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Jagaban Tinubu and his combative Abeokuta speech Jagaban Tinubu and his combative Abeokuta speech
by Ovi Magazine Guest
2022-06-09 07:41:09
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Jagaban Tinubu and his combative Abeokuta speech
What happens in the APC convention may determine the course of the current democracy.
By Tunde Akande

Ahmed Bola Tinubu had been Asiwaju in Lagos before he was made Jagaban of Borgu in Niger State, in the north of Nigeria. But no sooner he was made Jagaban than the traditional title of Jagaban took ascendancy over the Yoruba title of Asiwaju. It was a calculated move; as Asiwaju, Tinubu is the political leader of his people, the Yorubas whether that is real or assumed but as Jagaban, Tinubu, presumably had become a recognized leader of the nation. Both were targeted political moves. Late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo who effectively led the Yorubas in Nigeria's pre-independent and immediate post independent political era did not become their leader by the acquisition of traditional titles but by effective, cerebral and great political, social, and economic achievements. But the times have changed, idiocy is the name of the game now. If you can engage in any nefarious act and make humongous money from it, if you forge certificates, you can acquire chieftaincy titles from every corner of Nigeria and win elections even if you are the dullest person.

jaga01_400But the chickens have come home to roost. What has been made plain, that it is just simple idiocy to trust some people from the North of the country, has now become grand reality. President Muhammadu Buhari is not about to let go power to anyone in the south, east or west. He has denied having a hand in the touted presidential aspiration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. But as American novelist, James Hadley Chase, if you believe that, you will believe everything. Now Tinubu is fighting, not minding the venue or who is present. At a public reception in Abeokuta, capital of Ogun state, where Tinubu had gone to meet with delegates of the APC from the state who would soon gather in Abuja to elect the presidential flag bearer of the APC, the party that produced Buhari, Tinubu spoke candidly against Buhari, not minding that Buhari has the ace to handpick "my successor" as he said. Tinubu let out the tumoil in his inner heart. But for him, Buhari would not have been president. He said, Buhari serially failed three times. It was Buhari who called him in 2015 to be his running mate in what would have been a Muslim/ Muslim ticket. He told his audience that he tipped Yemi Osinbajo as the vice president to Buhari. Chief Bisi Akande, a leader in APC and close ally of Tinubu would deny that if he sticks with the content of his recently launched autobiography, MY PARTICIPATION where he had mentioned what led to Buhari's rejection of Tinubu as being his fear of a Muslim/ Muslim ticket because southern voters will not vote that ticket. Bisi Akande also named Rauf Aregbesola, former governor of Osun State who also worked with Tinubu as his commissioner for works when Tinubu was governor of Lagos State, as the person who suggested Yemi Osinbajo as running mate to Buhari when he rejected Tinubu.

Tinubu boasted at the Abeokuta meeting that he made Aregbesola who has since parted ways with him and is now the campaign manager for the presidential team of Osinbajo. He further looked behind him where Dapo Abiodun, the governor of Ogun state sat and pointing to the governor, he said "can Dapo Abiodun become governor but for me". He had made many people in the South West, it was now his turn because he did not want to be a witness to history but an active participant in the political process. He had made kings, now he wants to be king. It is unlike Tinubu to speak so openly in public like he did in Abeokuta, especially to his political ally, Muhammadu Buhari, the president and the man who holds the key to the nomination of whoever would emerge the flag bearer of their party. Sitting also behind him was the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje who is a supporter of Tinubu's presidential aspiration. Ganduje is Hausa/Fulani and if Tinubu could put down another Fulani man, Buhari, people are wondering what would Ganduje feel. Former Secretary to the Federal Government, Babachir Lawan, another staunch supporter of Tinubu has sent out the first hint of this concern. He wondered why Tinubu should talk about Buhari the way he did and feels that may jeopardize Tinubu's nomination. Babachir Lawal rejected claims that only Tinubu was responsible for Buhari's victory.

But Tinubu might have seen beyond Babachir Lawal, he might have seen that the nomination will be at the mercy of Buhari who has promised to pick his successor, as Buhari told a meeting of APC governors who met with him recently. So why should Tinubu not throw caution to the wind and speak his plain heart. This writer speculated that Tinubu would run back to his southwest agitators for independent Yoruba nation if the nomination didn't go his way. Tinubu's Abeokuta speech is a calculation to achieve that end. But the Yorubas are divided in their opinion about what to do with Tinubu's eleventh hour entreaty to them. Some are saying that Tinubu neglected them at the hour of their need, when their children were killed at the Lekki toll gate during the #Endsars peaceful protest when his speeches were seen as supportive of government’s mindless killing of the youth, all to court the support of Buhari. They are alleging that Tinubu is not worthy of their support because at the time when Fulani herders killed their farmers in many villages and farmlands, Tinubu looked the other way. Yet others throw in a popular Yoruba proverb, "a kii ju omo buruku fun ekun pa je,” you don't feed a bad child to the lion.

Whether the Yorubas will take sides with Tinubu in this impending implosion of the APC will be known with time, but it is very certain that what happens in the APC convention may determine the course of the current democracy. Already the PDP has rejected its zoning policy which would have ensured an Igbo presidential nomination, and an APC convention too might end in a quagmire with the nomination of another Fulani, to, in a very myopic and tribal argument counterbalance PDP's nomination of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who is Fulani. Even if Dr Goodluck Jonathan, the immediate past president who has crossed over to the APC and who was not part of the just concluded APC screening of its presidential hopefuls, is smuggled back and is made the consensus candidate, it will still be the Fulani in power as who pays the piper dictates the tune. All point to added insecurity for Nigeria which may lead to a very massive revolt. But would Buhari care? Has he cared in the past? If Buhari could care less at the death of young Nigerians during the #EndSars peaceful protest and if he sent soldiers to the East to "speak to the East in the language they understand,” he might not care to speak to the Southwest also in the language they understand as long as that will produce the Fulani hold on power, the very and only agenda of Muhammadu Buhari.


Tunde Akande is both a journalist and pastor. He earned a Masters degree in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos.

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