Sanwo-Olu’s kalokalo

Jon-Erik Hexum was a top pick for a potential box-office “Cover-Up,” filmed in 1985. While on set, waiting for shooting to commence, he decided to engage in the lethal Russian roulette, using a loaded .44 Magnum revolver. Well, since there is one in three chance that you will die, engaging in the suicide fun, despite the 66.7 per cent chance of surviving, he cracked own skull, resulting in cerebral hemorrhage, because bone fragments were forced through his brain. Scary?

An average politician is a Hexum; dramatic, suicidal. Even when elected into office, the drama doesn’t stop. Except those eyeing real quiet retirement, the acting and acting-up continues in life after office, obviously for relevance.

Draco, a 7th-century Greek, was the first ever legislator of Athens. He wasn’t a like-able person per se because his people knew the laws, would be harsh, coming from him. Yet, he was entrusted with the assignment. He didn’t disappoint. He birthed the draconian laws. He became a global phenomenon, but had his life terminated by his admirers in the Aeginetan Theatre, suffocated by hats, shirts and cloaks up-loaded on him, in “appreciation” of his service. Before his dramatic death, he was already a fugitive, driven out of the same Athens where he made history, to the island of Aegina!

Draco, despite his sadistic life and unhappy ending, would be deemed more honorable than countless men and women of power today, either in Africa or elsewhere. He didn’t try to be populist, feeding into the fantasies of the people. Though he died in the theatre, he didn’t actually play with their emotions or play on their intelligence to be seen as pro-people. He correctly defined the time and behaved true to type. Knowing the expectation of the people, he could play the populism game of surprising them with demulcent laws, ignoring the grave dangers of the slide and slime of the time. Obviously, he would have lived longer than he did, if he hadn’t chosen posterity over momentary adulation.

Political actors, possessed by mendacious spirit, should deserve Draco’s exit. May God have mercy on them for turning leadership to theatre of absurdity. In their silliness, a times, they take their acting too serious to forget they can’t pass buffoonery as statesmanship. Just like it is happening in Lagos.

Governor Babajide Sanwoolu began as a populist but now almost a pariah. But he isn’t yet an orphan because the political actors, who sired him, are yet to disown him. He isn’t weaned off their breast-milk either and not likely to ever do away with his political milk teeth as long as he is beholden. Last week, he attempted what many initially thought was a dagger-in-the-back, against his lords. He moved to stop the partially-outlawed inhuman life pension for former governors of the state, who served two terms, a proviso that disqualifies Akinwunmi Ambode, who only bit the cherry once.

Sanwo-Olu is seemingly seeking a fresh encore with the Lagos public which pulled away from him and his political father, following the Lekki shootings, for which the governor and the military authorities are still in slugfest over who dunnit. But of course, the agenda is bigger than Mr Sanwoolu’s meagre frame. The first red light, is the news, breaking into widespread cynicism, instead of the staccato of applause that the belated stoppage should have earned.

Somehow, people always know when you are shadowing above your weight class. Such heavyweight punch can’t be thrown anywhere in Lagos APC, without the head coach’s approval, except the governor, is eyeing the Umbrella for reelection, like the Edo man, or he wants to do what Yoruba will describe as alejo nlo, o su saga (a visitor/tenant who messes things up, before exiting).

It is doubtful Mr. Governor is playing the ungrateful “visitor” in Alausa, despite the festering rumour he is only there to complete Christians’ second term mandate denied Ambode and would be requested in 2023 to give way to either his deputy, the godfather’s transporter-cousin or a banker who wanted to be senator, all Muslims.

Fortuitously, it was Ambode’s Papa that eventually gave the pension agenda away, when he switched into a cheerleading mode, instead of seeking forgiveness for starting the bazaar at all. Obviously, the planned masterstroke was a washed up, so the narrative must be re-narrowed for a better performance. Only if they knew it’s daytime already.

A year ago, Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo of the Federal High Court in Lagos , asked the Federal Government to recover pensions collected by former governors now serving as ministers and National Assembly members. She also disagreed with the AGF’s notion that state pension laws can’t be reversed, once passed, directing Abubakar Malami to mount a judicial challenge. Malami possibly laughed his heart out in mockery. For someone still eyeing the governorship of his Kebbi State, it is asking him to commit class suicide. Should Sanwoolu and his godfather then be appreciated, at least, for being belatedly conscionable, despite no evidence of abiding with the ruling, stopping Minister Babatunde Fashola’s pension and no kobo recovered from him? Yoruba always caution against penalty for tasteless soup, while those who kept unused soup pots, are spared.

Yes, you can win ugly, but your victory doesn’t have to be monstrous. It was immediate for the Zamfara man, though political, because it was his decision to cancel Yari and others and himself. In Lagos, it was obviously the hand of Esau and voice of Jacob. For those who had grabbed and gobbled, nearly everything so far suddenly becoming “for the people” is the suspicion driving the widespread noise thumbing. The theory that a huge loan is also in the mix is soaring the temperature of the body polity. Politicians usually get yummy-yummy with the people when political agenda is on the table. From Lagos, a presidential project is expected to be. Yoruba will say, ile la ti nko eso rode.

Sanwoolu appears a mere waka pass in the awada kerikeri loading in his state, and a friend is always joking that Sanwoolu a san gbese (he will pay the debts), especially if those being sourced to rebuild the EndSars’ ruins end up as counterpart funding for a white-elephant race.

 

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