The flooding of social media and some strategic places in Lagos and Abuja with campaign posters of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the self-proclaimed Jagaban of Africa, heralding his intention to contest for the presidency of Nigeria in the 2023 election is not only premature and insensitive but an insult on the sensitivity of Nigerians. Premature in the sense that President Muhammadu Buhari has only just been sworn for another four years term, therefore he needs every support to improve on his lack-lustre performance of the last four years.
That being said, the mere thought that Tinubu who is an integral part of this present administration that has so woefully failed to live up to the hype as agent of change is depressing. One is left to wonder on what premise the Jagaban will seek election? Is he going to campaign based on his nonexistent integrity? Perhaps his disdain for or shall we say his love for corruption, underhand dealings, winning election through the help of thugs or maybe his new found love for those holding the country by the jugular.
Here is a man who prior to 1999, was but a middle-class Nigerian. Fast forward 8 years later as governor of Lagos, he become one of the wealthiest men alive. Yet, Lagos state had nothing to show for it. In that 8 years of misrule and wanton abuse and rape of Lagos treasury, a lot of assets were taken over for personal inheritance not to talk of the emasculation of key opposition figures.
When his inglorious tenure eventually ended, Lagos thought they could breathe a sigh of relief. Alas, it was not to be. The man had effectively taken over every sphere of governance in Lagos. Try as Fashola did, with a House of Assembly and key appointees loyal to Tinubu, even angels with super human powers could not have fared better.
Then came Ambode, who brought government presence to every nook and cranny of Lagos state and set about his agenda of making Lagos a true mega city-an audacity that irked the Lagos “Land Lord”. Not only was Ambode humiliated out of office but is today being harassed for daring to build projects all over Lagos with monies that should be shared between Jagaban and his cronies.
Leadership is about speaking out for your people, promoting fairness always and fighting for their interest. From the obvious deficiencies in character, fairness and equity in Nigeria today, it is imperative that the South East should produce the next president of Nigeria come 2023.
Since the civil war ended in 1970, the Igbos have not been fully integrated politically, thus making the famous declaration of “no victor, no vanquish “a mere rhetoric. They have remained politically second-class citizens in Nigeria. This has not only created distrust and disunity but has led to agitations by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
Rather than encourage genuine dialogue and use this as a golden opportunity to invite all the stake holders in the Nigerian project to discuss and restructure the country in the true spirit of federalism, Tinubu and his likes connived with the Nigerian security operatives to declare IPOB members enemies of Nigeria and launched military offensive code named ‘Operation Python Dance’ where a lot of innocent people not only lost their lives but millions of naira worth of property and means of livelihood were also destroyed.
Meanwhile the true enemies of Nigeria-the marauding Fulani herdsmen who freely roam the length and breath of the country maiming, raping, burning and killing are not only treated with kid gloves but appears to receive tacit operational support from the security agencies. How else can one explain that a rag tag bunch of people can take the once gallant Nigeria army apart? How else can one explain that these ill-equipped killers easily disappear or escapes before any major military offensive?
Rather than speak out against these and many other evils, the Jagaban is busy preaching to us in the South to allow them to dispossess us of our land in the name of RUGA just because of his 2023 presidential ambition! As if this is not enough, the only sense of belonging we have in this government in the person of the Vice President is being victimized and lies are continually invented against him just to discredit him and pave way for Tinubu in 2023!
May the Jagaban project never see the light of day. When we voted for Buhari in 2015, we expected a clean break from the past. While we did not expect miracles, we at least expected sincerity and a sense of direction-direction towards the path of economic growth, security of lives and properties, and sanity in the political terrain. What we have witnessed is flagrant disregard for the rule of law and court judgements, total breakdown of law and order with killing, kidnapping, armed robbery and thuggery the order of the day not to mention the corruption that has become a culture.
A Tinubu’s presidency will be continuation of this embarrassing status quo which must not be allowed to happen in this time and age. What we need is a clean break from this present cluelessness , wickedness and man’s inhumanity to man. We need seasoned technocrats with proven intellectual capability, charisma and integrity that has never been in doubt.
Thomas Ochiemhen is a pastor and a pharmacist. He lives and works in Lagos where his businesses are based. He can be reached by email HERE.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.