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Published February, 7th, 2010

The recent assassination of Otunba Dipo Dina, the Action Congress (AC) Ogun State standard bearer in the 2007 gubernatorial election has once again brought to the fore the bloodletting in the country’s politics. The last count according to media reports is the 53rd of such dastardly act in the annals of the nation. It is somehow difficult to decipher the real motive for the various reported cases of assassinations in Nigeria .

Several of the assassination cases however are politically motivated. Indeed, the assassins are in our midst. They have their sponsors who are often the mighty ones. One thing that cannot be denied is that the quest for pecuniary gains predisposes the assassins into the killing venture. In carrying out this devilish act, the assassins employ sophisticated weapons.

Of course, cases of assassination portray us as a nation of ungodly people. Also, the mind of assassins shows degeneracy into which our people’s minds have been besieged, otherwise why should a normal human being develop the stout guts to eliminate another human being. It is a pure madness and notoriety of highest order snuffing life out of innocent citizens. One basic truism about the sponsors of the assassination is psychotic quest for vengeance and desperate desire for fame, money and power. Some out of cerebral imbalance and some do it to settle personal grudge. This further establishes that man naturally has a evil spirit in him which is often accentuated by sadistic propensity, greed, lust for power and prevalence of poverty in the land.

Obviously, we are in a state of anomie as result of pervasive insecurity of lives and property everywhere. All of us must rise up to the challenge of fighting the menace because it constitutes a threat to our collective psyche as a people. The outsiders are looking at us as a country peopled by desperados. The amazing thing about the tales of assassination is that the assassins are products of our corrupt society.

Tenacity of office by the political office holders sometimes induces assassination of the opponents. Evidence also abound that in a desperate power game, opposition are usually hunted into hibernation through attempted or outright assassination. Somehow, poor political culture and socialization of most the nation’s politician truly encouraged political assassinations. It is a culture bestowed on the nation by the ruling elite in an attempt to dominate the political space.

There is also an unending controversy over the role of the state in some of the cases of assassinations. In my own view, no responsible government will choose to kill any of its citizens for ventilating divergent opinions about the state policies. However, lack of swiftness in the government responses to cases of assassination could justify people continuous insistence that the state usually have hands in some of the unresolved cases of assassination in Nigeria .

Of equal importance is the fact that south west out of the six geo-political zones has recorded the highest cases of assassination in Nigeria since the period of independence. What started as political expediency following the military putsch of January 15, 1966 and the counter – coup of July 29, 1966 , when many politicians and military officers were assassinated has become a common phenomenon in Nigeria . The elastic murder chain in the south west has become a social virus which seems to be escalating to the rest part of the country. As the infestation is sweeping all over the nation, the general insecurity of the citizens is becoming manifest.

In fact, political assassination is becoming more prevalence under the present political dispensation. Politicians in playing the power game had assassinated many of their opponents as part of the strategy to acquire or sustain themselves in power. It seems the police are helpless in unraveling the motive and the true identity of those behind the reported cases of assassination. Possibly because of the people involved. The price tag for the volunteers of information has never yielded desirable result. Even when government claim ignorance of perpetrators of these barbaric and animalistic killings, people continue to raise insinuation about the state involvement.

Again, arrest of suspects in connection with cases of assassinations hardly led to successful prosecution. That is why many consider police incompetent when it comes to investigation and prosecution of cases of assassination. If the police could fail to unravel the rationale behind the murders of outstanding persons or probably identify the sponsors, it means the cases of hundred of other citizens of unknown class killed in similar circumstances are likely to be treated with levity.

Another interesting thing is that police report usually tell the story of armed robbery incident even when the assailants do not dispossess their prey of personal belongings. As people shedding deceitful tears and registering condolences, family of the deceased remain the ones groaning over the dilemma caused by the assassination.

Candidly, a mere parade of the suspects or the hollow ritual of media coverage of the person’s paraded by the police as the killers is not enough measure to bring to book the perpetrators of the gruesome murders.

Back to Dipo Dina’s assassination which is the newest in the growing list of unresolved political killings. His brutal assassination portends a great danger about the future of the Nigeria Democracy. Yes, the murder of Dipo Dina shows that all is not well on the political turf in Ogun State. Quiet commendable is the insistence by Vice President Goodluck Jonathan that the security agencies must get to the bottom of wanton killing of an industrious son of Ogun State , Otunba Dipo Dina.

The question which continues to agitate mind of the concerned citizens therefore: is what could have been the motive? This is because when Dipo Dina contested with the incumbent governor Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State in 2007 gubernatorial election, he did not challenge the result of the election in court. And again, is it part of the scheming and political calculation to determine the outcome of 2011 elections in Ogun State .

Besides, the recent statement credited to Governor Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State while fielding the questions on a special interview programme tagged Governor’s forum that Ogun was the only state where there is allegedly a killer squad. This is enough reason for our security agencies to thoroughly investigate the mindless murder. Whatever it is, Dipo Dina’s case should not be allowed to increase the list of unresolved assassinations in the country. In combating the menace also, spiritual cleansing and moral re awakening of souls already afflicted by social decadence need to be given priority by both the government and religious institutions.


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