Since the Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro arrived in Ekiti Monday night preparatory to the Saturday governorship election in the state, there has been some sorts of uneasy calm as to why he was in town. Such a misgiving was however made plausible owing to some of the recent undertakings by the minister.
If you’d recall, he was in Ondo State some weeks ago when a bye-election was held into a federal constituency in Ilaje area of the state. Reports on the role of the minister were at the very least, obnoxious. Although the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state later came out to clarify certain misrepresentations, he still held onto his belief that the alleged irregularities that characterised the exercise were orchestrated by external influence.
Shortly after his appointment as minister, ‘Koro as he is fondly called had engaged the Lagos State Government over what many thought was a needless muscle flexing. He described as illegal, an ongoing construction on the waters somewhere in Ilubirin area of the state. Even where his submission could have been genuine, supposedly so, such a needles confrontation in a state he intends to rule was considered untoward by some observers.
Next, perhaps, is Ekiti. Already, there is a growing suspicion of alleged conspiracy amongst key government institutions in the state. From the police to INEC and even the military in cohort with their political allies, there is said to be a grand plan to invade Ekiti come Saturday. Should Obanikoro be a part of that if true? Maybe not!
Those close to the minister have however dismissed any such misgiving, noting that apart from the fact that Obanikoro believes in democratic ethos, he also has a name to keep and would therefore not indulge in anything that would pull him down midway into a promising career. True, the way and manner he challenged the impunity in Lagos when his son, Babajide was denied his mandate as the validly elected chairman of Ikoyi/Obalende Local Council Development Area, is a pointer to this assertion.
But whether he’d maintain that seeming democratic profile or push harder for a payback as was the case of his son is yet to be seen. After all, it is being said that Osun would be next on the card after Ekiti. Fingers crossed!
What is sure is that whichever way Saturday’s election is handled would confirm any of these theories. And by the time the story is finally written, the roles of everyone would be clearly identified. Certainly, Obanikoro does not want to go down on the wrong side of history, not at this stage of his soaring and auspicious career.