Sunday, June 10, 2018 9:05 am
By Tunde Asaju
Beware of those shouting that Sai Baba would be voted out in 2019. Their analogue political thermometer is utterly defective. Their permutation is based on the erroneous wish that Sai Baba’s popularity rating in the Southwest has dropped tremendously. It’s not based on empirical data. It’s the result of hanging around the same paraga joint with the same people. Ignore them.
Sai Baba is not a sinner. Ask BAT, the lord of southwest politrics. However, even if Sai Baba were a sinner, he would not need the blood of Jesus to cleanse his political zunubi or sin. Just when despondency was at its peak last week, Sai Baba released the joker of a correct political gambler to the bride of Naija politics. He gave them what they have desired for so long that they had given up – the authentication of the June 12 mandate, believed to have been won by their son – Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, aka MKO. With a presidential order, Buhari has declared June 12 as Naija’s Democracy Day wiping off the unilateral usurpation of a national landmark by his quondam friend, the Wizard of Ota.
It took the sanctity of the Holy Month of Ramadan to prevent punches from being thrown in the harried chambers of the House of Rebels. At the Sinnate, they’ve gone deeper, demanding that the unfinished business of who truly won the June 1993 elections be declared and rescued from the realm of eternal speculation.
This is where extreme caution is required. A completion of the process usually requires validation. Where the process is completed, Baba Gana Kingibe, the man who won the joint mandate but worked extra-hard to have it annulled may reap more than he planted. As the surviving twin of the mandate, an Arthur Nzeribe type movement may emerge to demand that the mandate be actualized. A Movement for the Actualization of June 12, MAJU12 may spring up, after all, Nzeribe may not be active; he is alive like hell and who knows Bassey Ikpeme may have a prodigal friend left in the judisharing ready with an innovative injunction.
The usually critical Southwest is abuzz with its trademark sense of gratitude. The Abiola family, the worst hit by the annulment have employed the best adjectives to express gratitude albeit to the man who evidently did nothing to actualize their father’s mandate. Indeed, there are people with the memory of elephants swearing that the new hero was an active member of the speculated cabal that scuttled Abiola’s June 12 mandate. But not to worry, he has redeemed himself with presidential fiat and added gyara to the whole shindig by granting a posthumous status to the irrepressible and irreplaceable Ganiyu Oyesola Fawehinmi, the only Senior Advocate of the Masses who was jailed by every military despot whose regime lasted longer than six months. Imagine the jubilation in jannah! Even Fela would be adding second bass to the beat.
From calling Sai Baba names, southwest elders and their kindred have started counting the things Sai Baba has done for them. There are tweets itemizing the things the southwest has received from Sai Baba’s kind heart where their own son, the Wizard of Ota failed. These include choosing a shon-of-the-shoil as deputy to fixing roads and building bridges likely to last longer than Okorocha ones.
If I had cash in a failed bank, I’d be betting that Yoruba elders accompanied by their Kings would be paying a thank you visit to the Villa very soon in their usual splendour perhaps accompanied by Fuji and Juju musicians. I pray they wait till the end of Ramadan so that Sai Baba can show his dance moves. In all this, the Wizard of Ota is the worst loser. Even as a vicarious beneficiary of the June 12 fallout, he did his best to obliterate it from history by unilaterally choosing May 29 as alternate democracy day. Now it appears that without his endorsement, Sai Baba’s second term is sealed.
This president could do more if he picks a Biafra Remembrance Day to complement the pardon granted Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu by Shehu Shagari. If he did that, he could hold on to power forever, no shaking. If we must heal the nation, let’s do it across board.
To secure the loyalty of all citizens gburugburu, he should enlarge the coast of posthumous honours by recognizing the supreme sacrifice paid by Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh. In 2014, Dr Adadevoh stopped Ebola dead on its track with her own life by recognizing and quarantining Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian human vector from annihilating our population. Presidential precedent has now quashed the reason given then for not honouring her. Little Sierra Leone has honoured its medical heroes and heroines by unveiling postage stamps with their faces and names. We should do better than them as Big Brother. Sai Baba should honour Adadevoh and restore faith in Naija as a country worth dying for. Dr Adadevoh’s soul should not wait as long as it took us to fulfil our promises to the Super Eagles and their coach, Jo Bonfrere.