Men's Roundtable: Musiliu Obanikoro: The making of a new saint

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The Men's Roundtable

The defection of the former Minister of State for Defence to the ruling APC despite the corruption cases he is facing shows the fight is one-sided.

The defection of former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), is no longer news.

The fact that he was received with open hands, fanfare and a pat on the back by the ruling party is also not news.

It will also not be news when all the corruption cases hanging on his neck are swept under the carpet as he will then be seen as a patriot and a saint by the APC.

ALSO READ: "Men's Roundtable: Senator Obanikoro, where is your conscience?"

For many, Obanikoro's defection does not come as a surprise, after all, other politicians who have one corruption issue or the other had decamped to the APC and suddenly, they were canonized, while all cases were promptly dropped, after all, they had seen the light.


Decamping from one party to the other is part of a political gimmick but in saner climes, politicians decamp on principles or because the other party has better ideologies but in Nigeria, the reverse is the case as our politicians only decamp when they feel left out in the scheme of things.

They flee the party that is not in power because political patronage does not come their ways again. They do not decamp because of the love they have for the country or what they can contribute to the building of the nation but to where their bread will be buttered.

Before his inglorious defection, Senator Obanikoro was being investigated over a case of corruption involving a whopping sum of N4.7 billion he has been accused of stealing by the EFCC.

Obanikoro who was said to be the money linkman between the past PDP regime of Goodluck Jonathan and the Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose,  had entered a plea bargain and had started refunding the money to the anti-graft agency but now that he is in the 'right' party, the guess is that the investigation would be forgotten and swept under the carpet while he will be told to go and sin no more.


Obanikoro had allegedly told the EFCC in his statement of oath that he received N4.7 billion from the Office of the National Security Adviser under the leadership of Col. Sambo Dasuki in June 2014 and handed over  N1.3bn to the then governorship candidate of the PDP in Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore, while N1.219 billion was given to Fayose through his aide during the build-up to the Ekiti governorship election which Fayose won.

The skepticism of Nigerians stems from the fact that many PDP henchmen who had one corruption case or the other had escaped to the safe coffers of the APC and nothing has been heard of such cases again.

Examples of such cases abound and it has gone to show that once you are in the APC, you are untouchable.

Former Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, who, despite a plethora of allegations against him, is now the Minister of Transport. Even President Muhammadu Buhari seems to be happy with Amaechi and any allegation against him is just what it is.


Former Governor of Plateau State and now Senator, Joshua Dariye, was charged to court for allegedly siphoning the state’s ecological fund to the tune of N1.16 billion.

In 2004, Dariye fled the United Kingdom where he was being tried for money laundering and promptly ran back to the country, where he became a Senator.

Just some months ago, attempts were made to reopen the charges but Dariye promptly decamped to the ruling APC and the drums were rolled out to welcome him. The case was promptly forgotten with many now extolling his virtues as a saint.

Former Governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva had a running battle with the EFCC over allegations of corruptly enriching himself while he was in power. But what did he do? He decamped to the APC and even contested to be governor again. Today, the charges have been swept under the carpet and no one remembers them again.

Former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu's defection to the APC was the most hilarious. Kalu who was a staunch member of the PDP and served the state for eight years, he left to form his own party, PPA, on which platform he installed his stooge, Theodore Orji.


He then fell out with his god-son, went back to the PDP, contested for the Senate and lost. In October 2016, the EFCC dragged Kalu to court on 34 counts of money laundering.

ALSO READ: "Men's Roundtable: Nigerian politicians and their buttered bread"

He was said to have stolen billions of money from the state coffers but just as the EFCC was getting set to charge him to court, Kalu promptly decamped to the ruling APC, where he was received by the party Chairman, John Oyegun with great aplomb.

In Nigeria, the only way a corrupt politician is given sainthood is to decamp to the ruling party and Senator Obanikoro, a career politician who knows how to play the game, had done the 'honourable' thing and no one would be surprised when the case would die a natural death.

from - Gist

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