By Abidemi Fadahunsi
Killing for food has always been part of nature; while to provide food is a form of love. This, perhaps, sums up the relationship between former Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi and his political godfather and benefactor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. And it was what came to the mind of many when Afikuyomi was sighted at the seventh convocation ceremony of the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, where Tinubu was conferred with a honourary doctorate degree in Public Administration.
Online and offline, there is a consensus that the bulky politician has gone back to the man who literally butters his bread underscoring the fact that some men would pawn their integrity for a bottle of champagne– particularly if they are fair-weather politicians.
Indeed, there is no dignity in the life of a man living on a leash of another man’s cash. He will forever remain a sad excuse for man, a glorified errand boy whose lustre often extinguishes in the glitter of his benefactor’s wealth.
After a two-term stint as a senator, Afikuyomi threw his hat into the ring in the run-up to the 2007 governorship election but because Tinubu had anointed Babatunde Raji Fashola as his successor, he sought a different platform to actualise his ambition. Afikuyomi defected from the Action Congress to the All Nigeria People’s Party, ANPP, on which platform he contested and lost the governorship poll.
Shamefacedly, he returned to the party and was appointed Commissioner for Tourism. If Nigerians saw the appointment as a demotion of a sort – from a senator, governorship candidate to commissioner – Afikuyomi didn’t see it that way. For him, it was a means to remain in a political office. After the uproar that greeted his involvement in the acquisition of the Sunborn Yacht Hotel, he was quietly eased out after Fashola’s first term. Thereafter, he allegedly headed to Osun where he was an unofficial ‘Special Assistant’ to former Governor Rauf Aregbesola. But Osun is no Lagos and he soon relocated to London.
A few years after, he was brought back into the fold and was found worthy of some sensitive assignments, notably as Chairman of the state primaries of the All Progressives Congress held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, in May 2017. The primaries degenerated into an orgy of violence during which he was beaten blue-black by party thugs disgruntled with the leadership over the brazen imposition of candidates in the local government elections. He was also quite vocal in national issues especially as they concerned Tinubu.
Then, like a chameleon, he switched loyalty to former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode. At the time, the APC leadership in Lagos State had made up its mind not to give Ambode a second term but Afikuyomi stuck by him, thinking that if he beat the party leadership at its own game and secure the ticket, the end of Tinubu’s hold on Lagos’ politics had come. But that was not to be as Ambode was successfully denied a second term.
Thereafter, Afikuyomi disappeared into thin air until he resurfaced in Ado-Ekiti.
Indeed, there might be a truism in what Tinubu was once quoted as saying; “Adiye ni Tokunbo, yin agbado fun, a pada,” literally translated to mean (Tokunbo is a fowl, throw grains of corn at him and he would make an about-face). Oops!!!