I was on my way home this evening, listening to the BBC World service on FM here in Accra using my good old Nokia 7250i.
“It’s 15 hours GMT and this is Focus on Africa. In today’s headline, another governor impeached in Nigeria”. I smiled. The impeached governor must be the embattled Plateau state governor Joshua Dariye, I thought.
The news on BBC World continued: “…this time from the southwestern state of Oyo State.” I froze.
Since late last year, there has been this serious impasse between former governor Ladoja and his political godfather, Lamidi Adedibu. All efforts to resolved the issue proved futile, as both parties remained adamant and each claiming to be right.
Adedibu not wanting to be beaten to the game was hell-bent on removing the governor by any means necessary. He did not go the Anambra way (kidnapping and forcing the governor to re-sign) but chose to use the Oyo State House of Assembly. I don’t know how he did it, but the required 2/3rd of the house approved the impeachment of Ladoja after receiving a report of a committee they had setup to investigate the governor.
The official reason for the governor’s impeachment is that he had embezzled the sum of N2 million belong to the state. If indeed every state assembly in Nigeria were this â€˜piousâ€™, then every governor would be in jail by now.
Do not get me wrong; Iâ€™m not in support of either of them, and need not sympathize with Rashidi Ladoja Iâ€™m only not in support of â€˜god-fatherismâ€™ in the Nigerian political scenario.
According to the BBCâ€™s reporter in Nigeria, Sola Odunfa, security forces immediately moved in to arrest Rashidi Ladoja as soon as his impeachment was completed and flown to Abuja for interrogation by the EFCC. The deputy governor was then sworn in as Governor of Oyo State. After the swearing-in, he (the new governor) immediately moved to Molete (a suburb of Ibadan), to pay homage to his political god-father.
Is this the democracy the good people of Nigeria deserve? This is nothing short of political hooliganism. I shudder to think of the damaging consequences the recent events in Nigeria would bring in the future.
Also, President Obasanjo and his allies are setting a very dangerous precedence for themselves. The monster called â€œEFCCâ€ that is consuming everything in sight would one-day turn around to consume its â€œbossesâ€ as well.