"Politics is more dangerous than war, for in war you are only killed once"---Winston Churchill.
If there is one human being I admire his politics in Nigeria, he is Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the erstwhile governor of Lagos state, because he is courageous and knowledgeable. His potentials came to the national reckoning when he chose to wrestle Lagos state where he was calling shots from rampaging former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was so power drunk while he was the Commander in Chief that he nearly crushed all his political enemies in Machiavellian style.
I could still recall that the Northern governors were making jest of him in his first tenure that Obasanjo became the President without the votes of his people, so they boasted that they made him. Obasanjo might have felt injured and his heart craved for vengeance. So, he reportedly met with the then SouthWest governors-Bisi Akande, Osun, Lam Adesina, Oyo, Segun Osoba Ogun, and Adefarati of Ondo states plus Tinubu; allegedly assuring them that he was going to work for their second term, and so he sought their help or his reelection too.
Yes, they were all living in denial as touching what transpired at the meeting, but it was obvious that they returned to their states to canvass reelection of "Ebora Owu" with a predetermined narrative that he was using a Yoruba slot at the presidency. I learnt that it was only Tinubu who rejected the bait from Obasanjo. While the election was on, Obasanjo was eating pounded yam with Osoba, and reportedly playing draft aftermath, and by the time the election was over, all SouthWest governors including Osoba, except Tinubu had become former governors. And that made Tinubu to be the last man standing.
Obasanjo would not take it half empty, while Tinubu would not settle for half full. So the duo decided to slug it out, putting their legs in the same pair of trousers. Obasanjo latched on the local government creation in Lagos state to punish Tinubu with seizure of the federal allocations, but Tinubu knew the battle was different; he tasked his comrades to raise internally generated revenue, and before we say Aremu, Lagos economy had assumed phenomenal rise. But the battle raged on.
From one state in 2007, Tinubu deployed his comrades to other states where they hail from to go for battle of expansion, he backed his political "Generals" with money and media hype. Already, the people of the region were fed up with motion without movement of the then ruling party, PDP. Besides, they could not experience the effect of Obasanjo presidency. So, it was a welcome development that they returned to regional championship. Meanwhile, the renegades of Afenifere forces were out to climb Tinubu's wings, for he was seen as being to forward. They could not tolerate the fact that he would ascend the leadership of the Yoruba leadership, when the order of rotation was in place. So, they chose to fight along with Obasanjo with a view to decimating Tinubu, but because Tinubu was larger than life in the media, he was able to finish them 'clinically'. As dialectics of development would have it, Tinubu assumed the leadership, but not without a fight.
As Aregbesola was battling Oyinlola of the PDP in Osun, Fayemi was slugging it with Oni in Ekiti, Ajimobi was fighting Akala in Oyo, and Oshiomole was in a battle of wit in Edo with Osunbor, Mimiko was engaging in a political fisticuffs with Agagu in Ondo, and I learnt authoritatively that Tinubu was the generalissimo of the war in the situation room. He deployed funds, media and legal luminaries to prosecute the war in courts. As nature would have it, Ondo, Edo, Ekiti and Osun states were won back through judiciary, and Tinubu turned to the lord of the west in the country. He basked in his euphoria with the five-star performance of Tunde Fashola, in Lagos state now Minister of Power, Works and Housing.
So, while Tinubu entered alliance with Buhari on the creation of All Progressives Congress, it was done from position of strength, and his contribution to the defeat of Goodluck Jonathan was massive. So, it was expected that he would be at the nucleus of decision making in Buhari presidency. Unfortunately, the power mongers could not worship at his feet, they chose to grab the loose ends at the National Assembly; while their collaborators formed a cabal at the presidency, and the party leadership in Oyegun becomes a pawn in the chessboard. Kogi governorship election victory was mismanaged after the death of Abubakar Audu, because the anti-Tinubu forces wanted Tinubu's man, Faleke to be bundled out, now Ondo party's primary became hard sell, because Tinubu must be pulled down from Olympian height.
Tinubu saw the battle line against him, he thought aloud with his letter, venting his anger on helpless Oyegun whose discretion has been seized by funds to run the party, and the generalissimo's anger is still roaring in Ondo now. In the battle of ego, the third force has emerged in Olusola Oke. Tinubu's followers and sympathizers wanted the APC destroyed in the state, because the "enemies" of the big boss have crossed the red line. Rotimi Akeredolu, one of the legal generals who traversed all manners of courts to return the hijacked states from Tinubu's camp then, is now a pariah, because it is being perceived that the estranged comrades of the big boss are his financiers. Now, Oke is the new guy on the block.
One of the Tinubu's loyalists who participated in the loyalty walk in Lagos is the Director General of Oke's campaign, and Senator Mojisoluwa Akinfewa, the yesterday pariah of Alliance for Democracy and other Afenifere renegades are back to the rejected camp. Even, the "boy scout" of Ekiti, Ayodele Fayose is praising the big boss to the high heaven. It is now convenient to be AD in Ondo, APC in Lagos and Osun. That is politics of expedience. The questions are peradventure, Oke wins, won't he be a bad version of Mimiko who was funded by Tinubu in his struggle to become the governor, only to turn around to betray him, and even defected to the enemy's camp? What has Akeredolu done that could not be pardoned, given his past good towards Tinubu and his comrades? Has Oke's nomadic politics which has crisscrossed other parties become a model now? Why are some Tinubu's men are working to soil the contribution of their principal to this present set up? Why are some people working hard to deny this great man his heroic garment of Honour? The answers are in the wind.
Let it be known that I love Tinubu, and I will continue to admire him, but I think he should rework his Maths and take a stand against some power hungry fellows who are dropping his name while committing political harakiri. This is strictly my opinion.
Butika is an intercontinental journalist.
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