I am ashamed that the old wild, wild West remains the right cliche to describe my own part of Nigeria. The January 15 Coup that became the mother of all coups in our country could be traced back to the breakdown of Law and order in the old Western Region under the Ladoke Akintola faction and the Alhaji Adegbenro faction, but in the end, it was the Ladoke Akintola faction that temporarily had the upper hand because the then Federal Government under Tafawa Balewa had sided with Akintola after getting its marching orders from Sardauna Bello as Leader of the then Northern People Congress which had been in a short-lived alliance with the then Democratic Party also known as “Demo” in the same West led by Samuel Ladoke Akintola. The same scenario is now being replayed, one more time too many, in the same Ibadan of all places again!
Ladoja becomes the then Dauda Adegbenro and Adebayo Akala is playing exactly the same role as Ladoke Akintola from the same Ogbomosho town. For some time, in those days, it wasn’t clear like now, who the legitimate Premier was. The Court is saying that Ladoja remains the legitimate Governor of Oyo State, in as much as the provisions of the Constitution have not been followed in impeaching him, But Akala is saying very much the same thing that Ladoke Akintola had said when faced with the same kind of situation. “A ti t’oje bowo Baba Olosa, o ku Baba eni ti o bo” meaning I have already been sworn in as Premier of the West, I cannot think of anyone who will dare remove me. I similarly recall a past President of the Nigerian Senate, Joseph Wayas of NPN, advising the UPN
leader and its followers in a television interview, to forget their complaints that the 1979 Elections might have been rigged in favor of the NPN and to just move on. He simply broke into a few words of Yoruba that he knew how to speak, saying on camera, “O ti tan.” It is finished. The elections are over, and NPN has been elected. Let anybody who didn’t like the result go jump into the Ocean.
Akala is saying much the same thing today. It does not matter to him, if the Court is saying he has not been legally and properly elected Governor, because the people who impeached Ladoja had not followed the Nigerian Constitution, the supreme Law in our country. Akala is letting it be known that the Constitution is only a document which is not worth the paper on which it is written. What matters is what the current President and Adedibu, the garrison commander at Ibadan says, to borrow a cliche from Ahmadu Ali, the Chairman of the PDP. There is nothing like the Rule of Law in Nigeria.
If Akalamagbo were an ordinary illiterate like Ariyibi Adedibu, I would not be concerned at all. But the man talking is the current Deputy Governor of Oyo State and a retired Assistant Commissioner of Police in our country. Haba!
I can now see the point that Wole Soyinka, the sole conscience of our Nation has been saying that the issue is now beyond Ladoja and whether or not he deserves to be given a fair shake. And to think that our current President who might well have been serving as the Secretary to the United Nations today, had he not been ambushed or let down by the Babangida Government, makes me want to throw up. Nigeria is riding on the back of a tiger right now and the country might, in the fullness of time, end up in the stomach of that tiger if care is not taken. I think we are in trouble now. I cannot, for the life of me, understand how a man so committed to fighting Corruption, and putting our Nation’s Economy on the right footing, can afford to jeopardize all his great legacies of achievement in Nigeria by acting so crudely at this point. Even though Obasanjo is being credited and praised for putting in place men and women like Nuhu Ribadu and Alhaji El Rufai and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Mrs Akinyuli to mention a few, how for God’s sake can he afford to behave as if the Rule of Law means nothing to him at all? This Obasanjo is a bundle of contradictions. He looks like a man determined to salvage our country by all means. He also looks like somebody out to rubbish our country, and more so the good and relatively civilized people that his presidency represents. Sometimes I am totally ashamed and embarrassed to identify with this man as a Yoruba man. I could have sworn he was smarter than that.
Nuhu Ribadu has been spitting fire lately saying things that not even Obasanjo himself could have mustered the courage to say as President. Nuhu is taking on IBB, Sani Abacha and the likes of Abubakar who took over from Abacha. He, Ribadu, is telling the nation these individuals are the Alfa and omega and the “fons et origo” of Corruption in our country which is correct. The question is not when IBB would be brought down on his knees to explain all of his ill-gotten gains, the question is how soon. And the only authority Nuhu keeps citing in his indictment of these leaders is the Rule of Law which the man who appointed him does not appear to fully respect, from all we are now beginning to see.
I see a big conflict of interest in the goal and mission of Nuhu Ribadu and Obasanjo at some point in time. I could say the same thing of El Rufai and Okonjo-Iweala and Mrs. Akunyili talk less of Soludo the current Governor of Central Bank, all of whom have all come from backgrounds where the Rule of Law is the only thing they have had going for them. If the institution called the World Bank where Okonjo-Iweala used to work, and where she has built all her great reputation to qualify her for being named the Nigeria Minister of Finance, does not respect the Rule of Law, where do we go from there becomes the legitimate question to ask.