One would marvel at the manner in which we unwittingly unveil ourselves. We do it uncontrollably and negatively. That is the tragedy that would baffle any sane mind. You could not but wonder aloud.
Adeseye Ogunlewe is it! He did the kick-off on an apparently promising note in 1999. That year, he entered the Senate on the platform of the defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD), a self-styled offshoot of the Second Republic Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), led by the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
Unfortunately, he had zero patience. He could not wait to run his four-year term carrying the AD label. So? He jumped out of the boat. He camped under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
That decision was not an error after all. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo compensated him adequately in his second term. He made him Minister of Works, to replace the late Tony Anenih. That was in 2013.
Ogunlewe strived hard to justify his new calling. In the process, he became “wild and weird”. He was extremely critical of his former party and leaders. He would tear them to shreds at any given opportunity.
On occasion, he vowed to run Asiwaju Bola Tinubu out of Lagos. What a tall dream! He launched vehement attacks on him. He derided and hated him with passion.
He insisted Lagosians must run Lagos. By the way, Ogunlewe, from Ikorodu, represented Lagos East in the Senate. He was always on the trail of Tinubu. He would not spare him. Just when he was getting hotter on Tinubu, Ogunlewe ceased fire. He put a huge spanner in the works. And things came to a rude halt.
We were not that surprised. He changed his mind and camp. Like a typical Nigerian politician, he ate his stinking vomit. He behaved true to type; a serial defector with self, I and me as the driving motto. He cared less and “boldly” announced his dumping of PDP.
He opted for APC. Tinubu is the national leader of that party. Whatever that means.
He did not stop at that. He instantly became a new recruit of Tinubu. He refused to wait for Tinubu to confirm or deny his alleged 2023 presidential ambition. Ogunlewe blindly chose to go to town. And he fumbled big time.
He is the latest Tinubu town crier. He cried hard but did not cry right. He erroneously picked on two sensitive personalities in Yorubaland. Awolowo and Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola. He then added Tinubu. Abiola was the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993, presidential election.
I still wonder aloud what actually informed his decision. It was glaringly uncalled for. That was not how to fly the kite. It was the wrong way to do it.
He burnt midnight candles in assessing the trio. He was restive and restless. He weighed all the available options to him. He did some permutations; made “comparative analysis” of Awolowo, Abiola and Tinubu. Then, mother (ill) luck smiled on him. And he grabbed it with all the strength in him.
He thought he had a surprise package for us. He believed we would embrace it. He goofed. He decided to throw his strange finding at our face. He was sure we would buy it. And he did it like somebody rudely woken up from the bad side of this bed.
His conclusion: Tinunu has achieved more than Awolowo and Abiola. And this is the result of his warped “comparative analysis”: “He (Tinubu) is the most important Yoruba person that has paid his dues and is knowledgeable about the politics of Nigeria. I am confident he can lead Nigeria well if he becomes president.”
He became specific and direct: “How can I say the North will deny Tinubu and he will end up like MKO Abiola? All these people are enemies of progress.” He poured out more ferociously in a very noisy manner: “Hasn’t he (Tinubu) done more than MKO Abiola? Hasn’t he done more than Awolowo?”
He did not wait for answers. He almost opted to retrace his awkward steps: “Maybe not in terms of performance but he has more in terms of skills, wisdom. Look at the way he has been able to cover all parts of Nigeria.”
That is the problem. When you talk too much, your mouth runs you into trouble. You doublespeak uncontrollably. You can never walk your talk. You talk without processing its weight.
I am yet to come to terms with the wisdom and skills the new foot soldier of Tinubu lays claim to. You would wonder if Tinubu himself would ever admit to what Ogunlewe ascribed to him. No sane politician would.
Those types of words can only come from bootlickers, praise-singers and do-gooders. They are not meant to achieve anything meaningful. They are what they are: political statements.
Comparing Awo’s skill and wisdom with Tinubu’s? Worst still, rating Tinubu higher and above Awo in terms of wisdom and skill? It can only come from a serial defector. And for political porridge, perhaps. The reason Tinubu must tame this his town crier.
Makinde: A leadership style
But in Oyo State, things are beginning to be done differently. Governor Seyi Makinde gave maximum effect to this last week Friday as he tweeted:
“We attended Jumat prayer at Adogba Mosque, Iwo Road (Ibadan), this afternoon.
“I spoke to our Muslim brothers and sisters about the proposed demolition of the mosque, a church and some other buildings, to make way for the new bus terminal on Iwo Road.
“I assured them that there was no religious coloration to the demolition and that government would relocate all those affected and pay compensation to ensure they can rebuild.
“I sought their cooperation to enable government execute its plans.”
Makinde is a Christian.
Promptly, everyone fell in line. They cued into it without further persuasion. That is how to demolish mosque, church, et al.