He is called Jagaban and a political guru; a kingmaker and consummate political strategist. A formidable opposition leader and leader of many political sons and daughters whose time it is to pay back the political favours Bola Ahmed Tinubu dispensed over many years.
The time and moment has come to reap the fruit of his many years of political toils and strategies. He is a political father who waited for his sons and daughters to eat first before he ate. It is such a graceful gesture and magnanimity. He is a father after all.
As a political guru, Mr. Tinubu waited until he was frail to eat the last burnt and tasty food in the pot. Many people enjoy and crave that part of food. After all, a palm wine drinker saves the last for a full fermented and alcoholic content.
But like the burnt food, the Jagaban tends to burn his political outing with his quintessential strategies.
Tinubu seems to believe that old wine tastes good. He first supported a frail, elderly Buhari who regretted not being president at his younger age and lamented that there is “a limit to what he can accomplish.” Buhari supervised the ‘burning’ of the country – from insecurity, poor health sector, and comatose education sector to inflation driven economy among others. In 2022, President Buhari still thinks that an alleged gazette on grazing routes should be dug up to recreate the routes for his favoured cows and herders. As if that is not enough, Mr. Tinubu in his frailty, cried out, “It is my turn”! He said, “I went to his (Buhari) home in Katsina, I told him you would contest and win, but you won’t joke with the matters of the Yorubas… (Now), it is my time, I’m educated, I’m experienced. I have been serving people for a long time, bring me the presidency, it is my turn.”
Old wine may taste good based on wealth of experiences but old wine tastes sour too. The sour ideas of president Buhari have driven Nigeria on a steep sloped hill to crash. At this time, fresh, youthful ideas should be embraced to tackle the numerous issues that have become apparent and nearly institutionalised by the Buhari’s administration.
Many outbursts and missteps and his frailty have raised questions on Tinubu’s master strategy. The, it is my turn show of entitlement, the insensitive Muslim – Muslim ticket he is running on, his disdain on labour in saying that Nigerians will labour till they die, and the dressing up of charlatans to pose as Bishops and pastors in mockery of Christianity.
These happened in succession which shows his arrogance and desperation to answer Mr. President.
If Tinubu is such a master strategist, he will not aim to mock and alienate half of the country based on religion, because he is looking for votes. This idea is not good for national unity.
He stated that “In 1993, Nigerians embrace Chief MKO Abiola and a fellow Muslim running mate, Baba Gana Kingibe in one of our fairest elections ever held. The spirit of 1993 is upon us again in 2023.”
The spirit of 1993 is far from being upon Nigeria. Religion didn’t matter as much as it matters now. A strategist works with the present and learns from history while projecting the future. Even if religion didn’t matter then, MKO was adjudged to have won the election but he didn’t live to be the president. Is Tinubu wishing for the fate of MKO?
Like MKO, Tinubu picked his running mate from Borno; Kashim Shettima, who is also trying to alienate a section of the country in his latest interview where in a condescending manner, aimed at Igbo people, he said, “Peter Obi can only become a President in Igboland but definitely not in Nigeria. Nigeria is too big for him to handle.”
I have not read where Tinubu condemned the statement of his Vice Presidential candidate nor his party the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In 1993, MKO Abiola reportedly said that “he could do without Igbo.” The Association for Better Nigeria (ABN), a group led by late Chief Arthur Nzeribe wanted to prove to Mr. Abiola that there was no way he could do without the Igbo. Two days to the election, the Abuja High Court, in response to a suit filed by the Association, issued an injunction against the June 12 election, with the assistance of the military government in power, aimed to frustrate and truncate the transition programme. Despite that, Igbo people voted for Abiola in the spirit of national unity.
In the same spirit of 1993 which Tinubu resurrected, is he following in the footsteps of MKO in wanting to do without the Igbo? Tinubu is yet to visit any Igbo state in consultation for his turn to realise his ambition. Is he trying to alienate the Igbo? What type of government will he lead if he wins? Will he adopt president Buhari’s 97% vs 5%?
As Mr. Tinubu, who seems to be shielded by the media, journeys to his turn for the presidency, here is a man who toiled for many years to be close to his ambition in his frailty – a time Nigerians will not wish for another frail, elderly president. What a man and his moment; what a strategy.