???Tinubu, face your battle like a man


Screaming blackmail and persecution, any time the law turns its searchlight on an individual, is the attribute of feeble minded persons. Anyone who occupies leadership position must be ready to give accounts of his/her stewardship before the people when the time comes. No matter the time such individual stays out of public service, s/he can still be call upon to clear the ‘air' on issues centred on the periods they spent in office.

I am bothered by the politicking generated by Bola Tinubu's trial. The Code of Conduct Bureau has the constitutional mandate to trial public office holders who are believed to have contravened the law regarding operating foreign accounts while in office. The allegation made against Alhaji Tinubu was that he operated several foreign accounts whilst at the helms of affairs in Lagos state; the onus lies on him to prove his accusers wrong.

His appearance before the Bureau was seen by his supporters as an attempt to checkmate his popularity in the south west. His supporters are alleging that the entire trial is being orchestrated by the ruling PDP; this is indeed alarming. Such assertions if allowed to continue will provide the needed cover for corruption politicians to invade justice. All they have to do, particularly if they are in the opposition is to accuse the government in power of witch-hunting.

The multitudes that risk their lives to come and give support to their political mentor – Alhaji Ahmed Tinubu, have not shown to the rest of us why their presence is needed at the venue of trial. These fully grown men and women, who should have been engage constructively in nation's building, came and waste their time in Abuja, all in the name of solidarity with Tinubu. Even governors who should be thinking of ways of alleviating the myriad of problems confronting their states, showed up. One of Tinubu's supporters at the trial venue, shamelessly told a reporter that Nigerian government asked for the crowd, and their coming is to give the government what they asked for.

This trial should be allow to take it full course. A lots of accusations have continued to trail Bola Tinubu since he came into public glare. He was accused of falsification of academic laurels; his family lineage have remain unresolved, with different versions about his real background; his years as governor of Lagos state, has equally come under financial scrutiny. Now, he is being accuse of operating foreign accounts while in office as governor. If you ask me, I think this case will provide him the opportunity to clear his name if truly he has no such accounts.

Supporters of Bola Tinubu see his arraignment before the bureau as a political victimization. They argued that their man was not the only former governor listed to have contravened that law; former governors like Ahmed Makarfi, James Ibori, Chimaroke Nnamani etc, were said to be in the list. They contend that Tinubu shouldn't be made the scapegoat for others. I quite agree with the submission, that the other former governors so accused should be brought to face the law; but I disagree that picking Tinubu first to answer for allegations against him, is a case of political victimization. The law did not specify who should be tried first in any criminal case; all Nigerians want is that anyone accused should be made to face justice.

Governor Kayode Fayemi's statement that Yorubas will resist any attempt to prosecute Tinubu, is absurd and insulting to the intelligence of the generality of Yoruba people, which I proudly belong. Yorubas are not shenanigans, who will follow a drowning man to his end. Our people are very objective minded, and would not even raise an eye brow if Tinubu is finally convicted of the alleged crime, as long as he got a fair trial.

This trial must not end in the way of others. It must be conclusive; no diversionary plot should be accepted by Nigerians. In fact, having a conclusive trial is in the best interest of Alhaji Bola Tinubu and his supporters. Any attempt to blackmail the Code of Conduct Bureau from carrying out its statutory duty will only sustain the belief that Tinubu indeed have skeletons in his cupboard.

Nigeria do not need oppositions who are just fighting for political relevance; the country needs oppositions that have better alternatives to those in power, and are focus and ideal centred. Opposition parties all over the world provide constructive criticisms and keep the government in power on their toes. Unfortunately, in our case, most are power drunk. Even the few states they control hardly show why the people should entrust them with power at the centre.

Tinubu is not a political threat to anybody. He is just a pretender, who is erroneously eulogise over the victory of the ACN in most of south west states. I have painful argue this point in a number of forum, that to know if indeed Tinubu is popular in Yoruba-land, political researchers should visit the south west and meet the people one on one, ask them if they know Bola Tinubu and what he represents politically to them. I wont pre-empt their responses, but one thing is clear, Awo died more than twenty years, even those born long after his death, are still reverencing him and his associates in the Yoruba-land.

I am an antagonist of oppositions without constructive and meaningful alternatives. For me, this is what Tinubu and his ACN represents in this country. In just over 100 days in office, ACN governors in the south west with exception of Governor Fashola, have continue to take the wrong steps in governance. No one need a seer to know that by 2015, ACN control states in the south west will realise the mistake they made in April 2011.

Alhaji Bola Tinubu should face his trial like a man. He seeks public office and enjoyed the glamour that came with it; this is the time to give accounts of his stewardship. The man and his party should be advice to stop looking for excuses to evade justice. Tinubu will earn my respect and those of millions of Nigerians if he allows this trial to go on without sentiments. Since his party is also calling for good governance, this trial is one sure way of taking off that new reform in governance.

Olurotimi Adeola

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