The celebration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu a former Senator, former Governor of Lagos State and now chieftain of All Progressive Congress the rulling APC 69th Birthday was led by His Excellency the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari.It is the first time that the Tinubu’s Colloquium is celebrated outside Lagos or Abuja the nation capital.The celebration has left many questions to be answer by both analyst and Politicians who are now given it a political connotations 11 years since it inception. This is because before Tinubu’s sudden appearance in Arewa House Kaduna last week where he delivered a keynote address even when Arewa Youth consultative forum led by Yarima protested against the decision of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje to host the event in Kano.
The birthday was indeed a remarkable with Messages of goodwill, prayers and best wishes trooping from all the nooks and cronies of the country sharing their joy/happiness as the National leader marks his 69th birthday in Kano.The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari GCFR who delivered his speech and goodwill message,
described Tinubu as a nationalist and someone who played a critical role to the formation of the All Progressive Congress from four other Political parties. He also said ,Tinubu has been very intrumental in ushering in the APC change administration and according to him choosing Kano was indeed timely considering the ongoing ecthnic tensions in the country. The Statements of the President also to put to an end of the long fictions and stories been paraded that there exist Buhari and Tinubu’s APC camps.
The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Professor Yemi Osibanjo who was Tinubu Justice Commissioner during his term as Governor of Lagos State also described Tinubu as a mentor and a great Nationalist who has given it all to his country. Governor Ganduje of Kano State who is the Chief host of the Colloquium said the unity of Nigeria is none negotiable and Tinubu has given so much for the country to lived together as an indivisible nation. The birthday has left Political lamentations as it relates to the 2023 Presidency and the statements made by President Muhammadu Buhari has buried all the hearsay that the duo are not together.
Frankly speaking the celebrant was not told the bitter truth how the Northerns feel about his continue silent while their fellow brothers, sisters and kinddrens are been chased out, molested and killed in the region (South West) that Tinubu has absolute control over. It is a Known fact that almost if not all the Governors of the South West may be with the exception of Seyi Makinde of Oyo State are known to be his Political boys ,most of the President Ministers including the Vice President served under Tinubu tenure as Governor of Lagos State. Tinubu long absence and failure to make public statements on the happenings in the South West mainly perpetrated by his Yoruba people has put a serious question to his statement that “Yoruba and Fulanis are one”.
The President of the Nigerian Senate Senator Ahmad Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives are Known to be Tinubu’s anointed candidates since 2015 where Saraki and Dogara upturned their dream of leading the National Assembly with the support of other forces within the APC. Atiku Abubakar former Vice President under Obasanjo and former Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Executive Governor of Sokoto State are said to be very intrumental in ushering Saraki and Dogara. The former Speaker narrowly escaped the APC axe at the aftermath of 2019 General elections while Saraki faced and battle many charges ranging from false assets declaration , forging of Senate standing rules and alleged misconduct when he served as Governor of Kwara State that ended his dream to make a return to the Senate in 2019.
Saraki was equally accused of sponsoring armed robbery in Kwara State which many said was a mere Political desperation and whitchunt for his failure to compromise his fathers Political noturing to be a Tinubu’s boy. Hajiya Na’ajatu Mohammed later open up that the duo (Tinubu and Saraki) started at the APC National convention in Lagos that produced the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari as the party’s presidential candidate in 2014.The reason according to her was Saraki’s stands against Tinubu nomination to run as PMB running mate (Muslim-Muslim ) ticket. Considering the complicated nature of the Nigerian politics where religion and tribal identities are running the show certainly APC dreamt of winning the 2015 Presidency would have been just an illusion.
The Colloquium to have been hosted outside Lagos and Abuja for the first time in about 12 years further proved beyond reasonable doubt that the 2023 Political game just began considering the voting population of Kano and Lagos. Many are of the believes that the colloquium was another Tinubu’s pattern to launch his campaign in the strategic Northern State with the highest voting population in the North if not the country at large.The Irony is that all those Northern elites eligusing Tinubu on his failed to remind him of the situation of their fellow Northerners in the South West but they have chosen to close their eyes by bending their nose for Political reasons. They have failed to tell him the areas of his weakeness if not his chances of winning the Presidency should he fly the APC ticket instead they kept eligusing him as a nationalist. The APC stalwarts should have put a reminder that the same scenario that play out in 2014 which denied him run with President Muhammadu Buhari are much alive.
Tinubu has all the Political weight ,popularity and financial capacity to contest or even win the APC Primary ticket for the 2023 Presidential elections though his greatest challenge is the running mate. Nigeria is multi-ecthnic in nature, diversely diverted along tribes and religion a scenario that must play out at all cost. The Political elites has for long infused tribal and religion colouration in our main stream Political atmosphere which sooner or later they may pay for the same syndrome. We all know that the only reason that denied Tinubu from becoming the Vice President of Nigeria along President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 was the question of his religion (Muslim). This single reason gave Professor Yemi Osibanjo the advantage of becoming the Vice President of Nigeria as against the Jagaban and the master himself (Asiwaju). It is always painful for me as a youth to see the manner our politics is been play leaving us with the only option to stand behind the ugly principle “Our own” instead of standing with the Fundamental principle “Capable” and this is the greatest challenge Tinubu has to fix ahead of the 2023 Presidency.
The North has within itself has a conflict of interest ranging from tribes, religion and regional identities because even the three Geo-Political zones donnot seem to be moving together Politically because of the infused hatred of tribes and religion identities.The Northerners are not identify as Northerners any longer because of the concentration of nationalities that has thrown the region into serious conflict. The choice of Tinubu to fly APC Presidential ticket at the midst of these scenarios may likely be the party’s greatest and final mistake that will consume the party as whole. This is because the same scenario that denied him (Tinubu) the opportunity to be the nation number two citizen in 2015 and it is still alive which is likely deny him same opportunity to be the nation number one citizen.
Another key challenge of Tinubu is his inability to condemn or call his boys (the South West Governors) to order for the inhuman treatment and injustice against the Nigerian citizens mostly of Northern Extraction despite the Political recognition he enjoys as the APC National leader. The successes and fault play of the current Government are mostly attributed to him because of the weight he always carry once “APC” is mentioned. The response he get in return when he speak on National issues always tell the world how close Tinubu is to the corridors of power Which means he is either part of the present successes or failure of the current administration. It has been said many oftentimes that, even the template , manifesto and all the campaigns slogans were designed by the Jagaban of Borgu.
The 1993 annulled June 12 won by MKO/Kingebe is regarded as the best election Nigeria has ever had in history where credibility and competency were the only ingredients of campaigns as well as selling of candidates flying various Political parties.Today ,our Politicians has deviated from those Fundamental principles and have succeeded in brainwashing our thoughts leaving us only with “WE WANT OUR OWN” syndrome. This is the first agitation that come to our minds as against the credibility and competency of those jostling for Political offices. Our rich Political history has been abandoned and today what is been play is tribal, religion and regional Politics which prompted the issue of zoning between the Muslim dominated North and Christian dominated South.
In 1999 when democratic institutions was restored by the former Head of State General Abdulsalam Abubakar credibility was not allowed to take it course rather zoning was introduced knowing fully that it may hunt and harm the nation one day. Former President Obasanjo ( Christian South ) Vs Atiku Abubakar ( Muslim North ), Late President Yar’adua ( Muslim North) Vs former President Jonathan ( Christian South ) and President Muhammadu Buhari ( Muslim North) Vs Professor Yemi Osibanjo ( Christian South).Should Tinubu dream of becoming the President of Nigeria is to be realise in 2023 certainly he must take of the following as the only option before him and apply the risk.(1) Tinubu (Muslim South and Muslim North) and (2) Tinubu (Muslim South and Christian North ). I would be glad if he succeeds through one of these phases but certainly it will be a very difficult task to to go by in our current day democracy.
To conclude this piece, I will like to underpin it with a quotation that says ,”It is not everything that is face can be change but nothing can be change until it is face” . The Jagaban may be out to change those narratives and actualise either (South Muslim- North Muslim) or (South Muslim-North Christian) President and Vice President otherwise his dream of becoming the number citizen will be an illusion. On a personal note,I would love a situation whereby Nigerians will always priorities the question of credibility and competency to triumph over the question of tribes and religion to set the country free from this long divisive tendencies that is holding the country to a standstill. This will be a step and a foundation for the country from been describe as the third world and set us on the right journey/direction to our destination.
Tinubu will never be shielded from the current experience whether good or bad because many see him as the “Defacto President”.
Sani Danaudi Mohammed (SDM)
Arewa Youths Advocate for Peace and Unity Initiative .