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Tenant Of The House By Wale Okediran

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When he was elected into the House of Representatives in 2003, Dr. Wale Okediran, former President, Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) had a multiple mandate emanating from different quarters.

From his primary constituency in Oyo State, which voted him into power on the platform of Action Congress (AC), Okediran had the mandate of changing the lives of his people better than how he met them before election.

From his literary constituency, he had the intuitive mandate of delivering a book about his political experience. Three years after leaving office, Okediran finally delivered his mandate with a book launch recently at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos. The writer and politician publicly presented his new work entitled Tenants Of The House.

Described by the reviewer, Dr Reuben Abati, Chairman Editorial Board of The Guardian as a factional work, the book is an account of Okediran’s three-year experience in the lower legislative chamber. The book also presents a chronicle of the intrigues and politicking that go on in the House as well as the manoeuvrings surrounding the infamous third term agenda of ex-President, Olusegun Obasanjo among other issues.

Commending the author, Ambassador Toyin Akeju described the book as a courageous effort and a major contribution to politics in Nigeria. On his part, Senator Olorunibe Mamora described his presence at the occasion as a personal honour to a long-lasting friend since their undergraduate days at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University).

The former Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly while likening the book to the classic novel, Animal Farm by George Orwell, described it as a satire of sorts. His words, “It reveals the desperate length politicians in Nigeria can go to actualise their dreams. It also depicts the disregard for morality and the fear of God prevalent in the polity.But I stand to take an exception to that kind of politics”

Also joining in commending the author, Gov Mimiko observed that the author’s love for writing and passion for politics had been entwined while they were both undergraduates at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ife.

For Hon Abike Dabiri, the decision of the author not to run for a second term in the lower legislative arm of government was a ‘loss of one of the good hands’ in the house. Dabiri went on to eulogize Okediran for his key roles in frustrating the third term ambition of the former president, which is well documented in the book.

Tenants of the House is a skillful depiction of the ugly underbelly of Nigerian politics unveiling the intrigues, chicanery, and greed pervasive within the country’s political and legislative processes. The book is a fictionalized account of the author’s experiences while serving in the country’s House of Representatives. It portrays with gripping suspense a nation in dire need of moral rejuvenation. The extent to which corruption dictates the fate of a country is best summarised by one of the honourables, Moses Adeyi, who says, "Who will stand up for anything except his stomach. All people want is money to eat."

But all in all, ‘Tenants of the House’, is a very interesting and revealing read built on an intriguing plot that engage the reader and guarantee the pages keep turning until the very last. It is one of the most exhilarating novels out there.
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