• Saturday, April 13, 2024
businessday logo


Buhari’s unfairness to Tinubu – New strides in entitlements

Think, Yoruba, think! A Tinubu presidency would harm your race

ABEOKUTA is the favourite place of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Jagaban Borgu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to say important things importantly. It was there he made his famous “emi l’okan” speech on 2 June 2022, days to the APC presidential primary.

In the most audacious push for the party’s ticket, Tinubu stunned delegates with his claim that it was his turn to be President of Nigeria. The catalogue of his labours for the party ringed the speech rendered in Yoruba.

Bare-knuckle, unsparing of Buhari, he detailed how a weeping Buhari had on national television given up until Jagaban Borgu made a Daura trip to convinced him to run again. Tinubu swept to victory at the primary with 1,271 votes of the 2,068 votes. The direct attack on Buhari spoke of Tinubu’s desperation to win the primary.

Bad blood flowed. Buhari’s people said the speech insulted the President. Various interpretations of the speech emerged. Non-Yoruba speakers were held responsible for an unfair interpretation of the self-promoting speech. Tinubu is so cocksure about his chances in the election that he took kinds words from Buhari for granted. From Buhari’s body language he does not support Tinubu.

The President appears to be telling Tinubu if you made me President twice, make yourself President at least one. His famed political sagacity has not revealed to Tinubu that the North wants the presidency to remain in the North. He does not know the presidency in the North more important than which party wins the election.

Did Tinubu and his group not issue veiled threats about leaving APC if he did not get the ticket? Does he not feel they have left the party for him?

When Tinubu speaks of Buhari’s unfairness to him, he forgets that he is a Nigerian who would not have been excluded from the general unfairness Buhari heaped on Nigerians since May 2015. It started with his famous inaugural statement that he belonged to nobody. People interpreted it as Buhari’s neutrality in deciding matters.

Buhari had told us that Buhari was for Buhari. Some thought it made more sense to keep the packaging that got him into office. Early in his administration Buhari launched his service to self. He was not any of the things people said he was.

Tinubu caused the troubles that we were in today. He sold Buhari to Nigerians as the messiah. He pranced on campaigns grounds across Nigeria preaching the certainty of Nigeria being eclipsed by myriads of challenges, principally insecurity and corruption, unless Buhari won. Vote Buhari and all shall be well within months.

Millions of jobs, millions of housing units, rejuvenation of regional economies, electricity supply in abundance, health services that would be free for the elderly, women, and children, and infrastructure to move Nigeria from top to bottom, according to Buhari. The promises stretched longer than the River Niger.

As Buhari continued to stumble over these promises, blamed everyone by himself for his remarkable failures, Tinubu maintained a decent distance from the failures of Buhari. Tinubu’s eyes were on his own presidency. How can Tinubu detach himself from Buhari’s crashing of Nigeria? He wants to continue the slide.

Buhari never forgets an offence. There is no chance that he would forget an affront.

In May 2016, at a dinner for APC chieftains and National Assembly members, Senate President, Bukola Saraki during his remarks addressed the former Lagos Governor as the National Leader of APC. Buhari countered Saraki when he spoke. “Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, even though the Senate President addressed you as the National Leader of APC, you are not the national leader of the party. You are one of the national leaders of the APC,” Buhari said in obvious anger. Some APC members from the South West roared in protest. Buhari continued his speech.

Tinubu sustained the affront on Buhari by bearing a title that belongs to Buhari as President, and the highest-ranking politician in Nigeria, not just APC. Buhari never brought up the matter again. Over-zealous party officials started denying Tinubu entry to party meetings. He had no official role in the party he founded.

Has Tinubu just found out that winning the party ticket was not enough? He has promised to continue Buhari’s policies with all their uncertainties and anomalies. Buhari has kept away from most Tinubu events. A series of black outs in Bauchi denied the President full participation in the APC rally that ended abruptly. Bauchi was a possible venue for the President to be clear about his support for Tinubu, rather an endorsement was expected. It did not materialise.

Read also: Fuel crisis, naira redesign ploy to discredit me – Tinubu

Tinubu returned to Abeokuta last week to take a full swipe on Buhari and his policies. Remember, they are the same policies Tinubu in his campaigns says he would maintain. His failing determination to get Buhari’s attention has resulted in another round of criticisms of the administration.

Is it a confirmation of speculations that Tinubu has stashed billions of Naira for the election that Tinubu thinks the change in currency notes was targeted at him? There are thousands of politicians that the same policy affects.

Did Tinubu forget that President Buhari is the Minister of Petroleum Resources? His pointed criticism of the mis-management of fuel supplies question the competence of the President. Again, he has said he would continue from where Buhari stops.

Belated explanations that Tinubu attacked economic saboteurs and not the President are unconvincing.

Like in “emi l’okan”, part one, Tinubu is engaging his entitlement gears by other ploys.


The Central Bank of Nigeria is running the worst notes change in our history. New notes are unavailable, people started rejecting the old notes days before the 31 January deadline. If these dreary situations are in Abuja and Lagos, our political and economic capitals has anyone spared a thought for rural Nigeria?
WEDNESDAY’S passing of Professor Eleazar Uchenna Ikonne, optometrist, former university vice-chancellor, governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, sent shocks across party lines in the State. Mourning is muted as PDP plans a new primary for a replacement which has to be concluded in 14 days. May the Almighty grant him rest.

.Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues