In the Christian holy bible, there was the story of Judas Iscariot, who was one of the appointed disciples of Jesus Christ opening the door of his heart for Satan to enter by betraying his master with thirty pieces of silver, which those who were bent on crucifying Jesus Christ offered him. The lure of lucre was so difficult to resist, as far as Judas was concerned.
In the mid-ninth century A.D, a young man named Michael III assumed the throne of the Byzantine empire and needed someone loyal who he could entrust with the post of chamberlain and chief councillor and he thought of no other person than Basilius a young groom from peasant Macedonian stock, whose courage and strength charms. Basilius with time turned out to be a frank stein monster who used the army loyal to him to murder Emperor Michael.
Proclaiming himself emperor, he rode his horse through the streets of Byzantium, brandishing the head of his former benefactor and best friend. Basilius was power drunk and he was not prepared to allow loyalty to a friend to scuttle his bizzare desire.
Shakespeare in his magnum opus ’Julius Ceasar’ also provided an inkling as to how betrayal manifest when Brutus moved against his friend Caesar with his co-traveller’s and the shock of Caesar when he ultered thus ‘Et te Brute’ (even you Brutus)
Story had it that the revolutionary Thomas Sankara once gave an interview to the press when he said that any day Blaise Compaore his revolutionary comrade comes after him, that it would be late for him to do anything. Embolden by that revelation and nursing the ambition of betraying a friend, he came after captain Sankara by toppling his government and killing him in the process. An act that gave credence to the statement of Robert Greene the author of 48 laws of power that “nothing is stable in the realm of power, and even the closest friends can be transformed into the worst enemy”.
Betrayal stories, mostly of the political kind do not exist in books and other countries, as it also has a life of its own in the Nigerian political space.
Chief Orji Kalu who had a running battle with former President Olusegun Obasanjo as a sitting governor of Abia state have always regale the press on the tale of how he staked everything to ensure that Chief Theodore Orji, his Chief of staff emerged as the governor of Abia State even when the later was thrown into jail.
After fighting like a wounded lion to secure victory for Chief Orji, he was later to be consigned to the bins of history for the eight years Chief Theodore Orji was in power.
Dr. Chris Ngige, after taking the loyalty oath with his then god-father, Chief Chris Uba at a point decided to call off the bluff of the later, which nearly caused him his seat if not for the intervention of well-meaning personalities. In Ngige’s calculation loyalty to the people, was much important than loyalty to a god-father.
Most people are aware of how former president Atiku Abubakar brought present governor of Kaduna state, Mallam El-Rufai into former President Obasanjo’s government and how he switched his loyalty to president Obasanjo leaving former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in the lurch.
As stories of political betrayals and other type of betrayal dots the landscape, history also must be kind to some great Nigerians who through their conducts have re-defined loyalty.
It is for that reason, that many Nigerian still doff their hat for former military governor of western region, colonel Adekunle Fajuyi for electing to die with General Agusyi Ironsi who was his host on July 29th, 1966. Fajuyi considered it disloyalty of the first order to look the other way, when the mutineer’s stormed government house Ibadan, looking for the head of the head of state on a platter of gold.
Another remarkable incident that brings to the fore legendary loyalty was when Kaase Aandokaa as Attorney-General and Minister of Justice under President Musa Yar’Adua government stood behind his principal like the rock of jubriter. Aandokaa was not ready to yield to the statement of the renowed author of 48 laws of power, Robert Greene, who opined that nothing is stable in the realm of power.
The former Attorney General loyalty to the man who appointed him was stable even when his health nosedived, putting him in a collision course with his fellow executive members, and even critics who have not forgiven him for saying that the president ‘can rule from anywhere’ when the civil societies insisted on power transmitted to then Vice President Dr. Goodluck Jonathans, which the then president did not do before traveling for his medical.
In this country, a serving colonel Abubakar Umar had to sacrifice his promising military career when he decided to opt out of the military in protest of the annulment of June 12 presidential election by General Ibrahim Babaginda in which Chief M. K. O. Abiola was said to have won. To colonel Umar, loyalty to democratic ideal was higher than personal pursuit.
Without dwelling much on the loyalty stories, where names like Adekunle Fajuyi, Kaase Aandokaa or colonel Abubakar Umar stuck to the mouth, it should be expected as we cruise into another election year in 2019 or before that loyalty will always at all-time be jettisoned at the alter of political exigency.
Dr. Uche Akunebu is an Abuja based media consultant and author.
DISCLAIMER:Opinion articles are solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers of Abia Breaking News