CHIEF Ayo Adebanjo is a chieftain of the Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere. In this chat, Adebanjo urges the younger crop of politicians to take a cue from mistakes made in the First Republic.
By Dapo Akinrefon
WHAT is your assessment of the intervention of the military into the political arena?
The sacrifice made by our forefathers in establishing democracy, they (military) truncated it and ever since, we have not recovered. They truncated the federal system of government, which gave each region autonomy, we have not recovered from that and that has been causing a lot of instability.
The military introduced corruption to the country at that time and by the time they left, after an interregnum of about 33 years, the young element saw the military as a standard and this has not been paying us at all. If you remember it was during the Babangida regime that politics was monetized and that institutionalized corruption.
There is nothing good to write home about the military regime because each time they come, they set the country backwards. When the Tafawa Balewa administration was truncated, some of us accused them of corruption by receiving ten per cent. Those of us who said that, we must apologise to the politicians of that time because those who are collecting bribe now do not take 10%.
So, there is nothing to write home about the military. What we are clamouring for is for the good old days of democracy should come back.
What lessons are to be learned from the intervention?
The present crop of politicians that we have jump from one party to another, there is no standard, no vision, no principle. We should try to establish the standard laid by people like Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who believed in the principle of honesty, integrity and service to the people, which is no longer the yardstick now.
For instance, you find a good man in one party today, the moment you deny him a platform for election, he is going to another party, not on any principle.
You must have a party with a vision, with integrity and principles which the politics of today lack.
You cannot find a politician who could say that for the past 20 years, he has been in one political party, if you trace the history of some politicians today, they must have changed parities more than once, I do not want to embarrass anybody. It has not been a pleasant experience at all, we can only pray to God that he should effect the change to make the future good for the youths. The youths should learn.