Monday, November 23, 2015


Twas my friend George who intimated me of the demise of  Prince ABUBAKAR AUDU yesterday evening and I couldn't help expressing my shock in the way I stammered when he gave me the news. I had never doubted information (many of which he broke long before they made headlines) from him, but this was such that I expressed some doubt over, not because the late Prince was immortal but because of the political ramifications and circumstances around which he had to die.

When I checked Twitter and Facebook and didn't find anything of sorts, I whatsapped 'Luoye, who also gets most of these things firsthand, but this time around, he also didn't know, so I elected to wait before posting such a news on Facebook. Events over time has taught me to exercise restraint in posting news of the death of high profile people in Nigeria or outside of it, till it becomes official, especially as many people have died even severally on Twitter before they eventually died much later or even still lived. This time around because of the integrity of the one who gave me the information, what I did was to simply try to confirm by posing it as a question on Facebook and Twitter seeking to know if anyone had information about Prince Audu's demise.

Soon enough Twitter became abuzz with news of the death of Prince Abubakar Audu, with different reactions to it. Some diehard supporters and those who felt any news that doesn't come through them could only be false, talked about how they just came off the phone with some close family sources to the late politician and were informed that the former governor of Kogi State was still alive, asking followers on Twitter especially to disregard any news of the politicians' death. Unfortunately, by last night speculations were put to rest as it became official that the sixty-eight year old, Prince Abubakar Audu had suffered a stroke Saturday evening, and on Sunday complained of a stomach cramp, then began vomiting blood, and while he was being rushed to Abuja, apparently to be flown abroad, he suffered another stroke from which he couldn't be resuscitated.

The late Prince Audu, the All Progressives Congress, APC Gubernatorial Candidate in the Guber elections which held on Saturday in Kogi State had appeared at his polling booth earlier that day to cast his vote, in elections which by the time counting was concluded on Sunday, was leading his closest rival of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and incumbent Governor IDRIS WADA by about forty thousand votes, but the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC declared the elections inconclusive as the number of cancelled votes (in areas where supplementary elections will now be held next Saturday 29th, November) was more than the margin between the leading candidate (Audu) and the runner up (Wada).


The sudden death of Prince Audu has raised concerns amongst stakeholders who feel that his demise is likely to throw up a constitutional crisis, but the truth really is the political permutation of the state which appear to have been turned on its head by this unfortunate event, as the late Audu's running mate is of the Kabba stock (a variant of the Yoruba tribe, that readily dissociates itself from the Yoruba, if and when political advantage is afoot) and a strong minority in the state which had never made governorship since Kogi was created (compared to the majority Igala who routinely produce governors) just like other tribes such as the Ebira, Bassangi, Nupe amongst others whose people have also given up on ever governing the state. It is because of the sharing of political positions amongst these ethnic groups with the Igala at the top that it now seems that the demise of the Igala guber candidate of a party set on the path of victory, that is making the hue and cry about constitutional crisis rise to the top of the heavens when logic should suggest that the deputy guber candidate should naturally assume the position of his principal, as was the case when President Yar'Adua died and the senate had to invoke a DOCTRINE OF NECESSITY to allow his deputy Goodluck Jonathan to rule in his stead, though in this case the death can be said to have occurred before the conclusion of the election, and a different kettle of fish entirely.

Now, many people are of the view that if the supplementary elections take place next Saturday as planned with the APC retaining the deputy guber candidate as the substantive candidate, currently a member of Nigeria's House Of Representatives representing an area not in Kogi, but in Lagos with many people thinking that his new anticipated position (as deputy guber candidate in Kogi, where he originally hails from) must be the deal the late guber candidate had to agree to for the Jagaban of Borgu's (former Lagos State Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and an APC leader and Strongman of Southwest Nigerian- and to some extent even Nigerian politics) support to win the APC nomination as well as prosecute the guber elections in the state, which he appeared poised to win before his untimely demise. The fear that the whole 49,000 votes to be cast in the supplementary elections will go the way of Idris Wada of the PDP and also of Igala Stock can't be said to be unfounded, as many people view the possibility of a Kabba person becoming governor in the state an anathema, and would rather give the block votes to the Devil they know in Wada (having lost in Audu, the Deep Blue Sea alternative) than the Honourable James Faleke who they fear might be the puppet at the end of the Lion Of Bourdillon's strings from Lagos, as some of the state governors in the Southwest are totally subject to him,  so much so that the Lagos State governor recently represented him (Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, aka Jagaban Borgu aka Lion of Bourdillon, etc) at an event he couldn't attend.

It even came as a surprise to me how Prince Abubakar Audu emerged as candidate of the APC, even though he had a corruption case leveled against him by the anticorruption institutions including that of embezzlement of about eleven billion naira in Kogi States' funds, which a notable figure in his party was said to have promised that the late Audu will pay back if he becomes governor. It seemed that Audu's popularity was more the driving force behind his winning the party's nomination over and above any other consideration, even when it turns the party's anticorruption agenda, as well as President Buhari's Body Language against corruption on its head.

I knew the late prince in his first term as the governor of Kogi the way you'd know someone off the pages of the newspapers. Months back however he made the news howbeit tabloids after he married a very young woman, many would say a teenager, raising dust amongst many who read the item and saw the pictures of him kissing (more like "eating" her lips) the damsel to the disgust of not just a few

people who saw the pictures. The other angle many people considered at that time when politics wasn't even on the cards was that he may have done that to appease a section of the Kogi society by marrying from there, having before married from other senatorial districts. The creation of the APC from several opposition parties in order to wrest power from the then ruling PDP threw him back again into the limelight, and he remained there till his demise yesterday. Though he encountered many obstacles on his path to reclaiming the governorship position he lost many years back after just one term, he still couldn't achieve it after he seemed to be coasting through to power against all odds, as his life was required of him. Today, the issue of the state of health of our politicians have been brought to fore, with many of them logging about huge bodies that may be indicative of the possibility of them living with some chronic conditions, fueled by the frequency with which they proceed abroad for treatment even for what one could consider minor health issues.

Beyond that, we should all be guided in the way we live our lives (like we could be gone the next minute), as death isn't a place we can come back from, isn't a respecter of person, and like a thief in the night can come to anyone at anytime.  Nigerian politicians who rule with impunity once in power can be admonished from this, as well as many other incident of such, because when death comes calling, not even their ill-gotten wealth or legally accumulated wealth can save them, especially when it becomes too late to fly them out of Nigeria for proper medical care abroad, as they failed to provide same for their fellow citizens who couldn't afford such. As Governor Wada has declared today a public holiday, and the next one week as "days of mourning" even for his political opponent, this is wishing the late Abubakar Audu's family and the people of state of Kogi, the fortitude to bear the loss that's come upon them.



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