#Nigeria #Politics #APC #Buhari #Tinubu
I have repeatedly believed and said Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the most progressive politician in Nigeria alive because he has demonstrated it with Lagos even though people argue that the level of the development is not commensurate with the revenue but they forget that even the revenue itself they are discussing is the handiwork of the man and they should equally remember that no other state has utilized as much as he has albeit selflessly for the development of the state and the people. For these and more, I have immense admiration and respect for the man.
I was moved to write today’s piece after waking up to barrages of photographs to the effect that Asiwaju is back from his medical sojourn and it has become a trending topic in the country and beyond and I’m aware only critical people get this much free advertisement and for the positive for that matter because all I see is some sort of celebration by so many. Another video of the launch of SWAGA 2023 is also trending alongside the return photographs. If these don’t attract an attention for a write up, what will do more.
Let me go a little deeper to analyze how Tinubu has been a man of very few words since the advent of this administration and that left him out of the mainstream media for most of the time but regardless of that you cannot erase or not come across his footprints everywhere through his mentees and the work they do regardless of whether some of them have chosen to be snitches or not. Regardless of his being quiet and respecting himself to a large extent, people have refused to let him drink some water and drop the cup without attempting to dig dip and make a meaning out of a simple personal medical trip for example, when did it become a crime to get ill and seek attention. However, that is the price of leadership and one that is consequential so one can understand.
For those who do not know, Tinubu had been in politics for practically all his life, even his little stint at the private sector was all about his efforts at expanding his network and forging a democratic front that he wanted to see Nigeria key into also. That left him in so many controversial circumstances including exile and so on. They persevered until they finally succeeded and Obasanjo rode on the sympathy of their activities to become the president while Asiwaju became the governor of Lagos state and the rest is now history.
Fast forward to today and check the empire that Tinubu has been able to build around the south west and Nigeria at large, some people misconstrue him to be a regional leader but I see those people as not critical enough to understand that people are free to maintain their identity while pursuing whatever, so yes Tinubu is a Yoruba man but for all the time his political party the ACN has produced northern presidential candidates in Ribadu and Atiku Abubakar other than the AD which produced Olu Falae in 1999 for obvious reasons. You cannot erase a jew’s identity regardless of his being an American and loving America to death. Asiwaju has demonstrated maturity and a sense of love for Nigeria while maintaining his identity and this is what any reasonable persona should do, in fact it should be a virtue that should demonstrate people who can be trusted, people who are not hypocrites.
Having said all these, I thought it was only fair for politics to pay back such an individual in whatever capacity. There are those who argue within the APC that Asiwaju must be cut to size and I ask for what crime? For working together to provide a platform for them to come to a position they would have only dreamt of in their lifetime? This must be the highest form of treachery if indeed there are people who discuss that sort of narrative in the party. Some of them were not born when Tinubu started to contribute to this venture and his own type is not theirs because he has been committed to ensuring the provision of mentorship and development of people who came across him. Is it because of all these qualities that they hate him or because they are intimidated and envious that they have not amassed as much goodwill. APC must be truthful to itself and engage Asiwaju appropriately for whatever outcome the 2023 would bring. At the last count before his return to Nigeria last night, 58 top politicians have visited Tinubu at his London home including President Muhammad Buhari. Asiwaju is also firmly in charge of Lagos State, one of the top economies in Africa. He has his network built over years and you would only want to toil with such a politician at your own peril. Growing up, they always told us that politics always pays those who worship her.
I wish all the APC elites the wisdom needed to act appropriately towards 2023.
Nigeria is 61 today and I have always maintained democracy has brought certain goods owing to individual performances as against a coordinated national one that would aim to put the country on a planned and predetermined expectations. We are mostly having to deal with some states having good infrastructure that are not necessarily linked to other states because of the ownership of the linkages by the Federal Government that is overwhelmed and with major cash crunch that has led to massive borrowings which have to be rationed to the ones that are lucky if I may put it that way.
The reason why there is that lack of coordination of the developmental agenda of the nation is a matter that is less discussed in the polity and which I’m bringing on today as National Unity and Identity. Growing up till date, I have practically become sick of the Us vs Them coloration of things I get from every angle of the society, this is without being unfair to some very fine Nigerians I’ve met out there, in fact ‘my Director’ Alero Tenumah of Delta State is worthy of mention. Highly detribalized and realistic Nigerian.
Sadly, this narrative which has become entrenched in people has made it become normal to the extent that those who exhibit it do not feel they are doing any hurt to the nation. It has permeated the major fabrics of Public, Private and even diplomatic services. The other day I attended the burial of a friends dad at Delta state and someone had to ask me what I went to do in ‘that place’. I didn’t know what to do or say I shook my head and left in so much pain about the mentality. I have had conversations with some southerners regarding the presence equal number of illiterates in their zone as much as the north and the way they’ll insist it to be an only northern thing even when I prove to them I’ve lived there leaves me wondering what’s going on.
What is going to shock you about this matter is the depth with which it has penetrated the society and you’ll most times also wonder about the caliber of the people who imbibe such character. It is enough to get someone worried about whether there would be any hope for the nation after all. The major topic in the past weeks was The Southern Governors Vs their northern counterparts, you can see how deep it has gone. The VAT controversy is also there and the fault lines of the for and against are also very clear. Practically every national topic must be presented in the Us Vs Them narrative with little or no discussions around the possible solutions to the inevitable problems we have at hand.
The other day, I was watching a programme on the TV and a southern public analyst was asked his opinion about the south and north governors debacle over the Presidential slot and he was blunt to say the southern governors were wrong in their approach and had a lot of work to do to lobby and present a candidate that could win the heart of Nigerians and it sounded more like it, but the question is how many people can be such? The number is certainly on the negative. Everyone has to say pleasant lies to comfort their kins and this has gone on for too long now that there is a crave for truths and there are very little people to say them. The result is chaos.
Last night, a friend called from Kano and was asking about my opinion on the polity, I told him the north was economically disadvantaged and could run into troubles if these policies about VAT and fiscal restructuring scale through, he immediately retired into the usual syndrome and started to shop for consolation narratives around agriculture and I asked him if he was ready to pick his hoe to farm at that moment and if he also understood that agriculture was a chain up to production and once that is not there, there cannot be an economy from it. His response didn’t tell me I was convincing enough to get him off the Us Vs Them thoughts and as usual all that was for conversations sake because I have long known what to expect per time from the different corners of this country. Shortly after my conversation with him, another one called about the issue of PDP, this one surely hates PDP with his blood and appears bigoted towards APC. He tried to insist why I must believe it’s a work over for APC because the PDP governors had zoned national chairman to the north, I told him to never say never in politics as nobody can accurately predict what 2023 will come with, I encouraged him to imbibe the spirit of keeping his mind open about these PDP and APC issues and keep his support simple after all we are all Nigeria’s property.
Finally, I am very worried about the prevalent and most especially depth of this narrative and unless an emergency is considered on the need to mentor and heal these dangerous wounds, it is going to be very difficult to make a head way towards a coordinated national development.
Happy Independence Day Nigeria
Let me start by referring to my article https://www.abusidiqu.com/the-continuity-and-change-agents-within-the-apc-and-a-need-to-manage-all-by-suleiman-hashim/of May 16, 2015 where I had advised the APC of the need to manage the PDP elements that had rightly aligned with them to deliver the 2015 election victory.
The fear was that the PDP elements were going to attempt to introduce the political ‘Johnny just come’ of APC into the ways that PDP did their things. The concern was if APC had truly identified and tabulated the mistakes of the PDP that presented an opportunity for their victory or whether the supposed progressives who came from ACN and CPC truly understand progressivity in its true sense and the expectations of it.
Events have come and gone and so much has come out of it with the latest being a near collapse of the APC party owing to the non meticulous management of the need to be truly progressive and complete jettisoning of the PDP ways. The only saving grace was the intervention of the President which appeared premised on wise counsel.
Remember my article of June 5, 2020 https://itpulse.com.ng/2020/06/05/dr-isa-pantami-and-his-citizen-right-to-political-opinion-by-hashim-suleiman/ wherein I had defended Dr. Isa Pantami’s choice to a past political opinion on a political party whose failure led to its total rejection by the entirety of the citizenry. However, because his mentality and course of earlier criticism was that of a desire to see a progressive movement that would develop the nation, he decided to join the progressive party on a technocratic capacityand also working to do things that were different from those things he abhorred and that were not in line with the progressive ideology. This is the definition of ideology in relation to progressive workings even though it may attract some unpopularity amongst the elites.
We should also not be quick to forget about how the President had refused the Governors to determine whom he appoints as aides and ministers because they also had their commissioners’ appointments to deal with. This was a deviation from the norm of PDP even though it was also somewhat compromised by some of the players in the presidency, it is always better to start something good even if not perfect but would become culture with time. There was supposed to be a proper mix between technocrats and political loyalists who had contributed to the cause, there was very less of the latter.
One of the major issues that caused the latest APC problem was the usual cliché that Governors are powerful and must therefore have what they always wanted. I personally consider that to be an old PDP way of doing things and the APC must be wary of issues like these. Governors’ place must be respected only when they showcase true sense of upholding the tenets of progressive politics through carrying every party member along as against the promotion of personal or group interest.
Take Jigawa State for example where the Governor has had to publicly agree to a working relationship with Alhaji HashimUbale Yusufu his main challenger in both the 2015 and 2019 election, however, people are at lost as to why they have not seen the man feature in any of the state’s major party or government activities nor feature in the Federal Government activities by way of recommendation from the State Government. Such kinds of cases which are found in almost all the states give cause of concern to supporters and further support reasons why people are daily not seeing much difference between the PDP and APC and they also believe that such old PDP ways are brought upon by some Governors who neither have the interest of the party nor that of her ideology.
Talking about Oshiomole and his ouster as National Chairman, his only offence was the entrenchment of progressive ideals in the party amidst his imperfections as a person. The introduction of Direct Primary election was a democratic breakthrough but it remains unsung because it is not in the interest of the governors who believe the old PDP way of imposition must remain. Further to that achievement was the introduction of the screening of candidates no matter how highly placed. If these two very lofty democratic breakthroughs are not in tandem with APC’s supposed progressive ideals, what could?
While the Governors had succeeded into convincing the president to summon the NEC, it was also commendable for the president to have used his wisdom to assemble a caretaker whose composition appeared to be made up of people who had capability of remembering the progressive ideals and burden on the party and also act accordingly going forward. The idea of governors this governors that must be jettisoned for the collective patronage of those who imbibe the true ideals of the political party, it is only through the promotion of such along with sincerity of purpose that the APC party will build itself into a formidable progressive alternative while the choice for voting still remains that of the electorates.
God bless Nigeria and its growing democracy.