Akala-Ajimobi ‘Reunion’ And The Lesson For Nigerian Youths
Right from time, 2007 to be precise, it has been a tug of war between Abiola Ajimobi and Alao Akala of Oyo State. The two started the war in the 2007 Oyo State Gubernatorial Elections. Ajimobi, who was then the flag bearer of All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP), loss to Alao Akala of the People Democratic Party (PDP).
Since four years periodic election is the stipulation in our constitution, another gubernatorial election was held in the state four years after. Ajimobi, again, contested under the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Alao Akala under the same platform of PDP. This time around, the story changed. Ajimobi was with the highest votes while he was seconded by Alao-Akala, which means that he (Ajimobi) now ‘own’ the mantle of leadership of the state.
Four years after, another festival of election took place in the state between these two warriors and among others. Ajimobi, the incumbent governor, re-contested under the platform of All Progressive Congress and Akala, under Labour Party. After the election, Akala, again loss to Ajimobi by coming third in the political race while Ladoja, of the PDP came second.
Since or before 2007, thousands of lives and property has been lost and damaged in the name of elections. As part of Nigeria election characteristics, many have lost their lives before, during and after the three gubernatorial elections. Many have died or seriously injured in the name of their loyalties to these two politicians.
According to reports, most of those that escaped to heaven during electioneering season are the youths. Our youths are too catholic than the pope. They do blind political followership. In fact, some of our youths are used as political thugs by these politicians for their own ambition, while their children are abroad enjoying from the sweat of these thugs.
Many of these youths that are meant to be friends of themselves, so as to serve as a formidable voice for the youths, are now enemies because of political differences. Though, it is natural and normal for the youths not to share the same political ideology, all the same, it must not get to the degree of hatred and killing of one another. If one goes on social media, one will see the way and manner the youths throw foul words at each other in the name of defending their political leaders.
Sadly, many of them are not even known or catered for by these politicians. These politicians are usually busy enriching themselves while the youths come online to make unnecessary dins at each other. Many have gone far to ‘block’ themselves just because of their loyalty to one politician or the other. All these have or are still happening between and among the youths in Nigeria, Oyo state no exception.
However, it should be pointed out that not all these youths are just in the habit of doing these. Because of poverty, many have to involve themselves in election violence just to eke out a living.Unemployment is also a cause of political violence by youths during election. When these jobless youths are given tokens, cup of rice, etc., all they begin to do is to support the candidacy of such a person to any length.
Some Area-boys, garage boys, cults and members of road transport workers are also deployed as tool for creating violence before, during and after election. Since most of the above mentioned are illiterates, except the cult, they are easily manipulated with slim cash of notes. Politicians also make use of higher institution cultists to actualize their dream in a violent and cruel way. These set of youths are the key player in the “politics of do or die”.
May I seek the attention of this reader to note that our politicians are also one of the promoters of criminal activities in the society.One shouldn’t forget, that the weapon distributed to these set of youths are not recovered back from them after the election. And after the election, these youths will use it to engage in all forms of criminal activities which is at the detriment of the society. Hence, criminal activities will skyrocket day after day and it will be very difficult for the government that has once ‘used’ them to flush them out of the society.
Ever since the 2007 elections, Akala and Ajimobi have always been cheerful to themselves, at least when they meet in public. It should be recalled that the duo embraced at the reception of Iyalode Ibadan in 2007 after the election. The similar thing happened after 2011 elections. The one that took many by surprise was that which happened recently at Adegoke Adelabu post-humous centenary birthday celebration. These two warriors of Oyo politics embraced openly, which was described by Vanguard as “signaling an end to their political bitterness.” And if this is true, which I think it is, what then is the fate of ‘these’ youths?
To finally prove the fact that he’s ready to put an end to all the differences, Alao Akala joined or purported to join APC. Whichever the case may be, he’s in support of Ajimobi, his erstwhile political opponent. Akala has also vowed not to return to PDP and his supporters are also following him to the APC.
The Nation newspaper also reported that “his defection to the APC in Oyo State would most possibly spell the death of the opposition in the state.”
Ajimobi on his own sidedescribed the coming of Akala to APC as a good omen for the party and Oyo state in general. And he has also gone further to refer Akala as his ‘boss’. All thesesymbolize the burying of the hatchet of political hatred and bitterness between them.
With these outward signs, words and action, it requires little or no imagination to discover the fact that the duo of Akala and Ajimobi have re-united. Additionally, now that they are or will be in the same party, it simply means that they or will have many things to do in common for the interest of the party and state.
It is known to all and sundry that, in politics, there is no permanent friend or enemy. Akala and Ajimobi were once political enemy but today, are united. My concern is to those youths that are supporters of either to the bone marrow. The question for those that can die of one politician as against the other is that: now that those you are killing yourself about are now ‘one’, what is your fate? This question is crying for answers!
Let's even talk about those that have lost their lives or whom properties were damaged before, during and after the three elections, who are they going to wage war at, at this juncture? What is the gain of all the problems they’ve caused to themselves? To those that have become enemies because of either of them, where are those you are fighting for? Is it not that you are only wasting your precious time?
Wake up! Are you deaf? I mean, you should wake up from your long time sleep, Nigerians youths!! Politicians are no worth dying for, since, those that are enemies yesterday are or will be friends today and vice versa, why should you stress yourself about them? Let’s begin to think…
This is high time we got focused and determined and abstainsfrom all form of distractions caused by these ‘men’. Those we claim todie for have built their career and have enjoyed life so much even before we were born.
Ajimobi and Akala are now together in ‘happiness’. Yes, it is normal. It will leave a well-meaning youth thinking of the need not to do blind followership or loyalty for politicians. Let me even ask, what of those that have died of their support for one of these men, where are they today? Hell?(is it even my business) Anyway, may their gentle (?) soul rest in peace(amen).
- Festus Ogun is a Nigerian Writer, blogger and socio-political commentator. He tweets @feogun.