The Olagunsoye Oyinlola blot on democracy and civil governance was all too glaring at the funeral in Yakoyo, Osun State, of the father of Gen. Alani Akinrinade, a proud son of Yorubaland and a general in whom the misused Nigerian military is well pleased and would wish it is measured in the general’s golden image.
But there was Olagunsoye Oyinlola, retired brigadier-general and rigged governor of Osun State, who symbolises all the odiousness of the Nigerian military and was proud actor among the military rogue elements that not only tried, tooth and nail, to perpetuate soulless military rule in Nigeria but also are presently fouling the political space.
Now, Oyinlola was there ex-officio – as sitting governor of Osun State, even if beyond the braggadocio, he hardly believes himself he won any election to make him claim he is the Osun governor. It was an open embarrassment everyone had to bear – including perhaps Gen. Akinrinade himself, whose soul must cringe from such a scandal and sacrilege of good old soldiery, a supposed bastion of officers and gentlemen, not uncouth ruffians and savage autocrats.
But more importantly, Oyinlola craves acceptance. Beyond suffocating raw power, this rigged governor knows everyone in Yorubaland holds him in utter contempt. And his defence mechanism? The usurper-slave has made the throne. God save that misguided societal conscience that purports to challenge his brute force! But Yoruba history has proved such power slaves always bite the dust!
So, when Oyinlola came to Yakoyo, parading himself as “governor”, he never met a people swooning with love for his attention. He was never a human magnet, to which his people were willy-nilly attracted by sheer good will and reverence. He was, as usual, an epitome of contemptible power shunned by cold silence.
He probably expected such reaction and betrayed his psychological insecurity. That was why he brought his infamous guards, the human equivalent of Alsatian dogs, fierce and quietly menacing. In an era where a Barack Obama is radiating love, warmth and affection to the globe, all Oyinlola could offer at Yakoyo, at a private burial ceremony, is contemptuous fear to keep at bay enemies, real or perceived!
Many were shocked and dismissive of this needless show of force and projection of private fear. But that has always been the sad lot of impostors, the political and military Macbeths that after commiting regicide, murder sleep to sleep no more!
As an Abacha era military administrator, Oyinlola logs shameful experience on this score. He was pressed into anti-people service when Sani Abacha completed the agenda of Ibrahim Babangida, voiding the popular presidential mandate of Moshood Abiola, freely given on June 12, 1993 and sustaining that criminal annulment. For his crime, Abacha suffered a shameful expiry on the laps of foreign prostitutes; and their regime collapsed; bring the Nigerian military untold shame.
When Olusegun Obasanjo, another graceless dictator planted on the scene by anti-June 12 forces happened on the polity, Oyinlola was too happy to be an active collaborator. When Obasanjo was on a quixotic search for an illegal and illegitimate third term, it was in Osogbo, Oyinlola’s capital, that the phantom people of Yorubaland “approved” of the gambit.
Incidentally, all the principal actors in that gambit are now in political Siberia, waiting for a second life that would not come. Obasanjo is cursed throatily and dismissed with scorn as an unrepentant hypocrite. Ibrahim Mantu, then deputy Senate president and chairman of the fraudulent constitutional amendment committee, is firmly buried under the political landslide in his native Plateau State. Ifeanyi Ararume, chairman of the Osogbo “South West” session, has been fully paid in the Obasanjo full measure of paying with evil those who do him good.
Oyinlola himself reels with the drunkenness of one who knows the end is only a matter of time. First, Osogbo on which he visited such grand sacrilege, voted him out with a vengeance. Then, after an ultra-incompetent first term, Oyinlola pulled the tiger by the tail by so brazenly rigging himself back to power, thus declaring himself an anti-people soldier for the second time in less than 15 years. He surely will be consumed by his folly and become a scorned footnote of history.
So, when next Oyinlola comes to your neighbourhood with his human Alsatian dogs, barking, growling and biting, be assured they are not driven by courage or by power – only by the mortal fear of the doom to come.
Before the end, meanwhile, Oyinlola continues to be such a travesty to democracy and civil governance. It is his well-earned historic burden to be hated by the present and scorned by memory.