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Adebanjo’s words on marble


 Chief Ayo Adebanjo

Chief Ayo Adebanjo

Sir: Chief Ayo Adebanjo (Pa Adebanjo), a chieftain of Afenifere, and one of the quartets called Ijebu mafia, along with Chief Abraham Adesanya, Pa Solanke Onasanya, and Pa Olaniwun Ajayi, in those days. They were respected as politically faithful to the policies of Chief Obafemi Awolowo. I believe Pa Adebanjo remains faithful to those pro-people policies. I want to highlight some of his comments on recent developments in Nigeria, with particular reference to what concerns Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the President, General Muhammadu Buhari (GMB).

Pa Adebanjo regrets that Tinubu (former governor of Lagos) decided to side with GMB, even though he (Pa Adebanjo) warned that GMB’s background was inimical to good governance. GMB cherishes the jihad wars of Usumanu Danfodio (clarification is mine). Pa Adebanjo was convinced that GMB would not shed his dictatorial toga. He is disappointed, as many Nigerians are, that GMB insists that membership of Nigeria by the federating ethnic groups is non-negotiable. Pa Adebanjo is saying that no government can keep Nigerians together by force. He said he would have been happy if GMB proved him wrong by being Nigeria’s messiah.

GMB is not only a dictator, however. He is nepotistic, refusing to ban roaming of cattle, and allowing Fulani herdsmen to carry sophisticated weapons to kill farmers whose farms are ravaged by cattle. No wonder the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, told GMB to stop worshipping cattle. GMB is politicising religion and selling dollars at official price to Christian and Muslim pilgrimage-makers, while common Nigerians wallow in abject poverty. GMB is belligerent, refusing dialogue with Boko Haram, Niger Delta militants and Biafra agitators. Like Pa Adebanjo, I foresaw it all and said GMB failed before he started. Pa Adebanjo is quoted as saying: “We are calling for restructuring, because we want the country to stay together.” GMB is sacrificing Nigeria to his own selfish interests and Fulani Islamic hegemony.

Pa Adebanjo said he preferred Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan (GEAJ) to GMB because the former promised to “implement the confab report.” If GEAJ were better than GMB why did he delay the implementation and gave second term as the condition for implementing the recommendations of the confab?

The Yoruba say there is no good child in the family of snakes.

The lamentation of Pa Adebanjo on Tinubu is that “it is obvious to state that the former governor hasn’t been treated fairly by his political party.” The elder statesman said he has decided to overlook how Tinubu maltreated him and other Yoruba elders, because “he is the voice of the Yoruba in the ruling party.”

There I differ with Pa Adebanjo. Is Tinubu representing the Yoruba or imperialism and politicisation of religion? Has Tinubu and the governors under his authority in the southwest treated the Yoruba well? Aren’t they demolishing houses and shops, and banning commercial motorcycles and tricycles needed by pedestrians? What is the life of commoners like, even in Lagos?

Prof. Oyeniran Abioje, PhD, University of Ilorin.

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