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Pragmatic, reserved and a deep thinker who loves family, sports especially football where am married to two wives: the first, AC Milan who has my loyalty and the second wife, Manchester United who has all my undying love and pampering, lifestyle and society parties. Need I say the law is more than a profession but a lifestyle for me.

Adekanye Adeyinka Olajide.

I do it for me

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You are here: Home / THE RINGLEADER.



As a child, especially during my primary education, I often heard of the term ‘ringleader.’ However, elementary teachers usually used it when there was an issue in class or among friends causing a general confusion or disruption. The teachers would seek to find the ringleader who had instigated the disruption. Most teachers often discussed it with others and singled out a child as that ringleader. Nevertheless, it was a term I never got a grasp of – maybe because I was too young and na├»ve to understand it or because I just thought, it was a complimentary word.

As I grew older, getting into senior secondary school, I understood the true meaning of the word and realised there was nothing approving about the term. It dawned on me that it was a derogatory term one ascribed to the inciter of trouble. Not that it worried me when I understood more; actually, it helped me avoid being made a culprit more. I realised that for secondary school teachers, they had more street knowledge in fishing out the ringleader. For them it was more pertinent to identify him and make a stooge out of that individual. As there are no statutes of limitations to stirring trouble notwithstanding the consequences or punishments, which are extreme, troublemakers sure go the extra yard to instigate some rather ingeniously.

I also understood the reasons behind finding the ringleader was for total control by the teachers as well as stemming the tides of rebellion by other aspiring mischief-makers. Students, being naturally restless often find ways to send teachers out of class – especially those who took part of their break time for extra lessons. No matter how desirous they might be to get their precious break, most fidgeted or were too careful; consequently, the more whimsical and daring students who were more vocal implored various mischief to send their teachers out. They were usually the backbenchers and sat in the midst of a tight clique. Hence, fetching them out needed some guts and intuitive response.

Hence, it was not strange to me when I boarded a vehicle and the driver chose to share his recent experience with us – the occupants of the vehicle, when we passed through the odogbo barracks then he relieved the not too palatable experience he had with the soldiers. Apparently, there had been an usual gridlock right in front of the barracks so he decided to manoeuvre through the traffic jam. Just as he was almost gone pass the congestion, some soldiers stopped him but he chose to outsmart them and defy their order. He sped into the garage. However, luck was against him; the soldiers being athletic and fit chased him on foot and caught up with him.

His car keys were seized and ordered to do the frog leap back to where he was stopped. Upon getting there, he was instructed to continue zealously in his task. He further narrated that two other drivers guilty of the same act were stopped and taken into the barracks by a group of other soldiers. He later learnt that the ‘big men,’ men who ordinarily would have servants to do their own chores were ordered to sweep the barracks clean of every leaf. For anyone who knows of the barracks, you will know that it is a densely populated place with ancient trees. I imagined how tedious their assignment must have been because leaves fall like it is the first day of spring in the barracks.

He subsequently spared of the embarrassment after a few hours and he was not the one who drove home himself. It was his first day out when I boarded his vehicle, which was two weeks after the incident. He further relayed that the other men were also public transport drivers. He described one of them as a giant and I understood where he was coming from because even the driver is a man with a huge physique. He said they had left there drenched in their own sweats after strenuously sweeping for hours.

It dawned more on me that truly, it could not be overemphasised that to stop trouble or disorderliness from being a pattern, one needed to find a scapegoat to use as a form of deterrent to others. Usually, the only scapegoat that will send shivers down the spine of others and pass home the message clearly is to identify and punish the ringleader, which is the person who has the guts to bear the bull by the horns or the pour petrol to the fire.

As much as it is such a bore not to have, some form of trouble instigated at times – by either whistling in class, or dragging feet on the ground to chase a teacher out. Even in more intrepid ways such as throwing papers or being vociferous at discontentment with utter insolence and all such of tantrums; it is also nauseating to have things halted in such graceless ways and total disregard of the law and orderliness. Else, it will be such an outlandish to allow a chaotic system with everyone getting away with disobedience and squashing the rights of others.