We knew the session was going to be very rowdy. There was palpable tension in the air. Word had gone round the campus and several students were mobilized. I was President of the Students Union Government and my friend and brother, Ayodeji Adedigba was the Speaker of the Students’ Representative Council. My bosom friend, Dr Aworemi Atu Phd a.k.a. Aturaka was the Deputy Speaker. I summoned a meeting of the inner caucus (we were known as the Famous Five) and hatched a plan. We just had to make the Speaker look good while we executed our plan. Any good politician must know that decisions are not made in the open. Decisions are actually made before the meetings take place. It is too dangerous to leave matters in the hands of the ‘majority’. Whatever happens at the meeting is therefore a script that is being acted out.
We started the meeting in one of the rooms at what was then known as the ‘tutorial block’. It was in the dead of the night. The room was jam-packed while there were several observers outside. There was a heated debate and emotions ran riot. For several minutes, there were several ‘point of orders’. And members quoted the constitution freely. People shouted, ‘Mr Speaker, I’m still on my feet’. Then, someone gave the cue. There was a sound of broken glass. The ladies in the room panicked. The ladies on our ‘side’ started screaming that they needed to be protected as they didn’t feel safe any longer. Finally, I stood up and announced, “As the Chief Security Officer of the Students Union, I cannot guarantee the safety of anyone in this room. I therefore ask that My Lord Speaker should close this meeting”. I sat down. There was bedlam. The opposition screamed their head off that I didn’t have that right. Mr Speaker also cautioned that I had no right to ask for the meeting to be brought to an end. I stood up and walked out. All ‘my people’ stood up and followed me. The Speaker raised his hand in seeming helplessness and the meeting came to an end. We later met the following day and clinked glasses. It was all a script.
That was what came to my mind as I watched on Channels TV the drama that accompanied Rotimi Amaechi’s confirmation as a Minister of the Federal Republic. I laughed so hard as I watched Senator Godswill Akpabio pretend to block Amaechi’s confirmation. I use the word ‘pretend’ knowingly because it’s all been carefully scripted. The whole scene was all too familiar. As Senator Olujinmi also spoke tongue in cheek, I shook my head at the familiarity of the script. Rotimi Amaechi was going to be confirmed. No Jupiter could stop that. But there had to be a script to save the head of the Senate President and also save the reputation of the ‘PDP opposition’ led by Akpabio. They knew the committee that sat on the petition was just a charade to entertain a public that loved African Magic and a population that grew up watching the Spanish telenovela ‘The Rich Also Cry’. So after all the drama, the PDP Senators ‘staged’ a walk-out leaving the room clear for the majority APC Senators to confirm Amaechi. The burden on Saraki’s neck eased. No one can accuse him of any misdemeanor. No one can also accuse the PDP Senators because they walked out. Everyone is happy including Rotimi Amaechi.
To confirm that it’s all a script, when Akpabio was asked by the Channels TV Reporter his views seeing Amaechi has been confirmed, Akpabio replied with a big smile on his face, “I’m not aware of what you’re saying. I’ve not been briefed”.
Dear long-suffering electorate, the joke is on you.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.