Musiliu Obanikoro Ex minister's defection to APC is a thing of shame

Obanikoro has finally dumped PDP for the APC. It's a tale of the ills bedeviling Nigerian politics, all over again.

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Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro. play

Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro.

(Bella Naija)
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So, it's official: Sen Musiliu Obanikoro has finally pitched tent with the APC.

It was the worst kept secret in the land.

To make the switch, Obanikoro had to dump the PDP--a party on whose platform he's tried unsuccessfully to realise his Lagos governorship ambition.

Obanikoro has been flirting with the APC and showing the governing party plenty of skirt since the turn of the year--he attended the Bola Ahmed Tinubu Colloquium in March and he's been photographed hobnobbing with the 'Jagaban' and other APC stalwarts in the Southwest, in the last couple of weeks.

His defection was therefore a matter of when, not if.

Obanikoro is now friends with Tinubu play

Obanikoro is now friends with Tinubu

(Daily Post)

 

Koro's (as the former minister is fondly called) defection therefore isn't a surprise.

His fall out with PDP Lagos' godfather, Bode George, only seemed to hasten his exit from the umbrella party.

When he initiated peace moves with former Lagos Governor Tinubu, we were only counting down the days to his eventual defection.

ALSO READ: Obanikoro visits Bola Tinubu

However, Koro's defection should be called what it is--political prostitution--a common phenomenon around here. This move is as much pragmatic as it is escapist--an escape from a dying PDP to an APC that now controls the resources of state and levers of power. 

Politicians in the opposition quickly trade places because they've since compromised their bottle for the battle.

Former Lagos State Governorship aspirant, Musiliu Obanikoro and PDP candidate, Jimi Agbaje play Koro and Agbaje share a meal after a bitter contest (Twitter)

 

Like most politicians in Nigeria, Koro's politics is rooted in zero ideology and plenty of ambition; an ambition to become Governor of Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital and most populous city.

He's been consumed by that ambition since 2007 when he lost the race to Babatunde Raji Fashola.

In 2015, Koro was again kicked aside, but this time from within. Chief Bode George made sure Jimi Agbaje was the PDP flag bearer instead.

Koro licked his wounds before being hounded by the anti-graft agencies for allegedly looting N4.75B of funds earmarked for the procurement of arms during the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

Some of Koro's property were also seized.

Obanikoro spent a couple of nights in EFCC custody. It was a spectacular fall from grace for the former junior defense minister.

From left: Former FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, former spokesman to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Reuben Abati;  former Minister of State for Defense, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, former minister and spokesperson to Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign, Femi Fani-Kayode and Bashir Ushaq Bashir while they were in EFCC detention in November 2016 play Koro, Fani-Kayode and Abati spent a couple of nights in EFCC custody (Punch)

 

In November of 2016, Obanikoro bought his freedom by returning N100M to the federal government under a plea bargain arrangement.

Since then, he's been weighing his options which weren't a lot, to be honest.

He had only two choices: join the APC and get the anti-graft agencies off his back or remain with the PDP and be hounded for allegedly looting the treasury in the past.

Obanikoro chose the former. He's a smart one.

Gbolahan, Musiliu and Babajide Obanikoro play Obanikoro and sons (Naij)

 

To rehash the point, this move further underscores the ideology deficit in Nigerian politics. Politicians swap parties in search of where their bread will be buttered. There are neither values nor principles to our politics. No policy moves propel party swaps. Zilch.

What becomes of Obanikoro's Lagos governorship ambition now that he's an APC member? Not much. That ship has since sailed. If he's lucky, he'll get to help choose who governs Lagos from this point and be handed the patronage that comes with joining the governing party at State and federal levels.

Obanikoro's defection won't move the needle in any direction in the politics of Lagos or the Southwest.

But here's one more proof that a politician who sought for refuge when badly in need of one; who embarked on a search for where and how to line his stomach, got exactly what he yearned for.