By Babatunde Seun
When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. This is one proverb that describes the subject above. Over time it has been seen that it is not a sensible thing for the masses to take sides when members of the socio-political elite class have a clash of interests, as they always find a way to settle and without regards for the gullible ones who took sides while the hostilities were on. This is a very frequent thing in Nigeria’s socio-political space. Few days ago we read in the news that the olubadan of Ibadan, oba Saliu Adetunji, had at a meeting called by the Oyo state governor, senator Abiola Ajimobi, said that the governor deserves a third term in office, but for constitutional limitation. According to reports, the traditional ruler praised the governor and thanked him for unprecedented achievements in his two terms as governor of the state. As it often is, some people applauded the olubadan and some others condemned him for it. Now one of those who criticized him said the traditional ruler was wrong because he did not consult with his supporters and followers before making such statement. Not a few people were amused by the submission from the supposed follower.
Politics, according to professor Nwolise, is ultimately the struggle for the minds and resources of men, and politicians have proven this over time, especially in Nigeria. A lot of people surely have not come across this brilliant view of professor Nwolise. Politicians are in a constant struggle for the minds of naïve men who are perpetually veiled by the drama of politicians. This set of people can never be helped because no matter how hard you try to make them see the folly in their blind support of the people that negatively affect their lives, they would always make you see that they are no unchained Jango. Examples abound to help the masses, especially the youths, know that no Nigerian political elite is worth being followed, but not many of us are willing to remove our veils. in the periods before the 2011 general elections, Oyo state was literally turned to a war zone between forces loyal to the then incumbent governor, Adebayo Alao Akala, and those loyal to the senate leader at the time, Teslim Folarin, over governorship and senatorial seat tickets. Both were members of the peoplesdemocratic party. These were sworn enemies and the rivalry was so bad that residents of oyo state, especially Ibadan, were living in fear. It was during this struggle that the state chairman of NURTW popularly known as eleweomo, a loyalist of the governor lost his life in December 2010, with many others from both camps wounded. That unfortunate rivalry resulted in the victory of senator Abiola Ajimobi of the action congress of Nigeria, this was a relief for the residents of the state. Seven years later in December 2017, both Akala and Folarin dumped their parties, labour party and peoples democratic party respectively, and joined governor Abiola Ajimobi in the all progressives congress. How many of the poor masses blindly following them was consulted before that move? Did Akala remember that one of his followers got himself killed while fighting for him in 2010? Today Akala and Folarin have moved on from foes to friends irrespective of whatever their so called followers think, a good confirmation that ‘’there are no permanent friends nor foes in politics, only permanent interests. How did the family of the late eleweomo feel when they saw the events of December 2017, when the two political foes became friends?
The masses need to understand that the Nigerian political elites do not fight for ideas, neither do they fight for the general good, they do not even fight for the country, and they do not always really fight. The only time they appear to fight is when they have interest in the same thing that only one of them can get. It is therefore disheartening to see victims of the elites’ activities now taking up the role of defending the same people who improvish them and make their lives difficult. Today senatorRabiu Kwankwaso and his self-annointed successor as kanostate governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, do not see eye to eye for reasons known to probably them alone. And as usual, the victims of their friendship period have taken sides in this time of rivalry and it has been not just bad, but bloody. The police have even had to advise that the senator should not come to his state, a state where he was governor for two terms, just because of a selfish and unfortunate rivalry between him and his former aide.This rivalry was continued on the 3rd of March, 2018 in kanowhen oyo state governor Abiola Ajimobi’s son(Abolaji) married kano state governor Umar Ganduje’s daughter(Fatima), when senator Kwanwaso made a not so pleasant comment about the new couple(calling them non-virtuous). Again the self-appointed defenders of the two rivals went for each other’s throat, condemning and defending as the case may be, forgetting that a time may come when these two will reconcile and by then the damage done by their supporters may be beyond repair. Now a week later at the Ibadan version of the wedding, the olubadan of Ibadan walked into the venue and celebrated with his nemesis in the Ibadan chieftaincy battle, governor Ajimobi whose son was wedding. The moment I saw the olubadan and his entourage, I just remembered the clownish supporter on facebook and I smiled. Will these victims ever learn?
It is high time the masses left the political elites to sort themselves out when they have conflicting interests, and they always do but only after their rivalry has claimed numerous victims. Even if they do not reconcile, let them be because they fight, not for you, but for conflicting personal interests.
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