Deconstructing Gbenga Daniel

THE true import of a man’s activities becomes clearer many a time with passage of time. For time indeed is a great revealer. With time, we have the benefit of hindsight, with time whatever falsehood that may have been used to encapsulate the truth usually give way; indeed with time a clear verdict can be passed on the activities of any one. One major area that time clearly demonstrates this reality is leadership.

Some so called leaders may have been popular for a season in their times but the passage of time revealed some other things that may place a big question mark on their leadership. One clear example of such a leader in the present democratic dispensation is Gbenga Daniel (a.k.a OGD), the incumbent governor of Ogun state.

To build our nation, it is this writer’s firm belief that we must develop the capability of x-raying the activities of our leaders, not with standing the propensity of some of them to employ propaganda to cover up their tracks.

We can pass a verdict as a pointer and guide to the youths who may yet emerge as future leaders. Late last year, Yinka Odumakin, Publicity Secretary of the pan Yoruba socio- cultural organization, Afenifere treated Nigerians to a salacious revelations of many dishonest conduct of Gbenga Daniel before and after getting elected into public office.

Instead of refuting the mind-boggling allegations of dishonesty leveled against him, Daniel, through his attack dog, Wale Adedayo wasted over half a million naira of Ogun tax payers money to denigrate the person of the former governor of Lagos state, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and also use the medium to tell the reading public a “tale by the moon light”. His “tale by the moon light” is a locus classicus of what Williams Shakespeare described as “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and furry, signifying nothing.”

It is a gratuitous insult to the reasoning of the reading public! In the light of the foregoing, the question that should readily occur to any discerning mind is: What has Tinubu got to do with the issue at stake? Why did the anti-democratic elements (usurpers), parading themselves as PDP governors in the South West always find it convenient to attribute any problem they have to Asiwaju Tinubu? Why did they always see his shadow in any of the endless troubles into which they drag themselves into in their respective states?

Any discerning mind will agree with this writer that the simple answer to this riddle can not be far-fetched: Darkness will always find it uncomfortable to co-habit with light. While they (anti democratic forces symbolized by Obasanjo’s political children in the South West) represent darkness, Asiwaju Tinubu represents light that will drive darkness out of the South West.

Another reason why Asiwaju Tinubu has become Daniel’s worst nightmare is his obsession to become Yoruba leader, an ambition in which he sees Tinubu as the only impediment to his realization. “Anjuwon ose wi lejo, ija ilara otan boro”.

Gbenga Daniel is suffering from a debilitating grandeur called false delusion. Because of his ill-gotten wealth, he thought the leadership of the Yoruba race is for the highest bidder. Awoism as an ideal and as an ideology has become so bastardized that any one, with some loose money, even though, his integrity account his bankrupt, could be hoisted by some perfidious elders (“Awon agbalagba alatenuje”), for the people to see and follow as an Awoist.

Let Gbenga Daniel and his cohorts be told in no unmistaken terms that their campaign of calumny was yet to detract from the integrity and rising political profile of the Asiwaju of Lagos, undisputable Asiwaju of Yoruba land, earned by merit.

Where is Daniel during the dark days of the military when the likes of Tinubu put his live on the line to fight for the liberation of the Yoruba nation? Where was Daniel, when Tinubu, then a lone voice in the forest stand up to the dictatorship of the most discredited Obasanjo regime this country have the misfortune of having? Leadership of the Yoruba nation is not like an election that can be manipulated. It is not for cowards and betrayers like Daniel. It is not for vote robbers, scavengers, integrity-deficient characters that can never earn the respect of true Yoruba sons and daughters.

Moralist’s David Hume and Albert Camus agreed that a “leader must have the moral ability to influence others and unfailing capacity to exert authority over followers and subordinates.

Today, in Yoruba land, we have the comic spectacle of people who occupy public office not through the will of the people but through the electoral abracadabra of 2003 and the outright electoral armed robbery witnessed in 2007. They exhibit and exercise the coercive powers attendant on the offices they occupy but are thoroughly deficient in the legitimizing moral authority that confers meaningful leadership. Today in Yoruba land, Asiwaju Tinubu represents true and visionary leadership. He represents determined leadership that we need in Yoruba land and this country.

As a pro-democracy activist and as Lagos state governor for 8 years, some of the ideals of democracy that he fight and demonstrated are still very fresh in the people’s memory. If the leaders that have served in one capacity or the other at the federal, state or local government levels possess such type of quality in the area of governance and administration of the state, definitely many of our people would have been able to realize dividends of democracy.

Daniel must be suffering from a delusion worst than that of Alice in wonderland to think incessant Tinubu bashing is what would make the leadership of the Yoruba race to get to his hand. Hundreds of Nigerian Compass and The Westerner are not enough. It is unfortunate that this days any politician with some loose money will just set up his own media outfit for the sole objective of pulling down credible public figures for selfish political reason, without setting minimum standards of qualifications and code of conduct for those manning them. Nigerian Compass, in its unbridle desire to do the bidding of his owner, threw ethics to the wind.

The law of libel is alien to the understanding of those editing it. The constitutionally assigned duty of journalist is to inform, educate and serve as watchdog of the society. Need one any proof that journalists at Nigerian Compass has undoubtedly lost touch with the fundamental principle of journalism- check and cross check your facts before publishing. It is unfortunate that many of them are at the pinnacle of their carriers as practicing journalists.

Integrity-deficient journalists that constitute Nigerian Compass have proved to be agents of misinformation and disinformation, just to do the bidding of Gbenga Daniel, their pay master. Borrowing the words of Lasisi Olagunju, Oyinlola’s spin doctor, “News papers are market place of ideas, not of lies and half- truths.

They are to make the readership better informed. Propaganda has always been an inseparable part of politics, unfortunately, so are lies. While the latter clearly conflict with the basic foundation upon which journalism is built, there is really nothing wrong with politicians employing the art of propaganda to get to their goal. The wise propagandist knows, however, there must be platform of truth for him to place his stuff if he must get it bought consistently by the reading public. Other wise, his propaganda ware will become what those in news paper business called “Unsold”.

Every impartial observer of political events in Nigeria and any discerning mind knew the recent report of GSM fraud by Nigerian Compass, where it claimed unauthorized user can use one’s GSM phone to send a text message to him is an hatchet job meant to confuse the NJC and the court of public opinion on the culpability of Justice Naron- led tribunal and Barrister Kalejaiye in the Osun tribunal debacle. In the said report, after claiming that the head of the technical section of the MTN that is directly involved claim the scenario they painted is not possible, it stands to reason that they stil went ahead to sensationalized it.

The reason why they took such line of action can not be far-fetched. Any right thinking person knew the integrity- deficient journalist that constitute Nigeria Compass wrote this misleading report for a morsel of bread and in solidarity with one of their “own”. One is indeed worried about this trend of journalism in this 21 st century. One hope that the NUJ, Nigerian press council are watching and will take appropriate steps to ensure that Nigerian journalists agreed with the code of conduct for journalists as enshrined in ASNE code. It stated “Every effort must be made to ensure that the news content (of newspapers) is accurate, free from bias and in context, and that all sides are presented fairly”.

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