Bola Tinubu, the Jagaban of Borgu, must not be abandoned by President Buhari and his cronies, if Nigeria will remain one by 2023. Bola Tinubu, the erstwhile governor of Lagos State is also the godfather of Lagos politics, having installed three governors in succession-Raji Fashola, Akinwunmi Ambode and Sanwo Olu.
Tinubu was among the three governors who refused to do the biddings of Ex-President Obasanjo when the fear of the Ota farmer amongst governors was the beginning of wisdom-Dariye, Alameseigha, Fayose, Ngige had tales to tell after collusion with the Obasanjo locomotive.
Tinubu was the godfather of Lagos who deployed high propaganda machinery to deliver Buhari from the most vicious arsenal of media henchmen assembled by Goodluck Jonathan and unleashed against him in 2014 including Femi Fani Kayode, Olisa Metuh, Reno Omokri and Nnamdi Kanu among others. Buhari was labelled a Boko Haram sponsor, Jihadist, Terrorist, Child Rapist whose aim is to Islamize Nigeria on the order of Uthman Dan Fodio.
All manners of lies were peddled against the Buhari bid for presidency, and some of us who supported the ex-general were alarmed at the levels of evil report propagated by the opposition upon Buhari’s head.
Many of the strangers licking the presidential soup pot and embezzling our collective wealth under different shades of political appointments may not appreciate what persons like Bola Tinubu put in to make the ouster of Jonathan possible.
I can name many of us who supported Buhari’s ascendancy to the throne, including journalists, columnists, bloggers, activists and writers from all walks of life, tribe and religion, who joined hands in educating Nigerians that the tag of 'Buhari the Jihadists' is propagandist mischief, and got international sympathy for him. I have no regret supporting Buhari because the financial profligacy under Jonathan if it had continued, would have hoisted another ‘Argentine Economic Crisis’ on Nigeria.
Boko Haram was throwing bombs inside Abuja, UN building was bombed, Force Headquarters was bombed, Emab Plaza was bombed, Nyanya park has not recovered from the deadly attack till two years ago when the place was opened up for activities.
I remember that a contingent of soldiers were stationed permanently at Goshen headquarter annex of Living Faith Church in Auta Balefi, near Abuja where the popular Bishop Abioye is the overseer, to prevent terrorist attacks on the facilities. Therefore, I have no regret supporting Buhari, but those feasting on the new national cake should not make the mistake of Jonathan era.
Jonathan first mistake after defeating Buhari at the polls in 2011 was to drag Tinubu to the Code of Conduct Tribunal on the guise that he has a foreign account. The details of how Tinubu escaped conviction from the CCB are not the subject of this piece. Tinubu abandoned Nuhu Ribadu, Presidential candidate of Action Congress, in a last minute alliance with Jonathan. In a write up in 2011 titled ‘How ACN Sold Ribadu To President Goodluck’, I revealed that
“The ACN leadership in response to the pact, refused to campaign for Ribadu Presidency. They refused to mobilize both funds and supporters for the Ribadu project while their counterpart PDP was campaigning for President Goodluck. The sweeping of the South West votes by the PDP was the result of the negligence. President Goodluck garnered 2,718,417 votes while ACN got 1,369,943 and CPC 321,609. The South West votes were the true reflection of how a party sacrificed its presidential candidate on the altar of expediency. This action secured the ACN a rigging free election for the rest of the South West . The PDP used the recent electoral malfeasance in Kogi and Adamawa States to remind the ACN that the gentleman’s agreement and trade by barter entered during the presidential election is over and the ruling party will not condone any encroachment on their political birthright”.
I continued further that,
“The ACN has not been particularly receptive to politicians of northern extraction . The former Vice President under Atiku Abubakar ran to the ACN in the hey days of his battles with Obasanjo and by the time he was tossed around by the party leadership he had no option than to return back to the PDP on another failed presidential project, this time around swallowed by incumbent President Goodluck. Nuhu Ribadu could not have become President under the circumstances but if the ACN had campaigned for him as expected, including release of logistics, including the never ending security votes, the ACN would have got at least 5 million votes around the country while the PDP vote would have reduced, occasioning a run off. Secondly, the PDP would not have been able to get the mandatory 25% votes in 2/3 states of the federation. A run off would have ensued and the ACN could negotiate a major role in government in exchange for their votes.”
Jonathan suffered for the attempt to use, dump and imprison Bola Tinubu, and the Jagaban has no business supporting Jonathan’s second term bid, when the first support earned a CCB probe.
Buhari’s men had hit Tinubu earlier. They schemed him out of things, a year after Buhari’s ascendancy to Aso Rock throne, and pacified him again, a year to the 2019 controversial election. Buhari’s men are about to dump Tinubu again and I forsee danger.
After my writeup titled ‘Presidency 2023: As Tinubu Swallows Orji Kalu, Okorocha, Akpabio, El-Rufai’….an APC stalwart boasted that they will soon swallow Tinubu, and give him the Orji Uzor Kalu treatment. When the plot to remove Oshiomhole failed I wrote another titled ‘Presidency 2023: Tinubu Swallows Fayemi, Amechi and Enemies of Oshiomhole ’ and the same chieftain boasted that they will give him an upper court. I was specifically told that soon Gaidom will be the National Chairman of APC. Though I didn’t doubt this power broker, I wondered how a Deputy National Secretary will become National Chairman, jumping all the lines of succession. When Oshiomhole was removed, I understood better.
I want to advise President Buhari, Mamman Daura , Sabiu Tunde Yusuf, Ibrahim Gambari, Boss Mustapha, Baba Gana Kingibe , and all the cabals in Aso Rock that Tinubu is as dangerous as Tompolo of Niger Delta fame. I warned Buhari and his men in private and public, with write up titled ‘Why Tompolo Must not be Arrested’ and another one titled ‘Tompolo Boys Defy Buhari , vow to Set Nigeria Ablaze’. I revealed emphatically what will happen if the Tompolo manhunt continues. I stated that:
“The dilemma is that if Tompolo surrenders, humiliation untold will accompany him. Ibori may be better than him. If Tompolo fights back, the nation will burn but Gbaramutu Kingdom will be another case of human rights violations in the hands of security agencies. If Tompolo capitulates, the Niger Delta struggle will be buried because this man has enough influence to marshal out formidable forces more than the rest of the groups.
“Tompolo have vowed to fight back. From what I gathered, has put his people on red alert in such a manner that if anything untoward happens to him, hell will be let loose on oil installations in such a manner that soldiers will be taken by surprise. To the best of my knowledge, he is ready to wreck more havoc, and is not ready to be humiliated like Nnamdi Kanu”
Government ignored my calls , and the blasting of oil pipelines, shortage of oil revenue and the hardships it brought on Nigerians, before Vice President Osinbajo’s ingenious and diplomatic intervention salvaged the situation, is the result of ignoring a warning that has all the insinuations of a security report.
I want to warn again that Tinubu can wreck Nigeria. He has worked hard for a united Nigeria and knows where to wreck it. Tinubu can wreck APC and make way for an Atiku presidency in PDP to be a reality. Tinubu can support IPOB and make the breakup of Nigeria a fluidic exercise. I know what I am saying and will not repeat it again.
Tinubu has not run out of options yet. Moreover, I don’t believe in somebody being used and dumped. I have never used and dumped anyone and I can never support such. Buhari must not allow himself to be used to fight other people’s proxy wars.
President Buhari should maintain his neutrality in the Tinubu fight with cabals within the north, dissents within his own Yoruba camp, and agitations for overdue Igbo Presidency. The Tinubu affair should be handled carefully, Let him not be abandoned by Buhari, let other contenders and interests for the 2023 presidency be equally accommodated within the context of emerging realities without necessarily making a mockery of Tinubu else the entity called All Progressive Congress is headed for explosion.
Obinna Akukwe, columnist, [email protected] , @obinnaakukwe