Monday, September 28, 2009


My first encounter with the firebrand, iconic human rights advocate was at the Heathrow Airport in London in the ‘80s, prior to this encounter I had a different picture of the man in my brain as someone huge, muscular, brainy and perhaps larger than life.

As he bellowed: “Ebino Topsy – he spread his arms around his friend, Chief Ebenezer Babtope. ‘How are you my friend? – In synch, they greeted each other. I, for one, stood there transfixed looking at him.

How could this relatively built individual be so daring and consistent in his effort to take any bad Government or individual down singlehandedly? Why would any one want to dare a Government that derives power from the barrel of Guns? What a dangerous life mission! What motivates him to want to set free the downtrodden, the poorest of the poor in Nigeria? The thought kept firing in my brain as Gani and Babtope geared up to comedy on Nigeria military anomalies in those days.

For a moment, I couldn’t participate fully on the political issues of the day been discussed. I kept hearing voices in my head saying, “What does this man has other than the Law Books and the rule of Law as he knew it – a pass-on knowledge by those British white-wig wearers; those lovers of human dignity to make him so determined on his human rights activities?

The word democracy kept recurring in their conversation. But what has democracy got to do with ‘Khaki and Guns?” If they want democratic Government they have to raise their own political army against those military boys. As if Gani heard my inner thought, he bellowed once again: “Ebimo, look I am not a politician, all I want is for those soldiers to get the hell out of Government and go back to their barracks – there they can have all the guns they want to protect the Nation.”

As Gani turned to leave, I woke up from my trance and suggested that he should consider bringing up a law suit against the State Governments of Lagos, Ogun and Oyo to be joined with the Federal Government of Nigeria for allowing thousands of Nigerians to die on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway for so many years.

All the three States should have known better to pool resources for the rehabilitation and expansion of that road. There is a provision in Nigeria Constitution that stipulates that Government has the responsibility to provide good accessible roads, whether intercity or interstate for Commerce or movement of people from one place to the other.

While jurisdiction of roads lies with the Federal Government, States will do well to first alleviate attendant problems and later present Costs to the Federal Government. Failure to do so becomes negligent of the first order and could be penalized by the Court of the land.

Since I had previously been introduced to Gani as a student in America, Gani intoned: “Americano, such a case was once considered among lawyers in my chamber but the problem we encountered was that the families of the victims on that road over the years were unable to come up with death certificates of their loved ones that pointed to the place and time of death.”

Such was a vibrant lawyer’s mind of the people. Gani’s death at the age of 71 was as a result of wear and tear of organs in his body; those that had been exposed to various abuses in his quest to better the lots of Nigerians.

Our consolation is Gani’s legacy; he fought for ordinary Nigerians. He fought for people’s lives constantly in danger of human right abuses, of people dying unnecessarily from hunger, from unclean environment that breeds mosquitoes resulting in death from malaria, from people dying unnecessarily from accidents on roads that lack constant maintenance. He was a radical to the core, unbending on crusade against falsification of identities by leaders that are supposed to live by good examples.

The Students of Law should be encouraged to catalogue various law suits Gani prosecuted throughout his life time.

The empathy the masses are now exuberating in eulogy to his family, especially to his children, becomes a testament to the good life he lived for all Nigerians. Without doubt, the vanguard won the minds and souls of all Nigerians.


By Dr. Almaroof

Sunday, September 13, 2009

An Eye Openning Interview With Mr. Ebenezer Babatope

•Opposition parties are just paper tigers — Ebenezer Babatope By TAIWO AMODU [aniodu']
Saturday, August 29, 2009

Former Aviation Minister and PDP chieftain, Chief Ebenezer Babatope has appraised the opposition parties in Nigeria, giving a damning verdict: opposition parties in Nigeria merely exist on the pages of newspapers. Speaking with Saturday Sun in Lagos in an exclusive interview, Babatope chides the opposition parties for not doing enough to sell themselves to the electorate, only to turn around at election period to blame the F'DP and INEC for their failures at polls. Party of Nigeria was particularly abrasive of the AC which it dismissed as not being on the ground in the south west, but blames the INEC and PDP each time it loses at the polls.

The former Director of Organization of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria was particularly abrasive of the AC which he dismissed as not being on the ground in the south west, but blames the INEC and PDP each time it loses at the polls

We just had a re run senatorial election in Ekiti and PDP won AC; just like what we experienced during the gubernatorial re run, allegations are flying all over the place. What do you make of this?
Well, I wish the young men of the AC the best of luck. You see, it's clear to anybody who is objective that the AC could never have won the Ekiti North senatorial election. Never! I say this, not because I am PDP but because.. one, I was born in Ekiti, Ifako Ekiti precisely the home town of Governor Oni and I know the politics there .Ekiti North is a place where PDP is strongest in the whole of Ekiti State.
So, there is no way that the AC could have defeated the PDP. You see, I agree that the AC was a formidable party before the 2007 election, but the moment the AC shot itself on the foot by allowing almost twelve members of its party who were aspiring to be governor to leave the party and join the PDP, these men came to strengthen the hands of the PDP in Ekiti State.
One of them is Arise who in fact just won election in Ekiti North. So, when these boys came, of course they strengthened the PDP and PDP definitely was in a position to defeat the AC.
The propaganda of the AC is strong, of course I admit that, but the reality on the ground is that the PDP can never be defeated in that place. When you take the totality of Ekiti state, I quite agree that AC is very strong in Ikere Ekiti; very strong in Ado Ekiti even though we are now contending with them in Ikere Ekiti, but very strong in Ado Ekiti and then very strong in the local government of Niyi Adebayo and Ayo Fayose, but not to the point that the PDP would be disgraced in the place.
But if you talk of Ekiti North they know themselves and there is no way by which AC could have beaten the PDP in Omuo, in lkole in Ilejemeje in Oye Ekiti, in Ido Osi local government. It is very difficult! The only area of Ekiti North where the AC is very popular and strong is Kayode Fayemi's home town. But when you take it out, what's the population of the voters in Isan ? You actually found out that there's nothing left for the AC. They could make some impression I consider that Ayede Ekiti, but not to the point that they will disgrace the PDP in Ayede Ekiti.
I give you an example. There's Itapa/Osi ward, where the AC defeated the PDP by 50 votes in Itapa township, simply because the Ayo Fayose group is formidable to do that, but in Osi the PDP won hands down, but Itapa and Osi form one ward so when you put the ward together the PDP defeated the AC. So apparently the PDP won the election fair and square.
Again, if you come to Ifaki Ekiti where Adetunbi the senatorial candidate of the AC comes from and where Segun Oni also comes from, believe me, I was born there, lived there. The father of the AC candidate was my teacher at school, very nice man .but electorally Ifaki people will never vote for any party different from the party in which you have Segun Oni.
The Ekiti governor's father was a very popular person in Ifaki, just the same way as Adetunbi but Governor Oni's father was older, he was a strong man in the Methodist church and rose to he be the head of the church in the place and the traditional Ifaki politics had always hovered round Papa Awolowo and Segun Oni's father lived and died an Action Grouper.
So there was no way by which Adetunbi could have won in Ifaki. That's the truth! And there was no way Fayemi could have defeated Segun Oni and PDP in Ifaki, or Ido Osi. No way!

The opportunity the government has to assure Nigerians that it meant well with electoral reform is slipping out of its hands; I am talking about the Uwais report and Yar'Adua has been accused of playing game with it...
You see, don't let us be too much in a hurry. I agree with everybody saying that we must have electoral reform, I have always preached that. When we went to the constitutional conference in 2005, it was the decision of that conference that we should have electoral reform and of course, president Yar'Adua has said it very clearly that he's for electoral reform and the rule of law. I agree, but you see we still have two years to election in 2011 and I know and I am convinced that the Uwais report, given the areas the government has announced that they have agreed with will be implemented. It's for the National assembly and I want to appeal to the National Assembly, they must not toy with the destiny of this country by in fact not passing into law all these reforms. They must, they should close their eyes, sacrifice their time and ensure that Nigerians have this electoral reforms.
But my fear and I hope that the opposition parties in Nigeria will not just be mere paper tigers. You see, when these reforms are passed, then you discover that they are just mere paper tigers and then they will not be able to do anything, after the reforms might have come into play. So we beg them, we appeal to them to do their job well and open their eyes and they must also stop political frivolities. They just must admit where they know that they are not strong as I just told you about Ekiti North; it's not possible for the AC to beat PDP in Ekiti North. All the violence they are talking about isn't something which in fact is common in all parts of the world, even in America, even in Britain, we have it! But the question is, we must talk in terms of relativity of parties in terms of popularity in areas of Nigeria.
So, I 'm for electoral reforms, I agree with you that we must have electoral reforms, the National Assembly must give Nigerians electoral reforms. If they fail to do so, Nigerians must hold the national assembly responsible and they must now seize the hours and ensure that we have electoral reforms so that 2011 election will be adjudge by Nigerians and those outside as being free and fair.

But people see the delay trailing the constitutional amendment as a PDP game?
I want to assure you and I want to assure Nigerians that there's no PDP game anywhere. These are matters of common sense. It's true that PDP members are in the majority in the National Assembly that is the more reason why those chaps who are there-and I appeal to them to ensure that they pass the electoral law. I want to appeal to them, because at the end of the day Nigerians will be looking at them and will be holding them responsible for whatever happens - not the party.
So, they must close their eyes for some weeks and finish up with electoral laws, pass it so that Nigerians can have electoral laws for 2011 elections. If they don't do it, they would have failed the nation and that would be very catastrophic indeed.
I'm for it and the Federal Government has announced, clearly and without mincing words that it's committed to electoral reforms. In fact, all the bills for electoral reforms have been submitted to the National Assembly and we are all waiting. The Attorney General of the Federation has gone to the national assembly to talk to them, let the national assembly members do what should be done and there should be no prevarications, no pretence. Do what should be done and save Nigerians from the chaos of electoral malpractices.
You just dismiss the opposition parties as paper tigers; but they also accuse PDP of arm twisting. Take the case of defecting governors… [cuts in] you see, when you talk about defecting governors.
What does PDP want? A one party state?
No, we can't be a one party state in this country and again, I'm making an appeal to the opposition party. But those who have defected, if you go into deep analyses of those who have defected who are governors, you find that many of them were former members of PDP. Ohakim of Imo State was a member of PDP pre -2007 election. When the PDP didn't nominate him to contest the gubernatorial election in the state, he looked for a platform and got one under the PPA. But if we even take it, Orji Kalu was PDP governor. Everybody in Abia state PPA government today was a member of the PDP. Don't rule out the possibility of Orji Uzor Kalu and the PPA in Abia coming back to the PDP.
Then, if you talk about Yuguda, he wasn't only in the PDP, he was a minister under Obasanjo. If the man now says, 'I want to go back to my party,' you can't stop him from doing so.
Those you have mentioned - what if those parties had not made their platforms available to them to contest? Do you think their action is morally defensible'?
You are talking about morals? Well, it's quite unfortunate that in politics, all over the world this moral you are talking about aren't there. Even in America till tomorrow, Democrats are crossing over to Republicans and vice versa. The only thing you can talk about UNA place is they have the means of reaching the people and the level of communication is quite easier then.
So, it's happening everywhere. Imagine now in Britain some members of the Labour Party are saying, 'we won't vote for our party in the next election.' What do you say about that ? So, I don't see anything wrong and if you are talking about morality, then you better keep your morality outside politics, because political parties are about intrigues, all over the world.
So, the case of Ohakim and Yuguda, they were former members of the PDP who had now thought it reasonable to return to their party. Look, let me tell you between now and 2007 you will be surprised that Orji Uzor Kalu and the PPA will come hack to the PDP, because that's the platform they once held. But I am one with you that we must never have a one party state and we can't have a one party state. Let the opposition parties gather their acts together. For example, in the last 2007 elections the PDP had been on the field more than two months before the opposition parties now came out to say that they were campaigning for elections.
Number two: look at what is happening now .They are talking of mega party. If they can form it, good for our democracy. But at the end of the day, you will find out that there's nothing called mega party. Already the AC has said it has nothing to do with mega party. Even if AC has announced that it's going to work with them in mega party before 2011, it will be to their tents oh Israel. That's all. They aren't serious and they must for goodness sake. Who told you that there can't be implosion in PDP? There can be implosion in PDP. If they work very well and very hard, they could benefit if that implosion occurs in PDP.
This is the game of politics. In the second republic, we were forced into opposition, the UPN by what happened in 1979, but we didn't stop there. For example, we were able to get the National Party of Nigeria Speaker of the Sokoto Assembly and about 13 members of the assembly who were NPN to join the UPN in Sokoto. In Cross River State, we got many members of the NPN; they followed the late Governor Isong to join the UPN. So, apparently the opposition parties must work very hard and if they work very hard and they are able to convince Nigerians, of course why not?
But what is happening now is that they are doing very well on the pages of newspapers. I must commend them because honestly, I'm a fan and fanatic of Lai Mohammed; he's doing what should be done. Politic al parties isn't about making of embroidery, or you rubbing my back and me rubbing yours. It's about propaganda, agitation and whatever and they are doing it well. But let them carry such agitation and propaganda to the level of political organization that will give them votes. That they aren't doing.
You have talked about likely implosion in PDP; the trouble shooting mission in south west hasn't generated the desired result and there's the growing fear that you might lose the zone to opposition?
The PDP will win south west, simply because we realized that there were problems and we have moved to solve these problems. You are talking about the efforts of Shuaib Oyedokun and Tajudeen Oladipo. The PDP national isn't resting on its oars. You have the committee of elders which is led by General Ike Nwachukwu and the task of the committee of elders is to ensure peace in all the branches of the party in the country and that's why the elders committee is meeting in some states: Oyo, Ogun and some other states. But you see, within the next two years when the PDP now aggregate all these moves we would have reconciled all our members to face the elections.

1 want to assure you that the south west, we appreciate what is going on. Look at Ondo State for example where we have lost to Mimmiko, there would be no election in 2011there; we shall be talking about 2013 but our party members in Ondo State are organizing massively now and when we now face Iroko in 2013, they will be facing a team that has made up its mind to win elections .We are trying to resolve all internal crises and that's what's happening in all south west.
In Osun we are focused and we have started the silent campaign for 2011; in Oyo, I may tell you that Bayo Akala is a political bulldozer - he understands politics very well. But you must give credit to Ladoja; they did everything that would make him get annoyed but he has refused to leave PDP. His group is very active in PDP and by the grace of God we are going to reap peace in Oyo so that it will be a solid PDP state.
In Ogun, I can assure you that PDP will be one. I can assure that nothing in this world will make my friend, Alhaji Jubril Martins Kuye to leave the PDP and join any other party. The same you can say about Alhaji Sule Olabiyi, Doyin Okupe — all of them who are in the other group now but we are going to bring them together and they can never leave PDP. At the end of the day, we shall have peace in the place. I can assure you that PDP will never lose the south west states. The AC can make all the noise it can make; I must confess they have powerful men who make the noise for them, but they won't beat the PDP .
The cause of the war of attrition in the PDP is the appropriation of party secretariat by incumbent governors. Don't you agree that it won't amount to playing the ostrich, if that is not addressed?
Let's leave all those things aside; they may be there, there may be apprehension, there may be problems here and there. Let's leave all those things aside. But I'm telling you, the PDP is already trying to solve these problems.
We now have committees all over the place meeting and everybody is conscious of the fact that we just must retain the pact that God has given to us. Then the PDP is aware that you can't toy with the election the PDP is set and I want to assure you all the peace of the south west and that is why two years now to election, committees that the PDP has established will arrive at solutions that will give PDP advantage which they have now over the AC .Whatever problems PDP has, AC has more than triple.
The PDP is aware that it has organizational problem and that's why it has established committees to ensure that these organizational problems are resolved in a way that come, 2011 we are one for the election and we will win the election.
2011 in Osun: Is it the turn of Ijesa?
Well, you see I can tell you this: I am an Ijesa man and Papa Awolowo says before you can be a good Nigerian citizen, you must first of all be a good person from your area. So, I'm a good ljesa man. If the PDP in Osun gives the ticket to ljesa, we will be very happy. But I want to assure you that if the PDP in Osun decides in a free, fair and decent election, a candidate that is different from ljesa, our people in PDP will definitely go out and vote for their party. That, I can assure you. So, it's not a do or die affair. But as you said, we in Ife/ljesa, particularly in Ijesa land, we are praying that whoever that will be selected comes from Ijesaland. But whatever happens, the PDP in Ijesa land will never betray the confidence and trust of the entire PDP in Osun state.
Your voice carries weight in Osun PDP; are you making a case for your people - ljesa? That's an internal PDP affair; I won't come out and be talking to you our strategy in the paper. It's an internal PDP affair; leave us, we know how to solve our problems. Take this from me:in our quest to pick a candidate for 2011, the PDP will not disintegrate to retain the state that God has given to us.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bari Salau's Responses to an Article in Vanguard Newspaper Titled: "Hear Yar' Adua's Slogan; see Fashola's work"

Bari Salau says:

Because Nigerians have been denied of good governance for a long time , Nigerians are blind to what yardstick to measure good governance. Even though I have not been to Nigeria in six years, I can smell Nigeria because I make contact with Nigeria especially Lagos on daily bases. I wonder each time people say Fashola is doing well in Lagos State . When you probe them further they say , you need to go to Oshodi where the whole place is clear. They say Fashola government has beautified Lagos with flower. What is that? Na flower we go chop? That is not to say his purchase of transportation buses is not commendable provided it could be maintained in the standard of the old `Zapaz and LSDPC before they were destroyed.

When you ask those who eulogize Fashola about non availability of adequate water and electricity supply or school, housing and health facilities they commonly and usually murmur with their tongues stucked in their mouth' you know he has to do it little by little ,at least he is trying' and they do not forget to hastily add that 'you know electricity is the function of the federal government' as if the state has no constitutional responsibility to ensure adequate supply of electricity which I know it has. When I was Chairman of Somolu Local Government I was on the back of NEPA officials in my domain constituting the demised constitutionally recognized Somolu and Kosofe Local which were constituted and separated under my authority to ensure that NEPA discharged its responsibility to my constituents and it worked as NEPA supplied transformers to areas which were denied for years. With my late Supervisory Councilor, late M.A.O. Adeyemi and my intergovernmental committee headed by late Comrade Yomi Olusanya ,we repaired all the taps installed by former Chairmen Engineer Adelani and my friend ,Otunba Fatai Arobieke and paid necessary bills to the Lagos State Water Corporation to ensure water flew to the street taps and households among other functions within my 9 months tenure. So when I am talking about power available to government to render services to the public, I know what I am talking about. I know as a matter of fact that the Nigerian Governor are more statutorily more powerful than American Governors and yet some Nigerian Governors still feel inadequate by asking for what they call 'true' federalism ,an euphemism for more of the share of federal revenue while they impoverish the local governments under them with all kinds of unconstitutional maneuverings. Alhaji L.K Jakande , of the old Lagos for Action fame,may God continue to guide him, who knows a lot about governance in Lagos State has in his 80th birthday Vanguard interview stated the criteria for measuring government performance. According to him any government that does not provide education at all levels to its people or provide them with adequate housing facility with comfort can not pass that text. I for one agree with him as I do not use 'roadside mechanic' data used by Ike compromised newspapers and chorus boys to judge Fashola and Yar'adua government. In a federation there is no basis to Judge Yar'Adua and Fashola. If all the State governments are doing well Yar'Adua could be said to be doing well. But since most of them are not doing well, the bulk stops at Yar'Adua desk. Yar' Adua is said to be slow and I can not agree more, if not how can he open his eyes and send local government funds to Lagos state for Lagos State to be sharing them to institutions that have no constitutional backing? What type of rule of law is that ? How can Fahola do well when he as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria operates an anarchical local government system which he dishonestly divines variably as local governments or Local Development Councils depending on where and when is talking. Those who say that Fashola is doing well do not know the difference between democracy and `demon-crazy'. Those who are now eulogizing him are the same people who were praising Bola Tinubu when he was governor. As they now praise Fashola, they turn Tinubu to a political Lilliputian or at best a Moses before Jesus Christ. As for Yar' Adua ,I will only say a people deserves the government that it has. One more, President Yar'Adua must understand that rule of law goes beyond rhetoric, it can only be a means to the end of providing services to the people.

Bari Salau, an ex Editor of John West Publications; Former Special Assistant to the Federal Minister of Transport and Aviation in Nigeria is an Investigation / Political Oversight Consultant temporarily now based in New York, USA.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Nigeria Needs Help

There is no magical prediction on events that can bring any Nation to an economic standstill or any democratic destruction even in the face of a Global Economic meltdown. It is only a radical economic revolution and agenda that can pre-empt catastrophes capable of destroying and derailing a democratic experiment.

Nigeria is once again both crying and begging for good leadership. Friends and Foes alike can swear on oath in their continuous belief in the present Administration and leadership. However, recalcitrant dullness in the process of setting Nigeria aloof has become a concern of ordinary Nigerian. Papa Awolowo once said that the fastidiousness of Nigeria citizens demands a constant challenge by those in charge of Governance. Besides Papa iconic writings during his life time, he made sure that his activities in economics; concern for the welfare of the peoples; their democratic appetite and the people’ wish to join a growing and developed comity of Nations became paramount in day to day of his dealings with Nigerians.

The Awoists remunerate from time to time on issues confronting the country among themselves both within and outside Nigeria and surprisingly we have all agreed that it would have been much better to see Babangida type of leadership style once again in Nigeria despite the drawback of the imbroglio of June 12th.

The most urgent Infrastructure needed in Nigeria today is that of energy Infrastructures. It is unfortunate however, that none of our leaders could work out a befitting compromise among themselves and with other leaders of the advanced countries to lay down these Infrastructures that will oil the engine of economics development for a population of one hundred and fifty million Nigerians.

When Iran and North Korea regimes became a thorn in the flesh of the sane world, everyone panics and chuckles on the danger of Nuclear proliferations. Perhaps North Korea wants to join the Space race, wants to have one of Its Scientists rides to the Space Station and/or elect to sell weapons of mass destruction to Chavez of Venezuela or Iran or perhaps each of those countries genuinely meant well for their Citizens or perhaps they are all attention seekers; there is one fact unmistakably clear, without these Countries becoming defiance as regards their energy need, the developed Countries, through share ego, subjugation and nonchalant attitudes toward poor Countries, precipitated these nuisance out there.

Developed or Advanced Nations starting with U.S.A., Britain, France, Germany and China all have the monopoly of Nuclear technologies until India, Pakistan and Israel joined the club. Outside the production of Nuclear war heads, the cheapest source for supply of electricity such as Gas and Water turbines, Hydro electricity, Coal Energy, Wind Mills and Solar (with voltaic cells) Energy are not that very accessible and cheap.

It is true that majority of poor countries, due to their unfavorable topography couple with the cost of Nuclear Reactors that stands as 8 billion dollars or 6 billion Euros today, cannot afford to have the Reactors in their domain. When other factors such as terrorist threat, corruption and lack of maintenance culture are factors into place within these poor countries, one can reasonably agree on the need for diligence in handling Nuclear Proliferations.

The existence of Nuclear Regulatory Commission based in the District of Columbia in Washington must urgently be married with a new commission to help countries in dire need of Energy Infrastructures. To ignore is to run the risk of what the world is facing with Iran or North Korea today. If we believe that Libya under Ghadaffi had surrendered all that matters on nuclear technology-know-how, we would be fooling ourselves.

Outside the more than 200 Reactors in the world today with about more than 100 Reactors in USA alone, over 50 new Reactors are under construction worldwide. Obviously, that would be what we know about the open world. South Africa voluntarily surrendered on researches and enrichment of Uranium, but what happen when we wake up tomorrow to learn more of the secrecy that surround Nuclear development in other countries even under the prying eyes of CIA, MIA, M5 or the new Garb of Russia KGB!! It was former President Jimmy Carter that revealed Israel’s stockpiles of nuclear war heads into tens.

Until Iran became openly defiance on Its Nuclear research no one believe the Mullahs with their sparkling white robes could jack any nuclear needles into the world chest.

The paramount issues of safety and leakage of nuclear technology should not stop the advanced Nations from helping poor countries meet their energy needs.

One could be ashamed or embarrassed seeing people dying of hunger in the world even in the midst of plenty, but the lesson from the Global Economic meltdown that continue to plague us today sound an urgent serious note that no one would be immune when the world is faced with unpredictable and unforeseen crisis.

Nigeria is presently struggling to fully democratize Its polity and Its entire aspects of life, corruption is been tackled head-on, Activism been carried into the extreme will be tamed, the rule of law will eventually emerge and electoral evolution is moving robustly with full speed; and no one should underestimate what this sleeping-African-Giant can morphs into within the next few decades. But, Nigerians need help and all hands need to be on deck.

By Dr. Almaroof

Friday, June 5, 2009

Ekiti Re-Election

That the PDP and the AC tried to outdo themselves in Ekiti is not a surprise. The PDP needed the victory in Ekiti to beat back the erosion of its hold on the South West especially after the loss of Ondo State to the Labor Party and the challenges posed to the party in Ogun and Oshun States where new Tribunals have been ordered to look into the last gubernatorial elections.
The AC on the other hand needs to prove its opposition leadership in the West by extending its tentacles beyond Lagos State.
There is no doubt that the pendulum of propaganda in the Western States is in favor of whatever party that is opposed to PDP and in this case , the AC.
The reason is not far fetched. In 1999 elections, the PDP lost all the three axes of the South West: Lagos/Ogun; Oyo/Osun and Ondo/Ekiti to the now near-dead AD that claimed to be a Yoruba nationalist party.
In those elections , the people of the West voted for AD in the local and state elections and AD turned APP candidate , Chief Olu Falae , a Yoruba man for President and forsake another Yoruba man, Chief (Gen.) Olusegun Obasanjo who ran for election on the platform of PDP and won making Gen.Theophilous Danjuma to comment deridingly that a Yoruba man could be elected President of Nigeria without the Yoruba support.
Came 2003, the AD found itself in disarray. The opportunist, arrogant AD governors found themselves in a quagmire. Knowing their party could not challenge President Obasanjo on the second instance ( omo eni ko sedi bebere ..) and sensing that their position was in jeopardy , coupled with the fact that their rule betrayed the ideals of the late Sage Awo against what they promised the people , the AD governors rushed to Otta to strike a deal with Obasanjo by which they arrogantly assured Obasanjo that they would direct their ‘people ’to vote Obasanjo as President if he would assure them that he would not use his ‘ Presidential might ’to fight against them as they contested their gubernatorial elections under the platform of AD. One of them even suggested he was ready to contest for the Senatorial seat in his state under the platform of the PDP if Obasanjo could clear the way for him.
But the people of the South West would not be fooled , the result was the sweeping of the West by PDP in all the elections, except in Lagos where the agents of Vice President Abubakar Atiku sabotaged the PDP efforts in order to preserve Lagos State for Senator Bola Tinubu who later ditched the so called Yoruba nationalist party AD, to prepare the way for Atiku’s running on the platform of a break away faction of the PDP, the AC which was formed to fight against Yar’A dua ,the PDP presidential candidate after Atiku was humiliated out of the PDP by President Obasanjo , his boss.
The PDP took the reins of governance in the West in 2003 except in Lagos but the PDP under President Obasanjo did not satisfy the yearnings of the politically sophisticated Yoruba people, thereby making the AC to post a serious challenge to the PDP but the Yoruba people do not forget that the leaders of the AC are the same failed governors of the AD.
The people of the Yoruba are not used to voting for ‘their party’ but ‘our party’ and the PDP has not proved to be their party. The people of the West are used to “ our Awolowo’ forming a touch light party navigating Nigerian progressive political landscape like a colossus and feeling very proud for it . They tried the AD but the AD was not attractive to Awolowo allies in other parts of Nigeria and the AD failed. The Awolowo political friends in other zones are already committed to PDP or other political parties. The Yoruba look at the PDP leadership at the very top ladder and found only few names they are used to since the Awolowo days - the Babatopes in the midst of the conservatives like Akinjides of the world and wonder if this could be their party. But there are more prominent Awoist politicians ,which I have no space to mention here , from the West in the PDP than in any other party . They are more prominent in the Awolowo camp when Awo was around than this crop of untrained politicians who are parading themselves as leaders of a new era, an era of self serving politicking where looting of the treasury is the order of the day.
But the PDP managed to win a weak victory in the West with fragile control of Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo and in Ogun State where PDP is now engaged in intra party fighting while Ondo State has gone to the Labor Party! Yes, Labor Party whose win-ability was so much in doubt that the former popular President of the Nigerian Labor Congress , Comrade Adams Oshiomhole , the present AC governor of Edo State had to jettison his Labor Party nomination to contest on the platform of the AC .
Therefore the struggle for Ekiti State was therefore a prelude to the imagined struggle to control Osun and Ogun State in the case of dissolution of the elections of those states as new panels have been authorized to look into their gubernatorial election petitions. The West, thus, has become a trial battle ground for 2011 elections. No wonder the degree of intensity with which the Ekiti elections were held. But no matter what the rule must be respected.
I examine the Ekiti elections from the point of view of the objections raised by the AC on the election results. The AC claimed that the PDP claimed that 18,000 registered voters were at stake in the last Local government where election was held and only 2,000 votes were cast there in Oye as a demonstration of the determination of the people in not allowing inflation of votes cast in the election. And that the voting there with the votes cast in other eight other local governments where elections were re-ran was not consistent with the trend of the votes cast in Ido-Osi where voting was high resulting into 15,939 votes cast for PDP to 3,793 votes cast for AC . The AC claims further that the 15,939 votes recorded for the PDP were impossible in Ido-Osi as it contributed over more than half of the votes cast for both parties in other five local government but it did not say anything about the 3,793 AC votes in Ido-Osi.
It is not enough for AC to claim trend as an indication of fraud, it must go to the Election Tribunal to prove that those votes were false and it was not to force this on the Electoral Resident on the day of election unless it had in its possession another result that contradicted the result presented to the Resident Electoral Commissioner by the local government electoral officer.
This brings us to the pressure brought on the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mrs. Ayoka Adebayo, that made her to run away from her post.
There are two stories to Adebayo’s refusal to yield to pressure. One was the pressure from the AC for Mrs. Adebayo not to accept the votes recorded for Ido-Osi local government which was compiled in the local government and recorded by the local government returning officer. The other pressure would be from the PDP for her to accept what the AC felt was unrealistic result that did not reflect the trend of the voting in other local governments.
Mrs. Adebayo was a state Resident Electoral Commissioner who was statutorily obliged to accept the result legitimately compiled by the local government electoral presiding officers from each local government and use those data to compile her own result as state election result. She had little or no discretion on that since it does not depend on the variation of her conscience.
The process of collating results does not start at the state levels, it ends there. Result of election starts from each voting unit where the votes are counted and recorded. That is the only unit where votes are counted. From there the returns from the units are compiled at the ward level to get the ward result.
From each ward, the compiled results are compiled at the local government level and it is the compiled figures from each local government that are collected and collated at the State level to make the state final gubernatorial result.
From the above , it is logical that the pressure that Mrs. Adebayo would refuse was the AC pressure that she should not accept the result given to her from Ido-Osi local government which the PDP won and which would determine the result of the election against its candidate. And this is supported by a newspaper report that Mrs. .Adebayo abandoned her post on the threat by a politician who sent her a message that her children would be killed if she accepted the result of the Ido-Osi local government.
The fact that Mrs. Adebayo came back and directed each local government electoral officer to report the result of his local government demonstrated the stand of the State Electoral Commissioner that compilation of local government result was the responsibility of the local government electoral officer. So far the result we have got for that election is the result of the Electoral Commission.
There are sixteen local governments in Ekiti State. The election in six of them were validated by the court resulting in giving the AC 12,348 votes advantage before the re-run in the ten other local government where elections of the 2007 gubernatorial election were nullified . So in those 6 local governments, the AC won 11,348 more votes than the PDP. To the AC, that is normal. How then can the PDP victory in ten local governments with 12,000 be so abnormal in the same Ekiti State?
Let us examine the result in the local re-run local governments. In Gboyin PDP had 1,925 to AC 2,871 votes ; Ekiti South West gave 423 votes as against 351 for AC .In Ise-Orun , PDP had 3,864 to AC 4,221 while the PDP had 5,121 as compared to AC’s 1,881 in Ijero local government .In Irepodun / Ife local government , the PDP had 4,087 to AC ‘s 1,149 in Ekiti West . Ekiti East produced 4,711 for PDP as against 3,639 votes for AC. In Ikole Ekiti, the PDP had 4,471 votes while the AC had 3,639. I am deliberately skipping the result in the controversial Ido-Osi election while I look into the Oye local government where the last election was held with PDP having 1,268 votes as against AC which had 802.
The AC seems to agree with the results in these nine local governments where they lost elections to PDP in 5 local governments because they ran ‘neck to neck’ while it refused to accept the result of the Ido-Osi where the PDP countered its voting advantage of 12,348 with 12,146 votes as the PDP scored 15,939 to 3,793 in the 11 wards of Ido-Osi.
The total votes cast in the ten local government re-run produced 44,306 for PDP as against 28,238 for AC whereas the pre-validated result from the six local governments favored the AC with 78,091 votes to PDP 65,743. What trend is discernable in the votes cast in 6 local governments that are more than the votes cast in the ten local government re-run.?
What pattern is Ekiti S/W casting total votes of 774 which PDP won with 423 to AC 351 and Irepodun \/Ife local government where the PDP lost with 4,087 and AC won with 5,702 votes?
The truth is that election results are not based on election trend in other local governments because each local government has its own characteristics but votes actually cast, counted and recorded in a particular local government.

By Bari Salau

Saturday, May 23, 2009


It is like a baby implanted in a mother's womb, incubated and nurtured a full life. A seed is dropped on the ground by a bird, through a storm or from the waste products of a feeding animal and the seed is eventually covered by dirt. With heat strong enough and a released potential energy, the seed opens up and shoots out tentacles refusing to move out of the area. For days, the energy stored previously long ago in combination with other factors are now released to nurse the infant roots that are now emerging and looking for food in the dirt. Soon, the roots become stronger and start feeding profusely to nurse another part of this early life of a growing tree. Now, the seed case had been discarded, the roots are firmly attached to the ground and the new born that sprouts out of the seed is ready for a full life. In no time, the art of breathing, manufacturing, transportation of water and nutrients as food are fully developed. Henceforth, the sun, rain, and air will play a big role for the young Iroko tree. As for the leaves, their greenish properties are what they will use to harness the sun's energy through photosynthesis. Where this young and vibrant tree was brought to life, others had already matured and are confident to stay alive for many years on the earth. If the humans don't come calling to cut or totally destroy and the other animals don't feed on it, our young tree then begins to grow at full speed, becoming strong and nurtured by underworld of percolating water nitrogenous wastes from the earthworms. Earthworms? Yes. How can those roots feed the tree successfuly with many confronting odds? The dry leaves falling off of the matured trees in the forest, the discarded branches of the other trees, the birds droppings on the floor of the forest, those shedding skins of the forest snakes, the waste products left behind by those snails mixed with last year heavy down pour of rain and the decayed falling tree brought about by the strongest storm recorded years back have all been worked on and rolled into a black manure soil, rich in nutrients through tens and hundreds of burrowing earthworms! All of these will become the source of nutrients for our young tree. On watching how vibrant the tree has become, one sees a young tree full of life. It is not going to be a stunted specie, therefore, it needs to find its way up and above all trees. The penetrating rays of the sun within the forest will not be enough for the Iroko tree. It must feed fast, grow fast and strong among the roots of minor trees. Around that would have to be compromised and die off in the process to give way for an Iroko roots. When you have one or more of the same tree, then, interlocking compromise must be the order of nature. The roots of the Iroko tree will cross paths, they will have to decide on where to point their branches, geotropism, phototropism become a path of survival - survival of the fittest. Now, you could wonder how those nutrients and water are transported from those microscopic cells of those roots to miles up there to feed the branches and nurture the leaves of the giant Iroko. The same way humans develop their venous and arterioles existence, so also the tree had refined and perfected survival thousands of years to this day. That tree will breathe, eat, drink, manufacture, store foods and produce flowers and seeds all for survival.

Photosynthesis that is now been duly copied by humans in harnessing sun's energy by using voltaic cells or solar panels had been thought off and perfected by those trees for years. When you see a tall, strong and heavy trunks of an Iroko tree, think of how it got to be so. When you enter a thick forest during a summer day and you encounter a cool, wet, serene or a noisy atmosphere by happy birds, romantic animal calls and activities within the forest, think of natures gifts and of course Iroko befitting empire. The world is now crying for green revolution, realising the need to give nature its befitting accolades. The oxygen and carbondioxide air exchange between plants and animals, a delicate balance of nature, must be respected and guarded diligently, otherwise our planet earth might be doomed. Plant a tree and save a life.

Written by Dr.O Almaroof

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Nigerians are killing and maiming themselves all in the name of making a living. The menace of "Okada riders on Lagos roads are enough to sicken the hearts. The State Government claims the effort to regulate the activities of 'Okada' riders on Lagos roads is working.

Is it really working? An " Okada rider was on a last leg of dropping his passenger, looked back to negotiate a corner, lost control and on a head-on-collision completely lost his right arm that was completely severed from his body. He was taken to Lagos University Hospital, not by paramedics or ambulance but by other "Okada' riders who separately transported his arm and his body to the hospital.

Another Okada rider lost control on a narrow crowded street, ran into a 47 year old lady standing in front of her house; instantaneously, the Okada man , without a head helmet died; killed an innocent bystander and injured two more pedestrians on the same side of the road.

My colleagues at home are claiming that the orthopedic beds in the hospitals are almost out of reach to other patients after being occupied by injured Okada riders, the passengers and their victims.

On a Sunday afternoon, a lady and her grown-up daughter returning from a church service, flagged down an Okada for a ten -block ride back home; two blocks to their destination, a truck, trying to avoid collision ran into them, both mother and daughter were almost thrown into the opposite traffic. They eventually ended up in a near hospital with several stitches on their heads and for closing other lacerations.

When will these stop? A very serious, unending accidents due to the menace of Okada riders or operators are now issues to be taken up by all concerned citizens. What does it really take to construct roads and add more buses for commuters? "Cry my beloved Country". It reminds me of my last trip to Nigeria, I was seeking for a lawyer's advice to take three states , Lagos, Ogun and Oyo , joined with the Federal Government of Nigerian, to court for them to explain why Lagos- Ibadan highway remained the way it was and continued to claim lives young and old, rich and the poor over many decades.

Interstate roads are the responsibility of the State. When the Federal Government shies away from taking responsibility, the State moves in to fill the void and constitutionally demand for money expended for federal responsibility.

Until we all can come to terms with civilized games of politics, activism, telling truth to power, organizing to file papers in Court and forming pressure groups, will life be better for younger generation.

Written by Dr. O. R. Almaroof.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


No matter how we analyse the forces that came to play leading to the election of Senator Barack Obama as President of the United States of America , his election was a political miracle with him as the chief performer.
Starting from his victory over Senator Hillary Clinton in the most keenly contested Democratic primary in history and his victory over Senator John McCain of the Republican party , Obama was his own man. He remained focused and confident throughout and remained his own chief campaign organizer without diminishing the capability of his campaign team which was par excellent working to the letter in achieving its goal deserving credit for every of its step. It was fantastic and would remain a useful intellectual case studies for political organizers for many many years. His campaign team outfit was unbelievably perfect working to target scientifically beating all odds making a lie of traditional political analysts.
Did race play a part ? Yes. Nothing in America is racial free but Obama demonstrated ,
that he knew America, being the product of white and black America , and knew how to manipulate the negative factors to achieve positive results.
And Obama has more than a fair share of negative factors.
Besides being a black American, his father was a foreign Muslim with a living Muslim mother living in a north African country of Kenya at a time America was engaged in war against two Muslim nations fighting terrorism inspired by Islamic fundamentalism. To make the matter worse, Obama shares the same name with the much hated Saddam Hussein and his name Obama has a resemblance to the much dreaded Osama Bin Laden that it was miswritten Osama in some of the ballot papers. The election of Barack Obama as President must be a miracle in more than one aspect of defeating the Clinton machinery in the democratic party primaries.
To say that he was voted in because he was a black man with an African father can not be scientifically defended but it can not be totally without merit. It is possible that Obama born by a white American mother and an African Immigrant father, was able to demonstrate that though he is an African American , he did not share the bitterness that goes with the temptation to revenge for historical slave relation racial prejudice. Until his inauguration speech, he did not orchestrate his paternal back ground or his middle name Hussein even though he never at anytime denied them . When his opponent wanted to draw him to discuss his African background by publishing the picture of his African grand mother to demonstrate his 'foreignness', he tactictifully denied them the opportunity to make it a campaign issue by playing it down. Instead, he focused on the lessons he learned from his maternal background, his white grand parents and their contribution to his upbringing thereby assuring the white voters that he would not be a 'black' President. On the other hand he was effectively using the blackness of his parents -in- law, his wife, Michelle herself, to remind the black community that he was one of them always reminding them how he sharpened his political sword through serving them in the South side of Chicago as a community organizer.
And when his white grand mother was sick, he demonstrated how indebted he was to her by suspending his campaign to visit her on her sick bed and this must have registered positively to independents and some republican white voters that he was one of them.
Nevertheless, Obama did not act white but refused to be drawn into 'blackness' realm of black nationalists of the type of Mayor Andrew Young, Rev. Jesse Jackson and indefatigable Rev. AL Sharpton. And this is understandable, as Rev. Al Sharpton would defend him, he was running to be president of the United States.
To demonstrate his blackness at one occasion, when Obama was asked if he believed that President Bill Clinton was the first 'black' President, he tactfully responded that he would only judge him by the manner of his dancing if he was a 'brother.'
One must give credit to his wife Michelle, and all his campaign team especially his Campaign Manager, Mr. David Plouffe, for strictly following the footstep of Candidate Barack Obama throughout the campaign .
The black community demonstrated a kind of behavior that did not alienate the white voters throughout the campaign and it must be credited for this.
It was difficult for many of us to see the change coming so soon but every change is always a surprise and can only be engineered by the freshness of the youths who are usually the agent of such change which was the case with the election of Barack Obama as President of the United State of America.
Obama's victory should be seen in the context of the cummulated struggle for the emancipation of the black race in America, an epitome of which is the human rights movement championed by Martin Luther King, a hero of all times. His election should be seen as a pride to black race and a victory to America.
By Bari Salau

Monday, April 13, 2009


What else do you say about this Genius of a President emerging on the world stage, the man became a Candidate after becoming a millionaire by writing books; others wrote such books after they left offices. Barrack Hussein Obama made use of available technology to amass millions that he used to prosecute his campaign successfully becoming the President of the Greatest Country in the world and yet we are claiming the ‘Plutocrats’ coronate him.

Had Obama presented this type of mind-set when he came out to contest for the American Presidency, God knows we wouldn’t have so gifted a man taking over from those creeps from the last Administration.

Yes, the present AG of the Federation (USA) had lambasted the weaklings and the cowards for not facing reality of racism in America. He wants an open discussion of the canker worm that has infested this country for decades.

But for Christ sake – slavery ended in the 1800s. For an individual who is 105yrs old today, such person would have missed few years of been a slave!! While one readily accepts that racism still permeates the fabrics of an average American life and that the form or formats range in degrees within regions in USA, nevertheless, what everyone is saying is for us to look beyond human Imperfections.

When Obama came out with his audacity of messages and Inspirations, he initially did not command any respect from all quarters; even the media conglomerates were hesitant before they embraced him as an individual and a black man. Corporate Entities, Established Organizations, even the democratic independent strategists, all waited for a while before jumping into the moving train that almost left them all behind.

As a democrat, for life, I was one of those who waited on principle, hoping for a Hillary miracle. After the democratic primaries, we all shifted chorus for the election of Barrack to the White House. This man had set a precedent for life both for blacks and white folks on how to package a winning election strategy both in tone and efforts within a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic environment.

To think that organized media, ‘Plutocrats’ and money bags only gave Obama the chance on their own dictates is really begging the question. The Genius became a student of his environment and as studious as he is, seized the bull by the horn, a one life opportunity; package himself with a little cache of Nerds surrounding him to win an election of the century.

No one can fault him for gaurging correctly the present young generation’s minds and spirits; by directing their potential energy, he mobilized them and turned them into a foot-warrior-soldiers combing nook and corners of the country for votes. Yes, other factors that became his luck contributed immensely to his success even when such factors were overwhelmingly negative.

This reminds me of the theory of the Hedgehogs versus the Foxes (Hedgehogs/Foxes), apology to Mr. Tetlock, who said that an individual who has a focused world view, ideological leaning and strong convictions about issues belong to the hedgehogs; while the more cautious both in attitudes, language and demeanor, those, he said are more centrist politically, who are likely to adjust easily to their environments with good pragmatic approach to life but are likely to be self-doubt prone to their believes would incline to Special Exceptions complexity and nuance at a close range and will always get things right: these mind-set liberals belong to the Foxes of human race.

The young generation of Black Americans, African Immigrants – be it citizens or residents never see themselves as slaves or slave descendants and will doubt the rationale of anyone categorizing them as brain washed individuals.

The success of the civil rights movement paved the way to allow Africans to migrate to America. When the Africans arrived, they did a lot of menial jobs, paid their dues and became another melting pot among other ethnic groups that were allowed to enter United States. As many Black Americans seized opportunity to educate themselves, so also the African migrants went to colleges to matriculate. In 1867, the United States Government under the aegis of the Freedmen’s Bureau, established, my Alma Matter; Howard University in Washington D.C., where the first civilian President of Nigeria Late Dr. Azikwe graduated. The Departments of Dentistry were organized in 1881 at Howard University and in 1886; the departments of Dentistry were established at Meherry Medical College.

These two institutions educated nearly all the black dentists in the United States until the 1954 United States Supreme Court desegregation decision which changes the situation significantly. As many Black Americans failed to seize educational opportunities, several African migrants also failed and fell on the wayside.

After the election of Barrack Obama, the young blacks, their white counterparts, their liberated mothers and fathers, the African migrants, all descended on Chicago to usher in new era and President Barrack Hussein Obama. Majority of these people are leaving behind those who refused to grow or break through their racist cocoons. People look forward in transforming their new found hope into everlasting pragmatism.
Regardless of the dynamism of a new era, people will always see things with one eye, but fortunately there are, always, two sides to a coin.

Now that the world is faced with monumental economic crisis, apparent overwhelming gap between the rich and the poor, what everyone should be striving for is to find a way out of the Gridlock of unemployment, increase homelessness whether among Blacks or Whites. Symbolically, the election of Barrack has shifted focus to the iniquities of the failure of capitalism. It is true that the Free World Trade had produced millions of wealth around the Globe. Many failures of capitalism were brought about by the greedy few of course.
This election of the century has to be a watershed to focus on specific problems. We need to search for solutions and solve the myriads of problem so as to move forward. With collective participation and awareness we will focus on racism. Racism, especially in America, against minorities that don’t have any other country to claim besides America can be dealt with in various ways. Those of us whether with dual citizenship or residents in America must have come across racist onslaught in many forms and shapes. The gains from civil rights era had been turned upside down after the 60s. American blacks became the focus of jail terms.

The drug problems of the 70s were magnified ten times against the blacks versus the white folks. A pack of marijuana possession or heroin powder will throw a black man or woman in jail while those bringing drugs into the country by planes never go to jail. The Rockefeller drugs laws were recently reversed in New York State by Governor Patterson’s Administration. The three-Strikes- Law in California should at this time probably be revisited so as relieve the burden on the minorities.

As an African, one can only recount personal experiences as it relates to racism. As previously enumerated, the Africans enjoyed the fruits of civil rights as we arrived in USA. Those who came before us were even better off than some of us who arrived late in the 70s. If many of us were cognizant of the problems our black American brothers and sisters were facing during discussions in class rooms in those days; our background in Africa as one coming from a close nit families at home shielded us from the full weight of racism.

If the Americans were trying to dilute the population of the blacks in America at that time with the newly arriving Africans, they have good intentions. Here were Africans who were ready to go to college, becoming lawyers and Doctors and of course willing to better their lots in many other good ways.

It was probably the hope of the Whites that seeing the Africans struggling educationally would motivate MORE Black Americans to embrace education or that the meekness of the newly arrived Africans will temper the militancy of the “Negroes.” Good intentions sometimes could be construed as conspiracy theory. Nevertheless, we arrived, picked up menial jobs, put ourselves in schools and soldiered on for better tomorrow.

Today, one can count in tens and hundreds among Africans who are relatively doing fine and are perfectly adjusted to their environments. Some of those who decided to return home after their education for one reason or the other did so in good faith. But for the ridiculousness of our leaders at home and their corruptions, those who came back to USA could have stayed put at home. Largely though, many came back because of the education of their children.

Personally, I never encountered any apparent racism until what I called my Second Coming to America. If such were to exist, then, by virtue of been a student or share youthfulness, one ignores them all. Only once was I verbally subjected to racist utterances by one or two county policemen in Maryland; I practically diffused the situation by refusing to be drawn to their craziness.

It was when I returned to USA in 1997 after been politically active in Nigeria for about ten years and of course after my very short stay in Saudi Arabia working at King Fadh Hospital in the town of Gizan. I went to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for two reasons to earn much needed dollars and perhaps to be able to cross to USA after a refusal to grant me a USA visa from Nigeria..

If I were to be American citizen today, I could have called for my FBI file under the auspices of Free Information Act to find out the reason or reasons why surveillances had been placed on me since I arrived back in USA. The intense activities of their surveillances to date are surely enough to command a whole book.

The trail of “Otele-muye” goes a long way from an effort to block my return to my profession; it was like ‘no way, no how’ you will not practice dentistry in America. The disruptive activities stretched from Albany, during my residency program, to Michigan State, where I went for a Dental License Exam. The nuance continues till today in many forms that are very vivid and without any justification.

Quoting Glen Beck of Fox News, “Let me be clear,” he said, “If someone tries to harm another person in the name of the Constitution or the ‘truth’ behind 9/11 or anything else, they are as dangerous and crazy as those we don’t seem to recognize anymore, who kill in the name of Allah.”

Long live the human race

O. Almaroof

Sunday, March 22, 2009

OBAMA - The Compromise The American Plutocrats Are Ready To Make

The dictum is whoever dictate the diameter of one’s knowledge also control the circumference of one’s progress. My apology and respect to the wise man –whoever he is- who coined this pertinent truism which is especially relative to the condition of people of African descend all over the world and particularly in the United States.

The same kind of plutocrats who were the evil genius behind the tactic that was used in the colonial Africa where many different unrelated tribes were amalgamated to form independent countries in order to divide and control the minds of African leaders are currently behind the approval of the election of Obama as the first ‘African-American’ president of the United States in order to marginalize the original descendants of the African slaves’ political progress in the United States. Make no mistake, had Obama been a direct descendant of the African slaves formerly called Negroes, like Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson; he would either have been short dead or definitely stopped from making it to the presidency.

These plutocrats are very few in number but assert a great influence on the American politics through their tight grip on the Nation’s economy. They owned all the major mass media, educational institutions, banks and even the federal reserve bank of the United States. They have been behind every major political and economic decision in America since the foundation of the union which probably explains why, according to Michael Parenti in one of his speeches on the hypocrisies of capitalism, seven out of the first nine presidents of United States were slaves’ owners.

I read somewhere long time ago that the first time the term “WHITE” was ever used to define a group of people was in the United States as a tool to maintain the subjugation of the African slaves. I believe that the intention of the evil genius was beyond that of subjugation. I think it was intended as a kind of juxtaposition of the white color and the black color and to claim all the attributes of the connotation of “WHITENESS” which include godliness, goodness, pure, holy and cleanliness and then assign all the attributes of the connotation of “BLACKNESS” which includes evil, dirty, useless and pathetic to the slaves and their descendants in order to set one race against the other.

In other words, they did not classify themselves and the slaves as “WHITE” and “BLACK” because of the color of their respective skin but because of an intended misconceived notion of their respective characters. Unfortunately, they have been feeding this nonsense for centuries to the innocent Americans especially those of Caucasian descend and have become part of our language and culture ever since; after all, language is an extension of culture. There was a time in American history when the descendants of the slaves tried to inject positive connotation to the word “BLACK” through phrases like “Black Power” and “I am black and proud”, but I think that the damage has already been done to most Americans!

It is almost as if they have some kind of natural hatred for the African slaves and their descendants so much that they started the civil war over the abolition of slavery and blamed it on states’ right issues – that is, states’ rights to own slaves; these evil genius are directly or indirectly, behind the assassinations of Abraham Lincoln, J.F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X.

The disgruntled descendants of African slaves got tired of such derisory phrase like ‘Negroes’ and opted for the term ‘African-American’ as an expression of their affinity to the mother land.
The evil genius hijacked this phrase and with the help of their mass media ‘miseducate’ the American people and, as if out of some altruistic motives, grouped all people of African descend in America, whether descendants of slaves or not, under the umbrella of ‘African-American’ and claimed to do this evil thing for goodness sake as a ‘divine burden’, while their true intention was to ostracize the real descendants of the slaves from attaining the promise of Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
I said the American plutocrats have some kind of natural hatred for the descendants of the slaves because, while it is true that the plutocrats have exploited all races throughout American history for their own personal gains, it is only the collective African-Americans (often mistakenly thought of as the descendants of the African slaves) who are often ‘accidentally’ short forty to hundred times like wild animals by the agents of these evil genius who camouflage themselves as police officers and still found not guilty by the jury of their pairs in the twenty-first century America!

Unfortunately the majority of Americans, especially and pathetically the Africans who are now American residents and citizens have been brain-washed by these plutocrats into believing that their brothers and sisters who are the descendants of the slaves are bunch of lazy and useless sub-human beings who are not capable of seizing the opportunities that America provides. The fact, however, is that Africans who are residents and citizens of America are given more opportunity and respect than their counterpart brothers and sisters of the slaves in order to keep all of them divided and controlled by the plutocrats. We have all been bamboozled again and again!

I am not trying to excuse some of the shortcomings of our brothers and sisters of the slaves, for there are so many, but I am saying that we should put these shortcomings in context of their prior and continual experience of raping of their mothers, sisters and children by their Caucasian masters; striping off the essence of their humanity by selling off their husbands, wives, children and even new born babies like pieces of properties; Lynching their sons for looking at Caucasian women; tying them to the back of trucks and dragging them to their death mainly because they have dark skin – like they did recently in Texas; and racially profiling them so that they can be locked up or even put on death role for crimes they probably did not commit. What kind of people can go through this kind of excruciating experience without developing some kind of malady?

Let us remember that these brothers and sisters of the slaves, though less than thirteen percent of the American population (depending on whether the census include people like me who is a naturalized American citizen), have influenced the whole world more than any minority in recent history! In addition, had it not been for the civil right movement initiated by these brilliant brothers and sisters of the slaves, most of Africans who are American residents and citizens today would not have made it.

I personally campaigned and voted for Barrak Obama because he is a very intelligent and competent man but so are many descendants of the slaves who are prevented and even killed for attempting to be the president of the United States. I am sure that Obama is cognizant of the compromise made by America through the underground works of the evil genius. They, after over four hundred years, finally succumbed to the contradiction of what America was supposed to stand for when the absurdity of the reality became overwhelmingly obvious, allowed the first Black or African-American to be the President of the United States!

Now they are saying that African-Americans (meaning the descendants of the slaves) have no more excuses of racism to prevent them from the American dream. They are saying that African-Americans are finally completely free because of the election of Obama. I say what good is freedom if one spends so much of one’s life fighting to protect it while one does not have any time to enjoy it. What kind of freedom is that?

The plutocrats have put our brothers and sisters of the slaves in a very sad predicament with this political maneuver. They have put shackles on their ankles and enter them in a rat race which they can never win because of their shackles and then turn around and blame them for not winning! They say if Obama can do it, you can do it too and if the slaves’ descendants tried to point to the fifty percent Caucasian advantage of Obama, they are immediately accused of saying that Obama is not black enough! Listen, what do we exactly think it means for the slaves’ descendants to be black if they, being black, are ready and willing to accept President Bill Clinton as the first black president of United States before Obama was elected?

I personally think that is exactly why the plutocrats allowed Obama to be the first African-American president of the United States in the first place; they did not want somebody black enough like the slaves descendants who have had the experience of perpetual atrocities committed against their kind. This again is the tactic of divide and rule; the dictators of the diameter of our knowledge are controlling the circumference of our progress.

Adesina Akanni

Friday, March 6, 2009


If Papa Obafemi Awolowo were alive, he would be celebrating his 100 years birthday.
He was 22 years short of that when he answered the call of nature by May 9, 1987.
The birth of Awo was a cause of joy to all of us Nigerians especially the Yoruba people and others who were living in the West during the golden era of his rein because his program knew no ethnic coloration as all Nigerians in the region drank from his fountain of the ‘life more abundant’ provided by his Action Group in the services for humanity.
In the wisdom of his Royal Father, Oba Okunola Sijuwade , the Oni of Ife , Obafemi Awolowo , the Odole of Ife , was on his merit , the next most important human creation after Oduduwa , the progenitor of the Yoruba world .Well said Kabiyesi, Olu Aiye .Some people even believe Awo was a reincarnation of Oduduwa .
Today we are celebrating the 100 birthday of the father of Nigerian federalism that much he humbly agreed to in a documentary interview conducted by the ace ‘Village headmaster’ Mr. Femi Robinson and my self when I suggested in ‘The Man Awo’ that he was the father of Nigerian federalism. His achievement as Premier of Western Region even during the colonial era became so much a legendary demonstration convincing the colonial authority of the capability of the Africans to rule themselves thereby hastening the Nigerian, Nay! African journey to independence.
With the attainment of self rule in 1952, the Action Group which he formed won the first election into the Western Regional House of Assembly .On the authority of the late Chief Adisa Akinloye ,the IPP (Ibadan Peoples’ Party ) which he headed joined the Action Group which had the highest number of seats (plural majority ) in the House when Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe refused to give way to a Yoruba man within the NCNC to be Premier of Western Region.
The truth of course is that party insignia was not used to contest the election but the Action Group members were the only party members that were organized with the symbol of brass made palm tree affixed to their dress as the House met before the IPP members joined them. That was the truth that made lie out of the wicked lie that Awolowo used that occasion to introduce tribalism into Nigerian politics through carpet crossing. Awolowo was not a member of the IPP and the IPP was not affiliated with the NCNC even though the competition between the IPP and the AG was fierce during the election in Ibadan because Ibadan was the operational base of the Action Group. The IPP took its independent decision to join the Action Group to form the government in good conscience based on the sentiment of the people they were elected to represent and that is what republican democracy is all about .
The achievement of that Awolowo government is there today even though it has been abused in various degrees over the years .
Free primary education , community school buildings , Western Television first in Africa , Rediffussion , mechanized farming , free health services , rural development manifesting in the tarred road connecting towns and villages.
Awolowo did not stop there , he wrote books for us to read as reference in his absence- ‘Thoughts On Nigerian Constitution’ where he expounded his federalized theory which now forms the basis of our constitutional development .Others are ‘Awo-an autobiagraphy ’; ‘The Peoples’ Republic ; Fagbamigbe’s trilogy : ‘ The Voice of Reason’ :‘ The Voice of Courage and the ‘ The Voice of Wisdom ’ .
The remaining are ‘ Awo and the Nigerian Civil War ’;‘ The Strategies And Tactics For The Federal Republic ‘ and “ The March To Prison”. Oh , Awo where art thou!
I hope we are not being frustrated by the challenges posed by the enormity of Awo’s achievements that makes us helpless. What do we see today ?We have professed Awoists who are planning to close public schools or return them to private hands .
Some people say Awo was born before his time . I disagree because saying that diminishes Awo’s relevance . If Awo was not born the time he was , only God would know the fate of Nigeria. May be there would be no Nigeria the way it is today consuidering the contribution of Awo to its existing through his participation in its constitutional conferences and politics where issues were woven around him. You remember when President Ibrahim Babangida described Awo as the issue in Nigerian politics for whom you are either for or against. Awo played his role so well that he died too young at the age of 78. Nigeria has been worse off since almost twenty two years he died only for us to be crying like spoilt children that we turned to be as he would do every thing for us including establishing political party. Awo over pampered us .
If Awo were to be alive General Babangida would not have foisted two party wagon on us that squeezed us between the left and right giving no room for the centre , an experiment that collapsed like a pack of cards with annulment of its June 12 election that would not have been held.
There would have been no AD, a protest party that only gave way to Obasanjo Presidency destroying the ambitions of Chief Olu Falae and late Chief Bola Ige in the process as a result of doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.
If Papa were to be alive there would be no division in the Awo camp . The division in the Awo camp is constituting a danger to the progressive group in Nigeria because the Awo camp is the principal and dominant camp in the progressive movement in Nigeria and any division in that camp would constitute a danger to the polity of Nigeria and that is what we have been witnessing since the inception of this fourth republic .
When Papa Awolowo left us for the great beyond , the Awoist Movement ( not the Awo Camp at large ) emerged at Ikenne through the instincts of young Awoists then to protect the myth of Awoism in the progressive movement.
The Awolowo movement (distinct from the Awoist Movement ) that started with the formation of the Action Group in the first republic was planted firmly in the Western region, Middle Belt, North Eastern Nigeria and South Eastern Nigeria .
While the Action Group headed the the Government of Western region , its members were leaders of opposition in both the Eastern and Northern regions before the creation of Midwestern state making the Awolowo Action Group the most nation wide political party in Nigeria as other big political parties were confined to sections of the country, the NPC to the North and NCNC to the South .
The progressives of the first republic formed the UPGA ( United Progressive Party Alliance ) before the collapse of that republic as it bit the finger that fed it . Then came the 2nd republic when the Awolowo’s UPN tried to build on the achievement of the Action Group but tragically lost its middle and South Eastern allies to the conservatives through what Papa Awo had earlier described as second fiddle mentality .
At the end of the day ,while NPN won in five States in the core North and the two traditional Awolowo allies of Cross rivers, Awolowo’s UPN that narrowly lost in Cross
Rivers State won massively in Western States and lost narrowly to Waziri’s GNPP in the North Eastern State of Gongola and competitive in Borno as the NPP won in the core Eastern States of Anambra and Imo and Plateau States while PRP won in both Kano and Kaduna States . It was the Awolowo UPN that had members in the highest number of Houses of Assembly among all the parties in this period . No wonder the desperation in mathematically ‘ twelve two thirding’ the result thereby preempting the electroral college that could have possibly resulted into Awo’s Presidency by NPN inclined FEDECO supported by the Obasanjo regime in what Papa Awolowo called FEDELEX coup (Federal Electoral Commission and Executive conspiracy to stop Awo).
As history often repeats itself , the Progressive group did not get its thoughts together soon enough as some of them embarked on the struggle for national cake sharing and failed to prepare for the following election until late when the PPA ( Progressive Party Alliance ) was formed and internal bickering could not allow the alliance to give Pa Awo the much unified support he needed to face the NPN in 1983 election thereby giving room for the NPN to ‘ moonslide’ the election .
After the NPN succeeded in stealing the mandate , Pa Awo in his last political message, in his last political Convention at Abeokuta where he professed his theory of thesis and anti-thesis that the best from all political parties in Nigeria would come together in the future to form a formidable party , postulated that ole to gba nkan enia, elomiran agba lowo e ( if a thief steals something from some one , someone else would take it from him) . He there after ordered us to embark on a three day fast for Nigeria . After the three day fast, General Buhari ‘ took the thing’ , the stolen mandate from the NPN and became Head of a military regime after which Pa Awo withdrew to his Ikenne home responding to national issues as he deemed fit.
Then came Gen.Ibrahim Babangida rightly paying tribute to Pa Awo describing him as the issue in Nigerian politics for whom one is or against . President Babangida was doing relative well when Awo was alive to such extent that some people rumored that he was privy to Awo’s secret file. But when the ‘ lion at Ikenne’ , (the tactical military code for Awo ) fell to the call of nature , Babangida went imperial .
We have talked about the party system foisted by Babangida – SDP and NRC. What remains to be added is that the victory of the SDP was in progression with the Awolowo laid ground work for progressives in the UPGA in the first republic and the PPA in the second republic. It was not an accident that the SDP won in the progressive states of the West, East,Middle Belt , North Eastern State and Eastern States.
The failure of the leadership of the SDP to acknowledge this manifesting in his presidential candidate’s failure to attend the meeting in Owo where he was to accept the Awo agenda is nothing but the proverbial denial of its source by a river .Owo meeting itself was the first wrong foot in this direction. It is not generally known that the movement out of Ikenne was the first source of bickering among the Awo associates .
During the celebration of the first anniversary of the Awo’s transition , Dr. Oluwole Awolowo gave his leaving room to Mr. Gbolabo Ogunsanwo to host his meeting of a rainbow coalition . Ogunsanwo’s ambition was to build a political party in line with Awo’s thoughts. He felt ‘called’ as President Babangida had banned all the former governors and top notchers of the banned political parties. Chief Ebenezer Babatope was notified of the meeting by Dr. Oluwole Awolowo as we ( Chief Babatope , Tola Oseni,

Yomi Olusanya ,Tola Oseni, Akanni Odumuyiwa , Nosiru Yossuf and Bari Salau) were sitting in the dinning room. Dr.Awolowo himself was not in the meeting as he was busy attending to guests.
With Chief Babatope in , the meeting took a different dimension and adjourned till another day. The next meeting hosted by Dr. Awolowo intuitively resulted into the formation of the Awoist movement , a name we have used earlier in my election for Somolu chairmanship in 1987.
The Awoist movement was formed to keep the myth of Awolowo political family in tact as a basis for contacting the progressive forces for which the Awolowo camp was a pivot throughout Nigeria.
Because political meeting was banned at the time , the Awoist meeting was held regularly at night in Ikenne that it was nicknamed iso oru ( night vigil ) . Before we realized it , the meeting had become the biggest political gathering in Nigeria and President Babangida turned the other eye probably because of his regard for Pa Awo and her jewel of inestimable value, Chief (Mrs.) HID Awolowo in whose compound we were meeting.
At the meeting we would talk and debate from night to the morning and eat and drink appropriately from the hospitality of the Awolowo family ( no alcohol ) at the Efuyela Hall before every one dispatched to where he came from -all parts of Nigeria especially the West .It was boisterous and energetic but we had a fifth columnist .
We have to put on record some of those Awoists who insisted on retaining Ikenne as our reference point at the time .Chief Gani Oladiran ( first President) , Chief Ebenezer Babatope, Dr. Olu Onagoruwa , Chief Dayo Abatan, Chief Tayo Soyode , Chief Gbolabo Ogunsanwo, Chief Akin Omojola , Hon. Wale Oshun ,Chief Biodun Okunuga,Chief Jide Ogundipe ,Chief ( Mrs.) Iyabo Apampa , Chief (Mrs.) Iyabo Anisulowo , Chief (Mrs.) Bola Sobowale , Mrs. Nike Mayungbe , Comrade Nosir Yusuf, Alhaji Abubakar Sokoto , Hon. Honokpona ,Comrade Akanni Odumuyiwa , Comrade Tola Oseni, Comrade Gbenga Ladipo, Comrade Tunji Olateju and my humble self –Bari Salau .
We must also seek the blessing of God for the soul of our comrades that have transited to the world beyond –Chief John Omo Ikirodah ( 2nd President ) , Comrade Yomi Olusanya , a veterant youth leader of the Youth thinkers and the Awo Vanguard fame , Comrade Samusideen Ojuroye ,Comrade Kunle Babatope and lady Theresa .
Ayo Opadokun was misrepresenting our intention to the former governors that we were planning to move the carpet out of their floor.
The result was the meeting of the former governors at Owo with Ayo Opadokun as their secretary. That was the stroke that broke the camel’s back leading to a chain of events that led the Awolowo camp to the position of disunity in which we are today.
How do we get out of it? At this 100 years of our founding father , common sense seems to be prevailing and we can still redeem ourselves in order to bequeath to our children, the legacy of public service based on probity that Awolowo taught us . The truth is that the disunity in the Awolowo camp is causing poverty of ideas and the bastardization of our body politics that bare us in the face . Being the pivot of progressivism in Nigeria, the Awolowo camp should on returning to Ikenne reappraise honestly the political situation in Nigeria and try to find solutions to the political problem

in Nigeria. The first question we should ask ourselves is where did we go wrong and how
did we lose our leadership role in the progressive movement and how can we redeem our glory? Since the progressive movement is larger than the Awolowo Camp even though we are its pivot , another question we need to ask ourselves is that ,where are our friends that we lost during the June12 Crisis? The honest answers to these questions will show us the way forward . Time is not on our side .
The origin of Afenifere as a Yoruba translation of the welfarist policy of the Action Group as denoted in the motto of the party –Life More Abundant - for the masses must always be remembered in our meeting at Ikenne . Afenifere is not a replica of Egbe Omo Oduduwa . Its message is political. There is nothing sacrosanct in the present political set up and is not even working anyway. The Awolowo Camp must take the challenge to unify their forces and purify the dirty political water that is prevalent in Nigeria today.
We must tap the political puritanism of Lateef Jakande, Ayo Adebanjo, Tunji Otegbeye, Olu Falae,Wole Awolowo, Reuben Fasonranti ,Lam Adesina, Bisi Akande , Rafiu Jafojo; political cognoscentism of Ebenezer Babatope, Gbolade Osinowo,Dayo Abatan,Seye Ogunlewe, Olusegun Mimiko,Iyabo Apampa, Iyabo Anisulowo, Bola Sobowale , Busura Alebiosu, Rasheed Shitta- Bey ,Tony Adefuye ,Lanre Razaq,Tayo Soyode, Femi Okunrounmu, Dipo Jimilehin,Seye Ogunlewe, Olorunfunmi Bashorun ,Bari Salau; the good naturedness of Bode Olajumoke, Martins Kuye , Kunle Olajide, Kola Ogunjobi, Kayode Salako, Abubakar Sokoto , Kashim Imam ,Gbenga Daniel, Segun Agagu , Olagunsoye Oyinlola , Tunji Almoroof ; the literary ingenuity of Tola Adeniyi, Segun Osoba, Gbolabo Ogunsanwo , Bimbola Awofeso , Odia Ofeimun, Ebenezer Falobi,Biodun Adeneye and the political sagacity of Dapo Sarumi, Bode George,Kola Oseni, Bola Tinubu , Biola Babatope , Remi Adikwu- Bakare, Nikepo Oshodi, Bosede Osinowo, Aduke Maina, Yetunde Arobieke, Debo Olasoji , Adeniji Adele, Musiliu Obanikoro, Segun Adesegun , Segun Adekoya;the enthusiasm of Shina Akanni ,Dotun Osunkoya, Jide Kosoko, Nike Mayungbe,Debo Ogunade , Tola Oseni, Samusideen Rabiu,Kayode Alabi, Babatunde Adesida, Gbadebo Rabiu, Kamar Rabiu, Taiwo Oshodi, Adebowale Adebomojo, Ade Salau, Muftau Lawal , Babatunde Ahmed, Femi Salau, Niyi Adeleye, Kola Alabi,Omololu Falowo, Dele Quadri, Fatai Raji,Sola Afolabi, Sola Balagun , Abiodun Emmanuel, Adedoyin Banjo, Dapo Olasope, Fatai Gbadebo ,Dele Fapounda , Gbolahan Bagosto ,OriyomiSulaiman ,Taiwo Idowu Abayomi Ojuri, John Adenuga, Ishola Gbadebo,Wole Diya,Rotimi Abiru, Rotimi Layemo,Gori Ogbara, Gbenga Abdulai, Yakubu Alebiosu, Mondiu Olatilewa, Wale Onile-ere , Banjo Agoro and others to build a renewed strength for our movement once again in other to stimulate and energize Nigeria politically and economically.
Papa Awo, Happy birthday and thank you for sparing us your jewel of inestimable value . May she continue to lead us to the promised land for many more years . Yeye Oba HID Awolowo a pe renio
By Bari Salau

* Bari Salau is the Political Consultant for The Movement For Progressive Change In Nigeria . Contact : or

Friday, February 27, 2009



The civil rights movement in the American history started with a central issue – the constitution of America as it was debated and agreed upon by American forefathers that all humans are born equal and the constitution should stand for the rights of everyone in the Union.
Thus, if the Yorubas’ issue often looks like a central ethnic issue we might as well say the free education made possible by the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the old west was for the Yorubas only; it turns out however, that what is good for the Yorubas might as well be good for the whole Nation.
In effect, what we are saying is, when a group of people come together to debate what is good for a part component of all regions it will ultimately be good for all components. It has often been said that had the whole components embraced the single issue of education proposed earlier by Awolowo, Nigeria would have been turned into the likes of European nations, India, China or Canada of today.
When one supports an umbrella of all Yorubas, one does not necessarily support a mono-cultural philosophy of a political agenda; rather, one supports totally a non-central and non political ethnic organization.
In borrowing from 1909 W.E.B. Du Bois and Ida B. Wells-Barnett N.A.A.C.P creation to fight the central issue of Black Lynching in America, the National Association of Colored People became the most recognized organization in the civil rights establishment with 1,200 active branches all over America. This obviously started with just an ethnic movement that withstood the test of all criticism for more than 100 years of American history.
Papa Awolowo and others started the Pan Yoruba organization in good faith; one can even say that they were 100years ahead of their compatriots in Nigeria organizational movement.
While we, the wasted generations, are today celebrating Papa Awolowo’s legacy, it is pertinent to note that Mama ‘Yeye Oba’ Awolowo has always been in the forefront to lend supporting role for the continuation of Yoruba dynasty. In Education, in Economics, in Science, and in Politics, the Yorubas have always shown leadership for all Ethnic Group in Nigeria.
As a progressive think-thank organization, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in America becomes the most influential in every major civil rights issue of the last century – the land mark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education desegregation case, the Montgomery bus boycotts of the mid-1950s and the passage of the 1964 civil rights Act were centrally issues concerning the Blacks in America but in a larger context becomes the rights of all other ethnic groups in America Society.
The fact that a black family occupies the most powerful house in the world today – the white house- will obviously be credited to yesterday’s civil rights movement and a thoughtful organization that was first created to focus on an ethnic central issue.
As much as we believe in the greater good of common Nigeria where all Ethnic group contribute to its success, we applaud the motives of bringing the splinter Afenifere group, the Awoist and all Yorubas under one progressive and useable umbrella. Awoist movement was long crafted and suggested as the way forward among Awo followers when the man died.
It is a befitting stroke of thought to gather under one roof at Ikenne and to see the combination of the old horses and hawks with Mama ‘Yeye Oba’ Awolowo in attendance. We say hurrah!! Seeing Baba Kekere, Pa Jakande, Papa Fasoranti, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, Bush Alebiosu, Tony Adefuye and the new progressive faces like Governor Daniel of Ogun State and others gracing the peace seeking gathering gave joy to our heart.
When the former Yoruba Governors pre-empted the Thursday’s meeting by showing up on Wednesday at Ikenne, we were a little bit concerned of the antecedent of the old order of the same politics that shred good intention into pieces and sounds like personal greed of thought.
The lesson should be learned from that Shomolu Politician Chief Tony Adefuye’s utterance that things started falling apart, apology to professor Chinua Achebe, when the Yorubas failed to heed the advise of late Papa Awolowo on the need to meet periodically at Ikenne.
The Genesis of split started with the formation of Awoist movement crafted at Ikenne. The old hawks, fearing their back seat allocation in the face of new think-tank group, split and headed to Owo. This writer once attended such gathering at Papa Ajasin’s home in Owo. Later, the Imeri group which morphed from Abacha ‘Kata Kata’ met in Imeri while Afenifere met in Ijebu Igbo; all ignoring Ikenne.
When Papa Fasoranti was approached at Akure to host another component of the same, he made a thoughtful move; he must have thought that over the years, the disciples of Papa Awolowo had failed to follow proper protocol heeding the Sage’s honesty of purpose over issues concerning Nigeria in which Yorubas have always been in the forefront, hence Papa Fasoranti, in our opinion, seized the mantle of leadership and headed to Ikenne wherefore the Spirit of the Sage welcomed everyone to his abode.
It is the State of Nigeria nation that remains potently daisy. We need new thinkers, aggressive programs and policies that will mimic the old-west days of glorious made possible by the late Sage.
Like IBB once said: Papa Awolowo traversed the political realms of Nigeria Nation for forty years, fought and canversed for total transformations of Nigeria into a modern Nation. Peoples within and outside the shores of Nigeria who were not comfortable seeing an emerging powerful Black African Nation, frustrated his efforts and all of us are still paying for this.
A brilliant philosopher, a writer, an economist, a political giant of his time, Papa would have been a catalyst to a true modern, most populous African Nation.

Long Live the Republic of Nigeria

By Dr. Olatunji Almaroof