Emmanuel Olorunda-Otaru strongly believes the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu should reconsider his rumoured bid for the presidency in 2023.
This is my humble advice to the Asiwaju of Lagos, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is rumoured to be nursing presidential ambition in 2023, barely three years away. Rumour, because he has not voiced it openly that he will be contesting. But his body language is voicing it loud and clear. If it is true that he has the ambition, he needs to think twice before venturing into the ring.
Sure, Tinubu has the inalienable right as a Nigerian to aspire to the highest office in the land, he should weigh his chances, in the present Nigerian situation, where merit is sacrificed on the altar of ethnicity and tribalism, where a section of the country believes they hold both the yam and the knife in the political equation. Those who determine how and who occupy position of authority in the land.
In a sane society, where merit, justice, equity, intellectualism , experience and ability to deliver quality leadership count, Tinubu stands tall!. He has made his mark in the development of Lagos State cum the political space. No one can deny him this credit. I am not saying he has no short comings, but as humans, who can say he or she hasn’t any short coming?
Without the tacit support of Tinubu, with his political dexterity, leading to the formation of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC through the coalition, those occupying Aso Rock Villa today, would not have gotten the chance. He has worked very hard for enthronement of democracy in the country. He fought with members of NADECO then to oust the military for democracy.
Without a doubt, he deserves the right to aspire to the highest office in the land, but it is a pity that in today’s political reality in the country, the odds that would be against him are damning. One, the North is not ready to let go of the presidency at the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure in 2023 on a plata of gold, unless by consensus, with the whole Southern region comprising the South-west; South-south; and South-east coming together in a holy alliance, to negotiate and demand from a position of strength, not weakness to actualize the agitation for restructuring before the general elections.
A holy alliance that would not be infiltrated by the enemies of progress. To block the chances of divide and rule. And place a curse on the black sheep that would sell-out. The hawks at the Aso Rock are not relenting to let go of power, even though by the gentlemanly agreement, power is supposed to come back to the South after eight years in the North. President Muhammadu Buhari as a man of integrity may not be the problem. Giving fillip to the North’s reluctance to handover power to the South, are some governors from the region already positioning themselves to contest the presidential election come 2023. One of them has already come to the South to show his interest. Whether he merely came to fly a kite to test the mood of the Southerners, time will tell.
There is also the breaking story, that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, a Northerner, who lost to the incumbent President Buhari in the last presidential election, is dusting his political machinery to also contest for the presidency against the run of play against the South. This is not considering the gentlemanly agreement of rotational presidency between the North and South geopolitical regions. Can this politics of alienation engender national unity and development? Or some selfish politicians may be saying that, rather than rotation, it should be by qualification and merit. Does these qualities reside only in one region or ethnic group of the country?
To face the reality, it is even too early to start angling for 2023 election, which is a distraction to the incumbent administration that is finding it difficult to fulfil their campaign promises to Nigerians, almost midway into their second term in office. Rather, politicians should rally round President Buhari’s administration to find solutions to the myriads of problems bedevilling the country. They should also channel their energy in canvassing for the restructuring of the country.
Restructuring is not synonymous with the break-up of the country, and so those who are afraid of it should not lose sleep, it will only spur competitive development of the country. There is no part of this country that God has not blessed with both human and natural resources for greatness, only laziness will make any of the federating unit to remain poor and undeveloped.
Second reason, even if Tinubu contests and wins, the National Assembly dominated by one section of the country may clip his wings, and may frustrate his government. Remember Jonathan and the PDP. He lamented how his own party members from the North worked against him. What magic will Tinubu perform under such circumstance? My suggestion here: Rather than Tinubu dissipating his energy to contest for the elusive presidency in 2023, he should channel his energy and humongous resources towards galvanizing the South-west and other regions for true federalism. He should not sacrifice the interest of the majority for his selfish ambition. He should make peace with the Yoruba leaders he may be aggrieved with, to forge a common front.
The Southern, Middle-Belt and Niger Delta Forum is a potent platform to demand first, the restructuring of the country before the 2023 general elections. I believe there are other sincere progressive minded Northerners who are equally supporting the strident call for restructuring, knowing full well that the country’s unity could be endangered if this call is not heeded soon. We are better together in a united country, but the centrifugal forces pulling the fault lines apart are frightening. The clock is ticking steadily. Where are the men of good conscience, from the North, South, East and West that would rise to the occasion to save this great country from the looming catastrophe?
It will be self-delusion, to think that the country’s unity is unbreakable. The bottled up anger in the land is palpable, no thanks to nepotism, injustice and bad governance. A little spark could do incalculable damage to the unity of the country. The recent EndSARS protest that ravaged the land and assumed global dimension is a case study. We have lessons to learn from countries like former USSR, Yugoslavia, Sudan to mention a few that broke apart. The onus to keep the country united for the good of all lies with the political leaders.
Back to Tinubu, a word is enough for the wise. You are a wise man, a master strategist. Know it that if this country remains as it is today, your chances to rule the country will be a mirage. You may even be allowed to contest, just to allow you waste your enormous resources. You may even win a free and fair election, but may not smell the Aso Rock, a pyrrhic victory. Your case could be another MKO Abiola, who won a free and fair presidential election which was annulled by the Military. The June 12, 1993 election has become a watershed in the history of this country today. Please, remember JUNE 12!. Abiola was told in time past that, ‘the Presidency was not for sale’. Remember the 12 2/3 mathematics against late Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s bid to rule the country! Remember former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s turbulent presidency, whose ascendancy was by providence. A Northern hegemon boasted that they would ‘make the country ungovernable for him’, the rest is history. Only former President Olusegun Obasanjo had the golden opportunity, first as a military Head of State and as a civilian president for eight good years to restructure the country for good but did not! Oh he did not!
The Jagaban, they could promise you power, but would only use you and dump you at the end. I believe you are already seeing the handwriting on the wall. Your case could be like the Biblical Moses, who disobeyed God’s instruction. And God told him that he would only see the promise land of Canaan, but would not step into it.
If this country is not restructured for true federalism, before the next general elections, please, do not join the race. You may be rubbished! A personal feeling and advice.