BusinessDay

Tinubu whose mistakes made Buhari warns us against another mistake 

THOSE asking for the whereabouts of Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu are most kind to him. The surprise is that his media minders have not told them it is none of their business. Jagaban Borgu is wherever he is and can decide when to make his next move as the acclaimed strategist he is.

What is so important in Jagaban being available on the opening day of the campaign? Can’t he take a brief rest if he so considers or launch his campaign wherever accommodates his privileges and privacy?

It is worse when eminent persons who claim to work for Jagaban cannot say where he is. They don’t know what they do to their personality by creating impressions that a presidential candidate was not just absent but almost missing.

Former Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, the otherwise loquacious Adams Oshiomole, Deputy Director-General (Operations) in Tinubu’s Presidential Campaign Council had nothing to say about where Jagaban was. “I don’t report to him daily,” Oshiomole, a famous member of Jagaban’s inner circle, retorted on national television. He was truthful.

Tinubu was not missing. He is never too far away. Tinubu balloons decorated the skies momentarily in some parts of Abuja to mark the beginning of his campaign. The promised issuing of letters to campaign council members was on hold and so were the special prayers and walks. Activation of the campaign council appears postponed indefinitely.

Jagaban’s presence would determine when these events would be staged. His erratic schedules are understandable. There are no surprises if at his age with engagements that run 20 hours daily, according to his minders, if he takes a break or a break takes him as seems to be the case these days.

Little doubt exists about his passion for Nigeria. What informs the passion that pushes his deterring determination to lead Nigeria, at a stage he needs more rest, remains unknown.

Daily Gazette quoted a speech from Jagaban warning Nigerians not to vote a mistake as president. “We must show that we have learned from the mistakes of the past. We must be prepared to make difficult decisions. We must be wise, we must be discerning; we must choose progress. We must favour reason over sentiment,” Tinubu said in a message to mark the official commencement of the 2023 presidential election campaign activities across the country. It had not been denied by press time.

Whether he meant those words or not, they are profound judgements on his role in the “mistakes of the past”, in fact a past that is so recent and present. Would those words be taken as
Tinubu’s apology for telling Nigerians to choose sentiment over reason in the campaigns that birthed President Muhammadu Buhari’s almost eight years that have decimated and degraded Nigeria?

Tinubu would be available to address these mistakes in more details. Nigerians should be grateful to him for pointing how they should vote. If he would continue with Buhari’s mistakes as he has often said, which of them would he prioritise? Here is a short list of where Buhari got us:

.Second most terrorised nation in the world

.World’s poverty capital

.22m out of school children, and number rising as terrorism drives more children away from education

.Youth unemployment of 53.40 per cent

Mismanagement of ASUU strike

.Free fall of Naira at N740/$ and still heading down

.Oil theft at the highest level while government makes a joke of it

.Borrowing to fund consumption

.Fuel subsidy taking a sizeable part of the national budget

.Unproductive refineries cost billions to maintain

.Indiscernible attitude to corruption

.Infrastructure in terrible states

.Electricity supply marked by constant collapse of the national grid

Read also: Obi, Tinubu, Kwankwaso yet to unveil manifestos

Tinubu excels in telling his truth in parts. “Our nation stands at a threshold of history. We, like almost every other nation in the world, face significant challenges. Some have been our own making, others, the consequences of factors well beyond the control of any Nigerian. One thing, however, remains certain, we cannot afford to get this one wrong.”

Are the outcomes of his support for Buhari “the consequences of factors well beyond the control of any Nigerian”? If so, how would he be different? What are the  factors beyond the control of any Nigerian? Is he exonerating Buhari and by extension himself?

The major truth Tinubu has said in these is that “we cannot afford to get this one wrong”. We got it wrong in 2015 and 2019 all under the influence of Tinubu who was focused on making 2023 his that he would not bother if Nigeria limped to that destination.

Indications are that an absentee presidential candidate could be the least of the challenges Tinubu faces. He is led by trusted aides and confidantes who believe in his presidency more than his presence of mind to lead. The Jagaban’s message is for them too.

If Tinubu does not tell us more about the first mistake, he has given us enough hints. He has also delved into his place in this race.

Jagaban loves Nigeria more than those pushing him through the race. Wherever he spoke from, whoever spoke for him – isn’t the message is simple? He is clear about a message. He is clear too about that mistake.

Tinubu does not want a repeat of the mistakes of Buhari. He knows he represents those mistakes in more ways than are becoming obvious. Tinubu has delivered his message not in proverbs or parables.

Here comes Jagaban Borgu, the man who made all the mistakes that made Buhari possible. He boasted about his efforts at that famous “Emi l’okan” speech in Abeokuta. He has warned us against making another mistake.

By voting for him?

Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues