“Don’t do politics” a mother told her son “if you tell the truth men will hate you, and if you tell lies, the gods will hate you. Since you must either tell the truth or tell lies, you must be hated either by men or by the gods. I shall do it, mother. For if I tell lies, men will love me for it; and if I tell truth the gods will love me. Since I must tell truth or lies, I shall be beloved of men or gods”.
Not surprisingly, most Nigerian politicians frequently visit holy places to wash off what Ralph Waldo Emerson describes as the five enemies of peace: ambition, avarice, anger, pride, and envy. Little wonder, the land is still far from enjoying an enduring peaceful and harmonious co-existence. Most politicians lie to the people they lead – and tell gods the truth. Acutely aware people can be bought, deceived, and lie but consciously informed that lying is such a sacrilegious and off-kilter thing to do an all-knowing knowing, all-seeing God. Ironically, the same people whose commonwealth helped fund their lavish, flamboyant, and ostentatious lifestyles are also the ones being tricked, deceived, and lied to under different guises. It’s all about politics, lying to the people, and telling the gods the truth.
Politics, defined and described in different ways across different ages from Aristotle to Harold Lasswell has always generated a flurry of heated, contentious, and constant debate. Like most social science subjects, politics remains an elusive concept, devoid of a universally acceptable definition. Aristotle’s ‘man is a political animal’ for instance is still subjected to interpretation and description – based on the peculiarities of places. On one part, it’s a game of the brave and bold and not for the faint-hearted and lily-livered while on the other, it is a game of the clever, smart Alec.
For many observers, Governor Seyi Makinde’s administration is at best described as meek, soft, and indecisive when it comes to the big issues. Big issues such as the rise of political ruffians (think of the PMS gang’s audacity and lawlessness), the debilitating debt (think of abandoned projects and mounting debt), religious favoritism, and the tribalization of the polity among others. In a similar vein, these observers often cite the beatification of ‘Agbero’ headlined by Mr. Mukaila Lamidi aka Auxiliary, and Mr. Makinde’s continuous inability to reign in on the boys. In addition, they further bolstered their arguments by drawing people’s attention to the depressing state of local government under GSM’s watch, a tier of government that is grasping for breath in an unknown intensive care unit.
That’s why the eventual impeachment of Engineer Rauf Olaniyan on the 18th of July, 2022 is considered one of the bravest and biggest political decisions of the Governor, Seyi Makinde. Apart from pushing his former chief of staff, Chief Bisi Ilaka out of office in grand style, no other political decision has generated many visceral reactions in the media than the sacking of the Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan.
Interestingly, the impeachment of Engineer Rauf Olaniyan marks the end of the coalition that brought GSM into office. In a sense, the likes of Alhaji Adebisi Olopoeniyan, Honorable Mulikat Akande Adeola, Mr. Femi Jogor among others plus Engineer Rauf Olaniyan can now team up against the party they helped bring into power in the next election. In other words, the flip side of Engineer Engineer Rauf Olaniyan’s impeachment is the technical accentuating of the opposition party and the depleting of the ruling PDP. How well a party would survive this depletion is just a matter of time.
OYO101 is Muftau Gbadegesin’s Opinion about Issues affecting Oyo state, published on Saturdays. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org and 09065176850