I do not know how many people remember the days of the ‘Capones’, as in… political lords of Nigeria’s first republic when ‘titi’ (public roads) were ‘eating’ (encroaching) on houses of opposition politicians.
When you were told that ‘Titi ti je ile daddy e‘ (i.e. road has eaten your father’s house) it meant that a newly designed (public) road had encroached on your daddy’s house. And the implication? Of course your daddy’s house would be demolished ‘in public interest‘.
If you didn’t want that to happen to you, you better mind your language when you either express(ed) your opinion in public or talk(ed) about government or about those who ran it, or better still, decamp(ed) to the camp of those in power.
It might not have been a pan-Nigerian thing but it happened in Western Region where titi means road (as in … public road) and I was older than ten years then. Old enough to read Daily Times and listen to rediffussion (radio). Today , I am 70.
If you are less than 70, it might sound strange or unbelievable to you and you are forgiven. That is why we say insanity of yesterday may just present as humour of today.
Now let’s put it in context and situate it in today’s political scenario.
In Kano, titi (as in .. public road) has eaten (as in .. encroached) on Emir’s ( as in .. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s) land.
Familar theme, right?
The full, very lengthy story, is told at
The real story is that it was irrational behaviours like this that the soldiers who mutinied in 1966 used as their reasons for ‘striking’. They then went ahead to permanently and fatally destroy the country.