When you ask the Nigerian politician – what would you like to be when you grow up? He tells you – I like to repeat history! By the time he reaches majority, not only does he repeat history, he breaks the table, pulls down the house, and is consigned to oblivion.
This is the story of Ondo. The boys in Alagbaka House have enrolled in a fight to finish. Some 14 members of the 26-man State House of Assembly have served the Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi with an impeachment notice. A Deputy Governor will again be impeached, for doing no wrong, except exercising his right to freedom of association under the Constitution. Like it is said, when two people are about to fight, pride joins them. These ones don’t care about Zamfara, nor does Adamawa and Bauchi mean much to them. In fact, just like no one could placate those who have now been disbanded in Edo, these ones have sealed their ears to the voice of reason.
It is not difficult to hazard a guess on how this matter will end – It is 1983, and now in a cinema close to you. In 1983, the old Ondo and Oyo States replayed 1964 as a full movie. Ondo in particular was hot. The hubris in both Ajasin and Omoboriowo made it such that they just could not see eye to eye. Omoboriowo decamped to the ruling NPN and finally got the power-merchants in Lagos to make him Governor. For days, results of the gubernatorial election could not be released, as the state stood on the precipice.
The moment official results filtered in, Ondo erupted in thick violence and the centre could not hold. It was one of the darkest periods in Nigeria’s political history after wetie. The politicians of the 1983 western region states simply could not be separated from their failings. Their bitter and insatiable pursuit of power was legendary. The common good was roasted just to make them feel like political champions. The fight they lacked the humanity to resolve, was eventually laid to rest by Brig.Gen. Sani Abacha, who on 31 Dec. 1983 announced that the 2nd Republic had ceased to be.
The gladiators in Ondo are a metaphor for the average Nigerian politician. He does a lot of bragging, but never demonstrate political wisdom. He accumulates years in the corridor of power, but never attains maturity. He mortgages the peoples’ commonwealth, but still cannot be emptied of his morbid greed.
Olusola Babatunde Adegbite, Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife