Ex-Speaker Bankole’s Endless Desperation for Political Relevance


Unarguably, Dimeji Bankole, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, is one of the luckiest since the return of the democratic dispensation in 1999. By Providence, the Ogun State-born politician had occupied an enviable position in the nation’s political arrangement at 37.

However, many years after his unceremonious exit from the National Assembly, he is still in the quest for political relevance. First, he made an unsuccessful attempt to return to the House in 2011. After that, he suffered a defeat when he contested for the number one job in Ogun State under the Peoples’ Democratic Party. His ambition had been truncated as the party leaders seemed not to have any confidence in him. The popular choice then was Gboyega Nasir Isiaka. As political pundits opined, he should have known that he is no longer a force to be reckoned with in the political circles of Ogun State; hence, he should have saved his sweats and money for his comfort.

But typical of an unrepentant optimist, he again threw his hat into the ring for the number one job of Ogun State in 2019 under a different political party, the Action Democratic Party, and tried to slug it out with other gladiators in the state.

In reminiscence, this instantly made him the anvil of criticisms in the political circles. His greatest undoing, according to sources, was his bloated ego. With the humiliation, many claimed that his political clout might be on the precipice. Not one to give up easily on his cherished dream, the former number-four man is desperate to regain his lost political clout, as he has once again dumped the ADP for the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, APC.

A source revealed that apart from being a desperate move to be in the scheme of things that has eluded him in the past, Bankole may contest an elective position on the party’s platform come 2023. In January, the handsome politician tied the nuptial knot with Aisha Shinkafi Saidu, Governor Atiku Bagudu’s daughter, in a secret Abuja wedding.

Bankole, who divorced his first wife in 2017, had in the past few years been a much-sought-after bachelor in the circle of eligible spinsters both within and outside Nigeria. The bride, a lawyer and graduate of the University of Hull in the UK, is a granddaughter of the late political heavyweight and former head of Nigeria’s security organization, Umaru Shinkafi, Marafan Sokoto. The bride’s mother is Shinkafi’s daughter and a sister to the former Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Aliyu Shinkafi.