Ben Oguntuase is a prime example of being a systematic victim of the mischief of Wole Soyinka and the Pyrates Confraternity. A very bright and energetic graduate of petroleum engineering from the Universities of Ibadan (Nigeria) and Louisiana (USA), Big Ben as he was often called, quickly rose through the ranks of National Oil plc (an oil marketing concern). And was a star in the corporate class of Nigeria. By the late 1990s, he had become the Capoon of the Pyrates Confraternity (a.k.a. National Association of Seadogs International). One thing he tried to achieve as the Pyrates Capoon was to eliminate the heinous and proliferating incidences of University Campus Grown Fraternities’ (UCGF) violence causing death, mayhem and ruin to the lives of so many young higher education students across the country. It was a great national concern of the day which persists. As noble as this quest of Ben Oguntuase was, it cost him his brilliant career at the singular order of Wole Soyinka.
Prof Muyiwa Awe, the originator of the Pyrates Confraternity concept, had come to see that the Pyrates Confraternity and its imitators or breakaways (e.g. Buccaneers, Black Axe, Eiye, Mafia etc.) in his reasoning as taken over by the Devil (or Devilishness). And he decided to become an evangelical pastor as well as renounce his membership of the Pyrates Confraternity. Wole Soyinka did not like Awe’s action, and a personality feud emerged between them. Ben Oguntuase eventually became a victim of this feud.
Wole Soyinka is perpetually in extreme denial of the evils and wrongdoings of Pyrates Confraternity throughout its history; Prof Awe and Ben Oguntuase, though independently of each other were not. Any atrocity committed by Pyrates against non-members or even to fellow members mechanically experiences denial by Soyinka. When Pyrates swindle, rob, cuckold, ruin or harm other Pyrates, Wole Soyinka refuses to acknowledge it. The denial is because he knows his name is incumbent to the image of the Confraternity. The only wrongs or misdeeds committed by Pyrates that Soyinka acknowledges are those that go directly against his person. So, when Ben Oguntuase decided to hold a televised conference with the other heads of UCGFs in Nigeria and apologised jointly for the violence and nonsense their respective groups had fostered and inflicted on the way of campus life, he had broken Soyinka’s most central rule of persona: “Never Accept Guilt or Responsibility For Any Evil or Wrong Even If You Are Totally Culpable”. Wole Soyinka saw Ben Oguntuase’s guilt as automatically transferable to himself and also suspected Prof Awe’s hand in it. The price Big Ben paid for breaking that rule was hugely disproportionate.
Wole Soyinka always has someone to do his dirty work to protect his cherished public persona. To retaliate against Ben Oguntuase’s admission of guilt, Soyinka got the succeeding Pyrates Capoon, to black spot (suspend for a year dishonourably) him with an unprecedented blow. The black spot was announced in a full-page advert of the Sunday Guardian with the intent of discrediting Ben Ognutuase. Big Ben was portrayed in the Soyinka-orchestrated advert as the leader of UCGF cultism in Nigeria and that he had used National Oil resources to fund and facilitate their nefarious activities. Such is an absolute lie. This advert came out shortly after National Oil had announced Ben Oguntuase was to become the Managing Director of the company. Unfortunately, the contents of the Soyinka-orchestrated advert got Big Ben sacked and permanently blacklisted in corporate Nigeria. An admirable career had ended so abruptly simply because Soyinka’s ego required some appeasement. Soyinka became that God that required the sacrifices of blood; he is Captain Blood.
The majority members Pyrates Confraternity naturally took Soyinka’s side in the matter, those who did not keep silent out of fear of reprisals. It is thoroughly a “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” confraternity. However, Ben Oguntuase has become the “ideal victim” because he accepted his fate, returned to the Pyrates Confraternity actively and moved on with his life as if nothing happened. Ben proved he was too excellent a man to be broken by the actions of a malicious narcissist and his backing lynch-mob. Wole Soyinka and the Pyrates confraternity expect all their victims to be and act like that. They tell you of Big Ben’s resilience in severe adversity, his forgiveness, his humanity. But they have not forgiven him.
And there are other victims too as time will reveal.