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The (m)asses and politicians

I marvel at the sheer ignorance that makes simpletons to turn their friends to enemies because they are supporting some politicians against others. Stupidity has no other spelling than those who have no stake by the slightest of imagination turning loose against themselves when the real stakeholders don’t even okay till-death-do-us-part game.

Let me relate two personal experiences here. In 2009, I supported Dr. Kayode Fayemi during the re-run elections in Ekiti State against the candidature of the then incumbent, Mr. Segun Oni. We had gone to Ifaki Ekiti the home town of Oni on the eve of the election with Hon. Wale Oshun and about three other persons in a bus when suddenly we ran into some thugs. They waylaid us and started throwing missiles into the bus. We had to lie flat on our chests as dangerous weapons flew freely. The skillful driver kept maneuvering the vehicle non-stop. As we managed to get out of danger, we heard some gunshots fired sporadically but we escaped unhurt.

Dr. Abubakar Momoh then of the Lagos State University was not that lucky as he and some observers were caught by thugs and beaten to a stare of stupor.

When the elections were over, it was battle for the court once again. In the course of the trial, the courtroom was turned upside down when Mr. Niyi Akintola (SAN) tendered the leg of a supporter of Fayemi that was amputated over injuries he sustained in the hands of political thugs.

The stench in the courtroom was so strong that many observers ran out of the damn place. Mr. Akintola told me recently after he was somewhere and a gentleman using crutches held him by the coat. He could not recognise the gentleman until he reminded him, “Sir, you have forgotten that I am the one you tendered his leg during Fayemi’s case. I don’t have a leg again but Fayemi and Oni are now in the same party”.

My ghost could have been masking the sane lamentation if the thugs who accosted us in Ifaki Ekiti had pounced on us successfully.

I also recall when I supported Aregbesola in his quest to oust Oyinlola from Osun Government House. A reporter with The Guardian Newspaper had imputed some comments I didn’t make in my interview with him over the death of Kudirat Abiola which Oyinlola considered offensive. He dragged me and The Guardian Newspapers to an Osogbo High Court. I had to engage the services of Mr. Kola Awodein (SAN) to defend the suit. The Appeal Court eventually ruled that since Oyinlola cannot be sued he could also not sue as governor.

Aregbesola eventually ousted Oyinlola from office through the court. By the time Aregbesola was contesting for the second term in office, it was a sight to behold the two of them chewing bitter kola in a cubicle and Oyinlola campaigning hard for Ogbeni on the mounted rostrum.

For many years many people were under the illusion that Obasanjo and Tinubu were political foes. True, while Obasanjo was President he seized Lagos funds when the Lagos State governor created additional councils in the state. Tinubu fought up to the Supreme Court and won but Obasanjo would not bulge. Tinubu would mount the rostrum and throw jabs at Obasanjo and the political plebeians thought they were fighting.

They were to wake up to smell the coffee when Tinubu led a team to Obasanjo to in 2014 to go and beg him to be their navigator in APC. Tinubu added that the APC had resolved to rescue Nigeria, appealing to Obasanjo to lead the mission. We’re resolved and determined to rescue Nigeria. We want you as navigator,’ he said.

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka was apparently one of those deceived to believe there was any disagreement. He was exasperated and penned the following: “An APC-led group, we understand, has been paying courtesy visits to former Heads of States. Would it be correct to state that their purpose is captured in the following Mission Statement?

“If this attribution is correct, may I urge you, as an urgent public service, to advise families to begin the stockpiling of life-belts for the guaranteed crash. Don’t forget to alert the coastguards — ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), AU (African Union), UNO (United Nations Organisation), etc, to be on the alert for possible salvage operations.

“If General Sani Abacha were alive today, would he also have been on the ship’s complement? As Captain, perhaps?” Prof. Soyinka rhetorically asked in the conclusion.

By some poetic justice, the fears of the grey-haired Prof. are coming to pass.

So if you are one of the persons who had allowed your support for any politician to destroy your cherished relationship, I say to you that you are a person of little understanding.

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