In the countdown to the 2019 General Elections, in the course of His rescue mission and a bid to prevent unprecedented political upheavals in the country, God in His infinite mercies may decide to arrest and throw some political juggernauts troubling the peace and progress of this country into His political dungeon and allow them to die politically. And those who may manage to come of out this divine judgment will eventually become social and political outcasts and lepers whom no one will dare to associate with. Also, the recalcitrant among these troublers of Israel (Nigerian) who may still fail to decipher and read correctly God’s warning or handwriting of judgment upon their lives may found themselves condemned to God’s underground cells. They will become dead lions while lesser animals who may decide to do God’s bids and obey His voice will be divinely empowered by God to continue with the affairs of the kingdom. And the Holy Scripture which can never be broken has rightly declared that a living dog is better than a dead lion .
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is no doubt a political strategist and one of the heroes that God used to send the immediate Administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan packing. And to do that, he had to settle his known political scores with the former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Both of them put their political differences behind them and joined forces together in order to ensure the success of the Presidential flag bearer of the then Opposition-All Progressives Congress (APC). And the main beneficiary of that alliance is the present President Muhammed Buhari. To demonstrate his displeasure at the performance of his party’s candidate -Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo publicly tore his the party’s membership card – a sign that prophetically triggered a chain of reactions leading to the defeat of the then Ruling Party – PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) at the 2015 General Elections. Before that public denunciation of the PDP by the former President Olusegun Obasanjo, it was a known fact that he wrote not less than 3 open letters to the then President Goodluck Jonathan. And instead of listening to the voice of wisdom from his known benefactor (President Olusegun Obasanjo) whom GOD used to raise him as the then Governor of Bayelsa State to become Vice – Presidential candidate to the late President Umar Yar’Adua, which eventually won the polls, Jonathan decided to choose another political godfather/benefactor for himself in person of his kinsmen – Chief Edwin Clarke. And he did this to his eventual downfall and the downfall of his party – the PDP.
It should be recalled that it was these noticeable crack in the PDP leadership that the likes of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the leaders of the then opposition party (including its presidential flag bearer – General Muhammed Buhari) saw that enabled them to take due advantage and made the former President’s home in Abeokuta to become a political Mecca to politicians who were seeking for President Obasanjo’s endorsements. The National Leader of APC, Asiwaju Tinubu cannot deny the fact that it was this AOPBJ (Any Other Person but Jonathan) project that made him to team – up with President Obasanjo to form the arrow – head that forced Jonathan’s government packing out of the Presidential Villa. And now that the mentor of big masquerade has came out again to say that the oracle is no longer satisfied with the performance or the dance – steps of his much published masquerade for certain obvious reasons which certain sections of the audience have confirmed, it will be wise and in the best interest of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the chieftains of his party to look into the areas of concern with a way to make amends instead of brushing such matters aside or trivalise them in the name of politics. To be candid, it is uncharitable of the former Governor of Lagos State to say that President Obasanjo was just playing to the gallery or playing politics with his recent letter to the President and Commander- In –Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Muhammed Buhari. Who told Tinubu that the issues raised in the open letter have not been privately discussed with the President? Is it not in the public domain that the Nigerian Electorate and indeed some opinion molders/leaders of thought have been crying out against the nepotic tendencies of this present Administration? And coupled with that, is the government’s inability to check the excesses of the Fulani herdsmen which have gradually become a national phenomenon and eventually earned the tag of Number 3 terrorist organization in the world. And instead of addressing these areas that are attracting public displeasure to the government, the concerned authorities seem not to pay due attention to the raised issues. In our own opinion, these are the issues – nepotism, suspected condonement of Fulani herdsmen menace, and other pertinent issues raised in President Obasanjo’s open letter that should be the concern of the APC leaders with a view to address them and allay public fears instead of trying to rubbish the contents of the letter.
In this regard, therefore, our opinion is that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu should be more circumspect in his reactions to the former President Obasanjo’s pronouncements on the performances of the current Administration. Tinubu cannot claim to know President Muhammed Buhari more than this former boss. Who knows Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and his core of legacy party – the Action Congress(AC) may in future need the support and alliance of Obasanjo’s new movement – Coalition for Nigeria Movement when the chips are down and when they may be looking for political relevance ? “Ojo ma npa eeyan wo ile kan na ni eemeji o”. We hope the Asiwaju will get the import of this Yoruba adage. The adage is meant for him and so no need for translation. “Ti egungun eni ba njo re, ori a ma ya atokun”, meaning if your masquerade is dancing well the mentor will feel happy. President Obasanjo has gauged the mind of the audience in reference to the performance of his masquerade, and before his team is booed out, he is on the move again to introduce another masquerade to save the day lest they can incur further insults from the audience who were once appreciating the dancing steps of their masquerade.
On the issue of nepotism, apart from obvious cases of lopsidedness in Federal appointment especially in security areas, President Obasanjo pointedly stressed that the present government jettisoned the idea of Federal Character in the appointment of Service Chiefs. And the same lopsidedness is reflected in the appointment of headship strategic security agencies in the country. In fact, one would have expected another officer from the Southern part of the country would replace Mr. Ayo Oke who was relieved of his post as the Director – General of the Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA). Instead another officer from the President’s home state – Katsina was recalled from retirement to replace him.
Former President Obasanjo may have other issues that his critics may be pointing their accusing fingers to, but they dare not accuse him of nepotism. The former President ensured that he obeyed the principles of Federal Character to the letter, sometimes at the expense of his own kinsmen – the Yorubas.
And so in the countdown to the 2019 General Elections, there will be alignment of forces across the spectrum of parties. For instance, the Senate President has not yet denied the rumour that he is planning to return to the PDP where his spirit and soul belong even though he may be appearing as an APC Chieftain in body. And when this historic cross – carpeting happens at the National Assembly, the other members of the then New PDP who teamed up with other legacy parties to form the new Ruling Party that unseated Dr. Goodluck Jonathan may toe the same line. And the same episode may be re – enacted at the House of Representatives with the Speaker Yakubu Dogora leading the pack of the former PDP members back to their home – party where their spirit and soul belong. The only antidote to this scenario is for the APC to open up the political space at the highest level which can only be done if President Muhammed Buhari decides to re – consider his ambition towards 2019 and step – down. Otherwise, if the President is still willing to test his popularity rating at the 2019 presidential polls, no one should be surprised at the level of decamping of members that the APC may witness in the next two months – before the Third Anniversary of the present administration. And when these developments begin to unfold, the legacy parties may want to answer their respective founders/fathers names and return to their original folds and seek to realign themselves or merge with the emerging new political forces/ associations so as to remain relevant politically. In that case, it will prove to the Ruling Party – the APC that no condition is permanent. The only thing that is permanent in life is change itself.
Anyway there may be nothing to worry about as one of the President’s close confidants in person of Mallam Nasir El’Rufai -the Governor of Kaduna State was reportedly quoted recently that the President may step – down his second tenure ambition, if doing so will make Nigeria to move forward. And if the Governor has not yet denied this statement credited to him, the President may see some wisdom in it and listen to his close ally instead of giving his attention to certain ad –hoc/ self – styled Presidential advisers and political jobbers who may be prepared to insult their fathers or uncles age – mates just to be in the good records of Mr. president for their own selfish purposes and political advantage not minding whether their advise is bad or not. “Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness” – Prov 25: 5, KJV. And so another prophetic milestone that may be witnessed in the countdown to the 2019 General Elections is the hand of God Himself in our political landscape/space. God Himself may decide to weed out the weeds from the good seeds and even go to the extent of uprooting some political trees that will not allow the government of the day to do what is right and expected for the Nigerian populace. God can also send these Ahitophels of our time on errands of no return, if need be for the government to be at rest and for the political tension to douse off so that the nation can gain some space and march gallantly to occupy its enviable exalted seat in the Comity of Nations.
We therefore sincerely admonish Mr. President to look into the issues raised in his former boss open letter to him and make amends where necessary instead of giving listening ears to some political consultants who may be in the corridors of power lobbing for one favour or the other on behalf of themselves or on behalf of their cronies. And we pray that the LORD will continue to endow the President with wisdom and discerning heart to discern between bad and good advice and thus make good choices always in the best interest of this nation.
Gbemiga Olakunle, JP
General Secretary, National Prayer Movement