By Oluwafemi Popoola
There is one Abiodun Isola Ladepo, none, but a sycophant, because everything about him suggests so much that he fits completely the person of “Iago” who worked for “Othello.” Iago was a “boy” of Shakespeare’s Othello, the Moor of Venice, trying to curry favour from his master at a time he got furious about being overlooked for promotion.
Apparently, a wayward human being, Iago at a time felt the only thing he could do to get promoted was to manipulate Othello, his boss, into believing his wife, Desdemona, is unfaithful, stirring Othello’s jealousy, so he could hate his loving wife for him to be elevated… What sort of a man is this? This is the path Ladepo is treading under Tinubu, the President-elect!
Ladepo is like Iago, who is falsifying claims against Osinbajo to cunningly win favour from Tinubu! It was this type of attitude that Iago played up that eventually ruined Othello’s empire.
Imagine! The 2023 presidential election has come and gone, but it appears this Abiodun Ishola Ladepo, a self-acclaimed “hype man” of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has taken to sulking.
It was a victory for Asiwaju Tinubu, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has congratulated him, prayed for his success, and he even followed him to collect his certificate of return issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), where the two friendly leaders hugged and departed happily in Abuja. But it seems this morose disappointed man, Ladepo, has covenanted with sadness. It is self-seeking for a mourner to cry more than the bereaved, like in the case of this sycophantic tale-bearer!
Let me quote some parts of his song of lamentation he sang against the patriotic Vice President Osinbajo and his Political Adviser, Babafemi Ojudu.
“I wonder the level of bitterness, jealousy and shame living in the hearts of this pair.”
“Ojudu was a key supporter of Osinbajo’s un-Omoluabi-like treacherous treatment of Tinubu, the man who brought him from obscurity and made him commissioner in Lagos as well as Vice President… single-handedly.
“Ojudu egged Osinbajo on… to contest the APC primary against Tinubu… eni Olorun o pa… and vowed publicly to return to his farm if Tinubu won.
Not if Osinbajo lost o; IF TINUBU WON! Meaning as far as he was concerned, anybody could have won but not Tinubu.”
“Such was the level of hatred he had for Tinubu.”
“Osinbajo luled… beaten mercilessly to distant third place by ordinary Rotimi Amaechi who was himself beaten mercilessly to distant second place by Tinubu.”
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Ladepo’s grouse is that VP Osinbajo dared the Presidency with Jagaban. The argument is that the emergence and prominence of Osinbajo today in the national arena was powered by the political machinery of Bola Ahmed Tinubu when Prof Osinbajo served as Attorney General in his government between 1999 to 2007.
To him, Tinubu’s presidential ambition shouldn’t be met with any resistance while Osinbajo’s destiny should be made to stand still. Not only that Osinbajo was expected to be loyal to Asiwaju even if it means sacrificing his life ambition, and that of several millions of Nigerians who looked up to his leadership, and not minding the national mood of the people at that time that called for Osinbajo’s Presidency, he just believed Osinbajo must do nothing! But he is wrong. Osinbajo’s allegiance is tied to the service of his country, Nigeria, and its people not to an individual. He is a patriotic leader, the reason Nigerians prefer him above others.
“I have sworn an oath to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is an oath to our people; our children and the future of Nigeria. I owe nobody else any allegiance outside the oath,” those were the submission of Prof Osinbajo, as the Vice President of Nigeria.
The late iconic American writer and humourist, Mark Twain, described loyalty as “a word which has worked vast harm; for it has been made to trick men into being ‘loyal’ to a thousand iniquities, whereas the true loyalty should have been to themselves.” The major lesson here is that when people are true to themselves, they will seek the public good. And what else can be greater than genuinely wanting to serve your country at the highest level? That is a public good. For service is not about self it is about seeking the best of others.
But, Nigeria by now should have moved past an era in which somebody supported to a position of power must make their benefactor an object of eternal worship at the expense of public trust. This is loyalty gone mad and it should not be promoted in our polity. The fate and destiny of over 200 million people are bigger than the lifelong ambition of an individual.
Apart from the fact that Nigeria still practices democracy and democracy in any given society accommodates everyone regardless of tribe or religion. It is the only tool that gives room for equal participation in politics. More so, everywhere in the world, a good, loyal and competent Vice President like Prof Osinbajo succeeds the President.
Ladepo said Osinbajo lost to a distant third, but he forgot that Nigerians wanted him, but his loss at the APC Presidential Primary was to the corrupt system. True. In a freely organized election, where it is not the representative few in the manner of delegates who are easily compromised that voted, but the generality of Nigerians, Osinbajo, loved by millions of Nigerians, would defeat any rival in a popular election.
So, Mr Man, if you need a particular favour from Asiwaju, seek it through other means. What you wrote will discredit you in the face of Asiwaju who knows the worth of our “Star Boy” he, Jagaban, recently described as “a remarkable intellectual” on his birthday.
Read Asiwaju’s note: “I rejoice and celebrate with our Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on the attainment of 66 today.
“As the Vice President of our country, Professor Osinbajo has partnered very well with our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, to deliver on the progressive programmes of our party to make life better for Nigerians, especially in areas of massive infrastructural development and life-changing social investment programmes.”
Can you see it? Like Nigerians, Tinubu too prefers Osinbajo’s patriotism which is not self-serving as a forthright leader, whom he called a “remarkable intellectual,” a credential which positions him as someone who will always do what is right, the reason Asiwaju never faulted Osinbajo for contesting against him. So, what concerns you? Ladepo! Stop fooling around!
• Popoola is a newsman, political analyst and commentator.