Only the living can play opposition by Gbenga Samuel-Wemimo


I followed the APC primaries since 2015 with keen interest, but hitherto, covering the period of our return to democracy in 1999 to the last year of PDP’s misrule, I had very little interest in Nigerian politics because it seems politicians are so blinded by their ambition; so much so that they will stop at nothing to win elections. Stories of human sacrifices, cultism, fetish oath swearing, kidnappings, elected officials forced to resign under duress, violence and assassinations, dotted the landscape of Nigerian politics.

It was like the western movies where the fastest to draw, wins the spoils of war. This was essentially the PDP way!

Bankrolled by retired military men whose mentality it is to deal with any bloody civilian who dared challenge their ambition in a political contest, the party equally attracted many civilian godfathers whose followerships are thugs and hooligans.

If you had serious intentions to run for political office in Nigeria between 1999 and 2015, there were two things you must have.

  1. At least one bullet proof car
  2. A bullet proof vest

In the event that you paid the ultimate sacrifice for your ambition, the one thing your family members must never hope for is justice! Your killers will never be found, arrested or prosecuted because well…


The background of the APC was deep in the resistance movement against the military junta that preceded the 1999 hand over. And when the APC brokers were seeking to oust the PDP from power ahead of the 2015 polls, I prayed that they would refrain from adopting the PDP’s “eliminate the opposition” strategy.

Politics without opposition is oppression!

It is worthy of note that political assassinations have ebbed significantly since the APC came to power in 2015 and equally befuddling that a state like Ekiti would hold primaries, have some violence, hold the primaries again and all the aspirants will willingly come together to form a campaign committee.

That is a political evolution worthy of applauding.

In 2014, a year to the 2015 general elections, the drums of war were already being beaten by the PDP and their cronies. Asari Dokubo said boldly that Nigeria will burn if Former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was not re-elected, while Tompolo stated categorically that Nigeria will break. Here we are in 2018, one year to the general elections and there is nothing of such in the news.

No one is calling for sorrow, tears and blood.

Wailers are wailing in peace, Hailers are hailing in peace, neutrals are going about their businesses as usual and sanity is here.

The threat of violence, war and harm has always been a PDP thing, Nigeria’s Police chief, Sunday Ehindero, once alerted the National Assembly of the alarming security situation in Nigeria just before the 2007 elections;

“Now coming down to the security situation in the country in relation to the 2007 elections, I have to inform you that we have arms in large quantities in our society; proliferation of arms and ammunitions in our society…There is a big threat of proliferation of arms and ammunitions in this country. Some politicians do carry arms during rallies. Students have been caught with arms and ammunitions on their way to conventions, armed robbers carry sophisticated arms more than ever before. Cultism is rampant in our colleges, polytechnics and universities; some students’ cultists have turned to armed robbers; some have been turned into tools in the hands of some politicians. From May 1, 2005 to August 22, 2006, over 1, 265 armed robbery suspects were arrested, 724 arms recovered and 27, 825 ammunitions were also recovered”

Writing in a similar vein during the same period, Edwin Madunagu stated

 “Of all the political developments that currently bother me, the one most difficult for me to analyze and comprehend, appears be the new regime of political assassination in the south-east zone of Nigeria. General Sani Abacha’s junta first professionalized political assassination, and then developed it into a systematic method of fighting the “enemies” of the state in general and the supporters of Chief Moshood Abiola in particular. After the death of the general and the inauguration of Obasanjo’s government, the nation enjoyed a brief assassination-free period. Then the evil regime returned- thus confirming the thesis that a political weapon, once it emerges out of historical circumstances, does not simply disappear, and is not withdrawn at will… I can, without being cynical, advise a Nigerian politician who is scared by the spectre of political assassinations, to disengage publicly from politics, and be seen to have done so… Whereas before Olusegun Obasanjo became president, the struggle was not altogether a “do-or-die affair”, it has now become so”

A magazine columnist in Nigeria once wrote “If you want to die, join Peoples Death Party (PDP)”. He was actually making reference to the spate of killings, although not exclusively, but more rampant within the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Nigeria.

A few of those who were allegedly assassinated for political reasons are listed below

  1. Kola Tokunbo; January 31, 1999; Lagos; Shot; Unresolved.
  2. Patrick Okoye; January 31, 1999; Lagos; Shot; Unresolved.
  3. Sunday Ugwu; September 9, 1999; Enugu; Shot; Unresolved.
  4. Igwe Francis Nwankwo; February 15, 2000; Anambra; Shot; Unresolved.
  5. Nicholas Okhuakhua; June 2000; Lagos; Shot; Unresolved.
  6. Mohammed Shuaibu; September 2000 Lagos; Shot; Unresolved.
  7. Obatou Mumbo; October 17, 2000; Onitsha; Shot; Unresolved.
  8. Idowu Braimoh; November 5, 2000; Ondo; Shot; Unresolved.
  9. Joseph Osayande; December 4, 2000; Benin; Shot; Unresolved.
  10. Chief Layi Balogun; December 10, 2000; Lagos; Shot; Unresolved.
  11. Monday Ndor; August 19, 2001; Port Harcourt; Shot; Unresolved.
  12. Onyebuchi Ede; August 23, 2001; Ebonyi; Shot; Unresolved.
  13. Chibueze Idah; August 23, 2001; Ebonyi; Shot; Unresolved.
  14. Ogbonna Odimbaiwe; August 23, 2001; Ebonyi; Shot; Unresolved.
  15. Ifeanyi Nnaji; August 23, 2001; Ebonyi; Shot; Unresolved.
  16. Odunayo Olagbaju; December 20, 2001; Ife; Shot; Unresolved.
  17. Chief Bola Ige; December 23, 2001; Ibadan; Shot; Unresolved.
  18. S.A. Awoniyi; January 7, 2002; Abuja; Stabbed; Unresolved.
  19. Eyo Eyo; April 2002; Calabar; Shot; Unresolved.
  20. Ifeanyi Igbokwe; April 18, 2002; Lagos; Shot; Unresolved.
  21. Musa Dayo; May 9, 2002; Bauchi; Shot; Unresolved.
  22. Christopher Ogbonna; May 26, 2002; Nsukka; Shot; Unresolved.
  23. Maria-Theresa Nsa; June 11, 2002; Cross River; Shot; Unresolved.
  24. Afeaiye Anthony Igbafe and O.J Offiong. Stabbed shot and hacked to death
  25. Chief & Mrs. Barnabas Igwe; September 1, 2002; Onitsha; Shot; Unresolved.
  26. Ogbonnaya Uche; February 8, 2003; Owerri; Shot; Unresolved.
  27. Emenike; February 13, 2003; Imo; Shot; Unresolved.
  28. Theodore Agwatu; February 22, 2003; Owerri; Shot; Unresolved.
  29. Emily Omope; March 3, 2003; Ibadan; Shot; Unresolved.
  30. Marshal Harry; March 5, 2003; Abuja; Shot; Unresolved.
  31. Bala Mai-Haice; March 17, 2003; Yamal tu Deba; Shot; Unresolved.
  32. Ajibola Olanipekun; June 21, 2003; Ibadan; Shot; Unresolved.
  33. Aminosoari Dikibo; February 6, 2004; Delta; Shot; Unresolved.
  34. Lateef Olaniyan; July 16, 2005; Ibadan; Shot; Unresolved.
  35. Peter Eboigbe August; 11, 2005; Benin; Shot; Unresolved.
  36. Chief Funsho Williams; July, 2006; Lagos; shot; unresolved.
  37. Ayo Daramola; 2006; Ekiti; Shot; unresolved.
  38. Abayomi Ogundeji; Lagos; shot; unresolved.
  39. Bayo Ohu; Lagos; shot; unresolved.
  40. Bagauda Kalto.
  41. Charles Nseigbe; Nov. 21, 2009; shot; unresolved.
  42. Otunba Dipo Dina; Jan. 25, 2010; shot; unresolved.

The only state where you can hear of political assassinations, violence, fracas and disturbance on a disturbing level under this present dispensation is Rivers state. The PDP’s stronghold in the Niger-Delta and a reminder of what the albatross was before it was tossed aside for sanity

Nigerians must not love their chains so much that they will forget how to yearn for freedom, many have argued that the PDP is better than the APC, carcass is always good food to a vulture but an eagle will be disgusted by such.


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