Opinion: What is pretentious about Tinubu’s politics and support of Buhari?

File photo: president Buhari and Tinubu. Source: The Punch

The incumbent president of the federal republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, who is also waiting to be sworn in for his second and the last term in office must be praised for his doggedness pursuant to his ambition of becoming the president of Nigeria.

For the emphasis, he didn’t get it on the platter of gold unlike his democratic predecessors since independence, who at the most, were products of nothing but incidental politicking. To be certain, what we’re saying here is that four times he tried before succeeding.

And that’s the stuff you’d describe as the ‘Audacity of Hope’, apologies to Barak Obama, the former president of the United State of America.

But I want to repeat here like I’ve said over and over again that his overwhelming popularity especially in the North hinged on a mix of on his revered integrity, ascetic lifestyle and being a Muslim faithful wouldn’t have been enough to power him to the seat of the president.

Yes, he repeatedly gets a certain number of votes from his core loyalists in the North in his three attempts but elsewhere he fell terribly short because he was perceived essentially in the negatives. To many, he’s an unrepentant tyrant, ethnic jingoist and a radical Muslim. To turn the tides, a couple of things were needed urgently.

In addition to rebranding him to remove, especially, the perceptual toga of an Islamic fundamentalist, a new political platform was also needed for him to run on.

This is not a slight on everything he stands for as a person, phenomenal as they were, he just wouldn’t have won, even in 2015. Remember also that before then he almost got discouraged by the whole thing and had allegedly even gone ahead to indicate that he was no longer interested in the coveted office.

Another thing that helped his cause was that the Nigerian people to a very large extent got tired in a way with the government of the then president Goodluck Jonathan and by extension the people democratic party (PDP) which has held sway for sixteen uninterrupted years.

What is Tinubu’s role in the creation of the new political platform, the All Progressives Congress (APC) upon which the president was able to triumph?

Not taken anything away from his co-laborers, who undoubtedly were and are eminent in their political statures, in the onerous task of creating a new and truly national political party that’s capable of dislodging the incumbent political party then, the people’s democratic party, arguably populated by some of the most rapacious politicians ever to grace the stage; Bola Ahmed Tinubu was the arrowhead, the master strategist that gave shape, direction, and momentum to the experimental conception and its priceless baby. The rest like they use to say is now history. 

While others wilfully played the dynamite, he has continued to play the role of the glue, and the oil for the party in difficult times. 

During this period, some who were today accusing others of pretension pretentiously played along for what they could get. And sooner than the government was sworn in, they manifested their true identity that was full of wiles.

In spite of his contributions to building the now formidable ruling party called the All Progressives Congress (APC), let’s not also forget that Tinubu was at some point the centerpiece of thick shenanigan and plots by a motley crowd of jealous co-traveling politicians’ working day and night to detract from his rightful claim to being the party’s first among equals’ strategic thinkers.

The media then was awash with twisted stories spun to suit the selfish agenda of these disloyal elements. As a consequence temporarily though, it appears he was sidelined but he didn’t make any fuzz about it. It is not in his political manners to be fuzzy. However, nobody knows if it had persisted, he could have taken a walk from the party. And that would’ve been a big loss to the party.

But at the end, the president who you could say isn’t politically shrewd as you’d expect a leader by the standard of an average Nigerian politician did see the indispensability of Tinubu as a political co-conspirator and there was a predictable realignment, I think, at a Tinubu’s colloquium sometimes in 2018.

There, political expediency somehow managed to take precedence over and above the petty calls to political plots by Tinubu to dominate or control if you like the president being peddled by his adversaries.

Like I hinted earlier, we all can still remember how Tinubu’s accusers hijack the leadership of the national assembly contrary to the visionary, fair and equitable arrangements proposed by him as the national leader of the ruling party.

Today, the rampant talk is about Tinubu’s pretentious politics and support for the president. And guess who the people behind the pretension narratives are?

They’re the same people who once flouted the party’s order because of their pathologically selfish ambition and went on to generate needless distractions for the government.

The regular visits of one of them to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to face his trial for nondisclosure of some of his properties in the assets declaration form is a good pointer to this.

Before long, they had returned as many had predicted to their former home, the People Democratic Party (PDP), citing what and what they didn’t get in the present government as if the party is for them alone.

However, now that they have lost out of what many analysts would love to liken to Buhari’s legacy term, it seems all that remains for them is to attempt to drag Tinubu down with them into the sinking hole of their electoral misfortunes.

What’s pretentious about Tinubu supporting Mr. President to winning another four year’s term in office?  

Tinubu, more than these rabble-rousing and disgruntled losers, have done what’s expected of him as a loyal party man and the national leader of the party. Don’t forget he led the president campaign train and had literally delivered.

What also is pretentious about Tinubu nursing a presidential ambition and even plotting to succeed the incumbent come 2023?

Tinubu as a loyal and dedicated party man has every right to be ambitious and more than deserve to lead the country. Those who are averse to this definitely need to get their politics right.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is educated, experienced, relevant, beloved, accessible, detribalized, shrewd and inclusive in his political orientation and gamesmanship. Tinubu, above all, is a born democrat. He doesn’t need to cross carpet like some of them to realize his political relevance.

He has taught all who try to double-cross him one political lesson or the other that they will never forget in their life.

If you’re in doubt, go and ask former president Olusegun Obasanjo, who tried to undermine his government by not releasing the state’s allocation from the federation account for many years on the ground that he created thirty-seven Local Council Areas.

And when he brought his warped and tendentious political arrangement that Alliance for Democracy governors in the southwest should support him during his second term bid which backfired for those who naively followed him, only Tinubu survived such a carefully crafted political subterfuge because he was astute and has remain so.

How can two parallel lines meet? How can two political parties with different ideologies, so to say, come together holding rallies without any form of formal agreement? Who does that?

From his antecedents, therefore, from which a few have been highlighted above as a past governor, and governor of governors of the most economically viable state in Nigeria, Lagos, credence you’d agree had been sufficiently lent to his fame and managerial acumen.  He’s the political Jagaban.

So when the chips are down, Tinubu stands head and shoulder above others in the order of those who are likely to succeed the president come 2023 and there is nothing anybody can do about it.

While the likes of Dogara, Saraki and their cohorts may have a problem with it, they cannot stop it. Rather they should continue to lick the wounds of their politics losses. And if Tinubu’s presidency is an idea whose time has come, no one either naturally born of a woman or by a caesarian section can stop it.

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