Afenifere Solidarity Visit To Otunba Gbenga Daniel And The Pan Yoruba Group Observation

It is an atonement of perfidy to find out that the Afenifere Renewal Group, the younger subsidiary of Afenifere that broke away from the main body due to post-Adesanya leadership variance, would condemn Afenifere leaders’ visit to former Ogun State Governor Otunba Gbenga Daniel, OGD, led by Chief Reuben Fasoranti, saying they had set a bad precedence. What type of bad precedent in Yorubaland for discrediting some individuals, or working on discrediting an individual, if we may ask?

 Could we consider the murder of one of the founders of Afenifere, the Chief Law Enforcement Minister, Chief Bola Ige, in his Ibadan home without a trace of how he was murdered, while a purported Yoruba blood was the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria? Unfortunately the Afenifere Renewal Group has allowed its emotion to override its good sense of reasoning and failed to differentiate between their sentiment and wisdom.

 The Afenifere group solidarity visit to Otunba Gbenga Daniel in his Shagamu country home, on October 19, 2011, on his current political ostracization orchestrated by the ‘enemies within’, should not be considered as setting ‘bad precedence’. The leaders that visited Daniel are those who will raise their heads above their shoulders in the helm of Yoruba affairs. It is despicable that anyone would see their visit as supporting bad omen in the Society.

Marvelling the negative reactions as to why OGD was visited by the Apex Yoruba group, the Afenifere, a group he was a member before his throbbing sojourn in PDP to actualize his vision for Ogun State. Throughout his eight-year governorship he refused to cut off the umbilical cord with Afenifere. He might be paying the prize of being the longest serving Governor of Ogun State.

On the internet cyber café, Daniel’s case has become a comic. EFCC continues gutter digging for filth and turning the case into cyber comic. ‘EFCC is doing to OGD what NDLEA did to Baba Suwe’, someone echoed. ‘Enemies Within’ through their agents would like to probe everything this man has done from January 2003 till May 2011.

 EFCC, from the invisible hand of Jezebel, would like to know where Daniel built his homes, his businesses, some of which he had before joining the murky Nigeria politics. It will like to probe his family, possibly dig into his bedroom how he comforts himself with his wife after a long day’s work. Since he sometimes eats in the public, EFCC would like to probe that as well, even while in the bathroom on how he disposed the body waste and showered before jumping to bed with Yeye Olufunke, possibly that too, in the name of public service.

 Haba! Ebenezer Obey would sing if you hunt someone for so long and you could not grab him, the honorable thing to do is to back off. Definitely Brother Tortoise will not give up on his shameful journey until he has been disgraced.

 Nigerians still remember the fool at 70s and the comic fool game, thinking that what humorist does is what people want.

 When a comedian makes you laugh, he gets lost and full of the opinion that people love his jokes, not knowing that some people laugh because they see others laughing and they have to join them; some people feel amused by their shaggy dog story, because it is funny; some laugh at their inanity because it is that part of their thinking faculty that is being exposed to the public to laugh at. So also the comic leaders of later day saints pushing their wisdom till another day like Moammar Gaddafi.

 Nigerians are awaiting the reports of ‘the activities of the Bureau of Public Enterprise from 1999 till date (2011) on the sales of the Federal Government properties’, to gauge Atiku and Obasanjo laughing competition. Nigerians would see the SAINTS among our leaders with the spit of contaminated saliva from General Buhari that “What Nigeria realized from 1914 when Lokoja was the headquarters till 1999 was much less than what was earned during former President Olusegun Obansajo’s eight years”. Where is the money or what was done with the money?

 Why would Afenifere group not support one of its own who was trailing the good life of their great leader, late Awolowo, whose shoe no one is big enough to wear? After its facts finding dialogue with Daniel they strongly registered their sympathy with OGD and expressed displeasure at what OGD is going through.

 It is actually worrisome in the Oduduwa Republic where mere mentioning of Awolowo’s name or working on some of his remarkable progressive programs make some people go bananas, or would possibly ‘get a rope’ like Gaddafi. Good parents always crave for their children to be greater than them, so goes for any good leader.

 Till date, December 2011, Awolowo remains one of the most revered and respected politicians across Nigeria, practically worshipped in the South West where he hailed from. Awolowo remains significantly important for obvious reasons. His name has been written in gold across the country and beyond and would remain so in the South West Zone of Nigeria.

 The North would support their leaders in all ramifications for Allah put them there; while Ibos would continue to worship their heroes and heroines. Glory be to God for the life of the People’s General, Ikemba Nnewi, Dikedioranma Ndigbo, Odenigbo Ngw, Ezeigbo Gburugburu, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, whose life his people is about being immortalized among his people. His body has been scheduled to be flown to Gabon, Tanzania, Ivory Coast and Haiti before his final resting place in Nnewi, Nigeria. May the soul of the People’s General rest perfectly in the Lord!

 It is evidenced that most Nigerian leaders are corrupt, if you cannot beat them; Afenifere, Arewa, Igbo watch them, not joining them. Not a single past or present public Nigerian leader would deny or could avow to the universal authentic god of IRON that they NEVER, in their entire public service, taken what did not belong to them for their personal gain. Or is it a case of “if you {Gbenga} have begged Obasanjo, your case wouldn’t have gone this far”, per an Abuja EFCC interrogator? Or is it to make sure that Daniel feels the embarrassment because no one “has ever been insulted like that in his life”?

However, the move to indict the Governors in their home States was based on the fact to further humiliate Daniel in his home State. What has happened with Alao Akala’s case, who brought illiteracy to governance, or Goje’s who is laughing from his mouth to his ears. No one would hear anything against Oyinlola, who turned the charm of his office into a conflagration of tyrants.

Most Nigerian leaders are driven by their emotions, which made some well known Nigerians like Wole Soyinka; Na’Abba recommended for Nigerian politicians to be processed for a complete psychiatric test in Aro, Abeokuta. What a good location for some of the Yoruba leaders to visit. Some have been driven by emotions above their good sense of reasoning.

 It will be a hard road for Nigeria to reach the 20: 20/20 goal if the anti-corruption agencies are not allowed to function professionally, ethically and non-political.

 In addition, decent Nigerians would not send frolicsome information to anti-corruption agency for investigation, for EFCC rushing to arrest or arraign an individual without solid facts against an individual other than acting on mere anecdote. Such political vendetta makes a mockery of the whole exercise of cleansing the society of bad eggs, while neglecting the gadgets that breed corruption in the Nigerian communities.

 Here is a EFCC incident report of Emeka Ugwuonye on November 15, 2011 on what transpired at the cell room where Daniel was detained:

 “They asked if there was someone else in Cell No. 10. There was indeed a gentleman who was just assigned to join me in that cell about 2 hours before the EFCC men arrived. I and my new cell mate were still in the process of getting to know each other better. He was brought to the cell in connection with the case of Governor Gbenga Daniels. According to what I learned, this guy was a businessman whose company executed a construction contract during the time Daniels was the Governor of Ogun state. EFCC wanted to know if his company ever gave money to Gbenga Daniels. On the pages of the newspapers, you would think that EFCC had advanced on any meaningful investigation in the case of Daniels. To discover that they are still engaged in the wildest speculation of possibilities was not surprising to me. Anyway, I was taken to my cell in order to search my cell.”

We saw the handwriting on the wall when Daniel was humiliated, as a seating Governor, during Jonathan campaign trail in Abeokuta. It was later publicly stated from Olurin’s campaign team that Daniel would go to jail, like others who dared the elephant.

Daniel as a leader should and would take full responsibilities of whatever happened during his administration. However, he is not a perfect man, not claiming to be the best, and not a Saint either, because he is human. He might have offended someone, some people or a group of people; he might have stepped on the toes of a big elephant.

How much pain would an elephant feel on the spot where an ant stepped on? That should not make the elephant destroy the products of thousands of ants work in that vicinity. Of what use would that be to the elephant tucks anyway. If the elephant discern that its chunky skin has already absorbed the spot where the ant stepped on, the elephant should not overreact.

 Any group in the squishy Nigeria Federation Nigeria would do what Afenifere did. The younger generation has been roaring like a Lion at the Yoruba leaders for them to step out and be counted. Arewa group would do likewise as the group always praise God for their leaders and would positively advise them for their wrong doings. They never dung holes for their leaders to be pushed into.

 Why would Afenifere not pay solidarity visit to Daniel as a fact finding mission, which revealed that the documents which showed that the $4 million, claimed to have been stolen, was actually changed into naira and paid into the coffers of Ogun State government on the same day the transaction was made. Afenifere saw evidence which clearly showed that at no point did the money in question used for anything other than the services of the Ogun State Government. There was no evidence whatsoever that the money was ever paid into any private individual account. The transaction among the government, the bank which served as intermediary and the companies which bought the foreign exchange were documented in a transparent manner. Why anyone would even questioned the visit of Afenifere to Daniel.

 There has been so much noise about the allegations and we begin to see the cloudy political dinosaur over OGD travail. What has PDP got to do with Daniel’s trial by caveating the Bench about this case? It has become obvious that the political inroad into the trial of Gbenga Daniel has written the script for the outcome of the vendetta, not trial.

 The Yorubas are fond of shortening names for their convenience, sometimes, the meaning is distorted. They will gleefully refer to Ayodele’s father as either “Baba Ayo” or “Baba Dele”. The same goes for Funmilola as either “Baba Funmi” or “Baba Lola”; Oluwatoyin as “Baba Olu” or “Baba Toyin”. An aged Student just passed through the Theological College program that has waited so long for a child before he was blessed with a bouncing baby boy. The baby was named “ESUPOFO” (meaning the devil has lost out!). Some few days later neighbors got rebuked for addressing the father as either “Baba Esu” or “Baba Pofo”! Who is to blame?

EFCC integrity is at stake in its exercises of cleansing Nigeria communities of corruption. It has to get itself out of politics, and investigate cases before making arrest or charges to court. It has to serve with integrity and fear of God. The press trial should stop and Nigerians should allow Justice to take its course on the trials instead of satisfying a cabal.

So Help Us God!!!

Professor Femi Ajayi is Head, Political Science and Public Administration Department, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State

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