During his campaign rally in Abeokuta, Ogun state, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate and the front-runner in the coming presidential election, hinted at a plot to frustrate his hugely-accepted presidential ambition. He spoke angrily against a mysterious fuel scarcity that suddenly popped up at the tail end of the APC regime that is famous for taming the ennui of fuel scarcity and which, at present, appears intractable and against an opaque monetary policy that was suddenly propped up just before the election and which stands out for the jarring contradictions and oddities that had made it look confusing while levying suspicious difficulties on the generality of Nigerians. He, nonetheless, and in an exceptionally confident and self-assured manner, vowed he would defeat all those behind these policies and eventually emerge victorious in the coming February election.
That is vintage Asiwaju; bold, suave, confident, courageous and decisive. He doesn’t know how to snake through his feelings when he sees threats discreetly. He doesn’t cower away and hide in cowardly diplomatese when he sees a battle. He doesn’t know how to wear an affable mien and pretend through a challenge. He doesn’t know how to cower away in fright when there is a battle to fight. Asiwaju is defiant and bold when he sees a battle. In this situation, he calls out the cowardly saboteurs that hide under indecent policies to constitute obstacles to his God-appointed desire to take up the challenge of turning round the fortunes of Nigeria, as he did that of Lagos.
Many Nigerians took Asiwaju’s statement seriously. Asiwaju is not your ordinary Nigerian who claws through innuendos and speculations on government policies and issues that affect Nigeria. He is versed. He is knowledgeable. He is well-connected. He has the benefits of men, women, young, and old and resources needed to read well policies, issues and developments that affect Nigeria and Nigerians. This remains the reason why he has been able to dominate the country’s political sphere today from the position of sole opposition governor in 2003. So Tinubu has enough vital information and facts to back any statement or position on Nigerian governance. Tinubu is too vast and knowledgeable on Nigerian issues such that any utterance he makes carries such a hefty weight that proves its credulity.
Are there some people or forces opposed to Tinubu’s presidency that they can go to any length to frustrate his ambition? Yes, there are. Many people and forces desire to stop Asiwaju. That is natural. That is even legit. There is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing illegal about it. So, it should be no big deal that some people and forces would be strenuously exerting themselves to stop Asiwaju. Every person with ambition has faced such obstacles.
But then, why should some people levy war on the generality of Nigerians just to constitute obstacles on the paths of one man to rule Nigeria, as the present hoarding and fuel supply restriction portend? Why should state officials introduce and adamantly stick to an inchoate currency policy like the present Naira redesignation and enforcement of a cash withdrawal policy which negatively impacts the generality of the Nigerian people, just to stop one man’s political dream? These are areas where opposition or obstacle to Asiwaju’s ambition becomes strange, queer and destructive. These are akin to a boxing watch below the belt to score points. Opposition to someone’s ambition and dream is legitimate. Still, when it veers towards levying mass torture to stop an aspiration, it becomes devilish. It panders to the extreme guile and inordinate selfish desires of the perpetrators of these villainies.
My concern with such in this article is how extreme some people can go to satisfy their selfish political desires. My problem is that people can deviate from the norm, tow the paths of mass ruination to quench their deadly desires, caring no hoot what becomes of the generality of the people for whom political ambitions aim to serve. My concern is that some people can get so desperate as to pull down the whole house in order to satisfy their bestial interests, as the present hoarding of fuel and the artificial monetary scarcity are scorching Nigerians. It is at this level that opposition to other peoples’ ambitions and political interests becomes evil. The current project to create a syndicated crisis, make the Buhari/APC government look bad and make the candidate of APC unpopular heading to the February election is an evil project. It is an extensive and humongous project that wouldn’t mind taking down the whole of Nigeria with it if that would stop Asiwaju. It is an expansive project that melds the opposition and the fifth columnists working with the APC government together. They have joint interests that converge at stopping Asiwaju by all means.
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But there is no gain in saying that these dark forces are struggling in vain. Asiwaju himself emphatically stated that much at the same Abeokuta rally and events and trends that have so far unfurled in the process leading to the February election show that Asiwaju is unstoppable in his dream of leading Nigeria at this turn of our history. Those who have bandied together like desperate heathens to stop Asiwaju are struggling in vain because Asiwaju is like a train in full motion that can’t be stopped midway through a journey. I have solid reasons to maintain this position.
Firstly, Nigerians know that the Nigerian presidency is about competence and proof of the capacity to deal decisively with the statehood problems confronting Nigeria. Nigerians know that only Asiwaju has the proven capacity and competence to take the country down the paths of development and progress at this turn of our history. Good enough, none of the other dreamers for the job has made any claim to equal or superior competence than Asiwaju, so he has warehoused the trust of Nigerians that he is best equipped and competent for the Nigerian presidency, and a momentary sabotage by negative forces and principalities can never unhinge this.
Secondly, Asiwaju has an unbeatable governance template in Lagos that is unstoppable in terms of growth and progress to flaunt. The rising fortunes of Lagos, as well as the universally-acknowledged fact that Asiwaju birthed and watered the template that has assured this exponential progress, has succeeded in convincing Nigerians that in Asiwaju, Nigeria has a redoubtable achiever whose Midas touch stands to influence the fortunes of the country positively. So, it is guaranteed that the desperate prattle of the opposition and the fifth columnists within the APC will never reverse the huge advantage Asiwaju has already gotten among Nigerians who have invested so much faith in his capacity to re-enact the positive Lagos story in Nigeria if elected president.
Thirdly, through the campaign trail so far, it is obvious that the coming election is almost an Asiwaju affair. With his major challenger, Atiku mired in humongous corruption scandals and with his camp and party shredded in cyclical schism and unamendable division, it is becoming obvious from the enthusiasm and attendance at the rallies and other strategic engagements that form parts of the campaign process, that the game is Asiwaju’s as he draws unprecedented crowd and enthusiasm that cuts across the board in all the states he has campaigned in deference to the sparse, unenthusiastic attendance Atiku and other contestants draw.
Fourthly, Asiwaju has shown his deep organisational and strategic prowess by the way and manner he had engaged Nigerians from all persuasions and walks of life through his innovative Town-Hall-Meetings and such other fora that are hitherto alien to Nigerian politics. His opponents copy poorly, yet they don’t have the depth and zeal to match Asiwaju’s originality, which he is imbuing in the current campaign. With his strategic engagements, he has been able to lock down the votes and support of critical population segments, and this can never be undone by the actions of a desperate but deficient opposition to his ambition.
Fifthly, Asiwaju has done much more work and has so far worked far more harder than other candidates in the current campaign. He maintains a tighter, more crowded and more busier campaign schedule than all the other candidates combined. This shows that, contrary to the frustrated campaign of the opposition alleging that Asiwaju is not healthy, he had demonstrated that he leads a healthier, more robust and fit life than his opponents. He has shown that he is far more fitter for the job, and millions of Nigerians are seeing this in the ongoing campaign, thus disproving the baleful, outlandish and dense propaganda of the distrusted opposition.
Sixthly, Tinubu has produced a clear, cadent and expressive manifesto embedded in his Renewed Hope plan for Nigeria. This clearly spells out his programs, policies and plans for the country, as well as the process of actualisation of these policies. This contrasts with the shambolic, unclear and fuzzy programs of his opponents. Nigerians have come to trust Asiwaju based on the clearness and explicit nature of his Renewed Hope manifesto, as this proves the fact that Asiwaju has proved his hugely-successful tenure in Lagos. There is the belief writ large amongst Nigerians today that, like in Lagos, Tinubu knows the way and the process to strike success in governance, unlike others that stumble their way through governance hence their unproductive and forgotten tenures in previous governance positions.
Seventhly, Asiwaju has shown, for decades, that he is a detribalised patriot and a believer in Project Nigeria who has erected impregnable structures and walls of strength across the disparate divides that make up the country. He has built infallible bridges across the length and breadth of Nigeria, and these have promised him dedicated massive support across the country. The fire-brigade actions of a malevolent opposition would not be able to withstand these bridges, as we would see in February. These bridges ensured his emphatic victory in the hugely contested APC presidential primary, and they are there to reward him in February with the ultimate presidential crown equally.
Eighthly, Asiwaju has shown, through his family life and his policies as Lagos Governor, that he is blind to religious, ethnic and primordial sentiments. This is a critical imperative to providing value-free leadership to a diversified country like Nigeria. While other candidates play on the ethnic and religious fault lines of the country, Asiwaju preaches and prescribes tolerance across the board and the downplaying of the divide lines on national issues. He has proven his tolerance and acceptability across the board and the prescription of such for the good of the Nigerian commonwealth. These have ensured the tightened grip he has on a majority of Nigerian electorates as the election draws nearer, and the grip is too tight to be loosened by the sly activities of the opposition.
Ninthly, Asiwaju is well tutored on the nuances of electioneering as well as the antics of opposition interests, so he won’t easily fall prey to the plots, schemes and shenanigans of desperate opposition interests. Asiwaju’s capacity is borderless and across boundaries. His reach is infinite. His constituency is catholic, and his means are limitless. These have made him build an opposition that vassaled a ruling party, took effective control of the governance of the country and which has sentenced the once-ruling party to a bile-ridden, distraught and frustrated opposition today. Asiwaju’s enormous contacts have stood him in good stead to withstand the many booby traps and snare the hurting Nigerian opposition set on his way since 2015. His far-reaching contacts ensure that he stays several miles ahead of those that have fervently plotted his downfall since 1999. He vanquished the imperial Obasanjo as Lagos governor, made mincemeat of Jonathan and the PDP government from 2011 to 2015, made PDP devour the sand in such an emphatic manner and easily took the APC ticket in what was predicted to be a tight race. A hideous opposition working cowardly to sabotage the system so as to make APC and its government unpopular as to frustrate Asiwaju’s ambition would be very easy meat for a veteran fighter and survivor like Asiwaju to handle.
Tenthly, Asiwaju still has the support, trust and confidence of the biggest and most potent and powerful political structure in Nigeria today. The APC may have some black legs within (and this is natural for any human organisation). APC may still have moles working for a dishevelled PDP and its candidate. Still, the truth is that all other opposition parties combined don’t come near APC in strength, reach and capacity, so the actions of a few (even if strategically placed) blacklegs won’t do much to shred the awesome might of APC, which is ranged for Tinubu.
So, the coming presidential election still remains an exclusive game. Asiwaju is a game master of repute, a formidable tactician, a logistician and a master crafter that knows his way around the Nigerian political space like the master he is. Antics of a frustrated opposition account for the least of the political issues he had been dealing with on his way to the top. So when he boasted that he would defeat the present conspiracy of the opposition, those versed with his rich political history knew he was stating the obvious.
With his Abeokuta revelation, the lifeblood has been sapped from the conniving opposition and their cahoots in the APC government. Their fall is a matter of very little time because they draw their devious energy from working under the cover, believing no one knows their game. But Asiwaju took that cover off in Abeokuta; hence their fall is too eminent. Even as I write this piece, I am getting information that there has been a massive ramp-up in fuel distribution across Nigeria, thus paving the way for the eventual resolution of this artificial energy crisis. The solution to the currency crisis is well nigh with Asiwaju’s revelation. So, in Asiwaju’s impending presidency, Nigeria will have a bold, fearless and courageous leader who would be ready to frontally deal with the heinous saboteurs actively engaged in the act of doing everything to cripple the Nigerian state to satisfy their selfish interests. They know that Asiwaju is coming to give them a real battle, so the present sabotage of the fuel supply chain and currency restrictions are parts of their deadly projects to frustrate him. Like he emphatically said in Abeokuta, they will all fail because they are dealing with the owner of the game himself.