Tinubu’s albatross and the progressives
National leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu struck the right cord when he said: “If the party cannot justly govern itself, it will find it difficult to establish and maintain just government throughout the nation.” But in politics all is fair and just, the ultimate objective being to grab power be it at the stratum of government or party. It is the Machiavellian way.
However, the bigwigs in APC would be deceiving themselves and not the public if they hang on to the lie that Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, the national chairman of the party is the household enemy. The party’s national chairman is only a pawn in the chess game between the Caliphate and the descendants of Oduduwa.
The frustrations dates back to the beginning of the administration; the kitchen cabinet of President Muhammed Buhari was constituted and the national leader of the party was not able to plant a seed, the National Assembly (NASS) was inaugurated and the leadership installed but the party leader was sidelined; the Federal Executive Council (FEC) was put in place, he was not only snubbed but those he was opposed to particularly from his ‘domain’ – the South West, were the preferred choice.
At the Kogi imbroglio, it was made manifest that he would not be welcomed. And when hopes were raised that his choice, James Faleke would have it easy in the courts, the disappointment was forlorn.
Throughout this period, the Jagaban of Borgu kept his cool and bottled up the anger. When he could no longer restrain himself he resorted to shadowy boxing. First, it was the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu whom he carpeted for the economic stress occasioned by the then policy inconsistency in the downstream sector of the oil industry.
But the one that confirmed the obvious that all was not well in-house was the conduct and outcome of the party’s primary for the Ondo State governorship election. At the end of the intrigues, the Caliphate had the upper hand over the Oduduwa progenies.
This was achieved through the subterfuge of supposed beneficiaries of the political magnanimity of Tinubu that have now found new friends in their new abode at the nation’s capital. The willing tools of the Caliphate are the Minister Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; his counterparts in the Mining ministry, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Governors Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State and Rauf Aregbesola of Osun state.
Though the Jagaban himself has publicly denied any rift with the presidency and distanced himself from any move to dump APC and form a new party, the indices on ground, body language as well as jostling of his loyalists, point to the contrary.
Keen observers are also not persuaded that he has not activated any ‘Plan B’ given what he has passed through since the inauguration of the present federal administration.
They are quick to point out that when Tinubu took to his Twitter handle, @AsiwajuTinubu to refute claim of leaving the party, his commitment was to the “ideals that fueled the creation of APC” and not to the APC.
Their argument is that since the ideals that informed the formation of APC are being eroded, which has been attested to by the outburst of Tinubu in recent times, the way has been paved for him and the political family.
“As it is today, APC is no longer a progressive platform but a tool for the Caliphate. The mission of the cabal in the presidency is not necessarily to sink Tinubu but to sweep everything and entrench political power firmly in the North and they are determined to do it irrespective of what anybody says,” an associate of Tinibu said.
The associate contended that the mission of the Caliphate would be truncated if Tinubu, whose influence and political tentacles have already spread to parts of the North, were not checkmated.
According to him, the South West, which has been synonymous with the progressives, is in a dilemma at present and needed to act fast to retain that toga of progressives, adding: “Unfortunately, Asiwaju seems to be alone; others have chickened out, the likes of Convener of the Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reforms (CODER), Ayo Opadokun and former Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) Chief, Olu Falaye who defended the South West in the past are no longer active in the political sphere.”
The problem of the South West is compounded by the emergence of new power hustlers who rather than identify with their root, have pitched tent with the Caliphate. Observers claimed that the new elements of Fayemi and Fashola are not in it because of the interest of South West, but for their own political survival.
In particular, observers see the affiliation of Fashola, Fayemi and co with the Caliphate as a repeat of what Tinubu did earlier in handing over the West, the assumed base of the progressives, to the conservative North because of personal ambition and pride. And as it turned out later, it has been a marriage of convenience.
“Jagaban cut his nose to spite his face and it may well turn out the same for the Abuja circle who are presently dancing to a beat being produced by the Caliphate. They want to cut their nose to spite their face … like Tinubu did and now regretting.”
Governor Ayo Fayose who has been very critical of President Buhari has not hidden his dislike for the posturing of the presidency, which he claimed, has shortchanged the Yoruba.
Strangely, he seems to be pursuing the interest irrespective of political leanings. The once nemesis of Tinubu and his boys have suddenly found out that in politics there are no permanent enemies but permanent interest.
He is presently hobnobbing with Aregbesola and has reached out to APC’s national vice chairman (South West) and former governor of Ekiti State, Chief Segun Oni.
Observers argued that Fayose is preparing the ground for his exit in 2018 and has found an enemy to his enemy who has now turned out to be his friend – the Tinubus, having been more or less driven to the wall by the presidency.
“It is an obvious move, when you are being attacked and cornered by a powerful force like the way Fayose is passing through, the apparent way out is to look for a common enemy of the powerful force and join forces with him or her whether you were once enemies or not in order to survive,” one of his allies volunteered.
Although he denied any move to join APC, the governor stressed the need for leaders of South West to come together in a recent interview, where he emphasized: “Regional integration is wonderful and desirable because in our unity lies our strength. But when it is politicised, it will take us nowhere.”
Fayose has consistently in recent times stood in defense of Tinubu as the foremost leader of the region and when asked if he was prepared to work with him ahead of the 2019 elections, he said: “Well, politics is dynamic. Nobody knows tomorrow. Who knew Asiwaju could work together with Buhari? They had gone separate ways in the past. But they (Tinubu and associates) are the same people that packaged him (Buhari), which is good. They ate from the same plate afterward. You can never know what tomorrow holds; only God knows. We don’t know if there will be new parties. But I’m sure there will be alignment. I’m telling you whatever that will represent the Yoruba nation – Nigeria as a whole – I will be part of it.”
Sources believe that this comments of Fayose together with his recent comment about dumping PDP in 2018, reinforce the claim in some quarters that he is part of the political maneuverings to give birth to a new party along with Tinubu and co.
Besides, sources argued that the recent moves by the presidency-propelled Caliphate to refocus attention on the South East as the possible ally ahead 2019 as against the South West has fortified Fayose’s stance that the Yoruba are currently short-changed by the Buhari presidency.
It is believed that the calculation of the Caliphate represented by the cabal in the presidency is apparently 2019 and the scheme is to make itself the sole and relevant powerhouse to call the shorts in Nigeria.
According to an aide of Governor Mimiko, the bid is to take as many states as possible to APC and they have gotten Edo and Ondo states into the kit.
Next they would be gunning for Ekiti and Osun states with or without their original allies in 2015. And this has prompted fears that should they succeed at the end of the day, what Tinubu and his cohorts are passing through presently would be a child’s play compared to what will happen thereafter.
“This is the time for Iroko (Governor Olusegun Mimiko), Tinibu and Fayose to come together … if not, if they risk staying apart and loose the remaining two states, they would be worst for it,” an aide of Mimiko told The Guardian.