it for his sake was ignorant of all the moves! Mindlessly, he narrated how he contacted corona-virus at a bosom friend’s party, because people were falling over themselves to greet him as a hero of sort! That is the Ojudu I am talking about here.

Ojudu gives no hoot about how people take his yarn, in so far as he is spinning it and riding it like a cartoon hero. This is one hero that would spin lies to implement the means for the defeat of his friend and justify it by stating that it was a contingency plan for any “just in case” scenario. So no regret of any sort.

Ojudu competes favourably with any trickster in history. Like any famous trickster, he achieves his ends through the use of trickery. A trickster may trick others simply for their amusement, they could be a physically weak character trying to survive in a dangerous world, or a personification of the chaos that he needs to function.

Tricksters violate principles of social and natural order, playfully disrupting normal life and then re-establishing it in their own favour. Tricksters can be funny, cunning, foolish or all. They openly question, disrupts or mock authority. They are fond of breaking rules, boasting about their imaginary exploits and playing tricks on the people.

Many cultures have tales of their own trickster, who is crafty and who uses cunning to get food, steal precious possessions, or simply cause mischief. In some Greek myths Hermes plays the trickster. He is the patron of thieves and the inventor of lying, a gift he passed on to Autolycus, who in turn passed it on to Odysseus. In Slavic folktales, the trickster and the culture hero are often combined.

In a wide variety of African communities, the rabbit, or hare, is the trickster. In West Africa, the spider is often the trickster.

In Ekiti today, Ojudu is our own trickster and the face of deception.

By Kunbi Olubummo (PhD)