WHEN POWER LEADS MAN TOWARDS ARROGANCE, POETRY REMINDS HIM OF HIS LIMITATIONS-JOHN F. KENNEDY
The political power arrogance witnessed in Nigeria last week as displayed by the suspended National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiohmole and our amiable first Lady of Nigeria, Aisha Buhari, largely confirms the British Mathematician, Jacob Bronowski’s view that “No science is immune to the infection of politics and the corruption of power.”
There is always competing topics for a current affairs discussants in Nigeria. Last week availed us another of such drama in our polity this time with some novelties. It was a week very evidential that all is not well with us as a nation and as a people.
How do you ignore a shootout at the nation’s seat power where the wife of the President was trying to enforce order or the crass power arrogance in Edo state where a sitting Governor will be disqualified from seeking a second term over the same certificate he used four years ago?
Notwithstanding the frequency of the impasse in this home, no media person can as a current affairs discussant gloss over a security breach at the nation’s political power abode, the Aso Rock Villa
But for the gabby First Lady calling on the Inspector General of Police to release her aides, the incident would have remained in the realm of rumour and could have eventually been declared fake news afterwards.
Nigerians had thought that Coronavirus successfully settled the incessancy in the fight in the first family with the death of the former Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari who was conspicuously leading a team in contest with the first family led by the First Lady herself over power control.
When Kyari died and a successor who didn’t come from the cabal group emerged, many Villa watchers thought a victor and a vanquished had emerged from the war and that the First Lady and the other room team had fully taken over.
Especially with the successful curbing of the irrepressible nephew of the President, Mamman Daura when he was forced out of the glass house in the Villa after the fake online Presidential second wife drama. Ditto the sack from Villa the indomitable Aso Rock Permanent Secretary, Arabi Jalal whom Villa watchers saw as the man Friday of the Kyari group.
Unknown to many another strategic character was still hiding on stage. The First Lady and her group will not sleep well until the remnant of the Kyari another nephew of the President Sabiu Yusuf, a personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari was flushed out. The opportunity arrived when Yusuf broke the COVID-19 travel protocol to see the newly delivered wife in Lagos. By this he jumped into the trap ostensibly laid by the First Lady who acting on the sentiment of protecting the President and the rest of the First Family confronted Yusuf and asked that he isolate himself after visiting Lagos the epicentre of COVID 19 in the country.
To ensure that excuses are not offered to achieve this, the First Lady mobilized a formidable troop of her children and all security aides led by the ADC.
Yusuf’s attempt to rationalize his trip by saying that even the Chief of Staff, Prof Ibrahim Gambari visits his family weekly in Lagos did not meet the requirements of his traducers at the time, more so by that comparison he was equating himself with the Chief of staff. Whether the altercation that ensued was enough to warrant gunshot that escalated the feud is for the Inspector General and other security heads to determine.
The incident did not take deserving headlines in Nigeria media space when it broke because the frequency of squabbles in the first family has weakened the potency of the news. Neighbours expectedly reduce the speed with which they respond to an alarm from everyday fighting couples unless there is a fresh dimension to attract attention and this was what the gun shot did in this instance.
Record keepers will definitely place this Presidency ahead of all others in our history for their cantankerous characteristics and it’s very unfortunate and disgusting.
But Nigeria is certainly not invulnerable to disgusting things especially in her polity. The same last week this time the APC the ruling party was in the news again for another wrong reason. Since June 23, 2018 when Comrade Oshiomhole climbed the National Chairmanship throne of the ruling party, it has been rolling from one crisis to the other. In all instances he takes the party to a precipice and only get rescued after some harms have been done.
Under his watch in APC the party lost two states, Zamfara, and Bayelsa under avoidable circumstances, and could not field candidates in Rivers in 2019 general elections. And now the party with his prompting is on the verge of losing the fourth, Edo state due to careless administrative lapses caused by ego and self-centeredness of the leadership.
Needless boring you with the godfather/godson feud between Comrade Oshiohmole as godfather and Governor Godwin Obaseki as a godson. What cannot be ignored easily is the memory disorder inherent in the political impasse.
After Asiwaju Ahmad Tinubu of Lagos who successfully threw away an incumbent Governor Akinwumni Ambode by stopping him from going for a second term, no godfather had been lucky to have his way that far until last week when Comrade Oshiohmole added dimension to it by disqualifying a sitting Governor Obaseki from contesting in his party on the excuse that the same qualification with which he got elected four years ago is no longer tenable.
Godfatherism in Edo state politics has been endemic since the return to democracy in 1999. This is not unconnected with the presence of the master godfather himself late Chief Anthony Anenih, late Samuel Ogbemudia all of blessed memory and the Igbinedions from the state.
Comrade Oshiohmole after benefiting from the godfather’s (Anenih) anger against one of his irritant godson (Prof Osunbor) turned round to bite the finger that fed him by hitting hard on Chief Anenih and recording his biggest political achievement in Edo as successfully decimating the chief godfathers of Edo politics. But the same man is today on rampage exhibiting the most callous trait any godfather, not even Tinubu or late Anineh had done.
Only a memory disorder can make Oshiohmole to do what he did to Obaseki without blinking. This apparent memory disorder has helped him to carry out these heinous act blatantly.
In two gubernatorial elections of Oshiohmole he enjoyed the blessings of godfathers. In the first term Chief Anenih’s needless anger against Prof Oserheimen Osunbor helped Oshiohmole win in court. In his second term President Goodluck Jonathan political and logistic supports were handy and Oshiohmole was on marble eulogizing Jonathan for being an apostle of one man one vote. Although when his memory slipped he turned on Jonathan bitterly. Having hit his last two benefactors Anenih and Jonathan, he is probably waiting to hit Tinubu and President Buhari. All these says a lot about the character of the man under discussion who has become a loose cannon with possession of political power.
It also explains why Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu whom he described as a thief and brigand four years ago is now his golden man for Edo’s salivation and Obaseki whom he described in the best flowery language four years ago is now dirty enough to be discarded disgracefully.
Was it not the same Oshiohmole who told the World during the Buhari affidavit for certificate saga at the election tribunal that even if President Buhari presents NEPA bill as certificate that it would go? What does all these tell us of the man Oshiohmole.
Where do all these leave us with our children who look up to the elders and leaders to pick some ethics and standards?
Where do all these leave President Buhari and his so called corrective regime, and what does it say of the polity generally? A system that allows a driver who throws stone at every barking dog on the way while driving certainly does not have destination target and that is where APC is headed as a party.
One prophetic thing I see coming out of all the Edo APC brouhaha is that in the end, it might consume the godfather and his grand godfather unless as is usual the master strategist jumps out of the sinking ship before it goes down. But so far Oshiohmole has proven Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakunin right that ‘He who is given power will inevitably become an oppressor and exploiter of society.