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Some implications of Tinubu's nomination victory Some implications of Tinubu's nomination victory
by Ovi Magazine Guest
2022-06-16 07:25:02
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Some implications of Tinubu’s nomination victory
The two nominations by the APC and PDP marked a triumph of corruption in Nigeria
By Tunde Akande

Atiku Abubakar's nomination to fly the presidential flag of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in 2023 elections is not the big news. He is not new to it having contested serially for the office in times past. Rather, the big news is the nomination of former governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu to run on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, the party that is in power at the center in Nigeria. Except in the very rare case of former President Goodluck Jonathan, who conceded defeat and left office, it is very rare for sitting African leaders to loose election; they do everything to win whether by crook or hook. This is Atiku's last opportunity to run because of his age, so Nigerians must expect him to give everything to it to unseat the sitting government. If everything goes on as it is between these two titans, Nigeria is not likely to have a peaceful, free, and fair election in 2023. Age is also not on the side of Tinubu, so like Atiku he wants to win. Both of them are old war horses and septugenarians to boot.

tum0001_400Both contestants are very rich, both having been alleged to have made their money through their past public services. Babachir Lawal, one time Secretary to the Federal Government, a friend of Tinubu and a leader in APC, once said of Tinubu, "Tinubu made his money from politics and he is spending it in politics." That speaks volumes about the godfather of Lagos politics, the man allegedly on behalf of whom everything moves in Lagos. Lagos is the commercial capital of Nigeria and a city of money. It is said that all the money of Nigeria is made in the oil rich south-south region, shared in Abuja, the nation's capital but spent in Lagos. Every politician and men and women of means must own a place in Lagos and it is said that has been a strong bargaining power for Tinubu. Everybody befriends him. Tinubu is very generous and a big spender and this has garnered to him many political friends. Atiku also is a very big spender and with his wives drawn across the major tribes in Nigeria, has made connections all over the country. He is called the bridge-builder. So, 2023 election if nothing changes, is going to be a free-spending event.

Nobody should be surprised that money will flow like water in the contest. Morning shows the day: the conventions of both parties are good indicators of what to expect. Pastor Tunde Bakare, President Muhammadu Buhari's running mate in 2011 and a very good friend of Buhari, who contested in the APC primary but got no vote said he was happy to have passed the character test of not offering any delegate money, an indication that money was the deciding factor of the nomination. The press reported that dollar and naira flowed freely in the Peoples Democratic Party nomination too. Even fake dollar currency was reported to have been given to some delegates who collected it without knowing it was fake until after the nomination. Atiku too is very generous with money. His boss, former President Olusegun Obasanjo alleged that Atiku made so much money in that presidency. Some have observed that the two nominations marked a triumph of corruption in Nigeria

Why is Bola Ahmed Tinubu the big news of the wins? It is because of the character of Tinubu, the character of his victory and the character of the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari. Tinubu is a very deft politician, one that can always outplay his rivals and a very determined person. He went into the nomination contest with gusto and war in his mind. At the outset, he went straight to announce his intention to Buhari without mincing words. He told the president, it is his lifelong ambition to be president of Nigeria, meaning to let the president know he is not about to compromise by any means. No appeal to jettison the ambition will fly. He told Nigerians he knew he was fighting with pigs and that when you fight with pigs, you must be ready to fight dirty.

To win that victory, Tinubu fought dirty, he broke all odds from the president himself, to most major actors in APC. The sudden decision to use consensus to choose the chairman of the APC was a calculated move, reportedly, against Tinubu. Abdullahi Adamu was chosen as chairman and it was thought that the zoning of the presidency to the south in APC was no longer feasible. The PDP had employed the same tactic, making Iyiorcha Ayu from the Middle Belt the party chairman, thereby scuttling the zoning of the party presidency to the southeast. PDP eventually said it was declaring the presidency open to everybody. The southeast was effectively kicked out and Atiku Abubakar from Adamawa state emerged winner. In APC, Tinubu fought with skill to thwart all similar moves. His hands were clearly seen in the meeting of APC northern governors that moved against the consensus nomination of Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, who was suddenly brought in from the North to contest for the presidential ticket. That move failed and the hands of Abdullahi Adamu and the president were tied. All contestants were to go in for election. Later the president said there would be no imposition of any candidate. Before then, the legal team of Tinubu warned the APC of the dangers of going against the constitution by any unconstitutional consensus arrangement, indicating it will go to court. Again, the hands of Abdullahi Adamu and Muhammadu Buhari were tied. The rest, as they say, is history. Tinubu won by a landslide.

Now with the flag of the APC in the hands of Tinubu, there are major implications for the Buhari presidency. Though Tinubu will need the party to go on, you can be assured of his dexterity in reconciling with enemies, since power is effectively in the hands of Tinubu, even though Buhari is the visible president. The power of Buhari, is effectively whittled down. He will be in power but all party allegiances will be to Tinubu. You can trust Nigerians to flow to this power source. Tinubu will use his money to maximum advantage, and his wealth will become handy to draw more and more loyalty to himself. We can expect to see more of Buhari but hear more of Tinubu.

Tinubu's manifesto is a radical departure from Buhari's. He has not promised like Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to continue the programmes of Buhari. Even though Tinubu has not offered restructuring of the nation, he won't want to offend the North which is afraid of restructuring. Still, Tinubu has enough in his manifesto to set him on collision course along the way with Buhari. But Nigerians who are tired with the seven years of Buhari and want a break will obviously support Tinubu against Buhari in this ensuing war. Most likely like General Ibrahim Babangida, who first isolated Buhari in 1984 and later took power from him, Tinubu will increasingly isolate Buhari. It promises to be an interesting power game to watch. Will Tinubu take power from Buhari? Anything can still happen from the North.


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

first published by Metro

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