Dead people do not come back. That was Obi Oknkwo’s father in Chinua Achebe’s No Longer At Ease, protesting loudly when the elders said the returnee was a reincarnation of his grandfather or something like that. It was the new convert demonstrating a canon of his new religion in the ‘Clash of Civilisation’ that heralded colonialism. No such clash is possible today again because any culture telling any other that its own cultural system is superior would be charged with the crime of ‘ontological violence’. The implication is that we can say that ‘M’ Ola has come back from the dead.
He has come back in Richard Adakole Ola, his son and his replacement of himself for the Edumoga community in Okpokwu LGA of Benue State. Those outside that cultural space might not understand the fuse about ‘M’ Ola. He was so comely that he was the ultimate communal star. Then he died. His death was such a great communal loss. Not only was he phenomenally comely, he was also everyone’s friend and the sort of guy who could bring all fractions together.
The great thing is that he had children before his demise. And one of them has grown to a point of getting married. His marriage would thus not be anything less than a communal affair, a reconnection with the promise of an individual. That is why his marriage is comparable to the return of the dead and a new beginning, both for himself, the family and the community.
The son is adding a cultural networking value to his father’s. ‘M’ Ola married from Ebirraland. The son is marrying from Taraba State. His father contributed to building cultural bridges between two ethnic groups across two states of the federation: Benue and Kogi. His son is extending it to Taraba State. He is thus a vicar of the Nigeria that will close the 21st century. Intervention wishes the impending husband and wife the very best!