History, Babangida, Obasanjo, Abdulsalami & Soyinka’s Hall of Shame

History, Babangida, Obasanjo, Abdulsalami & Soyinka’s Hall of Shame


By Taju Tijani


At a recent speech to mark the launch of the new Cambridge History of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, the Irish president, spoke eloquently on the importance of knowing about the past. “A knowledge and understanding of history,” he observed, “is intrinsic to our shared citizenship. To be without such knowledge is to be permanently burdened with a lack of perspective, empathy and wisdom.” And, he continued, “to be without historical training, the careful and necessary capability to filter and critically interpret a variety of sources, is to leave citizens desperately ill equipped to confront a world in which information is increasingly disseminated without historical perspective or even regard for the truth.” 


On an earlier occasion, Higgins had urged the need to see history “as essential to understanding who we are today”, and as also necessary to debunk myths, challenge inaccuracies and expose deliberate amnesia or invented versions of the past. In so saying, he was in good company, for as Eric Hobsbawm once put it, to know little of the past is “to grow up in a sort of permanent present, lacking any organic relation to the public past of the times we live in”. 

Hobsbawm, in turn, reiterated a point Cicero had made long ago: “To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of a human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?” 


These are wise words because a knowledge of history is not only vital for an educated citizenry but also for good government. History should be an essential part of our national culture and national life. “The present,” Soames Forsyte of The Forsyte Saga once observed to his daughter, Fleur, “is rooted in the past; the future in both”. The above quote are not my words. I have repurpose it here to purify this piece. History as a subject was banned in Nigeria’s educational curriculum but only recently reinstated by President Mohammadu Buhari after many bruising battles by valiant men and women who see the dangers of living in a nation without any sense of its own past.


We need history in Africa more than anywhere else. We live in a wicked continent full of oppressors, political impunity, corruption, killings and the reign of mad, bad and evil leaders. By documenting our stories we will someday be able to know who among our leaders deserve national exaltation and honour and who among them deserved to be dishonoured, shamed and send to jail for their past deeds.  We should not only be documenting the good deeds but also the inanities of our leaders. Also, we should also be going back to prize open the yellow pages of our documented history from time to time, or else, it will be frozen and forgotten. President Mohammadu Buhari has now lay down a fantastic rule book of good governance. He did not allow 25 years of June 12 injustice to remain frozen forever. He rescued it. He unpacked it. He invoked the spirit of fair play and justice and today June 12 has joyfully returned from slumber to be a national celebration. Well done, President Buhari. I owe you one on this milestone.


However, beyond the belated justice for Chief MKO Abiola and democracy in Nigeria; beyond the GCFR, beyond the apology to his family, beyond the naming of many monuments after his name, we should pause a bit and do the other right things. One of those right things is the evocative call by Professor Wole Soyinka for a hall of shame, or book of shame, in itself, a history book, that will name, shame and punish the various Esaus, Judas, unpatriotic military officers, conspirators, annulment Jihadists, Yoruba haters, anti-democrats, beneficiaries, traitors, rebels and  unfriendly friends of Chief MKO Abiola who all prevailed on the military junta of Military President of Ibrahim Babangida to annul Nigeria’s freest, fairest and nationally accepted election in our history.


There is no healing that will be more cathartic than to punish all the myopic revisionists who changed the destiny of Nigeria and subverted the will of the people with such bestial impunity. None of them were mindful that a day of reckoning may soon catch up with them. Nigeria needs to travel this road from now on. The sure fastener of Western democracy is the purity of their justice system and the ability of their laws to operate retrospectively. June 12 shamed Nigeria. On June 12 1993, democracy was castrated, gang-raped and its tenets was defiled through mass coercion, brutal killings and Babangida’s monopoly on the means of violence.


June 12 dis-configured our democracy.  Hundreds of ordinary Nigerians paid the supreme sacrifice. Chief MKO Abiola’s thriving business empire collapsed. Other innocent Nigerians were made compulsory collateral due to the infamous assassination of Chief Abiola. Closure of the sore of June 12 infamy is still a distant dream. For that to happen, Babangida, the cruel architect of the daylight election robbery, General Abdulsalami Abdullahi, the man who was at the helm when Abiola died under his watch, then Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the shameless, selfish and unrepentant beneficiary of June 12 and other living actors of that democratic heist must be named and entered into our hall of shame. They must be forced to pay restitution, persecuted and sent to jail. Those who fail to learn from history will eventually become its casualty. June 12 grand gesture of recognition and the belated bestowal of GCFR will remain mere gesture until we recognise that gesture without content is not good enough. June 12 was not just a mere avoidable trajectory, it was also a monumental one. The annulment was symptomatic of the kind of barbaric military dictatorship of both Babangida, Abacha and Abdulsalami lawless junta. Where there is a tragedy, the world must demand for the villain!


The 25 years of deafening silence on General Abdulsalami Abdullahi complicity in the death of Chief MKO Abiola should be interrogated. This man is no saint.  Was he the silent assassin who threw Chief MKO Abiola down the cliff to his death? He must be questioned and made to give a clear and unequivocal articulation of who really struck the death blow on MKO? How did he die? Who made the decision? Why was the decision to waste him and his mandate ever made? Who are the principal actors? Who are the supporting cast in this ghoulish play of the brutality of death? It was popularly alleged that Chief MKO Abiola was brutalised to death. We must, as a nation, slip deeper into all these lines of whodunit for us to have any semblance of closure.




Nigeria: 19 years of Democratic Vanity

19 years of Democratic Vanity

By Taju Tijani

On Monday May 29, 2018 this nation celebrated yet another 19th anniversary of democracy Nigerians are yet to enjoy and be proud of. Today, I will do a robust, rebarbative and analytical democratic audit of the last 19 years and see if there is any space for self-celebration. Nigeria has a weakness. That weakness is our obsession for ugly and narcissistic self-congratulations at the drop of a hat. In terms of democratic experimentation, this nation has nothing to celebrate. Ours has been a messy democracy where we lie to each other and at every turn we love to reaffirm the simpering narrative that Nigeria is a giant in Africa’s socio-economic-political-cultural life. Really?

Welcome to a messy democracy that has disfigured and defiled the noble status God originally bestowed on Nigeria.  In a messy democracy anything can happen. In a nation that harbours pathological impatience for its leaders, agitation for miracle can happen. In a nation like Nigeria that is fixated on the tribe of its leaders, ethnocentric hatred is the order of the day. In a nation where politicians are driven to public service for personal gain, that society is doomed to servitude, poverty and despair. In a nation where laws and orders are designed to shield the rich and powerful from prosecution, that nation will have to grapple with lawlessness, confusion and violence.

As a writer, public commentator and opinion moulder, I have my list of disenchantment with the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari. Millions of his supporters also hold different opinions about his successes and failures. One man opinion of his success is another opinion of his failure in the pursuit of the Nigerian project. All these opinions have now coalesced or crystalized into some form of disillusion and hopelessness for the manner he has handled the endless challenges facing Nigeria. To some, Buhari has failed. To another, Buhari is a success. To some, Nigeria is a work in progress.

For the past three years, there have been public discomfort with so many decisions and indecisions of President Mohammadu Buhari. The chorus of regrets is ever becoming louder and Nigerians are wondering where the old chutzpah mythically associated with President Mohammadu Buhari has gone AWOL to? Also, I have to remind my readers that the narrative that Nigeria is a great nation has remained the most enduring script crafted by our elites to inflate our egos and encourage a sustained self-glorification that has no basis in reality. The question is, if Nigeria is that mythical land of Eldorado, why would you and I still recoil in ongoing horror at the mayhem, confusion, insecurity, hunger, unemployment, lawlessness, kidnappings, killings and inaction of our government over many manageable aberrations? What has been the life and blood gains of 19 years of democracy for millions of Nigerians? Why is agitation for a new order so strident under Buhari if our democracy is working? The sobering truth can now be revealed: Nigeria has been practicing democratic vanity expressly designed to enrich the rich and pauperise the poor.

Only last week, the President revealed that the money stolen by Jonathan administration and his looters were so much that they may not be able to recover all the loot in the life of his administration. The subtext is this: for 16 years, the People Democratic Party (PDP) violently and rapaciously raped and looted the wealth meant for Nigerians under the name of democracy. This is the reality we all shy away from. We practice democratic vanity on a grand scale. The politicians have cornered Nigeria and her resources and, sad to say, even Buhari cannot fight and win the war against despoliation.

Check this out. The cost of maintaining the vanity-oriented rogues in both our National Assembly and House of Rep have become the burden and misery the Nigerian state has to carry on its fragile shoulders. It is intellectually absurd and morally repugnant to think that the same petrol-dollar being used in feeding our parasite class – politicians – is denied to the poorer mortals among us. Why would a supposedly rich nation like Nigeria continue to waste resources on the vanity of its senator-politicians, who, according to President Buhari, have contributed nothing to national rehabilitation for the past 19 years?

Why do we need to be feeding the vanities of hounds and scoundrels we call law makers? Believe me, we have accommodated 19 years of wicked, vanity-driven and profligate democracy that had bankrupted Nigeria before a rescue came in May 2015. When Buhari entered office in May 2015, there were sound of collective hosannas from all Nigerians. Then the harsh realities of governance and the discovery of monumental stealing configured his CHANGE agenda. Today the mood has change from a messiah to crucify him. The hosannas has given way to cries of pain or even horror as we watch daily how his government is foundering on the rock of inaction over insecurity.

The cold miserable truth is that 19 years of democracy has succeeded in producing political lechers who wear their new badge of billionaire status without shame, fear or sense of contrition. I will like to repeat and re-assert President Buhari’s famous argot: In 19 years of democracy, where is the light? In 19 years of democracy, where are the jobs? 19 years of democracy, where is the peace and prosperity for Nigerians? In 19 years of democratic journey, where are the sober, conscientious, humble, just, sincere, transparent and public-spirited politicians we can all be proud of? In 19 years of democratic tutelage, where are the patriotic, avaricious-averse, dedicated, morally upright and integrity-driven politicians who will alter the contour of our shame, disconnect us from corruption, retune our moral values and recover our stolen paradise from thieving politicians whose sole aim is to steal, kill and destroy?

Who will unbundle the cost of democratic governance? Who will cut out fat allowances, benefits and salaries of our lecher-senators? Who will ban politicians from driving around in darkened SUV and convoy?  Who will puncture the bubble of ostentatious and profligate lifestyle of Nigerian politicians and align their expectations with the wishes of the Nigerian people? After 19 years of profligate democratic interrogation, the question is who will be martyred for a New Nigeria? Who! Who!! Who!!!





Ekiti: Here Comes Fayemi, The Second Time Charmer? By Taju Tijani

Ekiti: Here Comes Fayemi, The Second Time Charmer?

By Taju Tijani

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of losing, the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of victory from a perceived enemy. “


Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, JKF, is on a relentless mission to Fayeminised Ekiti his beloved home state once again. He is on a revenge mission to convert those who once rebuffed him into ardent supporters or cheerleaders. Ekiti town and cities are becoming magical laboratories where Kitians are being wooed back to Fayeminism. As hurricane Fayemi sweeps across the tumultuous landscape of Ekiti, the re-occupation or re-conquest of the State House by JKF, is a matter of months. Welcome to occupy Ekiti at all cost for Fayemi. Welcome to do-or-perish politics of Ekiti kete. Welcome to politics at its ugliest!


Time, that greatest healer of all wounds, will soon tell if Fayemi’s groveling apology to the people of Ekiti has been accepted. Time will tell if he is truly the stone that was once rejected but about to be the capstone. Time will tell if he will be a living proof to the old argot that says: sometimes people have to reject you before they accept you. In earlier incarnation, Fayemi was known as a pompous, over-educated and elite-oriented politician. From 15 October 2010 -16 October 2014 when he was governor, Kitians remembered with no fond memories Fayemi’s aloofness to his grassroots base. They remembered him as the over-confident governor who felt he was better than the state he governs. They remembered him for his tedious and posh Queens English that distanced him more than attracted the people to him. The Kitians demonised him as the ‘wicked’ governor who starved teachers and civil servants and poured salt on their injury with conceit and snobbishness.


Today, in our wistful nostalgia, we are awaiting the imminent return of a credible hero who have fought a battle with his old demon of arrogance and disdain for his people. Today, Fayemi is being called upon to purify the desiccation of Ekiti land by Ayodele Fayose. Today, age, wisdom and introspection in the wilderness have all combined to mellow and drained the repellent poison of arrogance that cost him the governorship throne.

Fayemi is proving not to be a man who enjoys oblivion. Ekiti politics is his oxygen – he cannot survive without it. His time as the Minister of Solid Minerals under President Buhari is a mere detour or stop over in his destination. He likes the temptation of Ekiti’s macho politics where cutlasses, axes, broken bottles and guns are necessary armour of survival.

JKF loves the emotional rush of dirty politics and its backroom intrigues and betrayal. Ever since politics was rebranded as a battlefield or do-or-die affair by Pa Obasanjo, the Nigerian political terrain has been turned into a blood–soaked killing field. Ask the people of Rivers and Ekiti states. OBJ was the abhorrent pioneer, who, during the second republic, justified political anarchism as a necessary end that justified the means. The First Republic may have laid the ‘wetie’ foundation in the old Oyo politics, but Obasanjo stretched the warring baton with his unguarded do-or-die political doctrine and people like Ayodele Fayose has remained a horrible beneficiary of this orthodoxy.


In 2014, when the unexpected happened, it happened like a thunderbolt. Fayemi was defeated in the gubernatorial election by Fayose. Worse, he was shamed in his own local constituency of Isan Ekiti under the Oye local government. To Fayemi, the defeat was worse than humiliation.  He alleged electoral robbery. He will not allow the perfidy to go unchallenged. The whole nation was stunned. For the first time, Fayemi gained an important illumination. He had no army. He had no police. He was made powerless. He was reduced to mortality. He was alone in a political wilderness. His ego was deflated by a rascally, but grassroots savvy and aggressive man called, Ayodele Fayose. Beaten, broken and brutalised, Fayemi embraced the cold chamber of political meditation.


The immediate aftermath of the 2014 defeat were streams of anti-Fayemi’s purge that circulated in outer space. Political commentators, social media pundits and columnists in turn diagnosed Fayemi and concluded that our cerebral, handsome and bespectacled politician had some diseased organs. There had been accusation of Fayemi’s failure to staunch the haemorrhaging of his grassroots support base. His quasi-intellectual aloofness and elitism that conspired to alienate the traditional institutions. APC’s mortal weakness for imposition. Fayemi’s predilection to “blow Queen’s grammar” rather than pedestrianised his “oyinbo” with area boy’s lingo like a Fayose. He is accused of being an advocate of polite politics in a state notorious for head-banging political turmoil.


Aware of the tough terrain of Ekiti political waters, the President has warned that Ekiti must be conquered and its soul returned to its waiting redeemer, John Kayode Fayemi. In turn JKF has equally boasted that Fayose will be paid back in his own coin. In 2014, Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan of corruption memory, supplied the money, the Army, the Police, the riggers and the thugs and delivered Ekiti to Fayose. Today the same enablers – money, the Army, the Police, the riggers – are now in favour of JKF.

This irony, this massive power shift, this no-condition-is-permanent are the political lessons for Ayodele Fayose. Today Ekiti is Fayose’s Imperial Rome that must be defended with every ounce of Kitians’ blood. Ekiti now sits precariously on the tipping edge of political fragility. Accusations and counter accusations are ratcheting up the polity. Fayemi’s billboard was allegedly ripped by Fayose’s standing army. There is accusation that APC and by extension the Federal Government plans to use students of the Federal University at Oye as INEC officials in a clandestine move to rig the July gubernatorial election.  There is fear and apprehension among PDP politicians and their civilian cheerleaders of political suicide if Fayemi wins this election. The fear of his victory portends a clear and present danger. The assumption is that Fayemi in victory will surely engage in pound-for-pound politics of bitterness against all plunderers of Ekiti resources.


However, Ekiti most lovable rogue, Ayodele Fayose, has boasted that the Army, the Police, the tanks, the Federal cash and riggers are no match to the Rock of Gibraltar facing them – the menacing, stubborn, faithful, loyal and courageous people of Ekiti. He boasts that he still controls the scripts in Ekiti land and that his clone, Professor Olukolapo Olusola Eleka, still has a cathartic chance to rip through to victory come July 14, 2018. The subtext is this: Ayodele Fayose is reminding Buhari and Fayemi that the nostalgic Ekiti people will always remembered how he, Emperor Fayose, satisfied their hunger with stomach infrastructure and thus the people will not allow John Kayode Fayemi to win and enthrone a wicked and crippling austerity that has remained the marker of APC’s government.


Is JKF our second time charmer? Will the people of Ekiti fall in love with him this second time? I am holding my breath but hedging my bet on……………Fayemi is on a mission to recoup lost time and opportunity. He may never find both time and opportunity again after this election. He is on the run for his destiny. Shamefully, his politics is fast answering to personal pathology – his demonic desire for power, his inflated ego, untamed Fayosophobia and desire to humiliate and punish Ayodele Fayose who has consistently outsmarted and shamed his overrated intelligence and scholarship.





South Africa: Reflections on Xenophobic Anarchism, Ghetto Guerrillas and Cowardice.

By Taju Tijani

Note: This piece was first published in May 2008. Its relevancy and timeliness are still unfolding as we see in the ongoing murders of Nigerians in South Africa.

South Africa is in the throes of violent epiphany and it is horrifyingly sad to watch how she is plummeting from political, moral, cultural and social regeneration to barbaric and odious cannibalism which, if left uncontrolled, could lead to self-implosion. The sudden romance with national nihilism and anarchy by her jobless, poor, illiterate, coward and xenophobic-driven blacks against fellow black Africans signalled the beginning of ethnic cleansing which may rapidly degenerate into holocaust if clearer warning is not delivered to her impotent leaders who are currently looking the other way as the orgy of violence encircles this former bastion of apartheid.

Most media comments about South Africa’s killing fields of Diepsloot in Johannesburg, Hammanskraal outside Tshwane, Mkhambathini in Kwazulu-Natal, Cape Town, Pretoria, Western Cape and East London have been cringing and patronising and this had led to a hardening of attitude among the ghetto guerrillas  who still roam around with knives, cutlass and guns looking for human turkey to cannibalise upon. The moral and credibility mileage she had reclaimed since the rebirth of a rainbow nation devoid of bickering, revenge and retaliation is now ossified by this relapse into butchery of fellow Africans. The love, goodwill, support, affection, moral and financial investment we all give to South Africa during her darkest history of apartheid is now dishonoured by her deadly loathing of blacks of other nations who live in her midst.

South Africa’s delicate evolution from a nation of racial animus to an inclusive, tolerant society has now come under re-evaluation by her shameless descent into xenophobic anarchism, barbaric rascality and primordial cannibalism. Nigeria, a once frontline state in the struggle for South Africa’s freedom from apartheid captivity is now a victim of abhorrent hate and murderous envy.

The reasons advanced for the mayhem and bloodletting are simplistic, puerile and nonsensical. South African blacks, goes the romanticised cant, are fighting a survivalist war to protect thinning jobs hijacked by the invading and hungry hordes from Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. Citizens of these helpless countries must have uncommon psychic gifts to have known that South Africa is the new Europe paved with gold, diamond, emerald and silver. What the oracle did not reveal to our nomadic adventurers is South Africa’s present predicament of anomie, ennui, unemployment, violence, drug and alcohol dependency and worse, mass psychiatric problem brought about by the blight of apartheid’s 350 years of unrelenting blaxploitation.

South Africa was founded by its apartheid overlords on violence and brutal massacre. That historical tragedy has found its way into their national lore and today South Africans are proud to see themselves as violent and cannibalistic.  What is acutely maddening is the wrong channelisation of this ugly, murderous, demonic revenge on innocent sojourners who wandered into their country in search of opportunity and better life.

The Ghanaians, Malawians, Mozambicans, Nigerians, Tanzanians, Zambians and Zimbabweans who have been victims of ghoulish, bloody killings are the only soft targets their South African killers could prey upon.  Already, 26,000 Mozambicans have fled South Africa because of attacks. Also, Malawi has evacuated its citizens from South Africa’s theatre of xenophobic psychosis. What this state of affair seems to suggest to the larger world who are being entertained by a cast of stupid actors playing out their version of Greek tragedy on an African soil is simply this: are they human beings? What is wrong with black Africans?

Why do they hate themselves? Why do they project difference instead of unity and togetherness? Who is going to unite these disparage people with shared afro-cultural heritage? When would black Africa deconstruct and dredge out its violent past and construct a united, borderless continent with free access based on shared identity of Negroid race? When are we going to embark on the truncation of tribal hatred, inter-country jealousies and hostility?

The urgency of a national conversation should be more strident among South Africans in the face of her ugly wickedness against black foreigners. This is the time to confront herself and speak truth to her own conscience. Her political, social, economic and cultural institutions which rest squarely on Ubuntu, a national philosophy ecstatically adopted to usher in respect, understanding, equity, sharing, caring, humanness, social justice and fairness has now been found to rest on faulty, empty rhetorical foundations. South Africa is still a work in progress society, and as she walks the tight rope of national reconstruction, she should peel off the mask of false image of a great rainbow nation, at peace with herself and devoid of racial animosity.

The animating vision of old revolutionaries like Mandiba Nelson Mandela, John Dube, Pixley ka Isaka Seme, Clemens Kadile who was himself of Malawian origin, Albert Lithuli, Lilian Ngoyi, Thomas Nkobi, a Zimbabwean in origin, Oliver Thambo, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Joe Slovo and Ruth First, both scions of Anglo-Saxon root, to enthrone a society define by inclusion, multiculturalism, racial tolerance and progress has now entered its most trying period. In retrospect, the vision of Mandela after the traumatic years in the Gulag of Robben Island and eight years as president of South Africa could now be judged by its failure.

After Mandela’s rehabilitation from prison, he embraced a faulty political pragmatism forced on him by Western investors and the powerful economic-dominant white and Asian minority who still live in style and stupendous comfort, amidst the poverty of the ghettoes inhabited by shameless, warmongering natives, now on a prowl hunting down their own brothers and sisters! Why this self-defeating hubris among black Africans?

Mandela’s presidency was marked not by political, social, cultural and economic exactitude or restitution but by patronising obeisance to the whims and caprices of white and Asian South Africans who threatened massive capital reparation if national reconstruction includes redistribution of their ill-gotten wealth. Shorn of his old insurrectionary and radical temper, Mandela capitulated and the effect is now visible in South Africa’s oasis of lost hope, unemployment, anger, regret, poverty and violence among her black populace.

The energetic, bright and renaissance-inspired Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki concocted emotion-driven policy soundings which rest squarely on re-awakening Africa’s pride that had been castrated and tamed by centuries of apartheid and white slavery. He spoke of equity, justice and black empowerment in a new South Africa that had been abused, racially raped and exploited by her old, unrepentant Afrikaner white minority rulers.  Seven years on, Mbeki’s dream has not unfolded. He is more interested in golf than governing. Under him, unemployment soar, violence mushroom and you could see blood on the dance floor of every smoke-filled sheebeen in the black-populated townships and ghettoes of Soweto.

Contained by fear, fatigue, frustration, failure and alienated, displaced, ignored, snubbed and treated as third class citizens, even after apartheid, black South Africans had to forage for soft ‘meat’ in the form of innocent black foreigners, and cannibalise on them with the kind of feeding frenzy common to a pack of hungry lions. The monumental policy failure and total asphyxiation of their hope and economic liberation by both Mandela and Mbeki was another indictment of black leadership failure in black Africa. However, there is a nagging annoyance which would not go away, especially when you see the huge irony of it all. Why are black South Africans not targeting white and Asian people, the twin powers behind their serfdom, economic destitution and slavery?

Can we accuse black South Africans of cowardice on poor, defenceless black foreigners while the real destroyers of their destiny are left untouched? Why are barriers being erected against black migrants to South Africa but Asian and white are welcomed with red carpet? Does black Africa need a continental conversation of shared values based on shared origin and heritage? Is black Africa’s collective sacrifice against apartheid in vain in the face of this crunching ungratefulness? Do we need to keep on sacrificing ourselves in order to pamper the white and Asian settlers on African soil?

Can we say that fifth column, I mean white paymasters, have infiltrated the midst of our brothers and sisters and cheering them on in their senseless orgy of xenophobic rush? Why are black South Africans still reinforcing the racist stereotype of black people as ignoble savages? Why? Why? Why?


Fayemi Vs Fayose: Who Wins?

Fayemi Vs Fayose: Who Wins?

By Taju Tijani

On Thursday May 3, we had local council election in the UK. It was a chastening experience for me as a Nigerian. Across the UK’s landscape, you could feel peace, silence and undisturbed tranquility. Polling booths opened from as early as 7.00am for night shifters to cast their vote on the way home to rest after a long night. And also, for we 9 to 5ivers on our way to work in the morning. I cast my vote on that sunny and beautiful morning – simply, painlessly and noiselessly!!! I walked in and out in seconds and thus discharged my civic duty in an atmosphere devoid of police presence, violence, thugs, intimidation and coercion.

The three candidates I gave my vote to have never crossed my path and may never be. As long as they represent my party and are carriers of its manifestoes, I know I am in safe hand. My trust is in the party to deliver as promised and not in the colour, creed, deep pocket, religion or personalities of the local councilors I voted for. By the next day, the counting was over. The winners are grinning on the television in an atmosphere of electoral joy, peace, positive sportsmanship and warm handshakes. No accusations or counter accusations of election rigging. No accusation of imposition of candidates. No Godfatherism. No alleged kidnap of ballot boxes. No state collusion with candidates. No bitterness. No rancour. No threat. No recourse to assassination of the winner.

Now, what can Nigeria do to transmute from its ongoing barbaric electoral base into a solid gold of democratic landscape devoid of mayhem, candidate imposition, anti-democratic tendencies, assassination, ballot rape, intimidation, police collusion, bribery and killing? Can we reconstruct a democratic architecture that allows for peaceful election? Is there any way we could drain the poison killing our electoral and voting processes? Is there any way we could, in Nigeria, stop reinforcing the belief that we are all barbarians, selfish and greedy creatures?

Here, Dr. John Olukayode Fayemi is on my mind. Ekiti is on my mind. Ekiti is now entwined like a poison ivy in a tragic hubris marked by a profound and almost tangible sadness among probity-driven and idealistic-minded Nigerian democrats.

Ekiti now sits precariously at a tipping point. It is under a white-hot political trial. It now hovers between hell and damnation or both. One thing though, Ekiti will not be destroyed by the politicians angling for its soul, but by those who watch what is about to happen there and do nothing.

I have never been a fan of the outgoing governor. Peter Ayodele Fayose’s political antecedent does not inspire a thinking Nigerian. His political Wikipedia reads like a page from a book of iniquity. He is variously seen as a bombastic, disrespectful, cantankerous, arrogant and over-confident rascal who exploited both the poverty of the poor and the vulnerability of the marginalised. In Nigerian politics, he leads people like Melaye and Adeleke on the depravity meter.

Fayose realised early on that Ekiti was a state seething with hunger and unemployment. With a mixture of populism and grassroots wisdom, Fayose rice bundle became an instant hit among his people. Again, realising that unemployment was a disease, our man, acting more like a Croesus, distributed N5, 000 to anything that moved in Ekiti. These gifts or dividends of democracy were pre-emptive strikes on future looting and corrupt governance.

So Saturday 5th of May 2018 was epically a bad day for Ekiti grassroots democracy. What hit our viewing sensibility on that day could be said to be the beginning of annus horribilis for All Progressive Congress (APC) in that state and Nigeria at large. The Ekiti APC Governorship Congress mayhem was but the overture to an operatic 2019 general election of future turbulence, pain, killing and mini civil wars across Nigeria. That mass ballot box rage is like the black raven in Edgar Allan Poe – a deadly harbinger of the kind of bloodbath that will darken Ekiti landscape in October 2018 and Nigeria come 2019.

Dr. John Olukayode Fayemi’s body language signposts so many anxieties: this guy is a glory seeker, desperate, stubborn, over-ambitious, proud, snobbish and drunk on the conviction that he must win Ekiti this time – by any means possible. There is no clearer articulation today of what to come tomorrow than Fayemi’s recent grandiloquent statement that he would use the Army and Police in a scorch earth operation to return to his old lair of Ekiti State House.  Again, there is no clearer evidence of what to come tomorrow than Fayemi’s vengeful, over-bloated ego and his dark desire to shame and eventually jail Ayodele Fayose and wipe out his legacy in his private fiefdom of Ekiti.


In western democracy, political actors live by the purity of its tenets. That is, you do not buy votes by distributing rice and money. In Africa, we operate a deviant mutation of democracy that is reflecting a sub-narrative of why PDP, a nest of thieves, looters, killers, assassins, greed-addicted cabal, vision-killers, stagnating forces, impostors, ritualists and blood suckers could all combined to overwhelm Ekiti with emergency stomach infrastructure and conquered and reclaimed the soul of its Esaus through its archangel called, Ayo Fayose.

On Saturday 12 May 2018, Fayemi won the Ekiti APC Governorship Congress. He polled 941 votes. His closest rival, Segun Oni managed 481. There was humility and contrition in his acceptance speech. He has since taken on the role of a hell-raiser. What then are the Fayemian grand gestures to the people of Ekiti? If a Fayose could ephemeralised basic state infrastructure and turned it on its head and linked it with the hungry stomach of his people, and in the process, harvested their votes, what then would Fayemi give to the people of the state to make them do a U-turn and clamour for him?

Or is Fayemi ready to deploy, arguably, the most benighted enablers – state collusion, money and thugs – for his electoral success? Is Fayemi’s Ekiti fantasy becoming the truest symbol of the sleazy truth about how politics really operates in Nigeria? What does he want to prove by his desire to govern Ekiti state again? If Fayose rigged himself in, is Fayemi now going to overcome all the odds planted around Ekiti by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by going for a brutalising, nasty and bloody encounter with Fayose’s clone, Eleka, in his private fiefdom?

Today, Fayemi’s natural habitat should be that totemic height of educated decorum, honour, integrity, detachment and accountability so often associated with his name. The question is, why is this fascination with govermentality? Why this fanatical embrace of do-or-die passion to rule Ekiti again? His ongoing self-harming tendency to slide into the flammable politics of Ekiti, a state that is iconically tainted with head-banging Fayose zealots, thugs, outlaw, radicalism, mayhem and rascality should be reconsidered. Put it this way, Fayose is looking for a battle with Fayemi through his anointed proxy, his deputy governor, Kolapo Olusola, aka Eleka, to sustain the crude narrative of the success of stomach infrastructures and also prove to the world that his talisman still works its potency in the hungry stomachs of the poor and the vulnerable  of Ekiti kete.







Lawless Dino Melaye Must Be Jailed If….

Lawless Dino Melaye Must Be Jailed If….

By Taju Tijani

Nigeria is a nation of polite polarization. I received some emails from silly apologists of Dino Melaye who felt that my last week’s Distant Voices’ take on Dino, titled, “Deranged, Debased Dino, Detonated” was harsh and unsparing. Most of the content of the emails were written on steroids. Nigeria is an interesting nation. A real dynamic and exceptionally ignorant one for that matter. We still have people who harbour real-time subjective passion for our public servants, sorry public overlords, like Dino and even the former grand master of corruption, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

No matter what you say or write about these corrupt politicians, some ignoramuses will still swear by their spotless purity and defend the lechers with their lives. The ongoing Dino’s self-inflicted moral and political quagmire is a very good example of how, in Nigeria, we all ship into different convenient cages, be it political, religious or tribal with inimitable blind loyalty. The full lunacy of Dino’s bewitchment on some gullible and unthinking Nigerians is amazing. The pretending-to-be sick dotard has truly woven his spell on some naïve, gullible and brainless Nigerians who could not decode the real Dino Melaye from the cacophony of noises surrounding his uninspiring political pretenses. We should not play to the gallery on Dino’s predicament!

I will say it for the umpteenth time, Dino is not the kind of politician the Nigerian nation want. No, man!!! He is not fit for the purpose of good governance. He is a rebel rouser and a clown. He has polluted our democracy. He is a man of zero decorum and hugely arrogant. He is the evil genius when it comes to populist politics. He works on the emotions of the moment and knows how to polarize the gullible Nigerian public with his usual tedious language of victimhood. The tedious language of the aggrieved. The tedious language of the persecuted. Today’s noxious climate of insurrection, rebelliousness, lawlessness and anti-party activities in the hollow chamber, called the National Assembly, aka, the den of thieves, was orchestrated by this dancing minstrel.

We must not allow his lawlessness and selfish interests capture the democratic narrative and the interpretation of how the Nigerian Police should handle the serious allegations of damaging government property, absconding from arrest, attempted suicide and gun running hanging on his neck.

There is ongoing emotional and passionate hysteria of his treatment while on a stretcher to and from the court. He is now being celebrated as the cross-bearer for the yet to be persecuted corrupt senators who may be seized someday and treated like manner by the Nigerian Police.

To some totally gullible Nigerians, Dino Melaye and other Nigerian senators should be given a 7-star treatment even when accused of gun running or for embezzlement. What rubbish!! These senators have reduced our democracy to self-idolising farce. If a senator abdicated from that totemic height of ‘honourable’ and slide into a rascally and absconding hooligan, the Police should treat him as such. We have to thank the Nigerian Police for disallowing Dino from killing himself through a thankless joyride suicide. Nobody is above the law. A law maker should not turn into a law breaker. Dino’s fundamental human right is as sacred as that of any other Nigerian no matter how lowly placed in the hierarchy of things.

If Dino Melaye is eventually arraigned in a court of competent jurisdiction for treasonable crime of gun running, this man should be swiftly jailed to serve as a timely deterrent to other lawless, arrogant, money-minded senators who live in a bubble of immunity – immunity that must be constantly punctured through rule of law in order to save our democracy from derailment through elite gang up.

Are you thinking what I am thinking?  President Mohammadu Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and other leaders of the All Progressive Congress (APC) should, as a matter of urgency and party sanitization, expel the entire APC Judas in the National Assembly for anti-Buhari rhetoric, disloyalty to the APC family, hostility, rebelliousness and total subversion of APC’s change orthodoxy. From their own ‘Mr President’ Bukola Saraki, Dino Melaye to Shehu Sani and many other traitors who have turned against their own party and are surreptitiously colluding with the opposition PDP in a grand scheme to derail the anti-corruption momentum. All these treacherous, opportunists, desperate and subversive APC senators should be disgraced and purge out of APC as reprobates, Judas and the most virulent collection of Buhari’s haters and by extension, Nigeria’s enemies.

Their most audacious but irresponsible outburst yet is their attempted assassination of President Mohammadu Buhari through impeachment. If this is not madness, what is it? The ongoing mass defilement of Nigeria through bloody killings here and there has a hidden hand of a saboteur from within.

We have a National Assembly that defaults to scandal whenever possible. The Assembly treats everybody with disdain to the point of absurdity. They want to impeach the President of Nigeria, Mohammadu Buhari and their own party leader. No wonder Isaiah 21:2 says that, “The treacherous dealer deals treacherously and the plunderer plunders”. The entire APC senators who are carpet bombing Buhari are shameless traitors. If Buhari has failed, the whole APC senators have failed and should be vomited out, come 2019.  Their political illiteracy and myopia is self-evident in their hysterical support of aborted impeachment assassination against Buhari. Such an action is continually suggesting that these PDP-turned-APC politicians are dangerous and cold-hearted infiltrators.

Desperate corrupt men and women of the past who have cases to answer but now sit in the National Assembly are now using everything in their arsenal (attack, conspiracy, media, PR and bloggers) to avoid future persecution by all means necessary. And one of their evil alchemy yet is to kill Buhari through impeachment. That evil conspiracy has failed. The President should go for a raging revenge and send all these Judas out of the APC party.



Deranged, Debased Dino, Detonated!!!

Deranged, Debased Dino, Detonated!!!

By Taju Tijani

Dear Dino,

Aghhhhh…..Dino Melaye!!! You again? Rascally you again!!! I pray that you will not return to that hollow chamber which you have defiled by your arrogance, hooliganism, abuse of power, corruption, betrayal, subservience to the fancies of your alter ego, the equally deranged Dr. Bukola Saraki, your cantankerous nature and your clownish behaviour. The less of you in that hollow chamber the better for us all. Who do you think you are? What is the big deal about being a senator, that, at every opportunity, you heat up the polity? Why are you the master of the art of debauchery and gutter rascality?

Why is the politics of “Ajekun iya ni oje” becoming so disruptive, dissembling, shameful, debasing and numbing all your expected pretence to decorum and decency? You constitute yourself as the outlaw and talking head of the National Assembly. You have vexed our common decency with your ugly relapse to primitivism at every opportunity. On a daily basis, you have de-marketed and debased and brought our democracy to disrepute by the kind of behaviour that is antithesis to the character of a true senator. You have shamed us all.

We called you a lawmaker, though you studied Geography. As a lawmaker, you have subverted all the canons of our law with your disdainful arrogance. You operated from dry political well of zero ideas for the people of Kogi West who regretfully sent you to represent them at Abuja. You are cold as a stone and nothing matters to you beyond defending Saraki, attacking the president and laundering Nigerian wealth across the globe. Your past saccharine banalities of fighting corruption has eventually exposed you as a charlatan who was merely looking for his cut of the national cake. Event is proving you to be a deceiver.

Why were you jittery of the Nigerian law which you swore to protect as a fake senator?  Why were you afraid of the Nigerian Police when you were invited for questioning? Why were you afraid of facing up to Police accusation that you armed some youths to carry out killings on your behalf? Why didn’t you defend this with your life and prove your innocence? Why the hostility against your accusers – the Nigerian Police? Why would a lawmaker turned to a lawbreaker? Why all the sensational display of rascality and cowardice before the Nigerian public? Are you above the law? Why the Hollywood/Nollywood pantomime of jumping off a moving Police van?  Demented and deranged Dino, I thank God that you have been detonated!!!

Your name is synonymous with scandals of all sorts. You are a perverted philanderer and a serial womaniser. You are so materially insecure that you greedily collected expensive cars as a reminder to the world that your own brand of politics is not to bring dividend of democracy to your constituency, but to impoverish them through the squandering of their riches. While Nigeria burns, you drive around Abuja in Ferrari. I have never heard of a sitting Member of British Parliament driving around in Ferrari or Porsche. Never!!! They understand the tenets of public service and humility in the discharge of their political destiny. Dino, they are not as avaricious as you. Anytime I watch your bombastic articulation of your immoral parable and your schizophrenic hatred of anybody who is opposed to your joint scheme with Saraki, I cry for Nigeria.

There is consistent demonstration of stupidity and foolishness in your political production. You become the symbol of a noxious, toxic, raving, rowdy, rambunctious and a shambolic misfit that ever sat in that hollow chamber. Dino, over time, your political evolution, is like reading from a book of infamy. To discerning Nigerians, you are a parasite, gangster, mob, predator, betrayer, liar, clown, over-ambitious, misfit, thief, venal and the great mountain wolf that leaves nothing for the morning. You live a comfortable existence by cheating Nigerians and exerting so much from the Nigeria’s common wealth, to the point that the people of your Kogi West senatorial district are reduced to paupers.  At every opportunity, you hide under selfish rule of law and make irrational scapegoating of the federal government as the cause of all our woes. Dino, you are part of the problem of our democracy.

Dino, to the politically savvy Nigerians, the National Assembly of which you are a proud and vociferous member, still suffers from a crisis of legitimacy. Half of the members are criminally challenged. They are either linked to drug running, perjury, corruption, ritualism, fraud, certificate forgery or corruption. No sane Nigerian is inspired by the shenanigan going on in that desecrated coven. If we were to use the yardstick of rigorous scrutiny and unblemished character used for contestants for public office in the West in Nigeria, ninety five percent of the entire members of that hollow chamber will be in jail.

The fall of Dino Melaye will stand as a remarkable sub-narrative of the kind of cabal-oriented, Godfather-driven and monetised politics that will forever keep Nigeria in a lockdown of political liabilities, democratic casualties and laughing stock before the world. Dino, thank God, the illusion of your immunity and invincibility has been detonated. Thank goodness, the demented, deranged and demagogic Dino has been detonated!!!

Your rebuker,


Taju Tijani.