Luca Brasi, the legendary bodyguard to Don Vitto Corleone was described befittingly by Mario Puzo in his best selling thriller, The Godfather, as a man who did not fear the police, he did not fear society, he did not fear God, he did not fear hell, he did not fear or love his fellow man. But he had elected, he had chosen, to fear and love Don Corleone.
Astoundingly, in return as Puzo thoughtfully captured it, Brasi was made powerful, invincible, untouchable, and above all, unimpeachable.
He was the law unto himself. He could do, undo and redo— unchecked. With mirthful precision, he carried out his assignments. Ruthless. Heartless. Fearless. He was a nemesis, a fearful figure to other powerful families in town; God’s worst punishment on earth. He crushed enemies with brutal accuracy. Fiercely loyal. Unflinching. Unperturbed. As one of the great blocks that supported Don’s power structure, Brasi’s type as Puzo says was a rarity; in a sense, Brasi quivers not, never loses guard, and never catches a cold; he’s the backbone, the building block, the engine room, the brain behind the all-time powerful Corleone’s safety, dignity, and above all, his political fortress.
Don Corleone would later confess in the treatise that, to build an enduring power structure and consolidate on current gains, it is crucial to have dare-devil guards who are simplistically ready to die in the service of something crucially vital and higher than their existence: their benefactor. Putting this formidable trick firmly on the ground will send strong warning to past, present, and future foes, that indeed you are not anybody’s: pushover.
Paradoxically, politicians of Nigeria’s extraction seem to swallow Don Corleone’s apt enlightenment hook, line, and sinker. From Lagos to Lokoja, Benue to Bauchi, Ibadan to Ilorin, the story is the same; politicians pick random troublesome guys from the street, polish them, give them food, buy them toys and unleash them on their opponents as agents of intimidation, oppression, and victimization. Unsurprisingly, Nigeria’s politics is saturated with all manners of charlatans, ruffians, and dangerous elements, the type that should be cooling their feet in the four walls of the penitentiary.
In Ibadan, Mr. Mukaila Lamidi aka Auxiliary is the Luca Brasi. His Godfather, Governor Seyi Makinde. In Lagos, Mr. Musiliu Akinsanya aka MC Oluomo is the Luca Brasi. His Godfather, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. In both instances, the motive is the same: no one dares the boss. In the years preceding the emergence of Governor Seyi Makinde in the state, for example, no one seems interested in Mr. Auxiliary’s life and lifestyle. Safe that people know Late Abiola Ajimobi ensured he’s yanked off into Lagos prison without blinking his eyes. Cleverly, Governor Seyi Makinde was credited to have single-handedly picked Mr. Auxiliary up, washed him, feed him, and made him King; one whose love and loyalty must be in the service of the Governor. He was made the King with flamboyant convoy to serve the Godfather – whether in Osogbo, Ado Ekiti or Oke Ado.
Peremptorily, there is an unwritten rule in politics that states thus: you must be loved and feared in the same equal proportion. The common man must love you by fire or propaganda. People loved Ajimobi by fire – through the power of his tongue. The constituted authority himself; on the contrary, GSM is mostly loved on account of sophisticated propaganda, mind game – and of course his reliance on people like Mr. Auxiliary. In addition, people must also admire you. You must look good even though you are bad. You must be cherished; and perhaps, People must call you the savior, messiah, and ironically, demi-god.
At that same dizzying proportion, they must fear you. They must know your gentle mien must never be misconstrued as a sign of weakness. They must know you are a lion whose thunderous roar must be tied to a hunting expedition. They must know their limits. Their boundaries. And when they breach, they must be dealt with appropriately. Nicolo Machiavelli said enemies must be crushed once – brutally and deadly.
In a sense, nobody fears and loves Governor Seyi Makinde in the same equal proportion as Mr. Mukaila Lamidi. For the Governor was the one who gave him life through Park Management Service.
In return, Mr. Auxiliary built an army of guards whose entire existence is tied to the apron strings of his cordiality with the Governor. So when news filtered that the state Government has rolled out stringent measures to clip PMS wings and by extension, Mr. Auxiliary’s unchecked ruthlessness, those who know the raison d’etre behind the formation of PMS knew the measure is at best watery, self-serving, and at worst ineffective. They believe in times of politics and politicking, the least a politician could do is to appear soft, light-headed, and simple-minded.
As this essayist has noted in previous interventions on this subject matter, the formation of PMS by the current administration is perhaps going to be the most avoidable embarrassment as we inch closer to the next election. In part, because it would be the easiest tool in the hands of opposition elements in attacking the government’s overall performance; consequently, the state government would find itself between the rock and the hard place in defending that simple but counterproductive among other decisions in days, weeks and perhaps, months to come.
OYO101, is Muftau Gbadegesin’s opinion on issues affecting Oyo state, is published on Saturdays. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org and 09065176850