Outside the immorality of his aspiration to become Nigeria’s President, right after his protegee had been Vice-president for an unbroken eight years and his kinsman from Ogun had been President for an uninterrupted eight years, ensuring that the Yorubas have been in Aso Rock for sixteen of the 24 years lifetime of the Nigerian Fourth Republic, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s health status and age might portend huge impediments to whatever his vision for Nigeria might be, if he becomes President.
While I am unrepentantly advocating for a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction, I will not also deny the fact that Tinubu like any other person from Nigeria is Constitutionally eligible to aspire to the biggest job in Africa, being Nigeria’s President. However, what any other person, outside the Igbo of the Southeast lacks is the moral justification to continue to deprive the Igbo of the right to become President of this country at this time. Ours is a uniquely birthed country, and our sensitivity to tribe and religion in electing leaders must be understood and respected.
Now, let us talk about a Tinubu presidency, assuming that it we ignore all the justified sentiments for a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction, as it’s been advocated by every Nigerian of good conscience. It is my convinction that Tinubu’s presidency will be a huge disaster based on the following reasons;
1. TINUBU IS SICK: Yes, sickness is not a sin, and except in occasions when one is invalid or mentally incapacitated, our Constitution has not forbidden people from being Presidents merely on the grounds of being sick. Jagaban’s health condition will certainly pose a big impediment to whatever his programs as President might be. For a man who probably spends more of his time, in the last four years, abroad, allegedly, on medical excursions, we will certainly be having an absentee President, should he become President.
2. AGE: I am not one of those who believe that people should be disqualified from aspiring to or holding public office based on old age, I believe that aged people who are still mentally and physically capable shouldn’t have their ambitions cut off merely on the grounds of old age. However, when someone is old and apparently incapable due to old age related impairments, such a person shouldn’t be thrust on a nation as big and complex as Nigeria as its President. President Buhari affirmed that much, when in his recent interview with NTA he confessed that age is telling on him already. At “69”?, Tinubu appears quite older, weaker, and cognitively constrained to become Nigeria’s President at this time that Nigeria is struggling with many challenges. In just two weeks of moving around Nigeria and giving speeches, Tinubu already exhibited signs of senility and has had to withdraw at least two public statements that were proven false. And just after two weeks of uninspiring “consultation” stops in few States, he has had to be hurriedly ferried abroad for medical patching. We need a stronger, more alert and mentally fit person to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari.
3. REWARDING CORRUPTION: The former Lagos State governor has many unresolved corruption investigations going on across different anti-graft agencies in the country. Foisting such a person on Nigeria would mean rewarding corruption and taking Nigeria back to the dark ages of impunity. As much as one cannot really say with good confidence that the current administration has really fought corruption, the fact remains that, the head of this government, even though docile and ineffective in fighting corruption, is not himself, stupendously corrupt. A Tinubu presidency will most likely re-enthrone corruption as the national culture.
4. POLITICAL LIABILITY; Tinubu has built a formidable political structure across the country over the past three decades, if not more. While this is a huge political asset to him, and anyone he might choose to support for the presidency in 2023, it would be a big liability to the nation should he become President, because there are thousands of “professional politicians” lying in wait to descend on Nigeria from different sectors, as soon as their Oga takes over the presidency. Yes, his supporters will argue that he has raised many technocrats, too. However, most times, these technocrats might only hang in as figureheads used to get some public credibility, while the louts and political executioners are left to do the main jobs.
5. ANOTHER POLITICAL EMPIRE; As governor of Lagos State for eight years, Asiwaju succeeded in building a formidable political structure than building a working Lagos. His political structures outlived whatever physical or governance infrastructure he put in place in Lagos and the Southwest. There is every likelihood he would be attempting to replicate this at a national level should he become Nigeria’s President, and this will be at the detriment of Nigeria’s infrastructural and human development.
Tinubu is better off continuing on the sidelines as a godfather or kingmaker, than seeking to be President himself. Like I had argued in an earlier delivery, this would fetch him a place in the very exclusive club of national patriots like Azikiwe, Awolowo, Aminu Kano, etc.
NIGERIA MUST PREVAIL!
Onwuasoanya FCC Jones is a theater arts graduate of the prestigious Imo State University, Owerri, Imo State in Nigeria. He is an activist cum nationalist playwright, poet, essayist, public affairs analyst/commentator. A theatre director, and an aspiring politician. He is the CEO of FRAP PAINTS, a small scale paint manufacturing outfit based in Abuja.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.