We had undertaken to examine the three unbelievable stories that aggregated to the charade that happened in Oyo State on Thursday, January 12, 2006. We have treated the story of Lamidi Adedibu, the Godfather of Oyo State in our last outing. The next story is that of Rashidi Ladoja, the imp who sauntered into the sacred office of the Governor and Chief Executive of Oyo State after selling his soul to the devil.
Nigeria, like most underdeveloped countries, is full of scoundrels who do unimaginable things to get political power. Such people do kill- they kill at will every soul that they either imagine as stumbling blocks or (in their superstitious minds) as fuel for their ambition. They are capable and do kill even their children and parents, to get access to power. They are clever enough to know that the political structures and institutions of democracy are weak and porous. They, like the Godfathers, know that democratic processes like elections are not real but mere convenient ways of distracting the gullible citizenry from knowing that true and real democratic and constitutional processes are still at a distance. They know that the generality of the public is too occupied with alimentary worries to worry about such esoteric institutions like the office of the Governor. They know that the people are still gullible and too attached to primordial sentiments to evaluate power seekers on criteria other than kinship and affinity. They very well know that such ideals like merit and political competence would be hard sell in the electioneering process. These imps that I will call political desperados worship in the same shrines as the Godfathers. Their religion is power and money. Their tenet is seek ye first the political kingdom and all other things will follow. Whereas the generality of the population seek prosperity in Churches and Mosques, the political desperados seek theirs in shrines and courtyards of Godfathers.
Unlike the Godfathers, most of them are educated but unfulfilled professionally. Unlike the Godfather who dares the public in his true colours, the political desperado cleverly hides away his true self from the public. He is a master of deceit and disguise. He is worse than the proverbial wolf in the sheep’s skin or the Biblical Pharisees. He knows the needs and wants of the public and can articulate and present them in the most fashionable way. He portrays himself as that concerned beneficiary that God has ordained to rescue the people from want and deprivation. He is the all knowing and the bridge between the present adverse position of the public and the Eldora do across the ocean of pain and suffering. If you are conversant with the Bible then picture him or her as the person that reminds you of Moses or Joshua. Like his colleague who takes advantage of the Christian God (who punishes the sinner and wicked only after death) by climbing the pulpit to milk the naive, he is always solemn and convincing in professing abundance for the poor and depraved. But in truth he or she is Doctor Death. His or her mission is to preside over the commonwealth and make himself and his generations yet unborn richer than the rest of the citizenry combined.
He or she can fool the ignorant or inattentive public but those who have laced themselves on the instruments of make-believe (the political parties, the ballot, the electoral bodies etc) are wiser and take their prizes upfront. And this is where those of them that have not yet stolen public funds or become rich from other fraudulent means run into trouble. The electoral circus cost money and the cost is more because the end result is for the highest bidder. This is where the Godfather comes in. The God father is into the game for the money and like all businessmen, profit makes a lot of sense to the Godfather. If the Desperado wants power but does not have money to buy it and wants the Godfather’s money, then the collateral must be the very office of power that the Desperado wants.
It makes good business sense. The bankers do it. If you want to purchase an item or goods with a bank’s money then that item or good must first be in the bank’s name until you liquidate the principal plus the interest to the last kobo before claiming full and sole ownership of that good or item. In some instances, if you ask for a loan from a bank to start a business and the bank considers the business to be viable and with immense profit potential, some banks would insist on partnering with you by taking shares in the business. In that case the profit would be shared in the predetermined ratio. Godfathers always and rightly so, consider political business to be the most lucrative business in this part of the world. Employing their money and structures to gain access to power would therefore mean a clear readiness for a Shylock bargain in which the Godfather would not only ensure quick returns but a lion share of the entire enterprise.
Like the story of the very many talents in the art and sports that enter into agreements the full purport of which they only know when their career start flourishing, the Desperado often ignores the fine lines in his or her agreement with the Godfather. Some Desperados, not minding cameramen who record their activities on video, drink unscreened human blood and swore unbridled loyalty to their Godfathers, before deities, before signing the agreements with their Godfathers. At that moment, the people do not matter. The constitution, the rule of law, the due process, the sovereignty of the people do not matter. What matters and that which he must have by all means is the cash and kind support of the Godfather. The people are not relevant as the people by themselves cannot give him power and power he must get.
Rashidi Ladoja is one of those Desperados who stole the sovereignty of the good people of Oyo State. He knew he was too obscure and unfit to govern Oyo State, but he believed in the ability of Lamidi Adedibu and he knew that all he needed to be Governor of Oyo State, was the cash and structures of Lamidi Adedibu. Like the greedy political businessman that he is, Lamidi Adedibu obliged him and from nowhere, He Ladoja, with
no political pedigree he became the Governor of Oyo State which on paper is supposed to be the most sophisticated political state in Nigeria. His loyalty was therefore supposed to be to Rashidi Adedibu and not to the spirit and intendment of the constitution or in the final analysis the people of Oyo State. But he wanted to be clever by half and look at where that has landed him. He was tugged out of office as if he was a lunatic in a restaurant.