By Idowu Ajanaku
In the desperate search for political relevance, not a few Nigerian politicians behave like common whores, throwing morals to the dogs. Within the matrix of the content of character, they vacillate just like the tropic weather. They praise in the morning what they have denied the night before, once the price is right. Or, perhaps, the wind of change does not suit their political temperament.
Too often, they assume, but wrongly so, that the masses have lost their sense of history, forgotten or even forgiven, their odious past and ready to swallow their tall tales by moonlight, as if they were some gullible and naïve kids. But Nigerian electorate is much wiser now. For God’s sake, this is the 21st Century! Incidentally, one Nigerian politician who squarely fits this bill is none other than Chief Tom Ikimi, Man Friday to the late dictator, General Sani Abacha. Only recently, he had this to say in his statement entitled: My Reflections. “I have spent almost 13 of the past 15 years faithfully dug in, in the trenches of the evolving democratic dispensations in our country, steadfastly pursuing my conviction that for true democracy to take firm root in Nigeria we should fall in line with the model practiced in successful democracies in the world, of a party in office and a scrutinizing alternative party holding the Government to account.” But we know him much better than that.
For the records, Ikimi was never a democrat and, even as an adept and crafty political chameleon, he cannot metamorphose into one over night. He may be suffering from delusions of grandeur. So, we ask the pertinent question: What role did he play during the dark days of the NADECO struggle to emancipate the Nigerian nation and its good people from the iron grip of military despotism? In those dark, inglorious days, Ikimi as the self-centered politician that he has always been chose to turn his back on the people and became deaf to their cries of anguish by dining with Abacha. He was and still remains the archetype of an ignoble anti-democrat. For Ikimi to have assumed that Nigerians have so short a memory and would embrace his foray into party politics without questions betrays his understanding of the word ‘democracy.’
He, Ikimi it was again who practiced ‘bolekaja’ diplomacy in the face of a clear injustice that triggered global outrage, when he openly supported Abacha’s death sentence on Ken Saro-Wiwa, acclaimed human rights activist and internationally recognized environmentalist, and the Ogoni-Four. No democrat would have justified and defended that type of brutal, barbaric and bestial murder of his people’s conscience and voice.
His claim that Chief John Oyegun, a much more refined and respected democrat, has never been a popular politician has been rubbished by his own antecedents. Has he forgotten that when he was the Chairman of the NRC during the IBB days of dictatorship, his people who understand him far more, elected Chief John Oyegun, as against Ikimi’s candidate, Lucky Igbenedion, as their first-ever democratically chosen state governor? And why not? Oyegun has over the years remained a consistent and committed democrat unlike Ikimi who, more like an unprincipled politician, pitches his tent wherever he feels the grass is greener and romances any government in power? Such a person does not have any moral authority to put himself forward for any elective post in the first instance.
Where was Ikimi when Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu remained stoutly as the last man standing against the conservatives under the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime as it bulldozed through the South-West geo-political zone? Ikimi, the mole that he has always been, was hand-in-glove with the reactionary forces.
Now, he goes further to depths of depravity by alleging that Tinubu was not a millionaire until he became the Lagos State governor in 2003.Unkown to him, Asiwaju has worked his way up the ladder of corporate success to become the Treasurer of Mobil. Unlike Ikimi who has never been known to use his money for a noble or patriotic cause, Tinubu it was who funded NADECO against the blood-letting, fascist despotism foisted on peace-loving Nigerians by the Abacha regime. [eap_ad_1] Had Tinubu been as self-serving as Ikimi he would gladly have joined forces with the military administration then and become the Minister of Finance. But he chose, as usual, to be on the side of the people. Instead, he fled the country into self exile to strengthen NADECO’s clamour for the return of democracy. At that material time, Ikimi was the Special Adviser on Foreign Affairs to Abacha, globe-trotting, including being at the Commonwealth Group of Nations to defend the indefensible.