The Jagaban’s Politics of Smell … Beyond Sight, History or Reason.

It was at the colloquium organized in honor of the former Governor of Lagos State, now the Leader of the Action Congress (AC) Party of Nigeria – Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) in celebration of his 60th birthday. Babatunde Raji Fashola his successor as Governor made a very simple speech: “Asiwaju, your followers are requesting that you should dispense Justice with equity”. Tinubu replied him that “If there is no partiality, you cannot be Governor yourself”

Welcome to the world of Jagaban of Borgu and his politics of acting by smell and not by sight, history or reason..

Dateline 2003. Olusegun Obasanjo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who hails from the South West of Nigeria, as part of his plans to return as the President for a second term of four years, made a pact with then Governors of the South Western States of Nigeria made up of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo States, where the Alliance for Democracy (AD) Party held sway.

At the end of the elections, Obasanjo’s PDP not only won the Presidency, The PDP hurricane swept all the south western states, except Lagos, where the Jagaban of Borgu, having smelt the sweet aroma of deceit as concocted by OBJ put up a formidable defense to curtail the PDP assault. He managed to win by a very slim margin.

To understand the extremity of the Jagaban’s response to that seemingly innocent request, that seems to challenge the method of the unofficial leader if the Yorubas in the politics of Nigeria, one needs to step back to the intrigues that characterized the emergence of Babatunde Raji Fashola as the Governor of Lagos State in 2007.

Tinubu having served the maximum of 8 years as stipulated by the constitution needed to have a successor. Seven strong members of his party were jostling for the ticket, including political heavy weights like Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi who was acting as if the ticket was his birth right. With the words … “Fashola is the best man for the job. I know the other contestants. They are all my boys. I know their plus and minus and having assessed all of them I’m convinced that Fashola is the best man for the job”  Tinubu threw his full weight behind his Chief of Staff, who was no politician then. Where is Afikuyomi today? Perhaps living in one of the Suites of the first Floating Hotel in Nigeria. … political oblivion.

In the other States, Tinubu ensured that credible candidates who were thus not political liabilities were put up against the PDP institutional politicians. And so … Rauf Aregbesola emerged AC governorship candidate in Osun, Kayode Fayemi in Ekiti, Adams Oshiomhole in Edo State. Of course, Jagaban’s reckoning is that his wife is best as Senator representing Lagos State, and there she is now. He ensured their political machinery were well oiled, since politics in Nigeria is denominated in globally tradeable currencies.

Whether the ACN Governors have performed better than the PDP Governors, time will tell and the people will clearly speak by the next elections. The Politics in the South West of Nigeria is sophisticated, and corrupt and non-performing politicians are penalized severely at the polls. In Oyo State for example, no politician has succeeded in ruling the state for two consecutive terms.

To Tinubu, the PDP is a worse disease than the combined scourge of Polio, Tuberculosis and Guinea Worm. He has taken the battle for the eradication of the PDP from the South West of Nigeria, as a task that must be won at all costs. helping Mimiko, a Labor Party Governor reclaim his mandate in Ondo State and all the way to Kwara State, throwing his full weight behind Dele Belgore, who did not make it to the State House. When you consider the title “Jagaban of Borgu” with the knowledge that the Borgu Emirate was then detached by IBB from Kwara State and thereafter connected to Niger State,  both PDP strongholds, you will begin to connect the dots.

So ..why cherish a title in faraway Borgu? A non-Yoruba society?

Payback from the Emir in a PDP enclave, who was repeatedly denied access to the throne of his fore-fathers, till Tinubu smelt that will be a great coup to pull in the backyard of IBB. The Borgu prince turned Emir fought through the lower courts in twists and turns to the Supreme court to get the State Government to Install him as the Emir, of course … backed by Tinubu’s impressive Judical Army that is reputed not to have lost any case so far.

 As a well brought up Yoruba boy, I must not forget to say … Happy Birthday, Egbon mi ati Asiwaju wa! Igba odun, Odun kan!!

By the way, what does Jagaban mean? Sounding much like Taliban, it could mean … “political terrorist!”

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