The only reason why the former Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew; former President of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashivili; the leader of Dubai Mohammed Bin Rashid Maktoum; and the President of Botswana, Ian Khama; stand out as successful leaders of their respective countries today is not only because they had or have a clear vision of where they wanted to take their countries to but they also had or have the right team to work with.
You only need to visit Singapore, Georgia, Dubai and Botswana to see for yourself what intelligent leaders can do when they work with the right people. A good leader with bright ideas and right focus may have good plans but the wrong crowd or wrong cabinet can create a big problem for the leader.
Having a bad crowd or cabinet can ruin a great leader, all things being equal. Even the action of one person in a team can create a big problem that will affect the entire system.
Now enter Senator Musiliu, a Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence. The day Senator Obanikoro was appointed a junior Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the day I wrote off this government.
The day Mr Adesiyan, a suspect in the murder of the late Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Bola Ige, was appointed the Minister for Police Affairs is the day I wrote off this Federal Government. But Adesiyan’s matter will definitely come up another day.
Today our focus is on Senator Obanikoro. Senator Obanikoro came to the limelight when he became the Executive Chairman Lagos Island Local Government a few years back. During his tenure the vibrant and viable local government was looted with reckless abandon, and everything he touched turned to ashes.
When it was time to leave history had it that the LGA was set ablaze by the forces traced to his table in the bid to cover up. The rest is now history.
Obanikoro was later to be forgiven when the battle for democracy was won in 1999. He was rehabilitated and made a Commissioner by the then Governor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the then Alliance for Democracy (AD). Commissioner Obanikoro was made to lead a delegation of Lagos Muslims to pilgrimage in Mecca. Senator Musiliu Obanikoro as Ameerul Hajj pocketed the money meant for the upkeep of the Lagos Muslims.
He abandoned them in Mecca. Lagos State Government had to raise additional money to bring the robbed Lagosians back. After the ugly episode Asiwaju BAT contemplated sacking Commissioner Obanikoro but people like Governor Rauf Aregbesola and few others prevailed on the governor to give the irritant and the bad boy another chance to see whether he can be turned around to become a good boy but a leopard can never change its skin.
Finally Asiwaju BAT decided to make him a Senator under Action Congress, but Obanikoro got to Abuja and betrayed his party by joining PDP. His last outing before he became a Minister was an Ambassadorial position in Ghana.
As 2015 elections draw near, I guess Senator Obanikoro must have begged President Jonathan to specifically make him a Minister of Defence so that he can deliver Lagos and South West to PDP in 2015 through the use of military to create enough tension and siege in Lagos. In doing this I guess their thinking is that Lagosians will be so cowed and intimidated that they will put up no resistance at all and PDP will take over Lagos and South West.
This is the reason why Senator Obanikoro invaded Ondo State during a House of Representatives by-election in the name of fighting for PDP. Recall that el-Rufai went alone to Anambra to monitor the last year governorship election and was stopped by the State Security Services but it was okay for Obanikoro to invade Ondo State with soldiers to steal votes for PDP.
As if that was not enough, Obanikoro invaded Lagos with military personnel to stop housing projects in Lagos Island and the one close to Adeniji Adele and another close to the Third Mainland Bridge called Illubirin on the pretext that the land belongs to the Federal Government.
Now what is the meaning of this? Is Obanikoro fighting for Lagosians or for his pocket? Is it for personal ambition or for PDP’s advancement in the South West. Obanikoro’s invasion of Lagos, Qui bono?
APC has commissioned an enquiry into the motive for this brigandage in Lagos and got a damning report that Obanikoro and his co-travelers have concluded plans to inflict maximum disorder and confusion in Lagos in preparation for the 2015 general elections.
PDP and its spin doctors have found out that they do not have the capacity and capability to unseat APC in the South West and hence the need to resort to brutal force and intimidation using the federal might. That is why Senator Iyiola Omisore, a suspect in the murder case of the late Attorney General of the federation Chief Bola Ige is the PDP governorship candidate of Osun State.
That is the reason why Ayo Fayose, a thug and a bus conductor who is standing trial for murder in Ekitti State is the flag bearer of PDP in Ekitti State.
Successive Federal Governments under civilian dispensation have used the police and other agencies of government to win elections in Nigeria since 1979 and only the military has been spared of this mess. But now that Obanikoro has dragged the well-respected Armed Forces of Nigeria into politics, what do we expect in 2015?
Can anybody see and feel the danger of dragging the Armed Forces of Nigeria into local politics? Can anybody imagine the consequences of this dangerous trend in the history of Nigeria? Yes the Army of Nigeria has been involved in the business of military coups in the past but not in local politics.
This is the reason why Senator Obanikoro must be investigated by the Army of Nigeria and sanctioned if found guilty. Did President Jonathan authorize his brigandage in Lagos? Can a political thug like Senator Obanikoro be allowed to ridicule the Army of Nigeria? Can he get away with this lawlessness without sanctions?
My take on this is that Senator Obanikoro should be sacked from the Ministry of Defence. His actions and deeds since he assumed office are unbecoming of anybody that is privileged to be a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. As for 2015 elections Obanikoro and his soldiers or thugs will meet us in Lagos and the South West and I can bet that they will kiss the dust once again.
I have said it before that PDP Lagos lacks common sense, strategy for critical thinking; they are not cerebral, and they are not pro-active. This invasion of Lagos will backfire in 2015 and Lagos PDP will cry again. This I can assure you.
•Igbokwe wrote from Lagos