Soji Akanbi In Retrospect : A Deciding Vote Oyo APC Missed | By Adesokan Sodeinde  - Mega Icon Magazine
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Soji Akanbi In Retrospect : A Deciding Vote Oyo APC Missed | By Adesokan Sodeinde 

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2019 elections have come and gone. But, it left some memories that will continue to pullulate the political environment for a long time. One of such barometric pressure that gauged the elections and one that ultimately signalled the hard luck story of  the All Progressives Congress (APC ) in Oyo state was what political pundits called ‘SOJ factor’.

Senator Adesoji Akanbi will for a long time remain a Spanish version of political magnifico in Oyo Politics, particularly considering his father figure in Oyo South senatorial district that he last represented in the red Chambers. His exit from APC barely few months to the last polls was a proverbial worst sorrow for the party.

Only an eternal students of Politics in Oyo state will downplay the defection of Senator Soji Akanbi popularly called “Okanlomo ” by his teeming admirers as quotidian occurrence in Politics. You don’t expect a party to keep it’s glory when it has ingloriously pressed an exit buttons to its major strikers. Only people without a conscience ,to whom evil is ecstasy, will go on emotional binge for loosing a goose that is reputed for laying a golden egg.

With the benefit of hindsight, it was a bitter pill for Senator Soji Akanbi to swallow to finally take a bow out of an empire he co built as a progressive. The mien of SOJ to the unedifying pronouncement inside the hallowed Chambers by the then Senate President , Bukola Saraki was unmistakable . No sooner had the apparently enthusiastic Senator Bukola mentioned that among the “big fish ‘ that had been trapped to hitch into PDP train from APC was Senator Soji Akanbi than the latter mounted the soap box to refute what was later known to be unfounded claim . It could have been a slam dunk for PDP, a party that was leaving no stone unturned to wrestle power from the ruling party preparatory to the last election. It was more like political somnambulism for the Senate president who had earlier dangled PDP automatic tickets to any turncoats. To SOJ , APC is home.

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Stating the reason deitre for SOJ ‘s final decision to move out of his beloved party would amount to unnecessary repetition as he had personally laid bare the ground for his actions without grandstanding on several occasions.

One may ask , had SOJ stayed put in APC , what difference could it have made? A lot if I may say.

As a lengthened shadow and defacto engine room of his new bride, the African Democratic Congress (ADC) , the financial contribution he made to steady the boat of that party could have possibly been saved to strengthen APC.

It’s also obvious for a new emphasis that APC presidential candidate in the last election lost by hairs margin in Oyo state. See the statistics that provided strong evidence to how that ugly fate could have been reversed.

PDP polled 366, 690 votes
APC polled 365, 229
ADC came a distant third with 40, 830 votes.

While it can’t be argued that both APC and PDP were strong footed in Oyo state and heavily prepared for the election, the ADC presidential candidate, Mr Obadiah Mailafia was relatively unknown. Some people even claimed there was not a single poster or billboards of his in any corner. It therefore became glaring that if hundreds of SOJ faithfuls who cast their votes for ADC had voted for APC presidential candidate, the defeat ,which was quite narrow, could have been averted.

It leaves a sour taste in the mouth of many political observers that a party that has a winning streak to deliver massively for President Buhari in 2015 and towers above other states could end up eating an humble pie four years later. Discerning minds have heaped the blame of reversal of electoral fortune in Oyo state on Governor Ajimobi’s over bloated political clout, a delusion of grandeur that eventuated in politics of exclusion.

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2015 presidential election results in Oyo state, the APC conveniently secured  528,620 votes, while the PDP scored 303,376 votes.

The same scenario played out in both Senatorial and Federal House of Representatives election in Oyo South where APC candidates were mauled by some insignificant votes by PDP.

Talking of  Ibadan North West / South West federal constituency which is Senator Akanbi’s political strongholds, , the APC candidate, Hon. Fijabi Saheed would have been dancing “Azonto” after the election if SOJ had offered him a bulwark of political solidarity to rest on. See the results:

Stanley Olajide (PDP) had 28, 367 votes against Mr Saheed Fijabi who polled a total of 25, 560 votes.

What also remained a “squandered hope ” of APC to coast home victories in both Oyo South Senatorial District and even the Governorship elections couldn’t have been a mirage if ‘Okanlomo’ had thrown his weight behind APC. For example , if the Oyo South Senatorial ticket had not eluded the grasp of SOJ, his soaring credibility going by his stellar records in the zone could have saved APC from ignominy. Senator Adesoji Akanbi could have deployed into use his political sense of ” cognito circa rem’ to win landslide. With APC having three senators, the , rest could have been history so to say.

The gospel truth is that “APC fielded a candidate with a limbo existing in a negative dialectics in the eyes of the electorates to fly it’s flag in Oyo South , the jarring defeat was predictable as the party itself staggered into the election with heavy burden on it’s head.

Political pundits in Oyo state would have expected Governor Ajimobi to borrow a leaf from Senator Bola Tinubu who sacrificed his Senatorial ambition in 2007 for the party to flourish. Tinubu would have won the Senate seat against Hon Ganiyu Solomon that time but the party would have received bruises in it’s overriding interest in reclaiming Lagos State and South West  region .

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By and large, if Senator Adesoji Akanbi (Okanlomo) had not been denied ticket for Ajimobi , ‘ the capo dei capi’  to sub late his own self interest, who knows APC might have not been ineluctably battered and scattered like shards from a bottle dropped from the great height. Adesoji Akanbi,  no doubt is a factor anytime, any day in Oyo Politics.

It’s amazing that Senator Akanbi Adesoji who trailed uncharted political path ADC barely few weeks to the election nearly hit 50,000 votes.

Former Governor Abiola Ajimobi of the  APC polled 92, 218, Akanbi Rilwan Adesoji  (ADC) scored 49,417 and Kola Balogun  (PDP) secured 105, 270

Will APC rebound in Oyo state? Has Oyo APC learned it’s lessons in a hard way? Will the party emerge stronger from it’s present point of weakness ? Only Time will tell.

 

By Adesokan Sodeinde ,

A public affairs analyst and staunch APC member, writes from Eruwa , Oyo state.

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Opinion

Opinion: Amotekun Will Succeed As A Shield Not As A Sword | By Muideen Olagunju 

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Let’s not deceive ourselves, AMOTEKUN evolved into our security consciousness because of the incursions of criminal elements among the Fulanis of Northern Nigeria who have mastered crimes like pillaging, malicious damage, murder, rape and armed robbery. If I am not directly familiar with the modus operandi of the ones that lay sieges along the Osun-Ondo-Ekiti axis, I am fully abreast of the activities of these Fulani gangsters in my immediate environment of Oyo Town. The Oke Ogun zone of Oyo State has also been the stomping grounds for Fulani armed robbers.

Many of us view them as mere cattle herders but they are super intelligent. The level of their conspiracies is higher than that of common criminals. A Fulani man doesn’t act alone. If he is a crime perpetrator, he could get backing as high as Abuja. If he’s the victim, and the wrongdoer is Yoruba, haaaaa, his rights and interests could be defended by the high and mighty.

I’ll give you an example. A Fulani herdsman was killed just before Fasola Village in Oyo Town in 2013. His kinsmen reported to the Police and 3 individuals were arrested close to the scene of the crime. They protested their innocence and were able to give accounts of their whereabouts at the time of the murder. In short, in legal parlance, they had alibis. The DPO exercising jurisdiction over the matter couldn’t release the suspects. He said he had to transfer them to Homicide Division at the State CID even though he was convinced they are innocence.

He confided in me that he feared the influence of the Fulanis and their propensity to escalate the matter up to the office of the IGP in Abuja. He then gave me an alternative route to get my clients released. He said I should talk to a particular Fulani man who, at the time I must add, was the Head of all Fulanis in the Oyo area. I approached him. He said MIYETTI ALLAH was monitoring the matter. He became convinced too that the suspects had nothing to do with the murder but said only a directive from Miyetti Allah could make him drop the case. We exchanged numbers as he promised to get back to me. He did the following day and asked me to meet him at a Filling Station around Gedu, Oyo.

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I met him and at least 10 other men. He asked me to tarry as they were expecting Miyetti Allah’s representatives from Ilorin and Ibadan. Within one hour, the delegation from Ilorin comprising three individuals arrived and two persons came from Ibadan. They spread mats within the premises of the filling station and began deliberations. After about 20 minutes, I was summoned. I presented the case of my clients before the entire group. One of the men from Ilorin replied.

He was quite garrulous and had an air of assumed authority. He said they could punish my clients for the sins of Yoruba farmers against their people in the area. He added that but for the generous recommendation from the Seriki Fulani about me, my clients would have faced charges of murder. He then gave the OK that my clients could be absolved.

The above is just to tell you how organized and protective these people can be. We cannot forget how President Buhari accompanied them to confront erstwhile governor of Oyo State, Lam Adesina, over skirmishes between Fulanis and local farmers in Oke Ogun area in 2001. In terms of influence, we don’t actually stand a chance.

Now let’s discuss the composition and the operational nomenclature under which the Amotekun outfit will function. It appears they would not bear firearms and if they would, it is likely police or the government will only allow such basic firearms like pump action rifles. It goes without saying that the Fulani marauders bear more sophisticated weapons. The least In their Arsenal is the Kalashnikov (AK 47) assault rifle. In terms of operations, we have to remember they are primarily pastoralists.

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Walking the bush or forest is child’s play to them. Stamina comes in abundance. They can operate during the day or night with ruthless efficiency. No matter how well we train the Amotekun outfit, taking the battle to the marauders will be counter-productive except the Police and/or army will be co-opted to assist in the manhunts.

Keep in mind that the Amotekun initiative is being rammed down the throats of Northern interests. They see it as act of confrontation. In the minds of the hardliners among them, it is an affront. The current make up of the hierarchies of the security sector in Nigeria is not favourable to Southerners except we want to live a lie. All out battle against the marauders may elicit surreptitious complicity from the rank and file of the traditional security outfits like the police and the army in their favour.

As a sword, Amotekun will be like a Pygmy squaring up to Goliath.

So we have to use it as a SHIELD. At least by now, the signs are obvious that Southwestern states are fed up with the brazen activities of Fulani bandits. We have to mix the show of force with clever diplomacy. We have to open an interface for dialogue and engagements with the relevant stakeholders including the Miyetti Allah. This will include security summits between our six governors working in unison and their Northern counterparts. Engagements should include fast-tracked solutions to the perennial open grazing crises. This is where engagement with the federal government is crucial. The POWER OF SIX should be persuasive and result-oriented.

Of course, not all Fulanis are bad. The settlers are actually good people for the most part. Their major infraction is malicious damage of farmlands. Many of them have been with us for long and some have been completely Yorubalized. We can develop a system of useful collaboration with them. One thing I’ve discovered is that they also hate the activities of the nomads particularly since the settlers are often victims of the cattle rustling activities of the nomads. The “enemy of my enemy is my friend” mantra is apt in that situation.

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While the issue of banditry may have spurred the birth of the Amotekun initiative, there are sundry crimes being committed daily by Yorubas themselves. Ritual killing is one. Youth gangsterism is another. Proliferation of drugs is also a matter of concern. Amotekun should be localized to work with community leaders for the purposes of identifying bad eggs among us. Working in tandem with the police, criminals can be easily identified and reined in. We should also work hard to see that the outfit is not infested with corruption. Who would have thought the FRSC will deteriorate into being part of the “Sabanmu” gang?

It will take a lot of tact and wisdom to get Amotekun to achieve its fullest potentials. May we get it right.

 

Barrister Muideen Olagunju, ex-lawmaker,

Oyo State House Of Assembly writes from Oyo town

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Opinion

Opinion:Feeling worried over gruesome murder of Oko Oloyun Worldwide | By Onike Rahaman

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The gruesome murder of Alhaji Fatai Yusuf a.k.a. Oko Oloyun, the popular Lagos based traditional therapist on Thursday, 24th of January 2020, along Igbo Ora-Eruwa road in Oyo State,is not just a shocking news,it calls for worry.

By the circumstance of his death, this seems to be more than armed robbery incident. It may also not be wrong, if one looks at the dastardly act as direct indictment that the government at various levels lack the will and capacity to provide adequate security.

What this simply means is that government have not succeeded in the performance of its core mandate of providing security of lives and property for the citizens.

This is to also serve as a further reminder that government needs to improve in the area of security architecture,intelligence gathering and digitalization of security operations throughout the country.

For those of us that ply Maya-Eruwa-Igboora road weekly, we know the area is unsafe and more or less a den of people of underworld.
The brutal assassination of this silent philanthropist is a further testimony that insecurity of lives and property is now a major challenge in the country.

I am privileged to come across Oko Oloyun in the course of traveling around and meeting like minds to advance frontier of knowledge in the area of phytochemistry and uses of medicinal plants.Without any reservation,I can say that Oko Oloyun is a genius and guru when it comes to knowledge of nature cure and herbal medicine.

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His death will definitely create a vacuum in the field of alternative medicine.

I pray this time around,the killers and their sponsors are fixed out.

The whole world is waiting eagerly to see how far the police will go in its investigation of the heinous crime committed by unknown gunmen.

The Oyo State police command spokesman, SP Gbenga Fadeyi, said that the state’s police commissioner, Shina Olukolu, has ordered an immediate investigation into the incident.It is my prayer that his assassination doesn’t end as one of other unresolved murder cases in the country.

Oko-Oloyun, who until his death was the President of the Physiotherapists’ Association of Nigeria, was also the manufacturer of popular Fijk Flusher among other popular herbal products.

Those close to him say he was a lovable personality and cheer giver who never discriminated against any tribe or faith before his gruesome murder by yet to be identified gunmen.

May God Almighty repose his soul and give his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

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Opinion: Beheaded Adamawa Pastor: CAN Got It Mixed Up | By Femi Adesina

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It was very sad and doleful to hear of the eventual beheading of Rev Lawan Andimi, Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Michika Local Government, Adamawa State. He had been abducted by terrorists earlier this month .

I felt the killing of Andimi very keenly, not for the fact that he was a clergyman, but “any man’s death diminishes me, because I’m involved in mankind.” (John Donne).

No man should die the way Rev Andimi was killed. Beheaded by insurgents, who then proceeded to gleefully announce his decapitation. It should not happen. Evil and senseless. It is classic example of man’s inhumanity to man, and those who did it have long lost their humanity, if they ever had any.

President Muhammadu Buhari has sympathized with the family and relations of the dead. I have also been in a state of melancholy over it. May God have mercy.

I am mourning Rev Andimi, not just because he was a cleric, but because he was a human being. And my distress was increased by the statement issued on the tragic event by the central body of CAN. Too many things were mixed together, which the apex Christian body in the country should have been mindful of, lest it departs from the mind and essence of Jesus Christ, our perfect example.

For years, since he emerged on the national scene as a military leader, and later as an aspirant for the highest political office in the country, and eventually as President, spirited attempts have been made to position Muhammadu Buhari as anti-Christian faith. It worked against the man for a long time, till majority of Nigerians saw through the smokescreen, and made up their minds against the demonization.

That was why as much as some church leaders tried to dress Buhari in borrowed robes in 2015 and 2019, millions of Christians went ahead to vote for him. The inexorable truth is that in Nigeria, Muslims can’t wish Christians away, and vice-versa. We shall all stay here, and salvage it together.

However, the statement by CAN on the death of Andimi gives hint that the leadership of the Christian body still harbors some of the old narratives that have been discredited, and from which majority of people have purged themselves, except the willfully irredeemable.

Hear CAN, through its Director of Legal and Public Affairs, Evangelist Kwamkur Vondip, speaking for Rev Samson Ayokunle, President of the body: “Maintenance of security is the least responsibility of any government that knows its worth. We are once again calling on President Buhari to purge himself of the allegations of nepotism and religious favoritism by reconstituting the leadership of the security forces.”

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Let’s consider this part of the press statement. Maintenance of security is the least responsibility of any government that knows its worth. Not news. The Constitution says so. But don’t you glean a hint of bile and bias in “that knows its worth?” Oh, CAN, this is not the mind of our Master. He gives praises when due.

Security is number one on the priorities of the Buhari administration. It has pumped time and humongous resources into it, and while the job is not fully done, we are not in the same position we were before the administration came. At least, to those who want to be honest. And CAN should be honest. That is what we’ve learnt from our Master. There were times bombs used to go off in this country like firecrackers, and deaths were in many scores.

Now for months on end, you may not hear of a single bomb blast. Emirs that had fled their palaces, like those of Askira and Uba, have returned after two years. Secondary schools that were shut for two years in Maiduguri have reopened. Roads long closed due to activities of insurgents are back in use. Kidnappers are being arrested in droves in different parts of the country. Clashes between farmers and herdsmen are reducing to the barest minimum.

Yet, CAN is talking about a government that knows its worth? The Buhari government does, and honest Nigerians know it, and wish it more successes. Security, in any country of the world, can only be work in progress.

Hear again: We are once again calling on President Buhari to purge himself of the allegations of nepotism and religious favoritism…Wait a minute. If any purging is to be done, is it not by those making allegations?

The allegations lasted for many years, but truth eventually overtook them. If CAN would then still dwell on the discredited accusations, it must be the one to purge itself, as millions of Nigerians, including Christians, have already done. The insecurity in the country is not about any religion. It is pure evil, from the pit of hell.
And then: …purge himself of the allegations…by reconstituting the leadership of the security forces.

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CAN, oh CAN, in a condolence statement? Are you saying under a different leadership of our security forces, insurgency will vanish after they wave their fingers? Why mix the wheat and chaff together? In the leadership of the security forces as we have it now, is the position of Chief of Defence Staff not held by General Abayomi Olonisakin, who is also a pastor? Is he not a member of CAN? Is the Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe-Ibas, not a Christian, and under the banner of CAN? Listening to the organization, you would think not even half a Christian is in the leadership of the security forces. This kind of sentiment breeds hatred and malice in a country, and CAN should not be involved in such, for Jesus would not do it. And we’ve been called to walk in His steps.

If the leadership of the security forces would be changed, it is a sitting President that has the prerogative. It will not happen when CAN begins to make such demand in what should be a sober condolence press statement. Don’t mix bias and sympathy. They don’t mesh.

And then, this completely reckless portion of the statement: “In the light of the current developments and the circumstantial facts surrounding the prevailing upsurge of attacks against the church, it will be difficult for us to believe that the Federal Government is not colluding with the insurgents to exterminate Christians in Nigeria, bearing in mind the very questionable leadership of the security sector that has been skewed towards a religion and region.”

Holy Moses! Did CAN say this? Shameful and ridiculous. These are the things that sow malice and animosity in the country, and a Christian body is not expected to be involved in such. You can’t sow discord, and expect concord.

In that statement, the Christian body urged the Federal Government to ensure the release of the prisoner of faith, Leah Sharibu, and hundreds of victims who are in Boko Haram and ISWAP captivity. It equally called for three days fasting and prayers by Christians in the country. Good. The role of the church is not just in making snide remarks and statements, it is in what the Good Book calls “the demonstration of the Spirit and power.” When Herod locked Peter up, and was going to behead him, the early church prayed fervently, and Peter was rescued miraculously the night before. Rather than cast the government as omnipotent, it is God that has all powers. And some things are never resolved spiritually except through prayer and fasting. It is not me that said so. Jesus did. So, let the Church be fully involved in supplication for divine intervention in the country, rather than playing subtle politics and unwittingly generating hate in the land.

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CAN says kidnappings and killings are shameful to a government that boasts that it has conquered insurgency. Boasts. So that is all that matters to CAN, as if it was an opposition political party? Boasts. No. This would not augur for unity and cohesion in a country. We are not asking the Christian body to be in bed with government, that would not help anybody, but the organization has been sounding too long like a political party. We daily learn to walk with Jesus. His spirit is not an unduly critical one. And He left us an example “that ye should follow in his steps.”

Rev Andimi was not killed solely because he was a Christian. Those evil people kill anyone they lay their filthy hands on.

May Andimi’s soul Rest In Peace. May his loved ones be comforted. And may evildoers get their recompense, and fast too. Amen.

 

Femi Adesina is the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari

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