From Political Superstardom to Obscurity:
Can Dimeji Bankole Make a Comeback?

After 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 charisma.

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 political activities.

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 kills!”

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 diet.

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.



(C) Planet Leadership World Resources, 2018