Question Time: Akala, Teslim and Eleweomo
The recent political developments in Ibadan , Oyo State concentrates the mind. It scares the shit out of me. Lawlessness reigns in Nigeria aided and abetted by executive power. If anyone wants a preview of the nature of Nigerian politics and what to expect in the build up to the April elections, such needs look no further. The politics of 'do or die' or better still 'Motor Park Politicss' like we have in Oyo state signpost the shape of things to come. And it is frightening. The detail is writ large in the unfolding scenario in Ibadan . It began, I must say during the days of Adedibu, aided, abetted and supported by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and now the Lord of the Manor in Ibadan government house. There are real fears that the days ahead will be dark and dangerous unless those that practice politics with bitterness and executive brigandage are reined in starting from now till the conclusion of the elections.
But first let's return to the scene of the killing of Eleweomo and subsequent 'manhunt' for Senator Teslim Folarin by the Police who in the first place was never missing or declared wanted and who was later sent to Agodi Prisons. More fundamentally, the unfolding political drama, tragic in several respects compels one to ask certain questions. Who is the chief architect of the disturbances and bitter politics that boiled over on December 30 th , 2010 ? Eleweomo and indeed Tokyo are creation of whom and who fattened, feted and used them to settle political scores and advance political goals? Is Eleweomo a delegate? On the said day and during the fracas who were the eye witnesses to the assassination or the claim that someone ordered Eleweomo assassinated? Was Senator Teslim there in person, did he give any such order and is such on record? Who drew the first blood-the Pro Akala Eleweomo group or the Senator Teslim Folarin group? Do we have all sides of the story from all the parties and groups involved or are the Police working in reverse order working from the answer to get to the question? What was contained in the original charge sheet and at what point was a re-written charge sheet necessary? Police Commissioner Bolanta must answer a few questions and urgently too. Why did he ignore the several frantic calls made by Senator Teslim Folarin about the security situation on ground? If the roles where switched and God forbid, Senator Teslim was the one killed or Tokyo who is now an enemy of Governor Akala was the one killed, would Bolanta and the Police high command have responded in similar fashion? These are questions that concentrate the mind as this political drama unfolds. Whenever the law and law enforcement agencies are being manipulated by politics and politicians, then all bets are off.
In the Ibadan situation the sudden interest of the Police high command which initially was muted is questionable? Is there a hidden script somewhere and who is the author? Did someone suddenly put on a switch or saw an opportunity to deal with political enemies? Are the police checking and investigating all the angles or have they been told to make the crime stick? Isn't it possible that in the confusion someone from the Tokyo faction could also have pulled the trigger? Who pulled the trigger? Are members of the Eleweomo camp also being interrogated by the Police or are they enjoying executive protection? If Senator Teslim had to resort to surrounding himself with policemen in his own state where he was voted to represent the people shouldn't we ask questions about why Oyo State has become one of the most dangerous political landscapes in the country? Perhaps, Senator Teslim is in the best position to defend himself and to explain why he had such a team to protect him.
My mind is working like an investigative journalist and the Police are trained in the art of checking and re-checking the facts. I hope in this case, the Police will do right by the law and the Nigerian people. It is in Ibadan today, but the same scenario could repeat itself elsewhere. Will the Police and the law be consistent? How the Police authorities handle the present case will reveal the kind of stuff the IGP, Ringim is made of. Will IGP Hafiz Ringim play professional or play politics with the law?
The situation in Oyo state is dicey and worries the mind. It is politically complex and dangerous because of executive meddlesomeness. The perception that Abuja might be involved in the emerging scenarios in order to teach some politicians a lesson if true portends great danger for the polity. The courts must defend the rights of every Nigerian and dispense justice. The assassination of political opponents is in no way justifiable, however, one of the undergauards of democracy is that all are equal before the law and justice must be dispensed without fear or favor. But if the PDP, like a demented mother hen decides to eat up and destroy it's own, then Nigerians will have no choice than to hold a funeral procession for the biggest party in Africa .
By Sunday Dare