The politicking that characterized the build-up to the governorship election in Kogi state may be unbeknownst to many, leaving for so much speculation when news broke of Prince Abubakar Audu’s death. But the situation certainly is not a coincidence, as some are already bandying about.
The Yoruba adage that says the sheep that moves around with the dog will certainly feed on excreta sure passes for a go in the situation under review.
When the demise of Prince Abubakar Audu broke a little past the morning belt on Sunday November 22, what clearly comes to mind is the Faust story, as coined by the great German novelist and dramatist, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
The Faustian narrative synchs side by side with the Kogi political theater centre that has left the return of Abubakar Audu to the Kogi state government house perpetually unattainable, as he has had to pay the ultimate prize.
The Faustian folklore by Goethe, tells the tale of a legend who exchanges his soul for diabolical favours from Mephistopheles. According to the same mythology, of the theoretical analyses point of view however, some persons also make this type of pact just as a sign of recognizing the devil as their master, in exchange for nothing. Nonetheless, the bargain is considered a dangerous one, as the price of the fiend’s service is the wagerer’s soul, ultimately.
The tales didn’t end there, as there’s a moralizing end to it with eternal damnation for the foolhardy venturer. Conversely, it may have a comic twist, in which a wily peasant actually outwits the devil, characteristically on a technical point. The person making the pact sometimes tries to outmaneuver the devil, but loses in the end. Whichever way the schemer tries his tactic around, death still takes his soul.
This illustrative analogy is the summation of the drama that’s playing out right at the centre of the Kogi state amphitheatre. When Audu made known his intention to become governor of Kogi state again, and under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the first alliance he made was with the devil-incarnate Bola Tinubu.
The hullaballoo that greeted his decision to pitch tent with the evil spirit of Bourdillon, from his people, fell on deaf ears because of his desperate bid to govern Kogi state by all means. Although, their protests couldn’t have been said to be baseless – judging by how godfather Tinubu foists his inordinate cravings on the people – giving that they vehemently remonstrated against what would eventually become their nemesis. Now, whether they like him or not, Bola Tinubu has conquered another territory in Nigeria – Kogi state.
An aspect of the unwritten part of the Faustian deal was the decision to pick James Faleke as deputy governor candidate, even though it didn’t come as a surprise.
Faleke has always played his politics in Lagos. He was a two-term chairman of Ojodu Local Council Development Area and a second term member of the House of Representatives, representing Ikeja Federal Constituency, Lagos. During his time as council boss in Lagos, he was the chairman of Forum 57, a forum of LGA and LCDA bosses in Lagos State, otherwise known as Chairman of Chairmen. He was that influential. His choice and eventual emergence was a no-brainer, given that he’s from Kogi, a bait that Audu fell cheaply for.
Although Faleke, a graduate of Tinubu’s School of ‘politricks’ and a die-hard Tinubu follower, is from Kogi state and a popular choice among his kinsmen – the hitherto minority sect of the state – his emergence didn’t come without some uproar. The Kogi people saw him more of a pawn in the hand of the chess player than a worthy bearer of their cause. His leaning as a Lagosian and a godson to Tinubu was the real reason for their skepticism.
Ordinarily, they wouldn’t have batted an eyelid with Faleke’s candidacy as deputy governor, but they didn’t want the self-styled godfather to turn their precious Confluence State into another enclave, where his whims reign supreme. That is no longer going to be, with Audu’s death.
The other part of the deal, which is not hidden from the Kogi people, which first came as a rumour few weeks ago, was the plot in place to have Audu arrested by the EFCC after the elections, when he has been returned elected. The hatchet plan was to hound him with the anti-corruption watchdog before he is inaugurated. It was no longer a case of ‘if’ but ‘when’. When Audu becomes governor, he would be arrested by the EFCC for the allegations of financial impropriety and corruption that surrounded him after he first became the state governor. The words on the streets became strong that the common cart-pushers in Okene and Kabba freely spoke it.
With this latest twist however, the EFCC won’t need to raise a finger now because it appears the grandmaster has other plans. His intention all along was to install his trusted ally in the state, to see out his desires of capturing the entire country and to finally establish himself as the generalissimo of Nigerian politics, as some of his paid agents have started to call President Muhammadu Buhari a beneficiary of his political mathematics.
The stark reality that stares in the face of the hitherto peaceable Kogi people is how Tinubu has finally bagged another territory in his pocket, whether they are cool with it or not.
Sad as it may sound, Prince Abubakar Audu is no more, and like the Faustian folklore, he has had to pay the ultimate prize of his unholy alliance with the devil. Which leaves an impression of lesson to be learnt, that every desperate deal always comes back to haunt.
Perhaps, the time to start weeping for Kogi is now.
By Harold A. Smith