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Why Tinubu shouldn’t run in 2019


Alabi Williams

The All Progressives Congress (APC) appeared to have been very careful to avoid same pitfalls that clobbered former ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), particularly on the vexed issue of zoning and rotational presidency. The APC, at the time of formation and constitution drafting, cleverly refused to foist catchment areas and federal character on itself. All aspirants were supposedly permitted to run for whatever offices they had strength for. All that seemed okay then, but the APC is beginning to look confused. Clearly, it did not bargain for the immense challenges of governance, which has caused it to now look ordinary and directionless. In addition, President Buhari’s health challenge at a time the party should sit down for crucial mid-term self-appraisal is a bigger constraint. In the absence of a father figure, the APC is likely to multiply its many levers of influence and attendant uncontrollable excitements.

I mentioned this worry not long ago, when I advised President Buhari to disown calls by sycophants for him to run for second term in 2019. I was of the view then, and now, that the pressure of the office will be too much for him to micromanage, going forward. Therefore, when he comes back, he should do less of office rigour and concern himself more with an effective handover to a worthy successor, who can continue with the promises of good governance made by their party in the 2015 general elections. That is, if the PDP remains at the deplorable level it is, and is unable to find its way back to Aso Rock.

Apart from giving the people good governance in the course of four years, a party in government has additional responsibility to ensure smooth democratic handover from one dispensation to another. That had been one of the fears of many for the country, but so far, the PDP appears to have surmounted that hurdle. That has happened back-to-back since 2003, despite challenges and manipulations.
Therefore, many now look up to APC to deliver a 2019 that is bloodless and sufficiently free and fair. Unfortunately for the party, many Nigerians are not fretting for the PDP and other fringe parties, but for the APC. The worry is that in the absence of one noticeable candidate that commands substantial following from across the country, the race for the party’s ticket could become a tower of babel, of a sort. And if not well managed, it could ruin the beauty of our democracy and reinforce its fragility.

The party’s presidential primary of December 2014 was one of the best held so far in the country. The build up was breathtaking, as the frontline candidates stood head to head. Buhari, Atiku Abubakar and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso were all formidable. Atiku was by far the most experienced and most robust. Kwankwaso could cause a stir, if not well tackled. Buhari was the natural choice, even though he had to be assisted. Despite the anxieties, the finishing was clinical, because in the background were master strategists, who ensured that the overall interest of the party was delivered. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was the unseen hand that aggregated the collective efforts to achieve that feat.

Now, towards 2019, nothing is clear in the APC. Many hyenas will be on the loose, if there is no strong lion to preserve the kill. Was that the motivation behind the recent statements credited to party leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, which has caused some excitement in the polity, and might just be the beginning of the power play in the party towards 2019? Tinubu was reported by a mainstream newspaper to have declared interest in his party’s presidential ticket for 2019. Even though the report itself lacked clarity and lent itself to easy disownment, which has been excessively done by his Media Office, some doubting Thomases are still wondering whether the denouncement was actually on target.

A careful textual analysis of the entire refutation will reveal that it was anchored on only one condition – If. Meaning that, if Buhari remains the candidate of the party for 2019, Tinubu as a loyal party man will be there for the President.

Hear him: “Asiwaju supports and stands behind President Buhari. He wishes the President well and that he returns soon. Whether the President is here or away, he has the full loyalty of Asiwaju Tinubu. President Buhari can rest assured on this point: Asiwaju Tinubu will never contest against him nor will he support anyone who does.”

Tinubu is a man, who has survived many battles and he knows what it is like to confront an incumbent president frontally. He stood up to former president Obasanjo and was ostracised more or less, even though he later won laurels from that faceoff. Political battles are not won on the pages of newspapers and that is the strong point to take away from that statement.

As has become clear to many objective onlookers, the APC will not be showing political tact, if it goes ahead to insist on candidate Buhari for 2019. This is not going to be a spite at Mr. President and whatever condition he is going through. When it was reasonable to do so, the party backed Buhari and didn’t mind the odds. But now that the man has come and is doing his best, it might be time to shop for another candidate. After all, Nelson Mandela voluntarily opted for one term, without preconditions. The man simply knew that age was not on his side and wasted no time to shop for a successor. He was not afflicted by Robert Mugabe’s disease.

So, if the party will not field Buhari again, is it out of place for Tinubu to say, ‘look, I’m here’ even if to safeguard party heritage from imminent free for all. Tinubu has said that he could run for any office, yes, because it is in the nature of politicians to contest elections. The life cycle of a politician is not complete, if he has not contested elections. But in the real sense, I think Tinubu as kingmaker over the years, has amassed enough air of invincibility to last him a lifetime. A plunge into the arena now, after his many successes could have him thoroughly demystified and devalued.

Tinubu’s attendance at Rotimi Akeredolu’s swearing-in ceremony, in Ondo State, where the vexed story was deduced from offhand comments, added colour to the entire event. It also helped to save his dwindling political fortune. He had issues with the candidacy of Akeredolu. He had issues with the party leadership and after that, it appeared he quietly stayed away, until efforts were made to reconcile warring members of the party in the Southwest. It seemed that both the misrepresentation and the refutation are all geared towards announcing Tinubu’s return to his prime position as leader of the party in the zone. The zone has to be seen to be working for one agenda within the party. So far, no one else in the zone has made any statements connected to 2019 and that could be strategic. When negotiations begin, I’m sure Tinubu will lead the zone again to broker the next deal.

Tinubu does not need to run for office of president. Despite the clear provision in its constitution that anybody can offer himself as candidate, the body language in the APC is that the north is entitled to eight years. Whether Buhari runs for 2019 or not, the safer thing to do is let the Presidency stay up north. It is up to the northeast and northwest to slug it out. If Saraki and others in the north-central are able to join the fray, so be it. Any other arrangement at this point, when the party has not cut its teeth, might leave it bruised and unconscious during the next election.

If Asiwaju could not be vice to Buhari, is he not now too big to be vice to any other northern politician, apart from, perhaps, Atiku? Tinubu and Atiku have come too far in this cat and mouse game to be taken seriously in a joint ticket. Tinubu is a kingmaker. He should preserve that prime role.

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  • Ade Mafe

    Asiwaju and other APC stalwarts are Muslims and fearless and that is why they are successful. Our Muslim brothers are obviously better politicians than Christians in the South West. There is something inherent in Islam that makes a man bold, fearless and courageous.
    Jehovah God all through the bible would always tell his people to be fearless saying “fear not” always
    Southern Nigerian Christians, both Ibos and Yorubas are explicitly cowardly.
    They prefer the holy spirit and angels fighting battles on their behalf while they sing and speak in tongue. The Satanic Pastors in the south will preach peace and cowardice not knowing that even in heaven there was violence before Satan was driven to the earth.
    Controlled Violence is a tool which when used well can usher in a lasting peace.
    Unfortunately Jehovah God does not fraternize with cowards and those who fear loosing their lives for a cause. That is why Muslims be it Yoruba Muslims or Hausa will always rule Nigeria while we Christians will only talk , talk and talk.

    • Jumpingbrook

      Sharrap, idiot

    • peter archibong

      history has shown that nobody talks against the Holy Spirit and escapes. even big names such as Gorbachev of USSR, the Beattles, etc – this one is too small…watch and see in the next twelve mths what happens to this ignorant, arrogant and uncircumcised son of the bond woman and their types who speak in this manner in this country

      • Ade Mafe

        Nigerian concept of the holy spirit is laughable.
        Pastor adeboye once said on CNN that youths should not demonstrate because they might be shot but should rather pray.
        Religion is wicked .It makes the smartest of men act foolishly.

        • peter archibong

          muslims like you mock when christians talk peace like adeboye but fret when they spit fire like suleman and oyedepo…you think that by filling up the army you have the power? why didnt they dare detain suleman for one day and watch nigeria scatter as he threatened? when niger delta militants threatened the economy went down, why did operation crocodile stop smiling as pmb threatened? it has given him irrecoverable illness… if muslims are really strong, why are they getting sick and even die on the seat of power? why do they try to get power by the back door by killing their own people and using cows and kids to vote, instead of standing for a free and fair election? if not for southerners like amaechi, could pmb ever smelt aso rock with all his ailment? even when he was a military ruler its idiagbon that was in charge and he recorded the only bloodless coup in nigeria…have you ever heard of any southern gov or president that was sick for so long or even died in power? why did the nigerian army, filled with muslims, run for their dear lives in south south several times during operation crocodile smile and rerun elections with all the federal might they have? bcos the lion is asleep doesnt mean you should mistakenly step on its tail – only daft ppl dont know all these

          • Ade Mafe

            Exactly what I said.Imagine your big epistle just to convince all that Nigerian Christians do not behave cowardly.

            Well, I wont argue with you.You know in your inner hearts that I say the truth.

            One shout of “Alahu Akbar” at the parking area of any Pentecostal church on a Sunday service day will expose to you the mindset of Christians in the south.

            Everyone will run away, some jumping through the window others hiding under the chair while at same time reciting “blood of Jesus”

            Bottom line, Christians need to be ready to die for their faith and overcome the fear or death, then and only then will Muslims stop killing Christians at every opportunity when they realize that Islam does not have monopoly of violence.

          • peter archibong

            you have an argument based on your personal experience and ideology…but that’s not universal. i’ve lived and visited quite a few cities in nigeria…the truth is that God dont give wicked animals horns. the worst ppl to get upset are christians (my type, and we’re quite a lot) because if that really happens there shall be genocide of hausas which i think is not fair even in the eyes of God – but by ur views people like you advocate for that. truly speaking, like my bishop oyedepo said, the whole of the north is not more than the population of lagos state – that’s most probably true becos he stayed there for many years before relocating. and of course you know that winas chapel is one of the few churches no nama of islam dare tried in all their madness to date. but if it pains you that much you can start the revenge by urself…all i know is that certain things are programmed for times and seasons and it will happened as being planned. just like my first son prefers to cry and not beat her junior sister when she strikes him, just to refrain from wounding her…but a time comes when they have grown up and no one needs to tell the junior sister not to tempt the controlled masculinity of her senior brother bcos no one would be there to stop him…that’s what it is…the islams both in the north and south are social kids, just as their religion is. sooner or later it would be tamed otherwise it becomes self-destruct as it is already happening in the north…even one of their revered emir sanusi is rebelling by advocating for schools to replace mosques, and that poor ppl shudnt marry more than one wife and everyone is lambasting him- he never start…who send am go there…didnt he know it before he entered…just watch and see

          • Ade Mafe

            Typical southern Christian. I wont argue with you. Let your faith heal you.
            Islam has been able to conquer the fear of death for its adherents. The same cannot be said of we Christians.
            I don’t need long epistle to convince anyone about this fact. We all know that.

          • peter archibong

            wow! i’m really surprised when you keep calling yourself “we christians”…you speak like a typical muslim and that’s how i’ve been seeing you… christianity is not by having a baptismal name, going to church on sunday and belonging to a denomination – i deduct that you are just that kind – nominal identity “christian” reflected in your cv. there’s no way you can possibly understand what i say cos we dont operate in the same realm. probably, that’s why jumpingbrook called you idiot but, sorry about that. there’s nothing southern, northern, yoruba, igbo, or even white or black about Christianity (Romans 10:12; Acts 10:34). just try and get born again broe – that’s God’s Word for all this trouble you’re having

          • Ade Mafe

            Clap for yourself. The real born again who runs to his village idol at the sight of any small challenge .
            Nigerian brand of Christianity that preaches cowardice.
            Anyway there is no law against believing in what you believe .

            Christans daily killed in alexandria,Syria and even Saudi Arabia I guess are all Muslims .

            There is nothing wrong in being a Muslim .We shall all pay for the choices we make.
            I won’t even dignify you with a response of being a Christian.

            I know your type .when i was younger , I use to see them a lot on prayer moutains at ikoyi and akinkemi.
            They come there with their ibo ways of doing things of always wanting short cuts.

          • peter archibong

            am really right… you’re a christian by identification that’s why you could think that christians run to idols. if satan himself cant stand me what is idol…esp the type you run to? a zillion idol, voodoo, witchcraft, demons, babalawo, ogun, plus satan their master combined is equal to zero – and that’s what you run to at the smallest challenge. so am right, get born again and enjoy the superior life above all principalities and powers. guess!!! i don’t even pray about them… i dont even know which one is village idol like you do…recently someone threatened me and my family with it, it bounced back at him without any effort from me, i didnt even pray cos its not worth it… Jesus never prayed against any devil, he simply casted them out of his way if they mistakenly came around. He said that we’d do greater things so i dont even need to cast out, they vanish at my appearance on the scene… cant you see how inferior the life you’ve been operating and thinking it’s a christian life? that’s why you missed it all these while. simply go to any Bible-believing church and get really born again and then desire to know God for yourself, and not just those stories they tell you in catechism or sunday school by fellow sinners who are void of the knowledge and the power of God just like you – playing religion…see, i just recall that at my construction site today an arrow was thrown at me because of the way i possessed the land so rapidly with structures going up so fast in an evil infested area, but i just shook it off and sent back to sender… ppl had earlier warned me that the place is too risky both of physical arms and juju, but i know they’re chicken-hearted ppl like you who claim to be christians cos they goto church too like you…i told them those things are rubbish and within that week some ppl that targeted me were mysteriously elimited either by the police or strange forces…those who couldnt stand it ran and left the area cos they recognised a higher power – ade mafe, you’re simply an ordinary powerless hanky in the devil’s pocket claiming to be christian. that’s risky…it’ even better you didnt claim to be what you are really not because the first set of ppl called christians were born again and you’re not. Christianity without power is a risk, and power is not possible without knowledge because the Bible says that “my ppl are destroyed for lack of knowledge” and not lack of going to church and becoming pastor, bishop or pope like all these political church-goers desperately seek to become. this may be your last chance bro…just repent and be saved and then you shall receive the power of God Acts 2:37-38

  • Asiwaju or akehin our brother or not is still a drug running he made his money and name by sending tons of younger naive people to international jail, we as a people and Nigeria as a nation can do much better.

    It’s time we stop celebrating crime.

    Fashola would be much more perfected, by but the international community and at home.