Political earthquake was expected in the Edo governorhip contest but hardly did anybody bargain for the magnitude which levelled a widely-presumed most powerful hierarchy of the southern wing of the party with virtually nothing to salvage, at least for now or, indeed, in the future. And, contrary to general expectations, the real losers were the former national chairman of the ruling APC, Adams Oshiomhole, and ex-Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu.
Since the re-election of Governor Godwin Obaseki, his predecessor, Oshiomhole, has been nowhere to be seen. For a man who, up tiil the end of the campaigns, was the stormy petrel of of APC’s electoral machinery, Oshiomhole’s silence is stunning. When he was dramatically (although legally) removed as the party’s national chairman, Oshiomhole found Edo governorship election so handy to keep him prominently active such that he could never have thought of being consigned into total silence so soon. His lot was like that of a boxing champion floored in a contest who stubbornly tried to survive the count, only to be floored again and taunted by the opposite corner.
Unlike his protege, Bola Tinubu was almost instant but clearly subdued in his most unusually brief and incoherent reaction. Yet, his agony could hardly be hidden when he partially alluded to betrayal, obviously of himself. In that case, Tinubu must be ignorant or naive. As a public figure, what does he expect? If he felt or still feels betrayed (which is neither here nor there), he should not be demoralised. For any man, the philosophy is to be prepared for the worst every day and from or by anybody at any time. Some call it part B or fallback position.
It was amusing when an apparent sycophant raided Tinubu’s political standing to that of Obafemi Awolowo for no other reason than identical bifocal glasses of the two men. Did Awolowo escape betrayal throughout his political life? If a man is genuinely your hero, be prepared to encounter his experiences in life. If Edo election disaster was partly due to betrayal, Tinubu had better pick up himself and be ready for more in life. As Sunny Ade’s lyrics in one of his albums, “Ojo iku ni ojo isinmi.” What is more, history and ages will show Tinubu that fate is putting him in good company.
Nnamdi Azikiwe was betrayed in Western Region in 1952 when even his partymen not only conspired with his political enemies but also rationalised their dirty trick on a strange logic of “East for easterners, West for westerners and North for northerners.” Zik was confronted with the “Zik must go” revolt by his closest associates in 1958, just as Awo, from party’s split at its Jos conference in 1962, began the long journey to jail. The two men, if possible, must be amused in their respective graves at Tinubu’s agony on betrayal. Even in the controversies leading to civil war, Biafrans claimed to have been betrayed.
Neither is betrayal peculiar to Nigeria. Former British prime minister Ted Heath felt betrayed within his cabinet by those who made him lose the 1974 elections to clear the path for Maggie Thatcher to succeed him as prime minister. While leaving Downing Street for the last time as prime minister, Maggie Thatcher herself was caught crying because she felt betrayed by some disloyal ministers.
Like a statesman, ex-British prime minister, David Cameron, honourably resigned after losing a referendum on his country’s exit from Europe. But while making a statement to that effect in the House of Commons, Cameron ended in tears for the betrayal of his colleagues who made him lose the referendum. Another British former prime minister, John Major, well aware of imminent and/or eventual betrayal, in an angry speech in front of 10, Downing Street, described the plotters as “bastards” and dared them to put up or shut up. Thereafter, he lost the elections and was succeeded by Labour’s Tony Blair.
Another woman prime minister Theresa May was similarly betrayed by the leaders of the current Tory administration in Britain over her policies towards exit of Britain from Europe. All her proposals for exiting Europe were tied to compulsory approval by parliament in London. Theresa May was eventually set a deadline by right-wing extremists in her party and opposition Labour party to complete negotiations in Europe. She had to resign or face removal as prime minister amid tears in front of her Downing Street official residence, owing to the betrayal of her colleagues in the same party.
Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa was betrayed by his army officers. General Thomas Aguiyi-Ironsi was betrayed by his personal security. Above all, even Jesus Christ had to embarrass his disciples by revealing to them that “One of you will betray me,” a conscience-piercing move that aroused the curiousity of his followers to know “is it I?” one after another, till it was the turn of Judas Iscariot to whom Jesus responded, “Thou sayest.”
Could it be that Tinubu or Oshiomhole never saw betrayal coming or reckoned with betrayal? With many, if not most, political or labour associates of the past 20 years already alienated? It is so easy to alienate. Who is entitled to moral indignation? The one who betrays or the one betrayed? Clearly, Tinubu and Oshiomhole felt betrayed for failing in their determination to remove Obaseki from office. Equally, Obaseki felt betrayed (as a fellow human being) by the determination of Tinubu and Oshiomhole to evict him as Edo governor. In other words, no human being, except a crook, is today’s Jesus. It is, therefore, legitimate for a man to be betrayed, to counter-betray, depending on who strikes first. Who or what defines betrayal? Vested and largely selfish interest. What is the difference in A betraying B or B betraying A?
Betrayal in itself may be intolerable and, if provoked, such can and should legitimately be resisted or revenged. In the matter of betrayal, both the provocateur and the victim can rationalise. As it is said, he who tastes it feels it. Betrayals mostly are negative. Everything active, aspirations, expections, indeed, entire life, comes to an irretrievable end. But as William Shakespeare writes, “There is some soul of goodness in things evil, should men observingly distil them.” That is the positive side.
Betrayal surely comes as a shock but can also offer a badly needed opportunity for sober reflection, reconciliation, rapproachmenr, etc. In life, uncontrolled astronomical rise or achievement should somehow be concerning. Occasional breaks, even if through betrayals, should be positively absorbed to allow for consolidation of the situation in hand. Whoever takes life as equivalent of two plus two, which by all means must be four all the time, is his own enemy. With any reverse, be contented.
There is another misconception that only particular segments of a set-up or gathering can betray. On the contrary, betrayal is largely self-induced in anybody, family members, leaders, associates, followers, housegirls and boys, security staff and even spouses, in some cases. The motivating factors include greed, arrogance, misplaced self-confidence, overlordship, mischief, indiscipline, selfishness, local almightiness, fear of being exposed for looting. Why must a President get it into his head that only he can determine who is to succeed him, especially where the Vice President expresses aspiration to contest? That was the arrogance and betrayal, which have now spread to state governors blocking their deputies from excercising their constitutional right to contest elections.
Curiously, most APC South West and South South leaders, including ministers and governors, never took part in Edo campaigns and have neither commented on the Edo election disaster. Most disturbing is former acting national chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande, in view of his criticism in a weekly newspaper interview that any dissent in his party is regarded as disloyalty. That is voluminous, when related to his complete absence from the Edo election campaigns.
Postscript: As this was being written, Adams Oshiomole broke his silence and said he put his faith in God.
CBN focus on Keystone and FCMB
I am Chief Duro Onabule. As a last resort, I have to draw the attention of the Central Bank (Godwin Emefiele) and Institute of Bankers to the unsatisfactory performance of two banks, with the request that my “chicken feed” of five thousand naira (N5,000) be recovered from wherever the money is lying unclaimed. On June 24, I transferred an amount of N5,000 through my bankers, Keystone Bank, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos branch, to my adopted daughter, Iyaniwuraiyebiye Fatoba, through her bankers, First City Monument Bank, University of Ibadan campus branch.
For a transaction, which normally should have been concluded within a couple of hours, I had to inquire from Iyaniwura Fatoba why she failed to acknowledge receipt of the money, which clearly was not credited to her that week, as it turned out. Then began the search from both banks. FCMB denied receiving the money, while my bankers, Keystone Bank, confirmed transfer of the money from my account, and delivery of the money to my daughter’s account at FCMB, University of Ibadan campus branch.
Still in search of the whereabouts of the money, FCMB, Ibadan, requested for what it called 30-digit code from my bankers which (the digit) FCMB claimed would facilitate tracing the missing N5,000. The demand was fastly met. Yet, FCMB, Ibadan branch, could not trace the money, while Keystone Bank, Ahmadu Bellow Way, Victoria Island, Lagos, equally maintained the amount left my account in Lagos and appeared deposited at FCMB, UI branch.
Three full months after the transfer, none of the two banks could account for the N5,000, as Keystone Bank printed for me statement of account to show the money left its branch and appeared deposited in the FCMB system, the same bank that also claimed the money had been returned to my account at Keystone. The concern is not just the money but the very idea of the failed service of the two banks to their respective customers. It is immaterial the amount is only N5,000. But it could have been N50,000, N500,000 or even N50 million. Where is the money? Other unlucky customers could be the next victims of such poor services.
Central Bank and Institute of Bankers, as the watchdogs of the financial sector, should help solve this riddle.