‘Why Buhari Might Jail Tinubu If He Wins Again’ – Odilim Enwegbara

‘Why Buhari Might Jail Tinubu If He Wins Again’ – Odilim Enwegbara

Why Buhari might jail Tinubu if he won again
Odilim Enwegbara in Viewpoint

Ahmed
Bola Tinubu is arguably the self-proclaimed leader of the Yoruba in
Nigerian politics. It couldn’t be more obvious than during the 2015
presidential election when he got many Yoruba to vote for President
Muhammadu Buhari. Buhari so literally worshipped him that had Tinubu
sneezed, Buhari would have easily caught cold.

But once Buhari
became president, the humiliation and side-lining of Tinubu began. The
House speaker position Tinubu reserved for one of his political godsons,
Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, was lost to Yakubu Dogara. The Senate president
post he reserved for Ahmed Lawan went to Bukola Saraki.

But
there was nothing more humiliating than Buhari merging three powerful
ministries — housing, works and power — and assigning them to Tunde
Fashola, who in 2015 suddenly turned Tinubu’s worst enemy to the extent
of both publicly throwing mud at each other. In fact, nothing was more
humiliating to Tinubu than Buhari using Fashola to spite him.

Another
unbelievable humiliation that Tinubu had to stomach came as a result of
the sudden death of Prince Abubakar Audu and INEC declaring the Kogi
governorship election inconclusive. Instead of Hon. James Abiodun
Faleke, Tinubu’s political godson, Yahaya Bello, who was only second in
APC’s primaries, was picked to replace the late Audu. Tinubu made a lot
of threats but seemed totally ignored by Buhari.

The next was the
Ondo APC governorship primaries where Tinubu’s candidate, Segun
Abraham, lost to Rotimi Akeredolu who was Abuja’s preferred candidate.

These
coups were carefully planned and targeted at dismantling Tinubu’s
southwest power bloc with the goal of positioning Tunde Fashola and
Kayode Fayemi to replace him as the popular ‘southwest Buhari boys’.

Having
been so humiliated, Tinubu began to publicly criticize the Buhari
administration to the extent of regretting supporting him in 2015. And,
by early 2017, he publicly accused Buhari of mismanaging the economy. He
said, “You have to spend yourself out of this recession and you cannot
do that by consistently stifling the banks of liquidity…Yes, Buhari
inherited an economy in peril but his actions thereafter worsened
liquidity crisis and deepened a haemorrhaging credit crunch.”

Also
unable to control her anger, Tinubu’s wife Senator Remi Tinubu started
protesting her husband’s endless humiliation by the same Buhari whom he
had helped to become president. Both husband and wife’s protests were
completely ignored by Buhari.

Even as recently as the Ekiti
governorship election, APC candidate Kayode Fayemi insultingly told
Tinubu to mind his business and never interfere. So humiliated, Tinubu
quietly stayed away and was only allowed to come to campaign for Fayemi
on the latter’s terms.

Tinubu was not involved in the deal that
got Senator Iyiola Omisore of the SDP to back the APC governorship
candidate for the Osun governorship election.

The biggest kick in
the teeth was when John Odigie-Oyegun, APC national chairman who was
Tinubu’s ally, began to distance himself from him while openly
realigning with Buhari. With Tinubu so encircled, he remained the
national leader of APC only in name.

But cry not for Tinubu for
he brought the humiliations to himself. Being politically so greedy,
Tinubu wanted all government positions determined by him alone. Besides
the VP position he gave to Osinbajo and the FIRS chairmanship position
to Babatunde Fowler, former Lagos State Board of Internal Revenue
executive chairman, Tinubu also wanted to control the leadership of the
National Assembly along with ministers from almost all the 36 states.
Even the EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu, was handpicked by Tinubu, using
the vice president. And with Saraki’s Senate refusing to confirm Magu,
he has unbelievably remained acting chairman since then.

But as
the 2019 presidential election approached, Buhari once again needed
Tinubu. He also knew how to catch Tinubu to submit to his political
manoeuvring. First, aware how Wale Tinubu’s Oando was in deep trouble
for having inflated the values of Oando’s shares, Buhari reached out to
Tinubu at a time his younger brother was being questioned by officials
of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Second, Tinubu was invited to
fly with Buhari to London. And during this long trip, as a military
tactician, Buhari informed Tinubu of his readiness to hand over power to
him come 2023. It’s on the basis of this false promise that Tinubu
became so uncontrollable in Buhari’s re-election project to the extent
of sacrificing the Afenifere and the overall Yoruba and national
interests. In the meantime, Tunde Fashola was strategically asked to
keep silent and possibly stay out of political circulation. This way, he
would never make the mistake of bumping into Asiwaju Tinubu until the
2019 elections are over.

When Tinubu demanded the removal of John
Odigie-Oyegun as the APC national chairman and his replacement with
Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Tinubu’s political hangman, it was quickly
granted. Another but failed request of Tinubu was the insistence on the
humiliation and removal of Bukola Saraki as the Senate president.

Now
in full control of APC, Tinubu and Oshiomhole ensured that they took
the battle to the enemy governors, including the chairman of APC
Governors’ Forum, Imo State governor Rochas Okorocha; Ogun State
governor Ibikunle Amosun; Zamfara State governor Abdulaziz Yari,
Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos, and many enemy senators. With this
the duo had since set the APC on fire.

Tinubu’s lack of political
sophistication can’t be more obvious. This is because a seasoned
politician would have known Buhari’s 2019 re-election game. Or does
Tinubu need to be reminded the kind of disdain Buhari has for him,
especially given how Tinubu turned Lagos State into a personal empire?

Unbelievably,
how could Tinubu in all his political calculations think that Buhari
would ever allow a Tinubu, a Muslim southerner, to become his successor,
and a northern Christian becoming his running mate? Unknown to Tinubu,
Buhari’s preferred successor should be Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State
who could possibly be paired with either Mallam Muhammed Bello
(minister of FCT) or Engr. Suleiman Adamu (water resources minister and
Buhari’s nephew).

As far as Buhari is concerned, how could
Tinubu, whose Alpha Beta has been collecting tax revenue on behalf of
Lagos government and retaining as high as 10%, expect Buhari to allow
him to become Nigeria’s president and possibly bring in the same Alpha
Beta to be collecting tax for the whole country and retaining 10%? Or
the same Tinubu whose wife is a senator, whose daughter is the
president-general of a market women’s union even when she is not a
market woman, and whose son-in-law is a powerful member of the House of
Representatives?

If Tinubu were politically sophisticated, he
would have known that Buhari’s political fate has since been decided by
the country’s most powerful army generals — Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim
Babangida, Abdulsalami Abubakar, TY Danjuma, and Aliyu Gusau. Had Tinubu
been sincere to himself, he would have known that it would be easier
for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than Buhari to win the
2019 presidential election, especially given how world powers such the
US, the UK, EU, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc., have all agreed that
Buhari must go so that peace, unity and economic prosperity could return
to Nigeria.

If I were Tinubu, this would have been the most
appropriate time to settle scores with Buhari. There wouldn’t have been a
better time to revive the old friendship with Atiku, the next
president. Even if Tinubu doesn’t feel like publicly supporting Atiku,
it would have been politically wise for him to keep quiet rather than
cry more than Buhari the bereaved, as he did recently.

Who was
Tinubu trying to impress with his recent vulgar language? Wasn’t it
simply exposing his quick-to-anger personality, his self-centeredness
and his self-praise? A man controlling his kind of regional political
power bloc shouldn’t have been this undiplomatic in language. Or is
Tinubu telling us that once one lived in a ghetto one could have left
the ghetto without the ghetto leaving one? “Self-discipline,” Elbert
Hubbard rightly said, “is the ability to do what you should do, when you
should do it, whether you feel like it or not.” This important
leadership personality trait seems to be completely lacking in Ahmed
Tinubu. He was recently caught on camera bitter and shouting, as he told
Governor Ambode, “You don’t dare talk when I am talking! Because I have
spoiled you (by making you governor), you now talk when I am talking.”
Did Tinubu fail to recognize that he should have respected, not
necessarily Ambode as the chief executive and the number-one citizen of
Lagos State but the office of the governor of Lagos which Ambode
occupies and Tinubu once occupied himself?

Another Tinubu’s
recent outburst is where he publicly said, “We don’t fear, whether he
(Atiku) is meeting in the jungle, in Dubai or in Abu Dhabi…but we are
not going back to the illusion of the PDP…We can’t go back to the pit
that we inherited for 16 years. They can strategize from anywhere, but a
leopard cannot change its skin.” This only shows Tinubu’s tactlessness.
It also portrays his political naiveté and his endlessly living in the
fool’s world. Imagine believing that Buhari will hand over to him in
2023 should he ever win!

I thought Tinubu, as Atiku’s old friend,
would have imbibed some leadership qualities from him: his calmness,
friendliness, generosity and tolerance; particularly his likeability
among the Nigeria youths whom he is always interacting with on social
media and at social events. Also, didn’t he learn Atiku’s humility and
bridge-building ability among political allies and across ethnic and
religious divide? Did he not grasp Atiku’s quality of being a trusted
deal-maker with exceptional love for the poor, whom he helps through
many foundations and social causes?

You Tinubu are too imperial
and withdrawn, always calculating what you can take out of the system.
As a result, you are not seen to be a nationalist but a regional leader.
Of course, it is not too late for you to abandon the APC ship, which
Buhari is about to sink.

Enwegbara, a development economist, writes from Abuja

Source:- Thecableng