Voodoo in Ogun State Politics

The news out of Ogun State would be amusing, indeed even hilarious, were its real implications for governance in Nigeria not so tragic. The bizarre accounts of an alleged blood oath involving the Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and some members of the state’s House of Assembly looked remarkably similar to some plots that have become standard fare in the Nollywood genre.

But this is no Nollywood flick, not according to statements by the dramatis personae as reproduced in the media.


The statements suggest that prior to the 2007 elections, the governor and legislators, as a strategy to assure the second-term election of Daniel, and government patronage to others involved, consulted a marabou who asked that they produce their own blood; and to swear by it by exchanging it among themselves, and then drinking it to seal the deal.

To demonstrate their commitment to the pact, according to the accounts, each participant, with the probable exception of the marabou, was required to take the oath in stark nakedness. It is not clear yet whether there was a rule that the unusual occasion be preserved in some form, such in video recording or in still pictures.

Whatever the agreement was, a still photograph of what appeared to be the image of a completely naked member of the Ogun State House of Assembly, has emerged, and been reproduced and published in newspapers, and shown on at least two national television channels, along with the story behind it.

The man in question, who was named in the media as Mr Wale Alausa, has, in effect spilled the beans, virtually admitting that such an oath-taking ceremony did take place, and pointing the finger at Chief Daniel as the Convener in Chief and mastermind. And then the worms began crawling out of the woodwork.

The stench from this strange episode is such that we would ignore it only at the expense of our effort to enthrone a national political ethic that meshes with 21st century civilization.


The spectacle presented by these politicians is all the more troubling when viewd against the backdrop of what is happening on the nation’s university and polytechnic campuses, regarding the spreading problem of cultism and the ongoing fight to combat it. They roil against the practice; they threaten school administrators with sanctions if they do not curb the practice, or even stamp it out; they propose legislations and enact laws to punish those engaged in it, and those who abet it. Yet here we are.

The architects of all these are themselves closet cultists; the difference now being that with these revelations, if indeed they prove to be true, and they have not been irrefutably denied, these same politicians now have no clothes on.


More than the Okija Shrine episode involving former Anambra State governor, Dr Chris Ngige, the incident in Ogun State goes beyond the primordial barbarity that it embodies. It illustrates the stark futility of relying on this cadre of our generation of leaders to be creative in designing programmes that could move our society away from primitive and harmful practices, to a modern era befitting a developing country of the status of Nigeria.

If some in the leadership are desirous of taking this country to greater heights so that it can take what we envisage to be its rightful position among the comity of twenty most developed nations of the world by the year 2020, and others are active participants in plots that primes the country in the opposite direction, we would actually be moving backwards to a prehistoric era of dark caves and potent concoctions, including, as in the case of Ogun State, voodoo and blood rituals.


It also shows why we having trouble getting our politicians to have faith in the efficacy, efficiency and power of the ballot box, a modern contraption in which the people, not fetishes and the occults, hold sway.


The implications are too dire to be ignored. That is why we call on the appropriate agencies to wade in and go to the bottom of the issue. All the people involved must be unmasked.

The mere admission of involvement, and trying to rationalise the practice, does not preclude all those involved from either voluntarily, or through some form of coercive means, to vacate their present public positions without further delay.

They are not fit to hold office. If Daniel and Alausa are the leaders they claim they are, they should lead the way. Their continuing stay is a stain on our national character and an insult to Nigerians.