By PROF. YEMI OKE, Ph.D, FCArb, FCTI
A new political era is gradually unfolding in Ogun State. The ‘out-going’ gladiators who have, for decades dominated the political landscapes may need to take a few minutes to rethink, evaluate and objectively contexualised the unfolding political shift.
We are beginning to witness the emergency of very strong political forces in Ogun State propelled largely by political dexterousness, intellectual prowess, financial muscles, international networks and other fine attributes of twentieth century politicking.
A case study is Senator Olamilekan Adeola (a.k.a ‘YAYI’). Senator Yayi is a political success story of a notable Lagos (Bourdillion) politician in his early-mid 50s now being celebrated by Ogun State political gladiators at several fora, and recently at the well-attended chieftaincy celebration marking his installation as “AREMO OF YEWALAND”.
YAYI’s political ascendency is a reflection of carefully and skillfully designed and well deployed smartness of a forward-looking political ‘god-father’. The success story of a good boss in Lagos is now being celebrated and glamorized by Ogun State political gladiators in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s who, sadly, have grown no single local, autochonous (Ogun-grown) political son or daughter of YAYI’s political stature and social influence despite dominating the political landscape of Ogun State for upward of two-four decades, continuously. This is Food-for-Thought.
I celebrate the political school of thought that grew, nurtured and yielded YAYI to Ogun State from the Lagos State House of Assembly, to House of Representatives (Lagos), and now as one of the highest-ranked Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (from Lagos West). I congratulate Senator YAYI for being such a diligent political school-son of the Burdillon Political Academy! Ogun State political academies can’t yet boast of such Alumnus (or Alumni) of your standing in age, relevance, ascendency and wealth.
The problems is not that Ogun State political gladiators have no loyal followership like Bourdillion’s. It has a lot to do with their misplaced political priorities, wrong political calculations, wasteful spending of their political capital (human resources- followers), ‘hereditary’ political positioning, self-self-political orientation and the likes. For instance, my political historiography has not revealed that the Master at Bourdillion would have struggled a Senatorial seat with YAYI or any of his political sons or daughters or sponsor his son as House of Representatives candidate! Someone may argue the case of the wife of Bourdillion. Yes, fielding daughter, wives or mother (may) readily pass as gender balancing, or the women’s voices continue being “muted”! Afterall, fielding daughter may be reasonably justified after fielding several Governors, tens of Senators, Ministers, House of Representatives, etc who are not liked by consanguinity (blood relations).
YAYI would go very far in Ogun State. His sphere of political influence may even extend beyond Ogun State, if he continues to deploy the deep skills of expansionist strategy by generosity, like Bourdillon’s.
The writer was, until recently, an arch antagonist of Senator YAYI. This is true confession. I was the lead Counsel to the Petitioner and later Appellant in the Election petition of Senator YAYI in 2015, against Hon. Adewale (Aeroland). We fought from the Tribunal up to the Court of Appeal but lost on technical grounds: (see HON. SEGUN ADEWALE V HON. SOLOMON OLAMILEKANA (2015) LCN/8025 (CA); CA/L/EP/SN/1024/15)
It was rumored in 2014/5 that Senator YAYI was coming to contest in Ogun West. My immediate response was “la’ye-la’ye” (never!). I immediately drafted 2 serious suits, as Ogun State political/legal stakeholder, with a view stopping him.
That was then. I’ve since carefully observed the evolution of YAYI’s style of politicking. He is bound to go very far. He may remain unstoppable if he sustains the trends.
Good lessons to learn for Ogun State political gladiators. Those political actors who have dominated the Ogun State scene for several decades, as gladiators, may not always have things their way going by the unfolding trends. The emergence of new, radical political actors and younger gladiators may send them out of political relevance, into retirement or oblivion.
It might not be “Political Eldorado” for the “YAYIS”. This is because, truth be told, Yewaland is different from Remo, Ijebu and Egba. The strategy deployed so far may (likely) yield a totally different outcome in, for instance, Egbaland and Remo or Ijebuland. Taking further steps in political ascendency by Senator YAYI into the larger Ogun State, now or in the no distant future would be a very interesting episode to be unfolded at the appropriate time.
But, for now, it is too late to stop or halt the “WEST-TO-WEST” agenda. Our brothers and allies in the hilly ‘Mecca’ of a white-garment denomination, or a notable generous Muslim high-chief on Owode-axis may need to rethink their strategies politically. Both are my very good brothers and allies. Quite frankly, it is also difficult, though not impossible, for the current occupant to be twice lucky to be imposed as a Senator.
Not due to the sin of any of them, but their political ‘god-fathers’ are not as smart and futuristic like the Bourdillion that yielded YAYI from “West” to “West, and possibly beyond ‘WEST’!
In all, OMO OGUN, RO’NU!!!
Congratulations to the new AREMO OF YEWALAND, Senator Olamilekan Adeola (YAYI)! Oye a mo’ri o. E fi omode je’ oye, e o fi agba’ loo!!