Political Superstardom to Obscurity:
Can Dimeji Bankole Make a Comeback?
the extinction of Patricia Etteh, the first woman to
emerge as Speaker of the Nigerian House of
Representatives in 2007, Dimeji Bankole danced into the
limelight as 9th Speaker of the House of November 1,
2007, few weeks to his 37th birthday, making him the
youngest Speaker in the history of the House.
He was young, charismatic- had an electrifying smile.
His youth was appealing, it was no surprise that he
emerged as a celebrity politician. He was fun to watch,
with him Nigerian youths had hope that their time had
come. Then he failed to win a re-election back to the
House in 2011.
A wave of allegations of misappropriation of tens of
millions of dollars of government funds followed him
after his exit from the House. He was arrested and
detained. Eventually, he was cleared with his former
deputy Usman Nafada. From there, Bankole started his
descent into oblivion. Yet Nigerians still missed his
That was before he faded out of the limelight. Maybe,
his political career would have been revived when he
nursed the idea of contesting for the governorship of
his state in 2015, under the platform of the People’s
Democratic Party, PDP. That idea got ruptured when he
was kicked out of the Ogun State chapter of PDP. And
then his daughter, Yewande died - of sickle cell anemia.
Dimeji Bankole was devastated and withdrew from all
In the words of Bernard Kelvin Clive, Author, Speaker,
Trainer, and Ghana's foremost authority on Personal
branding and Digital Publishing, “One of the worse state
to be in, is to be ignored. Obscurity like insecurity
Dimeji Bankole wants to come out of self-imposed
political obscurity. He wants to come back to the
limelight. Ahead of the 2019 general elections, he has
emerged as the governorship candidate of the Action
Democratic Party in Ogun State.
Can the dry bones come back to life? Eight years is such
a long time to be out of circulation for a man who
operated as a shooting star, but miracles do happen,
especially in a society where discontent is now a staple
In a country like Nigeria where feelings of nostalgia
can play a part in making a choice between the good, the
bad and the ugly, Dimeji Bankole has as good a chance as
any other candidate.