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Tinubu – The Political Huckster and Ambitions (III)

*APC is set to split into three

From Bamidele Ademola-Olateju

Yoruba internal politics has always been plagued by rivalry since the days of the Alliance for Democracy (AD). Tinubu quickly seized the opportunity for leadership to the consternation of the rest. Baba Akande was the fulcrum. He maintained balance between the other five until he pitched his tent with Tinubu, when the Obasanjo Tsunami swept all of them out of power in 2003. He joined Tinubu to form the Action Congress. The politics, between all of them and their differences except for Lam Adesina and Adefarati who are dead, still colours Yoruba politics till date. Asiwaju has not helped matters too in that he did not cede anything to these former governors when ACN was formed and consequently the APC.

Tinubu, Fashola and Buhari
Tinubu, Fashola and Buhari

In politics as in life, it is always good to find work for your “enemies.” Keep them busy so they don’t think about you. When Fayemi did not keep Fayose busy, we saw what happened. Instead of allowing Otunba Niyi Adebayo to chair the party in the Southwest, he tipped Baba Akinyelure who is not a baptised politician. Of course the envy multiplied!

On Ondo State, the plan to make Aketi win was hatched up North and perfected in Abuja. Before then, I was convinced Aketi wouldn’t win his Owo constituency. From earlier on, there were two hard workers on ground for the governorship race on the APC platform; Ajayi Boroffice and Olusola Oke. The party knew it. They knew Oke was going to win in a free and fair primaries and they were never comfortable with him. Why? He joined the party late from PDP and his loyalty was always in question.

In my small capacity, I advised them to call him and table their fears and get an understanding. Apparently they did not buy that. Meanwhile, the issue of zoning which the state has always respected was there. By that arrangement, Akoko/Owo should produce the governor. They started thinking of how to broaden the delegates list. In 2012, Segun Abraham spent money and time in the state, he was favoured in most quarters but Aketi was handed the ticket which among other reasons led to their colossal loss.

Since then, Abraham withdrew. Up until May, he was not on ground. He was waiting for Asiwaju to show his hand. That proved to be his undoing because he could have won had he been on ground earlier. The moment Asiwaju showed his hand, which was a huge mistake, the Abuja folks swung into action. They were energised and united in their “clip the wings” mission.

They perfected the delegate swap strategy. Aketi was unaware of their plans until 24 hours before the election. When he was told, he couldn’t contain himself! He almost gave the game away. He went to the press and boasted how Tinubu will be shocked. It happened! It was near perfect because the aspirants did not know what hit them.

Aketi master stroke in Ondo: Delegates were accredited in one place and driven to another place to vote. While in transit, they were swapped and pre-printed tags were given to imported delegates while bonafide delegates couldn’t get in. All eyes were on ballots and accreditation while the “job” was on logistics and who could vote. The margin of swap, defined the winning votes and it was openly counted. It was almost 6pm before anyone could guess a thing. It was near perfect! Aketi won and most of them had congratulated him before they realised what happened. The ward chairmen were aggrieved and taken by surprise.

Fayemi and Fashola versus Tinubu: As things stand today, the duo of Fayemi and Fashola and their supporters who resent Tinubu’s influence have resolved to fight this to finish. I really do not like this because of the grave implications for us as a people. Yoruba former governors are fighting their mentor and the governors are not talking. There is so much disunity going on.

Nothing is happening, everyone is in his own cocoon of influence. I don’t understand why our ministers can’t see that, all these is a failing strategy. It is foolhardy to brush of twigs, cobwebs and dirt when you are still in the bush.

Why don’t you get out first? What power have they acquired before seeking their independence from Tinubu? I know it is not only Yorubas who are reading these series. Our people say; you cannot ask how your father was killed if you are not wielding a sword. Where is the political clout for this duo? These are thoroughbred elite who are not gifted in retail politics. They are good at giving well crafted speeches and they are best suited for Think Tanks. If Buhari can discard Tinubu, what makes them think they can’t be discarded? They are just being used as fodder for candidates who want to succeed Buhari. What else after their ministerial jobs? Why can’t these otherwise brilliant men see this?

It is a bad development for the Yoruba and it portends evil for the nation. Because of these games, certain actors within Buhari’s inner circle whom I won’t mention are determined to sabotage Buhari’s effort so they can pave way for 2019. The economy is primed for sabotage, the anti-corruption fight is lying prostrate! It is all by design.

Buhari’s friends sidelined: The plan is to make us so dissatisfied as to stone Buhari on the streets towards the end of next year (2017). I don’t pity Buhari! I don’t! He has offered himself to those whose vocation is to hold Nigeria by the jugular. President Buhari is too old to function and he is not in good health. Add to that is his loyalty blinkers by which he sees nothing wrong in his long standing friends. Many of the reliable people who stood by him for years have been sidelined.

The swashbuckling arrogance and clotted conformity of his inner circle is galling. It is like the rest of us do not matter and we can go and die! Like the PDP, the APC political machinery is a growing skein of looters and economic saboteurs. No one seem concerned by the great class divide and its deepening social contradictions. No one cares about the suffering Nigerian. As far as I know, there seem to be a deliberate intent to dash the hopes for a new Nigeria. To gain political power, they seem to want a furtherance our mediocre culture that promotes a lack of work ethics, penchant for short cuts, easy money, stealing and conversion of public funds, indiscipline, lack of patriotism, erosion of traditional values and dislocated religious beliefs.

APC is set to split into three: Olusola Oke has defected to AD. Tinubu is courting Fayose and Buruji through his surrogates. The ministers are hoping to wrest power from the top by courting young bureaucrats and aspiring politicians with no electoral value, Tinubu is courting grassroots politicians that stinks. Which way? APC is set to split into three. As things are today, parties will emerge that will have only regional reach. PDP is decimated, no one has the money to revive it. Buhari and his factotums have rubbished the handshake with the Yoruba and he will be hated more and more unless some miraculous healing takes place. The North will split into two politically because of ambitions.

The state is set such that no party will win 23 states in 2019. 2019 is too far but the actors are unthinking. Burying one man to sink the fortunes of a country instead of managing him is a bad idea and strategy. I hear Baba is ready to let the Daura hostage takers go. I’m not optimistic. The treachery there is worse than what the Bolsheviks did.

What is the way out? I think the party leaders in the Southwest should reach out to Awujale and Alaafin again. Let them talk to Asiwaju. Let them reconcile the governors and stress the need for unity and call the ministers in. I am aware peace talks are ongoing and reports reaching me are not reassuring with everyone still working at cross purpose.  I hope they learn.

To governor Fayemi and Fashola, please stop dancing. Mo be yin l’oruko Olorun. A young antelope who dances too early will be lame before the main dance starts. Eni to ju’ni lo, le ju’ni nu. E je ki a fi agba f’agba k’aye o le gun ati wipe awon agba so fun wa pe Ilá kìí ga ju onire lo! To Asiwaju, a leader must embrace influence to gain power. Owo omodé o to pepe, t’agbalagba o wo kengbe. Ko maa je ti eyin agba. That is the lesson for Tinubu. I hope he listens, for the love of country over self.

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