Wednesday, 7th June 2023

Tinubu’s mandate and the hunter’s call

By Danladi Bako
02 April 2023   |   4:05 am
It is not only unfathomable but also preposterous and downright stupefying that some fellow Nigerians and their foreign sympathisers are still engaging in arguments about the veracity and authenticity of the outcome of the February 25 Presidential election results.

It is not only unfathomable but also preposterous and downright stupefying that some fellow Nigerians and their foreign sympathisers are still engaging in arguments about the veracity and authenticity of the outcome of the February 25 Presidential election results.

It even gets to most irritating levels that in their hearts and genuinely in their private moments they admit to themselves that from the campaigns, the rallies, the recruitment of new voters and the execution of their campaign strategies both at the communication and logistics levels, there was no iota of hope towards a pathway to victory of any sort.

Yet after the denouement of electoral failure, they are now hell bent on clutching at straws hoping they can pull down the house if they can’t occupy it. The intelligence community has duly alerted Nigerians and stakeholders alike about the deadly plot by some disgruntled politicians to truncate our long suffering 24 years old fourth democratic journey. The hunter has sounded his whistle calling his dog to return to base! The Department of State Security service has, therefore, appealed to all detractors to tow the line of peace and tranquility in their response to their electoral calamity.

Even the Abdusalaam Peace Committee extracted a commitment from these political combatants to uphold the peace before, during and after the elections. Yet, we had violence in some deep country precincts. The hunter’s dog , it would seem has lost its way. For them because it’s raining in their villages, they ignorantly conclude that it’s raining all over the world. They shut their minds to the fact that it might not be raining elsewhere.

Let’s us recall how we got here. It was common knowledge that the opposition People’s Democratic Party started it’s campaign early and seemed to have gathered some momentum by the first month of 2023, but alas the fallout from it’s Presidential primaries caused an irrevocable angst between some governors and the candidate for reasons of non-adherence to the rotation principle entrenched in the party’s constitution as well as the “parapoism” of Gov Tambuwal’s stepping down for candidate Atiku much to the chargrin of Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike whose chances of victory was dealt a deadly blow by Tambuwal’s action. PDP never recovered from the oppobrium and “internal war” that ensued.

Secondly, non-political, non card-carrying voters who constitute about 70 percent of the populace were torn between voting for another eight years of another Fulani president after Buhari or choosing a southern candidate.

In comes the Labour party whose poster boy is a southern candidate Peter Obi. He fitted the bill. So PDP’s stronghold in the south east of Nigeria where it used to reign supreme was further decimated. PDP was in trouble. As if that wasn’t enough, the master strategists of the APC Presidential candidate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu took him into the creeks of Graramatu Kingdom to meet Tompolo in Okerenkoko as part of search for votes. Government Emuopolo alias Tompolo is “government” of his own if you know what I mean. Even the dreaded Asari Dokubo jumped on the “Sell Tinubu” train courtesy of Asiwaju’s magnanimity to his wife and children while Asari was in custody. As the final nail on the coffin, the PDP literally gave up campaign in the south west and seemed to rely on Fulani hegemony and a few northern APC governors to betray the ruling party and vote PDP. Of course, the APC governors of Kwara, Kogi, Jigawa, Zamfara, Niger and Borno all delivered as expected and Sen George Akume wrestled Benue from PDP and gave Asiwaju as a bonus. How could PDP have won the presidential election with these uncertainties and topsy-turvy rollercoaster journey? Not in the wildest dreams.

The other dog of our famed hunter that is not listening to the hunter’s whistle is the Labour party and it’s candidate Peter Obi.
Whoever thought Peter Obi was going to be president was living in some extra-terrestrial bubble oblivious of realities on ground in this 925000 square kilometers of land called Nigeria.

Indeed, the large population of non card-carrying voters come from a culture where a voting pattern bequeath to them by their grandparents and parents have been entrenched in the family psyche and sub-culture over long decades.

For instance, most Yorubas would vote UPN, AD, ACN or it’s current version of APC. The appelation “progressives” fits the Awo philosophy they grew up with, so on election day, they are not going to wake up one morning and change because a certain Peter Obi has shown up. Likewise numerous Hausa Fulani will go the Northern People’s Congress route and it’s modern day version of the National People’s Party (NPN). There is a history to the voting behaviour of every family.

Of course, some of today’s youth generation will break the ranks, but it has now dawned on Peter Obi that they don’t form the critical mass needed to upturn voting pattern and long standing behaviour in his favour. The Labour party needs another four years of mobilisation to get the the remote villages of Konshisha (Benue), Jekanadu (Sokoto), Yorla ( Rivers ogoni), Ipokia (Ogun State), Rikoto (Kebbi) and Dawakin Tofa (Kano) and all such communities where 70 per cent of Nigerians dwell. Not on the internet.

The party needs another four years to get foot soldiers in the 176, 000 polling units who will go on election eve and appeal to the locals from house to house to come out and vote, sometimes coax them, sometimes induce them! That’s how it works, my friend. The trajectory of the media and internet simulation in favour of the Labour party was exaggerated and completely misdirected.

Be that as it may, for the six months effort of Peter Obi’s resurgence of the Labour party to produce one governor and more than 30 National Assembly members is commendable, but it also accentuates the volume of humongous work and gangantuan goodwill Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Sen Kashim Shettima have built over the decades for them to amass over 8 million votes on February 25.

From the foregoing, the opposition People’s Democratic Party and Labour party have no reason to claim they won the elections. Asiwaju had 22 governors at his disposal for heaven sake with all their resources and voter strength. Tinubu picked his mandate in style, grand style with a gap of close to 2 million votes.

The path of self destruction that the disgruntled politicians the DSS mentioned are embarking on is needless, irresponsible and totally suicidal. These fifth columnists who have no capacity to handle failure are refusing to heed the call of their hunter-master. When you prepare for war, you crave for victory but also make provision for possible failure. That’s the mark of a great warrior. This is the time to sheath their swords and prepare for the next elections in four years time. The democratic journey we seem to be nurturing successfully does not need this aberation of already doomed idea of “interim government”. As we say in Hausa “Wanda bai ji bari ba ya ji hoho” (one who refuses to listen to advice will feel the pain later).

• Dr Danladi Bako, OON, is an APC chieftain and member, Media Directorate, Presidential Campaign Council.