*Our people’s psyche has been twisted by poverty
From Bamidele Ademola-Olateju
Poverty cannot be discounted in Nigerian politics, actually, it defines politics. Prospective candidates only need to distribute staple and N1,000 notes to get elected after he or she must have given some money to party bosses and traditional rulers. Our people’s psyche has been twisted by poverty. Asiwaju has never discounted poverty from his winning strategy. He understands Maslow’s hierarchy of needs; it is hard to think right when preoccupied by bread and butter issues.
Without an iota of doubt, Asiwaju is a master strategist, a tactician and a certified hustler with dye in the wool qualities of made in America political hucksterism of the Chicago brand. He’s fed his base on a cocktail of merit, cronyism, area boy style patronage and intense graft. He has employed this strategy deftly in Lagos where he’s bred a fanatical base of supporters throughout his career.
The problem with him is that he does not know when to lessen the potency of this cocktail. I once wrote that the “Imposition of candidates are a given in our political landscape. Even our revered Chief Obafemi Awolowo imposed candidates but he did it by stealth. Every political party in this country without exception has always rewarded loyalists and favourite sons and daughters with positions. They all put forth anointed candidates and actively discourage contested primaries. The difference is, Asiwaju does his without care and respect.”
He puts on a know it all facade and hell may care attitude. Unfortunately, man always seek to assert himself. There will always be people who will prefer to be masters in hell compared to serving in heaven without a defined job description.
Saraki happened and Buhari pretended and looked the other way. The Fulani Pula philosophy of discipline and patience can work for a people whose life were moulded as nomads. This is politics, a brand of modern warfare. Discipline? Yes, Patience? No. Patience can prove costly and fatal. Politics always requires the urgency of now. Then the criminal enterprise figured him out. Meanwhile, the right flank where Tinubu ought to be has been vacated by an angry Tinubu. Everyone started working at cross purpose and Nigerians took notice. 2019 became the only thing happening in Abuja and at meetings. The calculations!
Since politics is about interests, Fashola and Fayemi “seem” (deliberate caution) determined to fight this to finish at any cost. But is the costs not too high given their age? A few patch-patch meeting between the Awujale, the Alaafin and some young Yoruba men intervened and the hostilities cooled off a bit until…
How about the governors? What are they doing? The Northern governors regardless of their political parties have met 17 times since Buhari came to power. The South West Governors don’t even speak to each other. Governor Ajimobi and Amosun, ought to be the closest.
They were both Senators and in ANPP together. But no! They don’t talk anymore! The bad blood was generated when the peace meeting between Osoba and Amosun took place behind Amosun’s back. He read everything in the papers with all the photo ops like you and I. Ajimobi played a leading role in that. Governor Aregbe disdains anyone who is not for Tinubu. Ambode is like Etisalat’s Uche – he faces his work.
He does not speak to Fashola. He is focused on making Lagos a modern city and he wants to obliterate Fashola from our memory as a hard worker, by eclipsing him by any standard. Mimiko – the fox is who he is. He can be a Kikuyu for all we know. He is for himself. Fayose is too entangled to think. He is busy spinning intricate webs around himself, he is unconcerned.
One important fact! What Asiwaju does not know is that he does not need to build himself anymore. He is already built. His attempt a remodeling himself by his frequent ego trips is a wild goose chase. When Buhari wanted to appoint the INEC Chairman, he called Tinubu three times, he refuses to take Buhari’s call. Buhari now called on his long time friend Amosun to submit a name. Amosun, told him to call his principal.
Buhari did two more times, Amosun declined. Buhari went ahead and appointed someone he wanted to the consternation of Amosun. When Amosun raised eyebrow at the NEC meeting, Buhari shouted him down. Same goes for the IGP position. Was Tinubu right to have done that?
Kogi’s election featuring Audu and Faleke. Asiwaju was heavily invested in this election. In a sane country, the death of Audu will be investigated but he was buried in a rush according to Muslim rites. Audu’s death was immediately known. The calculations was that if they allow Faleke, Tinubu will start spreading his tentacles in the North Central. They moved quickly to declare the election inconclusive even though it was concluded.
They settled in on Yahaya Bello, all in a predetermined effort as the next best thing. We saw how it played out. By this time, Tinubu saw the handwriting on the wall yet again. Baba Akande who trusted and became Buhari’s friend withdrew to Ila-Orangun and stopped receiving calls on anything APC or politics.
The tactics that was used by the PDP in 2012 was revived this time within the APC for the Ondo State elections. Last Christmas, the party wanted to remove Kekemeke the party chair in the state given the lies they were being fed by certain former Tinubu loyalists. It is noteworthy to state here that Tinubu gave Tayo Alasoadura N2billion for the 2012 elections. He couldn’t account for most of it.
Chief Rotimi Akeredolu was also implicated in the misappropriation. After the election, many brand new Toyota buses and motorcycles were recovered from Tayo Alasoadura. Things are not always as they seem in politics. The fallout between Tayo Alasoadura, Aketi and Tinubu lent some moisture to the dark cloud over Ondo State elections… I need a break and a drink…