Alhaji Lamidi Ariyibi Adedibu, the Ekarun Olubadan of Ibadanland, the “garrison Commander” of Oyo politics, the great ‘Gbegiri’ and ‘Amala’ politician is one bloody good politician in the Nigerian “Wild Wild West”. Adedibu as an experienced political animal knows how to play crude and rude politics the Nigerian way; he understands the psyche of followers and the peculiar failure-prone corrupt nature of our leaders at the national level, so he exploits these socio-political phenomena to his advantage at all times.
Using motor park thugs high on local brews and drug as dogs of coercion Adedibu knows that unconventional politics unto which he deserves an award is best played with the crudity of raw exhibition of violence and intimidation. Lateef Akinsola ‘Tokyo’, the Ibadan motor park terror is beholden to Adedibu’s whims and caprices; just a mere mention of an enemy or a potential one then ‘Tokyo’ and his fellow ‘agberos’ will go for a kill. When they visited the BCOS offices earlier this year on Adedibu’s orders breaking heads and molesting workers and broadcasters on duty, disrupting live programmes and destroying transmitters Adedibu went on air to justify their action telling whoever cared to listen that “we decided to act to take over our radio station”.
Adedibu is an extra-ordinary powerbroker, a compulsive shameless godfather without scrupples. For this semi-literate old man a motor park thug could be governor of Oyo state as long as the installed governor sees Molete as the residence of the “king” in whose court there is no ‘no’ for an answer to his wild demands. Failure to patronize the entrenched godfather, the Obasanjo-christened political ‘stockfish’ that cannot be bent nor subdued, attracts sanctions which could include deposition from power.
And ‘Governor’ Adebayo Alao-Akala understands the perfect workings of Adedibu’s mind. He may be the governor but the relationship between the godfather and the godson is akin to one between a slave master and the slave. Alao-Akala prostrates publicly for his god and Adedibu! Without such demonstration of fierce loyalty Adedibu would read meanings into the seeming independent-mindedness of his ‘executive subject’ and whenever his suppositions are conclusive then the consequences could only be imagined.
Lamidi Adedibu, the political wild lion of Ibadan, was almost demystified by ex-Governor Rashidi Ladoja but as an unrepentant immoral politician with pecuniary gain as motto and philosophy Adedibu saw ahead and placed Adebayo Alao-Akala, a former policeman whose past public service records are nothing to write home about, as Ladoja’s deputy. When Ladoja ascended to power through Adedibu’s structures there was tension between the godfather and his supposed godson, tension over Adedibu’s own share in the treasury of Oyo state. Ladoja, a well-educated man of high morals thought that allowing Adedibu to have his way would jeopardise his efforts at improving the people’s lot.
Adedibu himself shamelessly told the world that his disagreement with Ladoja was centered on the latter’s refusal to part with a hefty “security vote”, a huge sum of money which Adedibu, in his warped mind, believed he was entitled to. When Ladoja, too urbane and intelligent to be manipulated by a barely-educated political fox, kicked against Adedibu’s wish the old man perfected plans with his coterie of yes-men and sent Ladoja away from the Agodi government house through an impeachment process the law courts found wholly illegal and unconstitutional.
Alao-Akala was installed consequently as “Governor” and the eleven months he “reigned” billions of naira were looted from the public till. Today he has bounced back as “governor”, making one wonder if his “election” as governor did not amount to rewarding fraud and corruption. Well during Obasanjo’s presidential years known fraudsters and corrupt elements got rewarded and protected with state security apparatus. Obasanjo is allergic to honour, so everything was perverted to suit his mechanic take on power.
Fresh from abroad where he went for medical check-up the troublesome septuagenarian declared with an air of finality: “Whatever comments the Olubadan has made about me and whatever he will still make, I will never say anything contrary because he remains my father. I am a member of his cabinet. But here we are, all the 33 local government chairmen are here, the Speaker is here, the Deputy Governor is here and Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala is in his office; by the special grace of God, I am the controller of politics here. I do not need to join issues with anybody. By the will of God, the political power of this state is in my hands. I have no other comments than to say glory be to God.”
What insolence, arrogance! Sheer nonsense! Crass pomposity! While it is right that the political power of
Besides one is impatient at the slow pace of work of the election petition tribunals, must it take donkey years before the ‘selection’ of Alao-Akala is annulled? Each passing day that Alao-Akala presides over the executive affairs of
Lamidi Adedibu’s braggaddacio is understandable, it is found in his believed invincibility in Oyo politics. By the time we celebrate another fall of an imposed governor a la Andy Uba, by the time the Oyo Election Petition Tribunal nullifies Alao-Akala’s ‘victory’ then Adedibu would have been cut to size. Then his ‘kingdom’ constructed through the aid of criminals and motor park thugs would have collapsed!