As much as ethnic establishments and/or authorities have, for quite a while now, turned into a sad remnant of what it used to be, you can’t cancel out how ethnic pyramids have been a wellspring of reference if there is a discussion on political power tussle in Nigeria.
History may have been abridged because of colonialism (add slavery) thus, the new age and possibly, some who are middle-aged won’t comprehend when we talk about how politicking has been a piece of our inward culture. Thus, read on, let us go through this together.
Of particular interest in this piece is the story of the Ogunwusi’s from Osun. Ile-Ife, Osun is the cradle of the Yoruba race and is usually described in a rustic manner embedded with instances of a filial feud, the most recent being the one between Adetunji Ogunwusi and his younger brother Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi–who were engaged in a battle of entitlement to the Ooni of Ife stool.
The procedure for choosing the Ooni was simple; at least, until the feud: the State Government writes to the Ruling House, whose turn it is to provide a candidate. The Ruling House meets, choose their candidates and send same to the State Government.
The Ifa priest also receives this list from the kingmakers, who approves one name and sends to the State Government, where the final approval takes place. Installation, by the kingmakers, follows.
But, Adetunji who was desirous of the revered seat and enjoyed the support of their mother frowned at Enitan, who was fully supported by their father. And so, the politicking ensued.
The two brothers solicited support from prominent Ife indigenes. This is where influence and ‘generosity’ towards king makers became a deciding factor. Midway through all these, there were allegations of fraud levelled on the two brothers by the Sijuwade family’s estate.
Are you seeing similarities between the top two contenders of the 2019 presidential election yet?
Adetunji had initially thought his younger brother was goofing around and so, confident Enitan’s interest will fade out. Besides, Adetunji thought his brother did not have the financial strength to pursue such a lofty cause. He was left disillusioned when it dawned on him.
As much as we want to recognise the ambition of the 70 other presidential candidates in the 2019 election, it is pertinent to note that two candidates–Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar–have led us to reference the story of the Ogunwusi brothers.
Usually, an election in Nigeria begins three years earlier and with the 2019 election, Atiku, who had been an ally of Buhari, reminds us of the power tussle between Daenerys Targaryen and Cersei Lannister in the popular series–Games of Thrones (yes, go watch it if you have not). Although, the politics is quite different.
Buhari, just like Adetunji, is of the opinion that he is more entitled to Nigeria’s highest office and has, therefore, titled his campaign – Next Level.
Atiku, on the other hand, is relying on some other political powers and the perceived failure of the incumbent to provide the ‘Change’ that he promised in 2015.
Indeed, there seems to be an elementary mindset – at surface level – that we can simply look at the two situations and comprehend the whole of Nigeria politics. Yet, we should not forget the way that Nigerian politics is unreasonably unpredictable for naked comprehension. Nevertheless, it is essentially similar stories that play out every other election year. Without doubts, tricks, hypocrisy and conspiracy is the guideline on which Nigerian politicians depend on.
Also, you cannot leave out the fact that both Atiku and Buhari are from the same demographic population, have widespread influence, have been involved in Nigerian politics from independence, and have shown to have the kind of cult-like following that wins elections in Nigeria.
But who is going to be disillusioned this time around?