As 2007 approaches, businessmen and investors now see that godfatherism is a profitable deal. Adedibu’s residence in Molete, with the event of January 12, has become the capital of Oyo State, the secretariat: the Ministries of Finance, Education, Health, Agric, Justice, Commerce and Industry, the civil service commission, the pensions board, the state police command, the legislature, the judiciary, and of course, the governor’s office. It is another dark time in the history of Ibadan. It is a triumph of brigandage.
The issue is not about Ladoja’s corruption or his foreign account or nepotism as the Adedibu 18 and President Obasanjo would make us believe; it is about dignity, sovereignty, and control vis-à-vis revenue sharing formula. Granted Rasheed Ladoja as a person is weak, frequently under-intelligent, tactless and lack-lustre, the issue at stake is about the office of a governor that is greater than, and will outlive any person occupying it. And the constitution of the Federal Republic.
Fiam, an impeachment notice was purportedly served on a governor without the necessary signatures of neither the speaker nor his deputy. Fiam, a 7 man committee was set up by the Acting Chief Judge that another court nullified. Fiam, they sat for 3 days. On Thursday, January 12, before 8am, fiam, the Adedibu 18 arrived the State Assembly complex without a mace for a conclave session when on other days, between 10 to 11 am they are still struggling to form a sizeable number. Fiam, mobile policemen deployed from Abuja, loyal to Adedibu prevented the other 14 legislators which included the Speaker and deputy speaker from gaining access to that same State Assembly complex – the same place where the ominous Awolowo and Akintola saga took place. Fiam, by 9:14am, we have been told that Ladoja had been impeached without a constitutionally mandated quorum. By 10:23am Akala had been sworn in by the Acting Chief Justice who was in full regalia and he read a prepared speech when two days
before were public holidays, and the 7 man investigating committee was still sitting.
The Acting Chief Justice, Afolabi Adeniran’s actions must be investigated by the National Judicial Commission to determine his degree of culpability and he should be debenched, arrested and prosecuted. It is such fraudulent action that let down the integrity of the judiciary and sinks all other judges in a common pool of disrepute. This is why ruling politicians declare brazenly that they pick and chose which court orders to obey.
Also, President Obasanjo’s role and non-role in the Ladoja affair is substantially dubious. He transmitted signals to the public that he is not partial, only allowing the democratic principle of separation of powers to take its due course. Adedibu was more honest about his mission of embezzlement: “Ladoja is too greedy. He was collecting N65 million as security vote every month. You know that governors don’t account for security vote. He was to give me N15 million of that every month. He reneged. Later it was reduced to N10 million, yet he did not give me.” On TV he said again he deserves one-third of the monthly allocation to Oyo State. A paltry allocation of around N2 billion? A state of around 6 million people? In this so-called era of impartiality of the EFCC? Adedibu could not have empowered his legislators to kick a governor out, would not have caused mayhem in the secretariat were it not for the continual moral and security support from Abuja, Ota and the PDP leadership.
Obasanjo should note from history that an event like this in Ibadan have been known to cause ripples high on the Ritcher scale capable of shaking the foundation of the centre particularly when the partisanship of the centre is not in question.
Soon, Adedibu would perhaps be a member of PDP’s Board of Trustee, yet, he like Chris Uba should be in Gashua, Agodi or Kirikiri prison by now for at least treasonable felony were we to be under the decent rule of law. From the time of the June 12 struggle when Adedibu’s greed for amassing secret settlement ‘without string attached’ from Babangida and Abacha was exposed, and he was thoroughly discredited, till shortly after Chief Bola Ige’s was murdered, Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu was a nobody in Ibadan politics. Through amala scheming, he stapled himself together as ‘Alaafin of Molete,’ ‘strongman of Ibadan politics,’ and journalists and editors of the print and electronic media filed after him to call him so, therefore creating and cementing this ‘almighty’ mystique overtime. ‘Adedibu: The Garrison Commander of Ibadan.’ Really?
When Akala went to pay homage at Molete immediately after his illegal swearing-in, Adedibu said, “don’t thank me, thank the oniroyin (press/ journalists) who made the work possible.’ He knew the journalists had since been doing something beneficial for him. With all the overwhelming evidence of hooliganism, unconstitutionality, court injunctions, the press too has starting calling Akala, the new governor, Ladoja, the impeached governor! The press by genes should be on the side of democracy and the people and the truth. For the press to wash itself clean, and to make the process un-enticing for another godfather in another state, never should Akala be referred to as the governor without a prefix ranging from the ‘controversial’ to ‘illegal’ governor used.
In his own inaugural speech, the illegal governor said “we should put the past behind us for the sake of peace.” Nonsense. The past is always prologue. We the Ara Ibadan and Omo Ibadan are not interested in peace when there is a no basic of justice and fairness. We the people and our welfare have been conspicuously missing as the event played itself out step by step. We are those that would bear the brunt of a treasury that has first been looted in Molete: people are going to die because there is no appropriation for drugs to be in hospitals; doctors, teachers, civil servants salaries’ would be l
eft unpaid, their families going hungry, their daughters becoming campus prostitutes; pensioners would be left unpaid; no good water from the water corporation; no fertilizer subsidies; accidents that can take the lives of you and me can result from terrible roads; increase in general tax levies on market women, transport workers etc., etc.
How can a race that claims to be the most enlightened in Africa, first in many things, be lead by a pack of dunces and rascals? Our leaders do not fear us, and we do not present ourselves as fearable. By any means necessary, this must change henceforth. It is the people’s predispositions to passitivity and the useless hand-over-to-God syndrome at this early stage that can produce like in history, fadeyi-oloroistic figures like Bashorun Gaa. No more.