Just recently Dennis Hof, Republican flag bearer in election into Nevada’s State Assembly in United States, died three weeks before the election but the deceased went on to contest and emerge winner, polling 68.3% of the vote to defeat his Democrat rival Lesia Romanov, who polled 31.7 percent.
A strange than fiction incident, Nevada State law encourages electorate to cast votes for any political party candidate who dies in the run up to an election. If the deceased emerged as winner like Hof’s case, the party is bound by law to come up with another person to serve the tenure of the office.
In Yoruba folklore, masquerades are referred to as ará orún, meaning people from other world. They are called so despite the fact that they did not resurrect from the dead.
It is incongruous to have a man from other world presiding over the affairs of the living. Interestingly that is the reality in Agege Local Government Area of Lagos State, where a masquerade going by his alias, a derivative from the first two syllables of his surname, Egunjobi, is at the helm of affairs as the Council Chairman.
Ganiyu Kola Egunjobi, true to his alias, has been a spectacle. He was once sighted aboard a Lagos commercial bus as one of the passengers. The moment was captured on camera by an enthusiast.
At another time, Egun was also seen working as a labourer at the site of a mosque he is funding the construction in his area among other caught-in-the-act pictures of him.
The strange spectacles, which were posted online and went viral, have been greeted with mixed reactions with some commentators alleging that he is a demagogue in love with publicity stunts.
However, he has won rapturous praise in several quarters putatively for having his feet on the ground.
‘I’m not doing it to curry favour with voters. Come to think of it, if I deceived my fellow human beings, is it possible for me to deceive God? I agree that in Nigeria this is not the stuff of high office but I just like being my natural self even if it beneath my office. I think is rewarding to be down to earth,’’ Egun said in response to suggestion that his actions are not genuine but gimmicks and stunts to endear him to the electorate, adding ‘‘I consider the claim, ludicrous and laughable.’’
The Council boss is however, fazed by attention his private life is getting, saying ‘‘I think what should hug the headlines are my programmes and projects in office in the last sixteen months of my administration.
‘‘My government has made giant strides in making Agege a better place, and improved the lot of our people. We made impressive strides in improving our road infrastructure by constructing roads with street lights and reinforced concrete drainage with cover slabs across 30 roads.
‘‘We equally made great strides to empower and build the capacities of our people by training over 2000 members of Agege community on various skill acquisitions, and provision of poverty alleviation/empowerment funds to over 1000 people in the sum of One hundred thousand naira (N100,000) per person.
‘‘No part has been left out, including the custodians of our tradition, and faith based organisations. Recently, my administration donated immensely towards the ‘AJE DAY festival’, an annual programme of Agege market men and women, gave them new bus with Christian Association of Nigeria, League of Imams, and the Baales also getting one each. We sunk seven boreholes in all the wards and gave them same number of generators to power it.
“Health wise, we have covered lot of grounds. The same thing with education, where we constructed block of six classrooms with modern toilet facilities in Salvation Army Primary School, Dopemu, Agege, renovated block of six classrooms, reconstructed collapsed fence, both at Oduduwa Primary School, distributed School Uniforms, bags and exercise books with other writing materials to all the twenty-six (26) public primary Schools in Agege Local Government.
“We distributed Desks and Benches to primary school pupils of Dopemu Primary School, State Primary School and Oduduwa Primary School.
“And also established additional three units of Vocational Training: Shoe and Bag Making, Graphic Art Design, Furniture and Carpentry.
“Equally, we sponsored farmers in Agege for the 2017 World Food Day, and supported African Footballer of the year, Azizat Osoala School Soccer Clinic among others.
‘‘In fact, the pages of the local government’s history will be replete with my programmes and projects.”