By Babatunde Jakande
By chance I met a Deputy Governor elect in a social gathering in London. He was introduced to me by a friend. After chatting for some moments and tons of questions, he asked if I would not mind an appointment as his special adviser on media after being sworn in office.
I wanted to know if he could let me think about it. He gave me his number. My friends encouraged me to take the offer and presented a bigger picture of the implication of serving in that position.
I came to Nigeria and visited his palatial white house. He seemed genuinely happy and enthusiastic to see me. It was during Salah celebration and he must have killed a thousand of rams because i never saw that much food all at once. It was more than enough for the hundred of guests.
I think i must have shuttled the Lagos-Ibadan expressway over hundred times in two months. Come next week then next week and next week was the sing song that came with every visit.
Some people advised me to see the then Ibadan strong man Chief Lamidi Adedibu, who dictated who got what then, I did. He asked if I was from the same Lateef Jakande and I said yes.
He seemed really pleased. Told me no problem. He pulled out cash from no where and stuffed in my hands. Fifty Thousand was a lot of money to give to someone you did not know from Adams. Eventually the deputy Governor called me unexpectedly and asked me to see him in the office.
I contemplated packing a suitcase because I thought I might just resume work. Tunde he said?, three criteria were needed for this job. Merit, party affiliation and state of origin. You qualified by Merit, I told my leaders you are a card carrying party member ( I wasn’t) but with your surname I could not tell them you are from this state. Am so sorry its above me now but don’t worry I will ensure you get a couple of contracts.
He reached for an envelope which I suspected should be cash in the range of twenty thousand or so by the size. I laughed, The back and forth, wasted two months doing nothing flashed before me. I said I did not need the money and left.
Today i feel funny when I see people from other states being offered appointment in my state on a platter of gold. I cannot help but wonder on the rightness or wrongness of it all.