The Night Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu Outfoxed Aso Rock Mafia - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Wednesday, June 8, 2022

The Night Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu Outfoxed Aso Rock Mafia

.          •Tinubu

| The Daily Crucible | Wednesday, June 8, 2022

 By Mideno Bayagbon

It was Monday afternoon. And I was still in no mood to write my column which I had intended titling: The Peter Obi Momentous Phenomenon and 2023 Presidential Election. But I was too despondent, filled with untold anger at the abyss into which we have descended as a nation. I could not bring myself to make sense, in a write up, of the innocent bloodshed, deliberately and callously spilled. The nation is awash in a swelling ocean of blood, gushing all over it.  Yet from our president to all the notable politicians, it is party time!

This was a day after some terrorist fiends invaded a packed church in Owo, Ondo State,terrorist fiends invaded a packed church in Owo, Ondo State, and slaughtered about 50 innocent Nigerians whose only crime was that they went to church on a Sunday morning to worship their God. The gut rending videos and photographs from the scene were enough to completely put me in a state of inconsolable melancholy. My sadness was further compounded by yet more gory news from across the country, either of kidnap of Christian clerics, or invasion of villages or slaughtering of innocent villagers, carried out on a large scale with unperturbed impunity. But most telling of the avalanche of frighteningly morbid news  was the alleged invasion of Nigeria’s largest estate, Gwarimpa, a stone throw, as it were from Aso Rock villa,  by terrorists, who police say are armed robbers, who robbed and kidnapped a yet-to-be-identified number of residents.
My eyes were still bloodshot and my heart weighed down, inconsolably, as if  an invisible huge mountain was sitting on it, when yet another news broke in Nigeria’s “house of commotion”. As it has become our lot under the General Muhammadu Buhari government, anything and everything can and usually would go wrong, at almost per minute rate, daily. And when the President deigns to make a comment, it is usually an infuriatingly, half-hearted, tepid order to the security forces to fish out the perpetrators. Either Garba Shehu or Femi Adesina hurriedly append their signatures on behalf of an uncaring despot too steeped in incompetence to take any meaningful, drastic action against the felons. For him, all of Nigerians can go to blazes so long he and his brood are ensconced from the blood letting. For President Buhari, the greatest leadership disaster Nigeria has  unfortunately been saddled with, life goes on, terrorism, kidnapping, unknown gunmen, etc., notwithstanding.

I don’t know if it was planned to divert attention from the horrendous killings in Owo, or the many gory news that flooded the nation that Monday morning, or it is just the typical unfeeling, the “I don’t care” attitude of our leaders. But it hit the airwaves and as Fela would capture it: everywhere scatter-scatter. Anger quickly shifted from the wanton killings to zonal and ethnic sentiments. As usual when these emotive issues are involved, Nigerians, of every hue, jump into the fray and reasoning takes flight.

The geriatric leader of the All Progressives Congress,  Senator Abdullahi Adamu, in a meeting with members of the National Working Committee of the party , that Monday mid-afternoon, after a meeting at Aso Rock, came to a meeting of the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress with a smoking decree, the fire of which emanated from General Buhari himself. Senator Ahmed Lawan, the APC party chairman thundered, has been decreed the consensus candidate of the All Progressives Congress. And a cacophony of voices took over, spilling unto the streets. Shock and surprise rent the air. Phone calls and hurried meetings criss-crossed themselves among the camps of the aspirants. Disavowals. And realignments. Rebellion by the northern governors. Long sleepless nights. Aso Rock became the temple of the god on whose lap laid the final say!

Why people were surprised shocks me. Any serious observer knew, by just following the moves and counter moves of the last few weeks that the dark horse which the mafia around the president have been trying to foist on the party was the big elephant in the room. They failed with trying to drag former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan into the race. They failed with Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, the snake in the green grass, Godwin Emefiele. Their last trick was Senate President, Ahmed Lawan. So the Monday move, by which the party chairman was made to attempt to foist Ahmed Lawan as the consensus candidate, was their last desperate gasp. Without statutory delegates to enforce their will and with the Northern Governors seemingly sticking to their power shift to the South, as at press time, things were not looking good at all for Lawan.
Like I have stated many times in the past few weeks, there was the concern in some quarters of the party that none of the Southern aspirants can beat Atiku Abubakar at the polls. The belief was that only a Northerner, and in this case, someone from the same zone as the PDP flag bearer, the North East, can have any hope of harvesting the humongous northern vote.

To the last minute, last night,  and into this morning, at the Eagles Square, Abuja, tension was ripping through the 2322 delegates and other officials of the ruling party. The lateness to the start of the convention, of course was as a result of last minute negotiations and trade-offs which ended with the Asiwaju, Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu, turning out to be the superior tactician or so it seemed. He deployed a major masterstroke. From Godswill Akpabio, to Dimeji Bankole, to Kayode Fayemi, to Ibikunle Amosun, to Governor Badaru of Jigawa State, to Senator Ajayi Borofice,  all stepped down in an effort to force Tinubu to emerge the near consensus candidate of the South and eventually the APC.

The major loser of the night, it might turn out, is President Muhammadu Buhari himself. The man, he and those around him, never wanted to be the flag bearer of the APC in the 2023 presidential election is the one whose hands appear ready to carry the flag, if the attempt by some to make him the candidate succeeds. However, it is too early now at 7 am this morning to make the call as the counting of votes is yet to commence. It is nevertheless safe to say that he is the leading candidate, and except some behind the scene intrigues throws up a joker, he is the most likely to be the candidate of the APC.

In which case, two old men, two moslems, are the best the two parties could come up with for the presidential election. No doubt, two strong men; men whose bottomless war chests and strategic alliances bought victory for them at their various primaries. Should Bola Tinubu triumph when the votes are counted this morning, it will thus set up an interesting contest to look forward to. But it will be a three-horse race next year. Those who have not taken proper notice of the phenomenon swirling around Peter Obi should sit up and take note. His, nevertheless, is a dream for the future: and if well sustained, a possible 2027 reality.

Unless of course the youths and indeed majority of Nigerians decide that enough is enough of gerontocratic leadership and move beyond advocacy in the social media, and merely getting their PVCs to owning the process. Obi and the dead of supporters emerging from the lethargy of bad governance must devise a means of  combining the Donald Trump and Barak Obama strategies and go knock on every door, and shake every hand across the country. Peter Obi himself will have to do more than working the youths and people in the South of Nigeria. He needs urgently to move up north to begin to develop a strategy  to get more of the leaders to support his bid. Unlike the South, leaders still play a huge role in deciding for the people who they should vote for. How Obi manages to sell himself and the dreams he has for the country to them will determine if the third force which he represents can steal an upset and trump both Atiku Abubakar and whoever emerges the flag bearer of the APC.


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