New Telegraph

2023: Beware of promises

As a result of the wind of democratization that is blowing across the globe, it has now become unfashionable to stage a coup d’état. Not too long ago, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo described as unacceptable the upsurge of such incidence in some African countries.

 

It is also often said that the worst civilian administration is better than the best military rule. But are these leading African political actors abiding by the rule of the game and the rule of law? Are they not stealing overtly or covertly from the public funds in their custody?

 

Are they not killing opponents and critics of their policies? It is on this basis that the analysis of the three most prominent contestants to the presidency in 2023 is necessary to enlighten and educate voters ahead of the February 2023 presidential election in Nigeria at the kick-off of campaigning. Senator Bolatito Ahmed Tinubu who explained to Nigeria that his aspiration is driven by a long-life ambition is from Yoruba ethnic group, simplicita.

 

Whether he is from Lagos or Osun state is immaterial. He was Lagos governor between 1999 and 2007 after a stint in the Senate during the 3rd republic. I have been a permanent resident in Lagos since 1999 roving through the streets either as senior writer with POLICY magazine, Chief Correspondent with NIGERIAN TRIBUNE, South-West bureau Chief with INSIDER Magazine, a leftist weekly journal with focus on crime and scandal, and an acting Editor with a specialized magazine.

 

I am therefore qualified to assess the person and activities of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) with sincerity of purpose and as a stakeholder in the Nigeria project and to conclude that I’m Yoruba, not Tinubu. As the only presidential candidate of Yoruba extraction, he has filled the gap created by the death of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

 

But can he match Chief Obafemi Awolowo in ideas and deeds? Awolowo as leader and presidential candidate of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) was vehemently opposed to the nomination of the late publisher of the Nigeria Tribune, Chief Oluwole Awolowo as member, Apapa constituency in the Lagos State House of Assembly. It took the intervention of his closest allies before he would agree with his son’s aspiration.

 

But Oluremi Zinab Tinubu is spending her 12th year in the upper chamber. Tinubu’s late mother Abibat Mogaji was the Iyaloja of Lagos before his daughter, Folasade Tinubu-Ojo stepped in when Abibat Mogaji died. Late Deji Tinubu was picked as Chairman Lagos State Sports Council when the occupier was removed from office.

 

Richard Kasunmu, his nephew is also serving his 12th – year at the Lagos House of Assembly. When Oriental Hotel, close to the Lekki toll gate, was being constructed, Lagosians thought it was being built to generate income for the state government. But we all know who owns it today.

 

Doherty, the former Managing Director, Alpha Beta, reportedly took him (Tinubu) to court over business deals that went sour, before they opted for an out of court settlement. We all know what Alpha Beta does in terms of tax collection in Lagos.

 

The bullion van saga of 2019 reminds us of the Second Republic Governor of Kano State, late Barkin Zuwo, who after being caught with a large sum of money, said: “You met government money inside Government House, what is my offence?” The Abdul Rasheed Bawa-led EFCC told us he does work on the pages of newspapers when asked how much was involved, but said investigations were in top gear.

Maybe the investigation will come to an end tomorrow! While it is good to be ambitious, desperate ambition leads to a vaulting one.

 

Before he left office there was already a law providing for a choice house in Lagos and Abuja for him as a retired governor. In 2007 while explaining the choice of the current works and housing minister as his choice to succeed him, he told reporters at my instance at Lagos Airport hotel, Ikeja that he decided on Fashola as his successor because when he was broke while in exile, he told Fashola, who was working in the law firm of his (Tinubu) uncle, to sell one of his properties, the proceeds which he said was kept intact for him.

 

During the primary election that promoted him as the presidential candidate of APC, his Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice who is also the current Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, disclosed while they were struggling for the presidential ticket of the APC that he (Tinubu) was profiting from the system. Senator Babafemi Ojudu, a journalist and special adviser in the Presidency, even used a stronger word.

 

It was also this desperation that made them go ahead with the controversial Muslim-Muslim ticket in spite of the hue and cry. Only recently ex-President Goodluck Jonathan advised Nigerians not to vote into power people who kill in the name of politics at an event in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State. Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior and ex-Osun governor also sounded out loud that killers have been admitted into APC.

 

He was only being economical with the truth, because killers have always been amongst the politicians from time immemorial. But, who killed Engineer Funso Williams?

 

Nobody was ever tired; those arrested (Senators Adeseye Ogunlewe, Musliu Obanikoro & Co) were later set free. Journalists were not even spared, as Abayomi Ogundeji, who was ex-Deputy Governor Femi Pedro’s Media Aide, was killed in Lagos. After Pedro lost the election to Fashola, Ogundeji returned to his desk as an Editorial Board member at This Day newspaper, writing and criticizing the government, before his assailants pounced on him in Lagos.

 

Prominent statesmen of Yoruba extraction like ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and nonagenarian Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo are opposed to his candidature, with preference to Peter Obi of Labour Party, because they know and believe it is a self-aggrandizing effort. Oh God! This Tinubu project must fail.

 

l Awoyemi, Media Consultant, sent this piece from Ile Ife: 08039506843 (SMS only) warehouse

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