TINUBU: The Unsung Hero of a new Nigerian Epoch

Deep, introspective and enigmatic Bola Tinubu

Deep, introspective and enigmatic Bola Tinubu

General Muhammadu Buhari may have won the election as Nigeria’s new president but the hero of that victory is unabashedly Bola Tinubu, the All Progressive Congress APC National Leader. After trying to bulldoze through the maze of intrigues that make Nigeria’s politics tricky for a record three times, the General had declared that he was done with trying to be civilian president. If he thought his value was spent, Tinubu thought differently and put his massive wealth, national contacts and extensive South West connections to play for the General.

SACRIFICIAL LAMB OF NIGERIA

If Nigeria were a religion, Tinubu would be the Jesus of the new religion. How? Where all other Nigerian politicians except Nmadi Azikiwe refused to give up their aspiration, Tinubu willingly did because “Some may call what I have done a sacrifice. I call it otherwise. It is my patriotic contribution and
duty. I do so with a happy and uplifted heart and clear conscience because I have committed myself to seeking the best for this nation before seeking what is good for myself.”

In another speech, he premised his head hunting for the retired General by reminding Nigerians that the times were dire for the country as it was for some other countries at different times in their

Picture credit: Sahara Reporters

Picture credit: Sahara Reporters

history. According to him, “when the French were in crises, they sent for and got DeGaulle to come back from retirement; when the British were confronted by a national emergency, they sent for and got Winston Churchill to return from retirement. When America had her own crises, they fell back to a retired General Dwight D. Eisenhower” Reasoning that the People’s Democratic Party had led Nigeria into a crisis situation, Tinubu said, the time came for Nigeria to revert to one of her war veterans, Muhammadu Buhari. For me, this was the greatest comment of the entire presidential campaign.

Marriage Made of Gold?

The Presidency is in the pocket now. The hard job has just started. More sacrifices may be required of those in the winning team. How much of control will the General permit? How much of political sacrifice will be called of Tinubu? How much willing are the partners going to make in the days ahead? How much of concessions would be made to the outgoing government and how much of concession would the in-coming government demand from the reckless gang that is leaving the scene? The challenges ahead are no doubt greater than than the frills. Tinubu is the political general that made the election of Buhari possible. They need to clearly identify turfs for each to flourish otherwise, acrimony looms.

PDP’s Rotten Basket

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President Goodluck Jonathan entitled to some concessions because of his naivity but how much would that cost the integrity of the anti-corruption crusading General?

In the rotten basket of governance that General Buhari will inherit would be the endless list of scandals, frauds and financial sleazes. He will inherit a country driven through from high quarters by ethnic riving massaged by officialdom and religious harlotry of the form never seen before. He will collect a basket filled with cynicism and dispirited fighters who had made every arrangement for win or waste but were only held back by the praying hands of some citizens, the answering mercy of God and the spirited effort of global statesmen who turned Nigeria into a diplomatic shuttle ground as never before seen under the Goodluck Jonathan years. His naivity was callous to the extreme but it seems pretty obvious that the new government would have to make some concessions to cover the shame of the luckless years of Goodluck Jonathan.

Hope Arising

Is this the time when Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu had prayed for when  Nigerians would no longer be ashamed to call themselves Nigerians? Tinubu and Buhari have in their hands, a golden opportunity to make it so.

#TheNigerianDream

Muhammadu-Buhari-smiling Larry Happiday
The effect of timing or occurrences on a narrative will contextualize that era and help to place events in a continuum of human development. The grappling with fire in a novel for instance, will give an idea of when making of fire for domestic cooking was a big deal. Loading a Dane gun and storing of self-loaded ammunition will situate a narrative in the period close to the era when the hunting gun was invented just as my father and mother can factor their birth year by the realisation of when the locomotive first visited Enugu or the year of salt scarcity or the year of the Ebola crises or other such well known events.
In many years to come, Nigeria’s history will be contextualized by the auguring of this time especially the year of Buhari’s democratic win or the year of Goodluck’s defeat. Although it is significant that this is the year when a democratically elected President was defeated by a former army general, what is more acute and resounding about this year is that it is the year when persistence paid for the gangling general whose stock amongst the political class suddenly gained national currency and assumed the definitive signature of a new Nigeria.
How would a Buhari tenure define our epoch? Before it has started, this election already has so many banners that mark it out as possibly the moment when Nigerians have dreamed as their Eldorado. To be sure, many will not realistically expect General Muhammadu Buhari to perform magic or for that matter Goodluck Jonathan to heal the disease that his first tenure was but it would seem to me, that whoever is eventually declared winner will have been given the carte-blanche to make Nigeria or mar her in his own image.
Watching the results of the elections role out of the tube, I can see many holes and much hope

Will the respect go into the transfer of power?

Will the respect go into the transfer of power?

Tough look not any where available when it was needed in Chibok

Tough look not any where available when it was needed in Chibok

HOLES
With the entire South Eastern Nigeria, for the first time voting so solidly for a cause, I see the wounds either of the Civil War coming alive or the South Easterners reacting negatively to the ceaseless loses their folks have suffered in the hands of zealots from parts of the North. Although this was a localized affair concentrating in Kano, Kaduna and lately Jos, it has since assumed a national dimension with the emergence of Boko Haram. Whoever wins this election has the unusual coagulation of the South East, including the Rivers and Akwa Ibom axis into a coherent voting song to content with. Let no one tell me that it has to do with the opponent being a Bayelsan; it is not. Since when has Bayelsa assumed the toga of the defender of South Eastern and South Southern interests? Or the visage of saviour of the endangered? Or mother hen of the oppressed?
What has happened is that all the hate campaigns of many years against the North and candidates of Northern extraction unraveled with the realisation that Boko Haram enjoyed support in the hands of government officials. To ignore this fact is to hand over the destiny of the East to the renegades and rascals. The arrest of Kabir Sokoto and the reports that all the Northern governors were contributors to the Boko Haram purse, as some point in time, finally unraveled the suspicion that the chain of “civil disturbances” in the old Northern region that has always left the Igbo as victims was no coincidence but an orchestra in a general drama of rejection which the Civil War was its watershed. The task is not breaking the “Biafran” unity but finding an accommodation in the Nigerian Dream.
Another hole in this epochal election will be whether government can plug the leak in relationship between citizens and government. The North Easterners would want to know whether they are finally a part of the Northern missive or whether their largely Kanem Bornu heritage has marked them out for some displeasing experimentation. The horrendous neglect which allowed the Boko Haram plague to fester left them bruised front and back, leaving land, people and environment degraded and denuded. Now, they would be remembered as a people whose daughters were sold as booties of war in a generation of civil liberties and civil rights. They will now be remembered as the generation when government and people could not provide security for their little ones because a marauding blood letter was let loose on them. But it also be remembered as the era, when government failures due to lack of local knowledge was healed by locals who became the arrowhead of community resistance to bestiality and despoliation. Where the military failed to make advances, the knowledge of the ins and outs of the Boko ‘’caliphal” terrain by what has been variously classed as “local vigilante” proved the game changer.

The Nigerian Epoch

The challenge for who wins the election will not be how idling you can achieve with chewing gums but how much of civil policing you can make out of this latent local knowledge that came handy with the collapse of intelligence which led to humiliating failures of our troops and ego as Africa’s leading power who relied on the combined assistance of minions like Chad, Niger and Cameroun to be able to rout a group of otherwise unimportant irredentists. Ignoring this potent batch of local heroes will be costly as the Boko Haram tragedy itself has shown. Their expectations may be small but their achievement or the model that they portend must be integrated into a community policing role if governance is to be democratized.

Map of Nigeria Ethnics: always a source of conflict, can Buhari weld a nation out of these diversities?

Map of Nigeria Ethnics: always a source of conflict, can Buhari weld a nation out of these diversities?

The South West and North have never had a problem socially except with the narrative that land must be watered by the gale of Jihadists. That created a mental bloc of mutual disrect and suspicion such that the late Western Nigerian, Chief Obafemi Awolowo had to deify this disdain by the refrain rather than bow to the Northerner, it is better to die. It does not matter that the same Awolowo bowed to the rule of Gowon, when he served his administration as head of the Economy. That hate speech has survived many years later. The reference to Gambari by the Yoruba in every day discourse is not one of compliment but of utter disdain. Yet, Goodluck Jonathan’s political naivety against them in the appointment of lieutenants to run his first tenure was an utter scandal. Has the Yoruba become such an endangered species that they did not matter anymore in the national narrative. The sweeping of the South West by the General has seeds of hope for the Nigerian narrative but also shows Goodluck Jonathan that everyone may have his price but no amount is enough to buy the collective aspiration of the whole.

Perhaps the greatest hole of all is the financial hole that this election has left in our national kitty. The brigandage and feline despoliation on the national treasury will only manifest as time goes on. I pity Buhari, whom I voted for, because when he assumes office, he will find himself a second time being handed over an empty national treasury and a forlorn citizenry to persuade to work the talk. Despite the best efforts of his party, APC to mobilize voters to obtain their PVC and to vote, many who got the card still stayed away from the polls, I know the number who felt they were wasting their time standing in the heat for hours for an election that seemed doomed, in my voting unit, whom? I prevailed on to see the process through. But this is not about what I did. It is about what we can do as Nigerians to get this class back to the classroom. As it was in Lagos so was it in other parts of the country.

HOPES

Standing in the line with an eighty year old voter for hours unending waiting on the INEC staff to get their card reading working was a narrative you would not find in the front page of newspapers. But I had four octogenarians, interestingly, all women, in my polling unit 16 at Seriki Aro voting area, in Ikeja. Not only did they not leave, even when younger ones left, one or two who went home to refresh returned later to stay until about 6pm when the election finally began. Attempting to deconstruct the mind of this Nigerian Zealots is going to reveal the love that citizens have for their country.

I see hope that the long awaited citizen policing concept may see the light of the day. Our troops had no confidence to enter the horror caliphate because they had local knowledge. The lack of local knowledge amongst Nigeria’s intelligence community can now finally be plugged if we can evolve a mechanism for intelligence sharing between the community and the security agencies. This is where security votes should go.

Bola-Tinubu

Bola Tinubu: the true hero of Nigeria’s renewed nationalism.

The national leader of APC may have seen the brightest spot in his armour if General Buhari wins this election. I recall that his was one of the most trenchant voices calling for the General in a period of Crises. Throughout his political career, I do not recall him speaking so passionately about anything but the period when General DeGaulle and Winston Churchill were recalled to save the nation. I also do not recall any time in recent memory when he has staked more for the overall good than when he said “I am eminently qualified to be President and I’m richer than General Buhari but I’m willing to sacrifice my ambition” to allow the man who can save Nigeria to do so. Those are the two defining moments of the the General’s campaign and Tinubu, if he dies today, has clearly given this generation a template with which to build. Never in the history of Nigeria has anyone made this sacrifice willingly as he has. Not only that he also poured his resources into the realization of that ambition and there is no better epithet for him than that on his tomb will be written: HERE LIES A MAN WHO SACRIFCED HIS ALL FOR THE GREATER GLORY OF NIGERIA.

What does this Tinubu altruism mean for us? That we should see the greater glory of Nigeria before we consider our own. His production of Fashola, one of the finest political species I have seen anywhere in the world, is also another testimonial to this People’s Leader’s crown of political sagacity. Tinubu has turned out to be the most pragmatic political leader and, like him or loathe him, he is the jewel in the General’s crown when the mantle of leadership changes from Goodluck to Buhari. Now, I must confess that this is the kind of political structure that I think is best suited for our country. A leader who does not hold government power but holds the political will be a counterpoise to a political emperor that the Nigerian president is.

The determination of the man on the street to teach Goodluck a lesson for his profligacy is a lesson for all political leaders that power belongs, indeed, to the people. As Brian Tracy wrote, “Success is not an accident. Failure is not an accident either. In fact, success is predictable. It leaves tracks”, let all ancient walls depart and let the Nigerian Dream emerge. Let this hashtag #NigerianDream presage this dawning. Kindly subscribe to it now. Let’s build on this tempo.

We shall be having a #NigerianDream meeting soon. Sign up for a free invitation now. Fill out the form below. See you there. By the way, did I mention that there will be FREE #NigerianDream tee-shirts worth N5,000 each for the first twenty to register?

Profiting from the opposition

‘The detractors give you easy publicity when your hands are clean’

Those who accused General Mohammadu Buhari of not being qualified spent so much money an  time advancing the army officer’s cause. Had they known, they won’t persecuted him like that. What they sought they lost and what they gave boomeranged. Nevertheless the task of stopping Buhari has not stopped. All of it a circuitous calamity. See this article which puts the whole banality in context .

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Buhari riding the crest of the opposition gaffes

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Why has the Nigerian Army Sacrificed General Buhari?

…would not be allowed rule, despite massive popularity

“Neither the original copy, Certified True Copy, CTC, nor statement of result of Major General Muhammadu Buhari’s WASC result is in his personal file. What I have said here is what is contained in his service records’ personal file. We have not added or subtracted anything.” Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Olajide Laleye

Anybody who knows the Nigerian Army would confirm that the force is very protective of its own. Saying the army had no certified copies of a former head of state’s credentials should be scandalous enough but not to this army. Maladrous too, is the fact that a man who spent nearly thirty (30) years in the force has no record of his several military examinations which prompted his promotion from a commissioned officer to the rank of a general. These are scary frauds that the military would ordinarily hide away from the public, had they any shame. However, in the case of Muhammadu Buhari, the army has shown that it is willing to sacrifice him, by surlying himself in the murk of politics of re-election of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. Why is the Nigerian Army, the cultic class of power mongers, whether in or out of office willing to sacrifice Buhari? It is pretty obvious.

Muhammadu-Buhari

General Muhammadu Buhari: would he be allowed to rule if he wins

Buhari is an outsider. He is one of only few retired officers who have no befuddling wealth to their name. He represents the OLD SCHOOL of the army which saw their commission as an honour and who refused to be sucked in by the odious business of enriching themselves on the corrupt use or abuse of their position and office. His marriage to his first wife Safinatu was broken because of the politics of his overthrow as military head of state. He suffers the pain of having his marriage broken and those who caused that ache are still active. They fear his ascension.

Shouldn’t a man with these sterling credentials be the type that should run Nigeria? Shouldn’t a people reeling under the prodigious mountain of corruption, be seeking a man who can earn and account for the weALTH OF THE nation be the right peg in the right hole?

This year, the Tambo Mbeki report of diversion of more than $60billion through illegalities would have ranckled but not in Nigeria, which the report says is responsible for nearly 40% of those losses. These looters must be protected. why? Kai! Don’t be so dumb…many of these thieves are army officers. Buhari’s tenure will expose their underside.

goodluck and buhari

Jonathan and Buhari: Conspiracy against Buhari beyond the elections

In Nigeria, things don’t quite fit as they ought. Getting a President Buhari elected as it seems obvious he would can suddenly bring about propriety not only in national revenue accounting but also in governance. For being upright, Buhari must hang on the cross of the powers that be. ould they succeed?

BEYOND THE ELECTIONS

ibb1

Evil Genius: General Ibrahim Babangida

Although the electoral body says that its decision to postpone the election was based on the advise from the security agencies, the lurking shadow of a military fang is discernible. The time is required by those who have skeletons in their cupboard to:

  1. negotiate their safety in the hurricane Buhari
  2. scuttle the moving train by using the courts to come up with the kind of frivolous court rulings that was so rampant in General Ibrahim Babangida’s tenure
  3. allow the flagging fortunes of Goodluck Jonathan to pick up traction
  4. stage a fanthom or freak accident which could divert attention from elections to life
  5. ransack every where to find out any possible murk to use to stain his impeccable tunic
  6. the unwholesome oil trading and stealing going on in the country also need a shelter or they would not agree to the emergence of Mr. Clean.

LIKE ABIOLA LIKE BUHARI

abiola

Moshood Abiola won the 1993 election but vested interests aborted it

mbeki

Thambo Mbeki indicts Jonathan’s government of capital flight

What is well established for now is that the public will not accept any disqualification obtained from the courts or any other unwholesome deal. It is also pretty clear that Buhari’s popularity may not make him get power as the forces against hm are determined not to make the same kind of mistake they made with Moshood Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 elections.

The vested interests that Abiola’s victory threatened were in the military, polity and amongst traditional institutions. Buhari’s enemies are the same set.

Like Abiola, Ibrahim Babangida, a dangerous power player would have his breaches on heat if Buhari wins. Like Abiola, Buhari has the Oni of Ife amongst the powerful traditional rulers who were humbled by the brash general in his first tenure. And like Abiola, the incumbent represents too many things uncouth. Scandals auch as the crude oil thieveries, the unexplanable borrowings and frittered revenues would be too difficult to cover for a man whose election is going to come on the bill of his anti-corruption credentials. No matter how hard any one tries to to cover the stench, the putrid effulgence from the seat of Nigeria’s government would be too hard to ignore. Thambo Mbeki’s report and several others like it will ensure that.

Another June 12 Debacle Coming?

Larry Happiday

Buhari-2015

General Muhammadu Buhari, the civilian president in waiting?

Every expectation of the occupants of the Nigerian seat of government have come to nought. Everywhere the president has gone his publicists had come out to announce the endorsement of their candidate by socio-political groups, retired heads of state and other prominent Nigerians. On almost all the cases, the affected endorsers have come out to rebutt their alleged endorsement.

The Presidency of Nigeria is turning to a most comical institution, observers are beginning to see a semblance to the 1993 Presidential elections that were stiffled by the military. This time, the military roles are being played by the militants or former economic saboteurs who have become the powers behind the throne. In a reversal of roles, the incumbent is bent on returning to power to serve another four years contrary to his promise to serve only one term. He is from the Southern part of the country as the late Moshood Abiola, who was denied the opportunity to excercise his mandate. On the other hand, there a retired coup plotter and head of the military government, General Muhamadu Buhari, that sacked the civilian government of Shehu Shagari, who is about to make history as the next elected president. Unfortunately, he has too many bagages hanging on his back , not leaset of which is his vaunted integrity and sincerity which has vented panic across all lines of Nigeria’s elite class.

Gen. Babangida

General Ibrahim Babangida, he annulled the 1993 election

BUHARI’S CROSS
General Buhari is not being haunted by his records as military head of state as those have lost their currency in the face of the crass failure of governance by the incumbent  Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, the zoologist turned politician.

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General Buhari, the military head of state that led the 1984 coup against the civilian government of Shagari

Buhari is not being pursued by the families of drug pushers who were killed using a retrospective law; neither is he being pursued by the spectre of human rights violations alleged committed by his government. Yet, this gaunt looking military retiree looks every step of the way like a man who would have the fate of Abiola visited on him. He may win but would he get power?

WHY HE MAY NOT GET POWER
The General has an impeccable and shining record of public service that his opponents have been unable to dent. In Nigeria, being honest is vice that a politician should not have. This mortal sin is what may deny him the power that he so very nearly has gotten as a civilian.

Everybody Bombs Everybody

Bomb 1

Every body seems to be bombing everybody else in Nigeria this month. Editors have been regaling us with one “bomb’ after another “bomb”. It gives a feeling that bomb has lost its sternness and dread.

Check out the headlines

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Professor Wole Soyinka and President Goodluck Jonathan

‘SOYINKA BOMBS JONATHAN’S WIFE JONATHAN’S WIFE ‘LEARN TO BE A LADY’ – The E-Magazine

“OBJ Bombs Jonathan, Soyinka, Tinubu, Chukwumerije, Alabi-Isama”- PM News  Olusegun_Obsanjo_profile_2tinubu

chkwumerije

“Soyinka bombs Jonathan” –The Punch

“Have you read Wole Soyinka’s ‘Bomb’ letter to Jonathan?!”-

This makes you wonder whether the language of terror has become acceptable daily usage.

Now look at the tag below, those engaging in this bomb, bomb, bomb (either as receivers or bombers) are no other than a former head of state, a retired general, Senators and a world renown professor of Literature?

POSTSCRIPT
I hope you now see why I’m perturbed that since the Rich and powerful are bombing each other, someone down the line may choose to bomb less mortals like us, God forbid. Can some one help me ask ex-Governor of Lagos State Bola Tinubu and Senator Uche Chukwumerije to spare us their own bombs because that will be a bombing too much? You keep  dreaming though…no one suffers fools gladly around here not when everyone has a scandal against everyone else that can be used to bomb the bomber in return.

Await the return bombs then. I hope you did feel bombed?