By Olatunji Dare
First, a preface to the epistle.
Four columns ago, I dispatched from this platform an open letter to my aburo and kindred soul, (Patrick) Osahon Obahiagbon, Esquire, attorney-at-law, former federal lawmaker and most recently Chief of Staff to the former Comrade Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, desirous of communing with him after a prolonged intermission that had eventuated against my best will, no less against his.
Because of the constraints of space and time, and even taking into account his capacious mind, his fecund imagination and his capacity for throwing up the most penetrating insights, to say nothing of the amplitude of the lexical arsenal with which he expounds his thoughts, one can go only so far in wantonly inflicting one’s reminiscences on him, though I must hasten to insist that even at that conjuncture, you will find no one more accommodating, more obliging than Himself the Igodomigodo.
Challenges bring out the best in him, as his reply to the dispatch aforementioned, issued under his own hand within 48 hours of receiving it, not through an amanuensis, indicates powerfully. He never disappoints.
I have not sought his permission to share it with the public. Something tell me that he will welcome my doing so, in the hope that it might generate some mirth that could dispel, however slightly and fleetingly, the foreboding loosed on the land by the malignant novel coronavirus.
It is certainly to be preferred to the inane conspiracy theories and the quack remedies being peddled by shamans decked out in various guises and disguises.
It is especially gratifying that no one has invited the researcher Professor Maurice Iwu to the miracle drug he claimed to have devised many years before the virus even had a name.
Better to allow him to prepare his legal defence against sweeping allegations by the EFCC that he misallocated billions of Naira in public funds during his last outing as chair of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
My Big Brother:
I must pontificate with humility, abovo, that your usual generous coruscating panegyrics as to my humdinger abilities where I senatorially perched, this time got me inebriated in an aqua of salubrious narcissism and thanks for it, because emanating from your very fastidious, critical philosophical and encyclopedic observatory, it was indeed a refreshing anodyne from the epicaricacy that malodorously swamps the political atmospherics.
But rest assured that we are consensus ad idem with Professor Wole Soyinka when he asseverated that “man shall achieve his authentic being through confrontation with the vicissitudes of life.”
Is it not bewildering that at the time of your excogitation arising itself from your seminal and ceaseless lucubrations, Muhammadu Sanusi 11, may have been skedaddled out of the throne of his forebears and that is because Nigeria unravels de die in diem?
I certainly didn’t find comfort in his alleged luxuriating in partisan ensconcement, but he has my imprimatur in his feisty and quixotic reformatory and sometimes revolutionary temper in speaking truth to power over time in spite of his own hedonistic and epicurean privileges. No doubt he exhibited some traits of intellectual and ideological megalomania but it always found anchorage in a genuine utilitarian
And transformational desire.
What rankles is that if he was dethroned for his “bad verses” and because the system could not be latitudinarian enough to accommodate his gadfly proclivities, must he be banished against the backdrop of section 35 of our Constitution that guarantees personal liberty and in view of the Court of Appeal’s sacrosanct position in the case of Attorney General Kebbi State versus Alhaji Al Mustapha Jokolo, in which the court unequivocally affirmed the illegality and unconstitutionality of such archaic practices?
My verdict is that citizen Muhammadu Sanusi should be accorded all his constitutional rights and privileges going forward.
I continue to remain an advocate for true federalism as a passe-partout in part resolution of our National Question. It is indubitable that the National Question has gnawed at Nigeria’s solar plexus and threatened its existence at various times. It was not hyperbolic when Suberu and Agbaje stigmatized Nigeria’s federalism as being plagued with “paradoxes, pathologies and irregularities.” I only need to add that we are a “federation without federalism,” apologies to Jan Erk.
The Nigeria federal system exhibits a high ossifying and asphyxiating degree of centralization that has occasioned eschewable roforofo between the component units and the Centre and among the component units themselves that we can do with some restructuring that broadly accommodates the creation of a federation which efficaciously enhances our collective identity and distributive political economy and addresses a system that promotes equity, justice and equality amongst the multinational and ethnic groups.
It is within this context that I perceive the audacious and laudable attempt by the Southwest state governors to berth AMOTEKUN under the auspices of the Western Nigeria Security Network and also the initial furore it generated. What gives me the heebie jeebies, I must admit just now, is the fact of the political class now deploying the fight for restructuring as a smokescreen for elite politics and objectives.
My joy was boundless when 29 new words that were either borrowed from Nigerian languages or are “unique Nigerian coinages” that have been in circulation for a period of aeons got cosmopolitan canonization in the trusted bible of the English language, the OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY.
If etching some of our colloquialisms in the Oxford English Dictionary invests upon us some positive world attention of which we are in humongous deficit, then we can pro tempore bask in the sunshine of Nigerian colloquialisms but not without observing that they did not get it right in my opinion with the meaning ascribed to chop chop.
I am also to add that I will invite you my Senior Brother to a bacchanalian party if someday the Oxford English Dictionary decides to smile on me by also adding my own special coinage of the type of government we have run in Nigeria since independence which I stigmatized elsewhere as KAKISTOMOBOPLUTOCRACY.
My worry about our electoral jurisprudence in caboodle which gives me mental pabulum is the judicial coup d’état of if you like call it coup de grace where the judiciary can by sheer judicial deus ex machina foist willy-nilly an electoral state of affairs violently antipodal to the electoral verdict of the people as we have seen in Zamfara, Bayelsa and some other states in all the categories of elections without limiting it to the governorship elections.
The extant laws and our Constitution need a rejigging to accommodate this anti-democratic gorgon medusa.
The concatenation of events both in the national level and in Edo State that has brought the APC National Chairman under bold relief is a combination of our prebendal politics, crass perfidy, impunity and revanchism which must be deprecated.
Whereas certain political power centres are fighting back the intrepid and pertinacious iron-will determination of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to stop the reign of impunity and thus restore party discipline and supremacy which are the hallmark of party democracy no matter whose ox is gored, and substantially removing the party levers from the suzerainty of strong individuals back to the rank and file of party members, others are also apprehensive of the fact that the APC National Chairman may not lend himself to malleable manipulations of 2023 presidential and power calculations.
There was no way Oshiomhole was not going to have obstreperous, raucous and riveting resistance from the power behemoth steeped in the reign of party capture before he became National Chairman of the APC. What is happening in the Edo home front is regrettable, opprobrious and sardonic because there is no basis for it at all.
All Comrade Oshiomhole said, advised and insisted on was the need to run an all-inclusive government capable of delivering the dividends of democracy to the people and at the same time strengthening the party. How this position became anathematous to the extent of subjecting him and his loyalists to state terrorism, political pugilism, obscurantism and pariahism leaves a caustic taste in the buccal cavity of any objective bystander.
Let me again thank you immensely from the bottom of my heart for finding time to tickle my sensibilities and sensitivities, in spite of your crowded intellectual engagements. You make me feel important even when am conscious of the fact that I am just a student.
Thanks Sir, and best regards.