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Sanwo-Olu’s excellent hit at mediocrity

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Lagos, Sanwo-oluBy Emmanuel Aziken

Against the background of the hypocrisy and deceit that thrives among the political class, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s intervention has come as a reassuring balm in the polity

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By dropping the suffix, His Excellency, the governor did not only bring himself in submission to God Almighty, who alone is Excellent, he also brought rationality in a society where grandiose deceit has for long thrived.

It has been the trend in our society that once someone has made some money and decides to contest the office of governor the next thing is that everyone begins to address him with the suffix ‘Your Excellency.’

Those who desire to contest the Senate are dubbed Distinguished and other legislative offices Honourable.

It is indeed part of the delinquency in the land and across the major political parties that the abuse of titles has flourished.

While it is a parliamentary convention for our legislative office holders to be so addressed, your correspondent has noticed the increasing misuse of these titles, especially the title of Right Honourable.

As the deputy governor of Edo State Hon. Philip Shaibu came into public view over his issues with his former mentor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; it was observed how his supporters repeatedly addressed him as Right Honourable.

In Nigeria’s parliamentary convention that title is only meant for presiding and former presiding officers of the legislature. However, it has been observed that former legislators who proceed to the executive branch of government are now wrongly so addressed.

Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi is properly addressed as a former presiding officer of a legislative house.

But it is very doubtful if Mr. Sanwo-Olu’s welcome intervention would be enough to halt the increasing malady of infidelity among the political class.

That infidelity to leadership and principles is presently manifested in Bayelsa and Kogi States, two states that go to the polls next weekend.

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The situation in Bayelsa is particularly traumatic for voters. The candidates of the two major parties, the PDP and the APC were arguably foisted on the parties by the major persons.

Governor Seriake Dickson did not make any pretence about his determination to foist Senator Diri as his successor. only few outgoing governors would have indeed done otherwise.

However, the manner he has gone about his effort wounding old relationships that threw him up has been particularly shocking.

An old friend of the governor who is among those who have now set booby traps for the governor told your correspondent that while Diri may not be bad as a successor but the packaging has been ineffective.

One of the old friends wounded by Dickson in his bid is President Goodluck Jonathan. The conspicuous absence of Dr. Jonathan at the grand finale of the PDP campaign spoke as much.

The Dickson-Diri-Jonathan circus is particularly touching and is bound to leave lasting political bruises in some of the gladiators. It is especially so when notice is taken of the fact that Diri first came to high office through Dr. Jonathan, who he served as commissioner between 2006 and 2007.

Dickson was said to have jettisoned the supplications of several Nigerian political principalities, including President Olusegun Obasanjo and some other former Heads of State, to allow Chief Timi Alaibe realise his 16-year aspiration.

If the situation in the PDP chapter is tense, the corresponding anomie in the APC is itself frightening. The candidate of the party was arguably foisted by the party leader, Timipire Sylva, who put him after he was reportedly lured away from the position with the ministerial appointment.

Despite his fine name, critics say that they are yet to hear him speak on his plans or to show that he is not a stand-in for Sylva.

What could have been a perfect example for him to disabuse the criticisms was botched after he predictably failed to honour the debate organized for the major candidates.

Lyon is now being tackled in the courts by Senator Heineken Lokpobiri the man that Sylva shoved aside to foist his protegee.

The sickening political atmosphere is not abated by the situation also prevalent in Kogi State which also goes to the polls next weekend.

The wish of several opponents of Governor Yahaya Bello that the PDP would present a formidable candidate to check one of Nigeria’s most controversial governors ever was dashed by intrigues within the PDP. It was also helped by family animosities.

How Engr. Musa Wada plucked the PDP ticket from the major contenders, his brother-in-law, Abubakar Idris and his senior brother, former Governor Ibrahim Wada is being put down to sibling rivalry within the family of Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, the former governor of the state and most prominent man in the state chapter of the PDP.

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Perhaps the only challenge to Governor Bello may be the insurrection inspired by Natasha Akpoti, the SDP candidate.

Her threat to Bello comes from her popularity in Bello’s Ebira homeland, a fact that suggested that her initial disqualification was facilitated to help Bello.


Despite his fine name, critics say that they are yet to hear him speak on his plans or to show that he is not a stand-in for Sylva.


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