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(From This Day (Nigeria) - AAGM)
Byline: The Horizon by Kayode Komolafe
Towards the end of the life of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, General Ibrahim Babangida as President of the republic paid the sage a birthday tribute that bore much resonance years after. In an exceptional complimentary mood, Babangida described Awolowo as "the issue of Nigerian politics". Awolowo himself cherished this compliment and his admirers felt Babangida was being honest with facts of the nation's political life.
About 16 years later, it is imaginable that Babangida himself would not mind being paid a similar compliment by an incumbent President of Nigeria. Ironically both the rabid defenders and bitter opponents of the former President seem to agree in presenting him as "the issue of Nigerian politics." The general would not feel flattered a bit by such kind remarks. Not with the intensification of the on-going project of rehabilitating him politically. The way Babangida's critics and opponents point to his finger in every political pie has unwittingly contributed more to the current process of mystification. The politician in the General must surely be enjoying this act of myth-making.
In any case, who is that politician who does not enjoy being constantly the focus of attention? It was Chief Arthur Nzeribe who once postulated that whether for good or for ill, he enjoyed being the centre of media attention. In his worldview, a politician needs to be permanently relevant. His prescription is that even when a politician is being excoriated by the press, he should not be worried. he only needs to worry when he is ignored. Nzeribe may as well not have just himself in mind but also political figures such as Babangida and his co-travellers. It does appear that the real problem with …