Between Buhari and Tinubu
Olusegun Adeniyi is an accomplished Nigerian journalist and columnist; he has a large following of readers who look up to him for honest and verifiable public comments on national issues. I must confess I am one of them. But his recent article on Ahmed Bola Tinubu, where he erroneously eulogise the man and try to create an image of an iconic politician of him, particularly in the south west, is indeed condemnable.
As a Nigerian of Yoruba extraction, I know the value of respect to the elderly; that’s why for me analysing my points in this article will be difficult without sounding abusive. But in order to set the records straight and correct the glaring misinformation of Mr. Adeniyi, I am pleading for understanding.
There is no doubt that General Mohammadu Buhari (rtd) is the only Nigerian alive today that commands genuine love amongst his ethnic group. He is one man that is acceptable and trusted by the generality of the Hausa/Fulani stock, that he belongs to. He is reverence by the masses but hates by most of the elites of his tribe; who fortunately are in the minority. In truth, no one can say same of Bola Tinubu.
When a society strive on lies; that society may never fully come to terms with its past and would definitely not understanding its present and future. Lots of lies and half truths are fed daily to the people in the name of objective and researched based journalistic works. If it is not so, then Mr. Adeniyi would not have credited the victory of ACN in the south west during the last governorship polls at the feet of Chief Tinubu.
In the political history of the north, only two men have commanded the same kind of reverence, Buhari commands today; these men were the late Sadauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello and Mallam Aminu Kano. And they all shared the same austere lifestyle. Their houses are ever opened to commoners. And they give listening ears to their plights. Unfortunately, in the whole of southern part of the country, only the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo shared similar attributes. Awo never turned his back on a poor and defenceless person. It was this principle that made him leave the comfort of the premier office in Ibadan to seek to be the Prime Minister of Nigeria. And when it was not realised, he remained in Lagos as an opposition leader.
It is a disservice to political history to put Ahmed Bola Tinubu is the same league with any of these aforementioned men. He neither have their charms or wisdoms. He has no relationship with the people at the lower realm of the society; so cannot be idolised by them. He is simply one of those exploiting our sham democracy for his selfish ends and those of his cronies.
Presently, Yorubas do not have a single political leader, and are honestly not in search for one. Our people can tell a fake even from a mile. And without sounding like a broken record, the ACN victories in most of the south west states in last year elections, where the reactions of an enlightened tribe to bad and unproductive governments. Yorubas have been fortunate to enjoy purposeful and result oriented governance under Awo as Premier of Western Region and in the second republic under the ambit of Awo’s Unity Party of Nigeria. That’s why non performing governments are easily send packing when they bid for re-elections.
At sixty, Tinubu turned to a five-star coliseum to celebrate his birthday. He could not celebrate his birthday in his house because Lagosians would have been shocked to see the gigantic edifice he called home. He would have faced the court of public opinion over where he got the wealth to build such mansion, since he is not known to be an industrialist or a business man. The last we know of him before he became a politician was that he was a civil servant who worked in the private sector.
Tinubu’s errand boy, and Governor of Osun state, Rauf Aregbesola have been everything but a governor in terms of his conducts. He demonstrated his lack of decorum for the position he is presently holding. First he abused the office of the president, because of an altercation between his supporters and the police in Kogi state. He later turned his rage on a fellow governor (Governor Segun Mimiko) over his refusal to be counted among the errand boys of Tinubu. Aregbesola is more loyal to Tinubu than the state he was ‘elected’ to govern. Many would recall that immediately the Appeal court declared him winner, it was to Tinubu’s home in Lagos he ran to, for appreciations; not to the people of Osun state that supposedly elected him.
Everything about Tinubu, is unfortunately controversial. He is doing everything he can to wear the big shoe Awo left behind. He wears Awo’s like eye glasses, takes his steps like legendary Awo; raises the Awo’s victory signs at public gathering; he bears Awo’s Asiwaju title and now manipulated his birth month to ‘March’, so that he can share the same birth month with Awo. There is no originality about this man.
Segun Adeniyi owe me and millions of his Yoruba readers an apology, for insulting our collective intelligence. His article on Tinubu to say the least, lacks the usual thought provoking and articulate commentary that I have come to associate with him. Next time, Mr. Adeniyi should please take his time to unveil the ACN characters before making the mistake of giving them undeserved accolades.
For the umpteen time, Tinubu do not command any fierce loyalty among Yorubas. Though he has his loyal political foot soldiers like Aregbesola who are eternally grateful to him for making them relevant in life through ‘judicial democracy’. But certainly Tinubu is not an issue when he comes to who wins what in Yoruba-land. Those still in doubts should wait for Ondo state gubernatorial election by early next year. Let Tinubu come and campaign for his ACN candidate in the election against Governor Mimiko; the world will see his disgrace in Ondo state and his subsequent political annihilation comes 2015 in the entire south west zone.