Of trust and conviction – The Nation Nigeria



CAVEAT emptor: This piece is without prejudice to Ondo Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi’s legitimate right to aspire to any position; and to push that dream.

It is rather to show how trust and conviction (or lack of both) help (or ruin) those democratic aspirations.  Either way, a right is a right; and no one can stand in judgment over how individuals exercise own rights; for they swim or sink by the consequences of their actions.

It’s no more a secret how Mr. Ajayi defected to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), from the Rotimi Akeredolu governorship, but has held on to his deputy governor post, even if symbolic, for it’s a moot point if he still performs the functions of that office, given how things have turned out.  So, it’s case of de jure, yes; but de facto, not so sure.

What is not so clear is how Ajayi’s current odyssey would pan out; and what would remain of his political persona, after the current election-time excitement.

After losing the PDP ticket, for the Ondo governorship poll, to Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, there are reported pressures, from the national wing of the PDP, for Mr. Jegede to pick Ajayi as running mate.  Reports claim some hesitation, if not outright refusal, on Jegede’s part — and for good reasons, you’d say.

If Ajayi could walk out of his joint All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket with Aketi, what is the guarantee that won’t happen again with Jegede, should the duo have some disagreement, as common in politics?

That is a hard question.  But it’s also a very legitimate one that even Ajayi himself can’t, in all good conscience, grudge anyone for asking.  It’s the little question of trust, which nevertheless snowballs into a key mustard, without which no relationship can thrive.

How Ajayi navigates that harsh trust alley, to land Jegede’s nod as running mate, if he really craves it, would manifest soon enough.

But even more interesting is the speculation that Ajayi, after losing the PDP ticket, might be heading for Olusegun Mimiko’s Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).  If true, that would be very exciting, for it throws up the double-whammy of trust and conviction.

Chinua Achebe quipped, in his famous novels, the Igbo saying that if you flee for donkey years from an ailment, but you still died of it, then you had lost your care.

Ajayi bolted from PDP because Mimiko, then the Labour Party Ondo governor, defected to PDP and annexed the party’s structure, from old members like Ajayi.  Well, Mimiko didn’t quite thrive with PDP, so he floated ZLP as back-up, for opportunistic politicking.  Well, better opportunistic politicking than total irrelevance!

If Ajayi first dumps APC, and then PDP for ZLP, in a spate of less than two months, where then is his sense of partisan party conviction, beyond floating like a nectar-seeking butterfly, in search of platforms, to land political office?

Besides, if LP’s-Mimiko-come-to-swallow-PDP was a woeful idea, how is Ajayi opting to be swallowed by Mimiko’s ZLP a wonderful one?  Perhaps, as Heracltus, the Greek philosopher famously declared: you can’t step in the same river twice!

Nigerian politics might be continuously changing, as the Heraclitus matter is in a perpetual state of flux.  Even then, trust and conviction are constant, just as Parminedes, another Greek philosopher, held that nature was static.

But how Ajayi navigates his present bind, with nary trust or conviction, should be of interest to political scholars, even with the notorious flux of Nigerian politics!


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