Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Rejoinder to Northern Nigeria Governors Press Release

Today, I yield these pages to an illustrious son of Nigeria, the Late Yusuf Bala Usman, the article below is a good riposte to the recent rantings of Northern Nigeria governors. Let no one think that the underpinings of this articles applies only to the North of Nigeria. The same argument can be made of the southwest, where the gerontocratic leadership in cahoot with feudalistic traditional rulers have made mess of the gains highlighted by Dr. Usman in this article. In the East, the rapacious ex-governors holds sway. Nigeria is currently on the throes of death, with bayonets drawn from all sides by rabid ethnic traducers who used the ignorance of the Nigerian peoples to set them against each other in the name of "tribalism" whilst they loot the coffers of the nation. Please read on:

Political Economy and Political Stability in Nigeria in the Early 21st Century*
by Yusufu Bala Usman,
CEDDERT, Hanwa, Zaria, Nigeria.
Being A contribution to the Workshop on the Survival of Democracy in Nigeria, Royal Tropicana Hotel, Kano, Wednesday, 27th September, 2000.

The little contribution I am going to attempt to make to this workshop is on the subject of, Political Economy and Political Stability in Nigeria in the Early 21st Century. This takes care of what was in the provisional title, as set out in this workshop’s programme, and even goes beyond it. Political economy covers education, employment, and much more, including political stability, whose nature, forms, root causes and pattern, cannot be properly understood with the outlook which imposes an arbitrary distinction between politics and economics; a distinction which, as you all very well know, does not exist in real life. The central theme of this workshop, according to its programme, is the survival of democracy. And, since the country is now operating under a democratic constitution, the main issue before us is, the growth and stabilisation of this democracy in it. A democratic form of government is being established in this country over the last fifteen months, after fifteen long years of military dictatorship. Like everything else in natures and society, this form of government has to grow in order to stabilise and survive.

A cardinal requirement for this is that those who have taken on their shoulders the responsibility for operating this term of government have to be clear-headed as to what this growth and stabilisation involves. They have to understand, and make their followers understand, what the establishment of democracy means beyond winning elections by hook-or-by-crook, and sharing the legal and illegal spoils of office. This contribution is aimed at drawing the attention of the participants at this workshop to some of the realities of the Nigerian political economy which will determine whether this democracy grows and survives or whether it breaks down and is overthrown. Some of these realities, even the organisers of this workshop, from the way they have formulated its theme, seem to want to evade. But, before going into all these we need to seek to clarify what political stability, in general, and the stabilisation of democracy, in particular, means in the context of our country in Africa and the world in these early years of the 21st century.

Political Stability

The political stability of any form of government has to involve the stable realisation of the political essence of that form of government. The political stability of a communal gerontocracy in villages and small towns headed by elders under an age grade system, means the continuation of the exercise of power by those who have reached the appropriate age at various levels of the system. The political stability of a feudal monarchy means the continuation of the exercise of power by the heirs of the dynasty or dynasties who produce the monarch.

The political stability of the type of democracy provided for in our constitution means the continuation of the exercise of power by those freely elected by the people of this country for specific periods with definite mandates which conform with the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy clearly defined in chapter II of the Constitution. The opening sections of this chapter makes this very explicit, providing that: 13. It shall be the duty and responsibility of all organs of government , and of all authorities and persons exercising legislative executive or judicial powers, to conform to, observe and apply the provisions of this chapters of the Constitution. 14(i) The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a state based on the principles of democracy and social justice (2) If is hereby accordingly declared that- (a) sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom government through this Constitution derives all its powers and authority (b) the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. Therefore, the political stability of our democracy does not mean the stability of the power of any civilian elected to rule any way they want. There can only be political stability for our type of democracy if those freely elected rule in accordant with the fundamental objectives and Directive Principles of state policy and in words and decide make the security and welfare of the people the primary purpose of government. Most of you elected to hold office under this Constitution who have taken solemn oaths on the Holy Koran or the Holy Bible to carry out your duties in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution like to behave as if these Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles do not exist, or if they do they are merely words intended to decorate a document whose only use is to get the soldiers out and get you into official and give you the keys to the public treasury. This is why even before this democratic form of government has taken-off it is threatened with political instability. But instead of facing up to your clear constitutional responsibilities you used all sorts devices to evade them in order to rule the country, as if that is all you were elected to do.


One of these devices is the compartmentalisation of the country into the so-called six geo-political zones, which?? This outlook has now become so pervasive that the organisers of this workshop can conceive of a serious discussion of democracy surviving, or not surviving, in six States in a federation of thirty-seven states, without any consideration of the fact that if democracy does not survive at the level of the Federal Government where sovereign power lies, it cannot survive in any part of the territory under this government.

This retrogressive outlook which squeezes the complex geographical, cultural, economic and political diversity of the country’s thirty-six States and seven hundred and seventy four local government areas, into six so-called geopolitical zones arose from the divide-and-rule agenda of the military dictatorship led by the late General Sani Abacha, and of its NADECO rivals, both sides of which shared an interest in reducing the political crises arising from the annulment of the June 12th presidential elections to an ethnic and regional conflict between the Yorubas and the Hausa-Fulani and between the North and the South. This outlook has no basis in the actual geographical, cultural, social economic and political realities of the country. Let us take the so-called North-West Zone for example. At what level of the physical and human geography of Nigeria, does Kano, Jigawa, and Kaduna States belong to the same zone with Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara, and not with Yobe and Borno, in the case of Jigawa; Bauchi, and Gombe in the case of Kano; and Niger in the case of Kaduna and Kebbi? At what level of political culture, political activity and political behaviour do the inhabitants of these States belong together, more then with others? What is the empirical evidence for this geo-political cohesion? Linguistic? Is it that these are the states where the Hausa language is predominant? Then why not call them linguistic zones and not pretend that they have some geo-political unity, separate from the others? But then can you call the North-East Zone, or the North-Central Zone or the South-South linguistic zones? This creeping separatist mentality may be a convenient cover to promote tribalistic politics with which you can evade your Constitutional responsibilities of ensuring the security and welfare of the people because not only at the level of politics, but even at the level of the climate, the hydrology, the demography and the economy the states of the so-called North-West Zone, like those of the other zones, are so interdependent with one another and with parts of the neighbouring countries of Benin, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, that they cannot do without one another.

All I want to do here is to draw your attention of how wittingly or unwittingly we get our minds imprisoned by conceptions which have no basis in the realities of our existence and in the Constitution and yet which makes assume that we can meaningfully discuss the survival democracy in some states of a federation and not in others and not at the level of the Federal Government.


Besides promoting a narrow and tribalistic political outlook this compartmentalisation allows for misleading characterisations which also allow you the elected public officers to run away from your Constitutional responsibilities. One of there characterisations, is the one found in the them of this workshop referring to these seven states as “economically weak” The reality on the ground is that these states are not economically weak in the context of the Nigerian Federation and of West Africa and, in fact, of the whole of Africa.

This misrepresentation arises from the myth that the Nigeria has an oil-based economy, and the states which have no oil wells and no significant proportion of the plants of the manufacturing sector are economically weak. But almost everybody knows that the states in the so-called North-West Zone are not only well endowed with vas natural and human resources for agriculture, livestock-rearing and fresh-water fisheries and a wide range of domestic crafts, extensive commercial activity. The facts as is brought in Table 1, are that minerals, including petroleum have never exceeds more then 14% of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product. Agriculture, including livestock, and fisheries in the last two decades accounts for around 40% of the GDP. If you consider the serious limitations of the Federal Office of Statistics, the Central Bank, and the other organisation computing Nigerian economic statistics, particularly in relation to the rural economy and the vast so-called “informal sector,” in both the rural and urban economy, the agricultural sector is likely to account for more then 50% of the country’s GDP. Out of this a significant portion comes from the states of the north-west. So how can they be “economically weak”?

Let us take one basic determinant of the strength of an economy which is the capacity for the production of food. Amongst the foodstuff essential for human nutrition are proteins, derived from legumes and livestock. The states of the north-west produce over 70% of the beans produced in this country in the period 1992-1995 as Table 2, illustrate. These states have for the years 1991-1995 produced up to over 50% of the cattle , goats, and sheep, inspected and slaughtered in the country, as Tables, 3,4, and 5 respectively bring out. These states is properly governed can double and treble this output in the next few years. These states are not economically weak” therefore. They are economically backward, because even in the sub-sectors of agriculture where they are leading, like in the production of some of the most basic protein-rich, foodstuff, this strength is not reflected in the living conditions of the people of these states. And since an economy is basically the utilisation of natural resources with human capacity for human needs, when the living condition of a people incapacitate them that economy is backward, it is retarded, not weak.


The gap between the resource endowment of the economy of these seven states and the living condition of their people is clearly brought out in the fact regarding the under-nourishment of children in these states. The nutrition health and the general welfare of the children in any society is one of the best indicators of the general living conditions of the people in that society. Here you have states which lead the rest of the country in the production of foodstuff, particularly protein-rich beans and meat, but the children of these states are much more under nourished then children in other states who are not so well-endowed. As Table 7 bring out 43.1% of children under five in Nigeria are stunted largely due to poor nutrition but the figure for the north-west is 50.4% while that of the south-east is 36.6% and 35.6% in the south-west! This is very revealing about the political economy of the states of this zone, where the children of those who produce a significant amount of the protein-rich beans and meat for the country are under-nourished and suffer from being under-weight wasting and stunting, with long-term consequences damage to their capacity education, training and for mental and manual labour in adulthood. But it is not only on the area of nutrition that these states are backward, severely damaged, but also in almost all other areas of child welfare, as Table 7 illustrates with regards to prenatal care, delivery, vaccination, infant mortality under-five mortality and the occurrence of diarrhoea. Thus, the people of these states who are damaged by malnutrition, although they are major producers of food also suffer in other areas of their welfare, in spite of the fact that in terms of the revenue allocated to their local and state governments, they have not being at a disadvantage, as Tables 8, 9, and 10 bring out clearly and which you are more then familiar with.

Lack of Infrastructure

In the period June, 1999 to May 2000, in your first one year in office, the local and state governments of the seven states of the north-west received a total of 92.5 billion naira from the Federation Account. The local governments receiving N22.5 billion and the seven state governments receiving N30.0 billion with a total population of about 30 million this means for every single men, women, child and infant you received a total of N1,733.3 which you have solely sworn to use for their security and welfare. There are no indications in terms of their living conditions that you have used these billions of naira as you have sworn to do. The fact is that far from the state of north-west being economically weak, their economy is actually well-endowed but it is very oppressive and exploitative of the producers of the wealth.

A ruling class made up of local, states and federal government bureaucrats, military officers politicians, traditional rulers, businessmen and religious leaders has established a strangle-hold on the lives of the peasant farmers, pastoralist, traders, craftsmen, workers and artisans in these states. The areas of health, water supply and education as the tables here illustrate are ones in which the rapacious role of this elite is most clearly illustrated. While as Table 11 bring out the national percentage of household with water supply from pipes and boreholes in 1993-1994 was 31/7%, it was only 26.3% in the states here. That was seven years ago. The situation is much worse now, even for our households in the most favoured areas of the GRAs. The pipe-borne water supply system has virtually collapsed in most of the major urban centres, in spite of the hundreds of billion of naira local state, and federal government funds and foreign loans allocated to waters projects now and over the years. The water situation of the majority of the people in the rural areas and the high-density urban areas is a disaster. If we turn to electricity supply we find on Table 12 that while the national average of households having access to electricity in 1993/94 was 33.63% it is below half of that at 16.5% in the seven states of the north-west.

This economic backwardness of the state on this major economic infrastructure is not just because somebody in charge of NEPA at the parastatal, or ministerial level, from another region has deprived the area of electricity. For most of the last decade the top executives at the parastatal and the ministerial level and
some of the biggest contractors of NEPA were from the states in the north-west!
They are morally and politically responsible, together with other local government and state government top officers for this serious retardation. There is no held to go around looking for 9 Yorubaman, an Iboman or a Christian to blame!

Crippling Manufacturing

The backwardness of the states of the north-west is a result of the highly exploitative and parasitical activities of the section of the Nigerian ruling class dominant in these states. Their capacity and parasitism is brought out over how they have not only undermined the major industries established here like the Sokoto Cement Factory, the Kaduna Refinery, the Katsina Steel Rolling Mill and the Fiat Vehicle Assembly Plant in Kano, but they rose in arms against the P.R.P Government of Kaduna State, when in 1979-1983 it set out to establish fourteen industries in Kaduna State, some of which were agro-allied, in order to build up on the states leading role in the production of agricultural inputs into the food beverages and related industries. As a result of their rapacity of the seven states of the north-west, as Table 13 reveals, had only 53 out of the 330 food and beverages industries in the whole country in 1994, which is about half of the 104 located in Lagos and Ogun states many of which rely directly on food inputs from the states of the north-west.

Plundering Education

The level of parasitism on the part of the rulers of this parts of Nigeria is far-reaching. For, the local, State and federal government funds allocated to this part of the country and formally assigned for educational development are systematically stolen by a highly organised education industry mafia, to the extent that the peoples of the area are some of the most educationally backward in the country. The level of backwardness cannot be covered-up with the evasive tactic of calling these “educationally disadvantaged-states.” There is no question of any disadvantage as the budget of these states in educational sector makes clear. When billions of naira are allocated to education and yet the percentage of unqualified primary school teachers in 1995/96 in Katsina State was 76.31%; in Sokoto and Zamfara States it was 72.54%; 59.55% in Kebbi States; 59.18% in Jigawa States; 58.00% in Kano State and 31.02% in Kaduna State. The national average of unqualified primary school teachers is 24.05% giving Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara States the distinction having 300% more unqualified primary school teachers then the national average. Anambra, Ogun, Osun and Oyo record on 2% of their primary teachers being unqualified!

These states of the north-west are clearly just backward educationally because of the rapacity, of their ruling elites, because in these states there are the institutional provisions and the funds available to train the hundreds of thousands of secondary school-leavers and College of Education drop-outs to become qualified primary school teachers. But this is not done and among the reasons is that the local and state governments and the federal agencies, want to minimise the amount of money they pay teachers and for the running of the schools. They believe these are better taken and put in their own pockets, so that they can continue run around the country calling their states “educationally dis-advantaged,” while they are actually the most educationally-advantaged section of the Nigerian elite, since they make so much money from education! Even for the Technical Colleges, for the training of bricklayers, plumbers and electricians, and such essential technicians these states which have a very poor system for apprenticeship training in the private, sector have barely 12% of the total enrolment in 1997-98, far below what they need, in terms of population, area and other resource endowments. In the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination of 1995, 44,2999 student from the seven states sat for the paper on English and only 1,185 passed, that is 2.6% passed. In mathematics the percentage that passed was 5.1% and in Physics it was only 2.5%. Out of the 4,870 who sat for Physics from Katsina State, only thirteen passed, giving it a failure rate 99.8%!

It is not surprising therefore, that in the UME admissions to Faculties of Agriculture of Nigerian Universities in 1998, out of 3,069 candidates admitted only 99 came from these seven largely agricultural state, which are not up to the 128 admitted to read agriculture from Lagos State, which barely had any significant agricultural sector in its economy. The 3.2% admission from these states to read agriculture is about the same in engineering and environmental technology, where out of 11,782 candidates admitted on 3.6%, that is 428 are from these seven states, less then half of the 1,167 admitted to those faculties from Imo State alone. The percentages admitted from these states, into the medical science faculties and into the basic sciences were 3.9% and 2.6% respectively. Table 19 reveals that this backwardness is not just in the physical and natural sciences it extends to admission into the faculties of administration, art, education, law and the social sciences. The situation is equally disastrous if not even more dangerous with regards to admission into the polytechnics as Table 17 reveals. At this crucial of education essential for the training of essential middle level manpower for the economy the percentages admitted from these states for the two years 1996/97 and 1997/98 are 0.02% from Jigawa State; 0.11 from Kadna State; 0.12% from Kaduna State; 0.03% from Kebbi State; 0.005% from Sokoto and 0.004% from Zamfara State. The seven states had only 0.31% of the admissions in that year!


The seven states of the north-west are not economically weak and educationally disadvantaged. They are economically exploited and educationally plundered. Their people are held in the grip of an oppressive system which rapidly enriches those in power and authority in the public and private sectors and impoverishes and dispowers the majority of the citizens.

This process of the enrichment of the few and the impoverishment of the many generates resentments, insecurity and violence. The attempt to channel the resentments away from the rich and powerful who are actually responsible for it, and direct it to take the form of communal ethnic, religious and regional hatreds and phobias, entrendies a particular type politics, most easily described as the politics of fear. This type of politics seriously retards the growth of civic consciousness and civic responsibility necessary fro democratic political activity to grow and survive, because it turns politics into a jungle with predator and prey and not an activity by citizens contesting and cooperating in working out the best way of running their affairs.

This type of politics has to be oiled with vast amount of money largely acquired illegally and is therefore/inherently subversive of the rule of law and the
supremacy of the Constitution. It s inimical to any form of stability, particularly democratic stability as provided for in our Constitution.
The choice before you, the elected public officer shouldering the responsibility for ensuring the growth and survival of democracy in our country is stark. You either go ahead with this type of politics and see this form of democratic government collapse on top of you with all the dire consequences to your limbs, lives and property, or you change course and follow, in your own interest the difficult path of genuinely democratic politics as provided for in the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of the Constitution. You have solemnly sworn to uphold and defend.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


“If Nigeria were to die and an autopsy was to be performed the media would be the cause of death” – Anonymous

A little while ago, I wrote about the impending danger that the new brand of journalism now perpetrated by This Day Newspapers posed to Nigerian fledging democracy. In that piece I submit respectfully:
“There is a new way of doing business, especially if you are a newspaper proprietor in Nigeria and it will make you rich, I mean “stinking rich,” and you don’t have to employ a journalist to run your newspaper anymore. The new deals can be called Award Ceremonies, Pop music concerts and Fashion Show Extravaganza. All you need do is announce through the front page of your national newspapers that you are organizing an award ceremonies for companies and government “parastatals” and agencies. The crassness of the deals lies in its buffooneries. There is no semblance of merits in such an award. All it does is get these private companies and government agencies tripping over themselves to advertise in such newspapers. It is interesting to note that the winners of such awards end up locking down an advertising contract with such newspapers.”

I had stated then that the problem I have with this brand of journalism is the inherent “damage it does to the already “battered” integrity of journalism in Nigeria.” Sadly, I could not have been more prescient. I hate to gloat but for once I am proud to say “I told you so.”

Today we learnt that indeed the chicken is coming home to roost for this brand of journalism. In a news story that is clearly a cut between an “hit piece” and an otherwise intelligent investigative report, we learnt of the shenanigans and hypocrisy of the former governor of Lagos State and his connections with the disgraced Abacha’s family friend-the Chagoury’s; as well as the multi billion naira awarded to the latter’s company-Hi-tech Construction company by the Lagos State government.

The problem I have with This Day report is the timing. When did they start working on this story? Since most of the reports referenced deeds and incidents that happened during Tinubu’s years at Alausa why did they sat on the story until now? What motive is behind publishing it now rather than on the eve of election? The reason I say this is that publishing such a story would have enabled the electorates in Lagos State exercised a better judgment in returning someone that is not a lackey or stooge of Bola Tinubu.

The more troublesome problem and the question This Day editor and publishers need to ask is why give the Governor of the Year Award for distinction in infrastructure development to Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola when the same construction company made all the infrastructure development available? It is interesting that the paper now claims it made the award to Fashola based on the wishes of its reader, but then is that not an indictment of the newspaper itself? Could they not be found culpable of misinforming their readership by highlighting musical jamboree and awards to the detriment of actual work of journalism?

Another question I would love to have the publisher answer for us is this: What nexus if any, is there between the Lagos State government refusal to grant a permit for This Day permanent center for jamboree and fashion show and the publication of this news story at this time?

The problem with the ongoing saga is that none of the parties come out of this clean. The Lagos State government had already sent out its “tax goon’s” to This Day corporate office to find out if they had been paying tax regularly. The problem with that is it stinks! Everyone knows this is the same tactic that General Abacha would have used when a newspaper published something unsavory of his regime. So what the Lagos state government is doing is merely confirmed the hypocrisy of its so called democratic ideals. They played into ThisDay story lines when they take a vengeful stand instead of taking every effort to respond to the story accurately and introspectively.

ThisDay newspapers on the other hand will go down in history as contributing to the “demise” of Nigeria democracy more than any other media if it refuses to desist from promoting crass journalism over and above its new found “constitutional duty of the press to hold governments accountable.”
It is not too late for the parties to sheath their sword, roll up their sleeves and helps Nigerian democracy expose pervasive corruption, rebuild crumbling infrastructures and laid a good foundation for black Africa’s largest democracy.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


It is a settled maxim of law that you have to hear the other party in any judicial proceedings. The Latin maxim aptly states “audi alteram partem.” It means that any and all judicial official is required in every democratic judicial institution to avoid “ex-parte” communications with any of the parties and their counsels before the court. All communications and conversations with the parties and their counsels must be made in open court room or in chambers with all the parties and/or their lawyers present. This by the way is the first thing a budding lawyer is and would be taught at the law school. Any attempt to circumvent this settled principle will taint the entire proceedings and thus rendered whatever outcomes a nullity!

This basic constitutional and administrative law principle readily sprang to mind when I read a recent exclusive news report from “The News” magazine about the improper triangular telephone conversations between counsels to the governor of Osun state, the incumbent governor, as well as some members of the Electoral Petition Tribunal in Osun State.

According to the news magazine in its story titled ‘‘The Scandal of Judges, How Osun Tribunal Was Compromised;’’ it claimed that it had obtained “authentic, incontrovertible and unimpeachable” phone logs containing conversation between the counsel to the governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, and his lawyer, Otunba Kunle Kalejaiye. “The truth is that we have the logs of all calls and text messages made by Kalejaiye and Justice Naron in the last six months to colleagues, friends and family members, and those made to them,” the magazine stated.

Now, let me say that I applauded the journalist who uncovered this story and wish them “more grease to their elbow” as we usually call it in Nigerian-ese. My problem however is their subsequent press statement that they have phone logs of conversation in the last months to “colleagues, friends and family member.” Even if they do, statements such as that should never have made it to the pages of news papers. We all have rights to privacy and the journalist will be “pushing it” if they think the court will protect their right to freedom of information if they start boasting of illegally obtaining phone conversation of lawyers, judges and their family members.

However, what is fair game is any “ex-parte” phone logs between the judicial officers of the tribunal and the counsel to the governors. The phone conversations between the governors and his counsel are well protected under Attorney/Client privileged relationship. The conversations between the counsel and any of the judicial officers outside the legal frameworks permitted by the tribunal rules and procedures are unfair, unjust and contrary to the rules of any democratic principles anywhere in the world.

The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 specifically provides in Section 36 subsection 1 that “In the determination of his civil rights and obligations, including any question or determination by or against any government or authority, a person shall be entitled to a fair hearing within a reasonable time by a court or other tribunal established by law and constituted in such manner as to secure its independence and impartiality. “ Emphasis mine.
Subsection 3 further provides that “the proceedings of a court or the proceedings of any tribunal relating to the matters mentioned in subsection (1) of this section (including the announcement of the decisions of the court or tribunal) shall be held in public.”

What the Osun State Electoral Petition Tribunal did in this case is a clear affront on the constitution. The fact that the tribunal chairman, Justice T. D. Naron exchanged text messages with the respondent’s counsel at an “unholy hour” of the night (some of the messages and phone conversations took place past midnights or early in the morning) brings back to memory the saga of another judge who put Nigeria democracy on trial. The story of the infamous now late Justice Ikpeme who issued an injunction to stop the declaration of June 12 election in the dead of the night!

The link between the Osun State Electoral Petition Tribunal tenuous interlocutory rulings so far and the beginning of the ex-parte phone conversation with the tribunal members is there for all to see. At this point it is clear that the tribunal is sufficiently tainted that no one could expect justice will be done in this case. It is incumbent on the National Judicial Council to vacate their ruling and dismissed the panel immediately.

But this is Nigeria after all, and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is still in power, so I expect nothing will happen. It is saddening indeed that the democracy I lost some of my best friends fighting for had been turned to a nightmarish experience. A macabre dance with an hydra monster populated by evil genius pretending to be democracy messiahs in “agbada.” We are indeed in big trouble and there is no end in sight.

The potential for prosperity, peace and development is clearly all over Osun State, but the “goons” in power will not let that state move beyond their shadows. Their vicious grip on the state is evident by the mayhem they have unleashed on the state since the death of Bola Ige. There is no single politician of any hue in the state that could boast of getting into office through a free and fair election. “God-father-ism” is the order of the day.

The ongoing battle at the Electoral Petition Tribunal is a side show to the eventual battle to come, which is the next gubernatorial election. The battle between ex-president’s Obasanjo’s so called “poodle,” Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode and Senator Iyiola Omisore for the governorship jostle started recently when the latter maneuvered to have the former arrested for corruption related to the multi-billion naira Airport contract, even whilst he himself subsist under the clouds of suspicions for the dastardly and callous murder of Bola Ige. The age old adage again rings true here, when the elephant’s fights, it is the grass that suffers. In this case, the grasses are the poor people of Iwaraja, Ila Orangun, Igbajo, Modakeke, Ikire, Ikeji-Arakeji, Ijemba, Ere-Ijesa, Ifewera, et al who will wake up this morning without any functional health centers, no sanitary tap water, no motor-able road network, and of course most importantly; no government to hold accountable for the provision of basic amenities of life in a 21st century Nigeria. And yet they say we have democracy. Well this democracy is on trial and the judge is on phone busy text messaging one of the counsels before him!