Home Opinion OYO101: AUXILIARY: The Rise And Fall Of Makinde’s Government-made ‘Monster’ | Muftau...

OYO101: AUXILIARY: The Rise And Fall Of Makinde’s Government-made ‘Monster’ | Muftau Gbadegesin

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Afrobeats star, Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, aka Burna Boy’s Grammy award-winning album, ‘Twice as Tall’, has a track titled ‘Monsters You Made’ featuring Chris Martin, the English singer and producer. The track angrily chronicled the evils of colonialism, imperialism, and widespread corruption on the African continent.

Combative, aggressive, and assertive, the track heartbreakingly speaks about wanton destruction and deliberate distortions of Africa’s rich cultural heritage and the richness of its mineral resources. Remarkably, Burna Boy’s lyrics went on to finger the complicity of African leaders in the carnage and barbarity meted out to their people.

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‘A Track of Fire’

In addition, the track added that the prevalence of corruption, greed, injustice, parochialism, cronyism, favouritism, and all sorts of wrongdoings that have plagued the continent wouldn’t have been possible without the overt and covert support and endorsement of leaders on the continent.

“If the government refuses to develop the region// And continues the marginalisation and injustice// The youth, that’s what’s coming after us// And it will be more brutal than what we have done,” a searing opening remark into the track by the late Ama Ata Aido, the Ghanaian author and poet, prophesized.

I am not here to criticise the Monsters You Made. This is partly due to my lack of experience as a music critic. But somehow, I found a profound connection between Burna Boy’s unsparing lyrics and the recent event in Oyo State. Let’s go back to Governor Seyi Makinde and his estranged de facto ‘terror-in-chief’, Mukaila Lamidi, also known as Auxiliary, aka Baba Rili.

‘One arrest. Many relieves’

For most residents of Alakia/Isebo/Iyana Church and surrounding neighbourhoods in Ibadan, the arrest of the notorious former NURTW chief by the operatives of the Department of State Services earlier this week was more than a comforting relief. He was the guy many residents wanted to vanish into thin air without a trace of his whereabouts.

That was because, as PMS boss, he was a usurper of people’s rights, a trampler on their freedom, and a kidnapper of their peace. He was a free man whose escapades quickly robbed others and infringed on their rights. Seyi Makinde’s government fully and entirely funded his monstrous actions.

When the police declared Auxiliary wanted in 2023 for armed robbery, murder, and kidnapping, observers believed his declaration was part of a larger plot to not only clip his flapping wings but also to reduce him to an unrecognisable tiny size.

Despite the destruction of his properties and his declaration as a wanted man, Auxiliary knew his time to fire back would come, leading his handlers to fear that he might return to hunt them.

‘An Indispensable Asset. A burdensome liability’

That was after the governor secured his re-election bid. His handlers knew about his atrocities but kept quiet because he was an indispensable asset. They were more aware than anyone else that the Auxiliary had the potential to thwart their ambitious plans if they failed to exercise caution.

However, once the need for him became utterly insignificant, the forces that propelled his ascendancy to fame and riches turned back to witness his spectacular and catastrophic fall.

Within four years, Auxiliary had risen to the peak of his career and fell quite on hard times, losing everything in the process. Auxiliary’s journey from a man whose convoys the governor only rivalled to a lone figure languishing in the DSS cell serves as a cautionary tale about the perils of power intoxication. But there is a deeper layer to the auxiliary’s rise and fall.

Recall that he granted an interview that quietly found its way into the public consciously, exposing some behind-the-scenes activities of the governor and his boys. In a sense, that interview, along with the subsequent backlash, merely served as provocative signals for those who desired his imprisonment to pursue and apprehend him: they believed that allowing him to roam freely would lead him to reveal more than necessary.

Remember that Auxiliary’s interview was a revelation of some important secrets about his relationship with the Governor—the kind of secrets those in government would prefer to keep secret. “Seye Famojuro, the governor’s most trusted ally in the build-up to the 2019 elections, approached me,” he told the interviewers in a thick Ibadan accent. “The essence of the visit was to secure my service as a respected underworld chief.”

“You know, Sunday Igboho used to give Makinde tough times at campaign grounds, so they came to me to help talk to him, and I did. After telling Igboho to stop bothering Makinde, I withdrew into my own world, believing the service was a one-off. But then, I was approached again that the service could not have been a one-off, marking the beginning of our collaborative efforts together. “Our job,” he noted in his usual rough voice, “was to protect them by all means.”.

‘Hunted Hunter’

Since his days as a disciple of Chief Adedibu, Auxiliary has always been the sort of guy sent to hunt and hurt political prey in their hideouts. Despite having worked as a bus conductor and active union member in Ibadan and Lagos, his propensity for political hooliganism only became apparent after he entered politics.

As an attack dog for politicians in those days and in the days that followed, the likes of the auxiliary only listened to instructions and did the bidding of their masters. Agents of the underworld trained not to have a mind of their own, political thugs are the incarnations of Luca Brasi, the notorious gangster in Mario Puzo’s The Godfather. Auxiliary sought sanctuary with the late Adebayo Alao-Akala after Adedibu’s death, but the government of the late Abiola Ajimobi yanked him into prison. Then 2019. As a man languishing in obscurity, Makinde’s government quickly gave him carte blanche to amass wealth, gain notoriety, become famous and then lose everything in one fell swoop.

‘End of an era’

Auxiliary’s arrest marked a significant milestone in Oyo State’s underworld politics, but it reverberated more than that. He rose to power and popularity but came tumbling like a common man. How else can power be defined? From a man who dined with the people at the helm of power to one sulking in the cell. The monster made by Makinde has now, for the most part, been tamed for peace to reign in the heart of the state. A kudos? Not so, really.

OYO101 is Muftau Gbadegesin’s opinion about issues affecting the Oyo state and is published every Saturday. He can be reached via @muftaugbade on X, muftaugbadegesin@gmail.com and 09065176850.

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