Thursday, 12 January 2017

HONOURABLE MINISTER, HORRIBLE MINISTER (Part 5)


Karimu Ayeole has always wanted to be the governor of his state.
It is well within his right so to do:



He is not a confirmed lunatic; he could be brilliant on occasions
He is about 25 years older than the minimum 35 stipulated for a would-be governor.


He is not under-educated as his LL.B, BL degrees are several notches higher than the minimum SSCE required to be governor
He is not financially bankrupt although many people may argue that he is morally so.


Within a short time, the rumours of his gubernatorial ambition spread like harmattan fire. It soon became a hot topic for discussion on especially the social media.


The social media harbours a large chunk of the youthful population. While therefore, they may exhibit some exuberance on some occasions; their views could be downright insightful.


Many social media commentators wondered which of Karimu’s nine wives would be the State’s First Lady? In their view, Karimu’s case would not be a bit straightforward like that of the former governor of a North East state who had four, well-educated wives to whom he assigned different duties from domestic affairs to Abuja affairs.


They ranked the minister’s wives by giving them numbers F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, F6, F7, F8 and F9. (F for First Lady).
F9? Who in their right minds would be comfortable to be called F9?


They assigned the numbers in the reverse order by giving the young, delicate-eyed favourite last wife number F1 while the most senior or oldest got F9.


Other pundits believed that Karimu could populate his cabinet mostly with his wives. Out of about 15 Commissioners and 5 Advisers, 9 of them could come from Karimu’s household and that is the only way to ensure equity in dealing with these women. Or else, His Excellency risked a combustible domestic recrudescence!
This might run contrary to Section 14(4) of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). That is the almighty section that discouraged nepotism by entrenching Federal Character (or balancing) in distribution of posts and amenities.
In this regard, some believed that he must be gender and section sensitive.


Yet, others believed that looking carefully at how Karimu acquired his wives; he had displayed an uncanny sense of Federal Character by procuring them from each of the six geo-political sub-zones of the state! 


At any rate, Karimu pursued his gubernatorial ambition with so much devotion. He had regular strategy sessions with a small group of people carefully selected from across the state. The meetings held on Sunday evenings in Abuja or Ibadan. When it held in Ibadan, venue was his newly completed home located in a high-brow section of the city. If it was Abuja, Karimu had all ten of them flown to Abuja and lodged in a 5-star hotel at the Ministry of Education and Modern Technology’s expense. (The hotel bills had begun to worry the Director of Finance who complained to the Permanent Secretary on one occasion).


Karimu had a straightforward strategy for winning the elections. He believed that being in government, he stood head and shoulder taller than any of the other contenders.


After the last cycle of elections, Karimu got some willing higher institution students from across the state to help him register people who either did not normally vote or were too young to vote last time but would be 18 years or more by the next election period. The team went round the state and got about 350,000 names.


Earlier, Karimu had taken note of the fact that the total votes cast in previous guber elections ranged between 400,000 and 500,000. He believed that if he could get those 350,000 new voters to register and he could keep their Voters’ Cards, he would coast home to victory with just about 50,000 votes from the usual voters’ pool in addition to his 350,000.


He had tried it during an election, 2 cycles previously, but fell short due to lack of funds. Now with a lot of money coming into his coffers from his privileged position, his new friends and the contractors, he believed he would make it this time around.

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Outside Karimu’s home, in his large Ibadan compound, there were drummers, area boys and sundry other flotsam and jetsam of society who stopped by upon learning the minister was around. As usual, they branched in case something might ‘drop’.
Karimu sat down this Sunday afternoon inside his expansive sitting room.


He held court as was his wont. 


He had around him a motley crowd of favour-seekers, political associates, women leaders and youth groups. As usual on such occasions, generous adulations, mostly undeserved, flew out of the expectant mouths of the favour seekers. They extolled his virtues, they told him of how he is Godsend. How he is an inspiration that after a long time in the wilderness of politics, ‘e go still better for person’.


He got his head swimming in it all.
He enjoyed the aspect where they emphasised his indispensability to the state, moving forward.


Oh, life doesn’t get better than this, he thought.
It was at this moment that his phone rang.
It was the Inspector-General of Police.
This was 5 days after the killing of Akanbi Olorunmbe….!


(To be continued in Part 6. After Christmas)
Omi Tuntun, Igba Otun.

Credit: Kehinde Ayoola J P

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