–Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA):
It was as though, everyone was waiting for him. As soon as Asiwaju Bola Tinubu made his intentions known, every suspected but hidden aspirant in his party and beyond, began to throw their hats into the ring.
So also are his avowed detractors and traducers, who suddenly went back to the dustbin of history, to fetch out what they thought they could effectively weaponise and use against the Jagaban’s age long ambition. But this is typical of politics, politicking and politicians everywhere except that ours is more tilted towards primordial prejudices and personal vendetta than the love for Country.
It is quite interesting and intriguing how the intention of one man to exercise his constitutional rights, is shaking the Nigerian political landscape and the tables of political watchers, pundits and analysts so vigorously. Such is the enormous clout, the raging cloud and emotional momentum that follows Tinubu’s footsteps in recent time.
Those who are in support of his candidature are brandishing his enormous wealth of experience, his political sagacity and perspicacious mind-set coupled with a political structure with a national outlook, as a veritable tool and advantage to turn things around for a nation yawning for help like Nigeria.
They are quick to dismiss a possible interplay of political forces within the APC caucuses, that may likely favour another candidate rather than Bola Tinubu. It is on record that just recently, President Buhari mused about the fact that he has a preferred candidate who he wouldn’t like to reveal yet. Could that candidate be Tinubu? Where then is Tinubu’s chance if truly he is not Buhari’s preferred candidate ?
Can he race against a preferred candidate of the President and come out unscathed from the party primaries? Could Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s rumoured candidacy be weaponised by a centripetal force within the party to spite and divide the Jagaban’s camp when push comes to shove? Can Osinbajo gather enough courage to go against his political Godfather? These are intricate angles of the conversation, begging for answers.
It is against this backdrop that others felt he shouldn’t run for the exalted office but rather remain as the master strategist, Godfather and Kingmaker that he has always been. Issues, too, have been raised about his health and the source of his perceived humongous wealth which gave him such a financial war-chest that can be unmatched in a contest such as the Nigerian presidential race.
All said and done, Tinubu has become more like an albatross on the neck of the powers that be within the APC. To ignore this fact is to play the ostrich. Therefore, to deny him of his age long ambition without a necessary cushioning, horsetrading and soft landings could be detrimental and constitute an existential threat to a highly factionalised party like the APC.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu is truly in the eye of the storm; he’s in the public laboratory for either isolation, acculturation or diagnosis. But the results still lies in the hands and hearts of the people who loves him and appreciate the fact that he has paid his dues and therefore, should be given the chance to take a shot.
- Austen AKHAGBEME is a Columnist with Blank NEWS Online
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