Night of long knife for Bode George…a news analysis

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By Jide Ajani
For OLABODE GEORGE, yesterday would be one very long nightmare.Like a bad dream, it is one day he would never like to remember. A politician, Nigerian politicians have always loved to cherish their name more than any other thing.

However, and, with a whiff of paradox, their actions and inactions tend to almost always suggest that that name is not worthy of being jealously guarded.

Or perhaps, being protected or elevated to a level of pre-eminence.

For George, whose sartorial flamboyance and ego are as rotund as his frame, there may have been the temptation of allowing politics and business to mix.

And, at least, going by the judgment he received yesterday that he would have to go to jail for  two and half years, the judgment suggests that he may have committed errors of omission and commission while he served as the Chairman, Board of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), thereby, allowing that name to get muddied.

But George had always in private discussions while the case was on, insisted that the prosecution would be put to shame, declaring that his innocence was not in doubt.

Now, between a massive dose of naivety and an uncommon belief in self, George may have actually become the judge in his own case and, thereby, absolving himself of all forms of culpability.

YOU ARE WRONG, the court has declared.

Born on November 21, 1945, George would have become 64 years old in three weeks.

But the courts have suggested that he may be spending his next birthday in jail.

But some things are instructive here.

Bode George is a member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party  (PDP) – and a prominent one at that.

First, he had served severally as National Vice-Chairman, PDP, South-West.

Then, he served as Deputy National Chairman, South, PDP.

And, all these was before he became the National Deputy Chairman of PDP.

George would have been 64 next month and he would have had big plans for that occasion had he been acquitted of all charges.

But, that will not be now.  Even if he is not in jail by November 21, his mood would be that of sobriety.

But make no mistake.

Olabode George has paid his dues.

He served as military governor of old Ondo State.

And, jocularly, when asked what he would want to be remembered for, George reportedly said: “The people would remember that a Lagos Boy once passed through this state.”

He was referring to the panache he brought to the back town state of Ondo.

He was Principal Staff Officer (PSO), to General Oladipo Diya when the latter served as Chief of General Staff (CGS), between 1993 and 1997.

George was also a Director at the highest military institution in Nigeria, the National War College (NWC), now National Defence College, (NDC).

For George, he would have become the National Chairman, PDP, had former President Olusegun Obasanjo not tinkered with the zoning arrangement which made Patricia Etteh from Osun State become Speaker of the House of Representatives and he, Obasanjo, Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT), of PDP.

But George insists he would appeal the judgment because it was a miscarriage of justice.

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