By Sola Ebiseni
On a note justifying the haplessness of the Nigerian military in the face of intractable insurgency, President Buhari, on a note of surrender, quipped at the APC NEC that “no country, however well secured, can prevent isolated acts of terror as we have seen in America, Europe, Asia and here in Africa”. The truth however, from our experiences with Boko Haram and its equally deadly herdsmen cousins, is that their acts of terror on Nigerians are neither isolated in terms of frequency, or territorial domination.
How Different Foot Shapes Reflect Different Personalities
If anything, this declaration of force majeure by the president is the final sealing of the hopes of Nigerians, of possible salvation from terrorism, especially the excruciating experiences of bombing and abduction of children. Most insensitively, neither Mr President nor the ensuing communique thereafter, spared a word of consolation or hope for the abducted 110 girls of Dapchi and their agonising parents, at this meeting of the High Command of the APC and its legitimacy-kwashokored government.
In a most insensitive manner, every major massacre, seems to provide a platform for APC and its goons to celebrate and demonstrate their love for the President in his bloody journey to 2019.
Within 48 hours of the Benue massacre and mass internment, some APC governors, in competition with one another, converged on Kaduna, and not minding the fresh tears from the killings in the southern part of Kaduna itself, to show solidarity and declare support for Buhari’s second term.
Not long thereafter, as the nation mourned the Zamfara massacre, where scores of innocent people fell to the herdsmen’s firing squads, Buhari, less than 48 hours, played host, in Daura, to his govenors in demonstration of their support for his second term. Now less than 48 hours after the Dapchi abduction, Buhari and the APC took to politics, at its long awaited National Executive Committee meeting, merely to clear the remaining possible hurdles against Buhari’s ticket and those of the governors. How insensitive can a party be.
For those who may be deceived by his acclaimed political naivety, President Buhari is coming up as the shrewdest president to have ever ruled Nigeria. A man of scanty words, he combines deceptive muteness with stoic endurance in the machiavellian pursuit of his ambition.
In the face of seemingly fatal illness, President Buhari transmitted power, on paper, to his deputy, a denial of constitutional imperative for which, his kinsman, Umar Yar’Adua, got criticized. In practical terms, Buhari actually implemented the constitution in breach and got applause for it. He took the presidency with him to London, awarding mind boggling oil contracts and exercised real presidential acts on his sick bed, leaving his pastor Professor Deputy with preaching peace to Biafra and signing harmless Executive Orders on how to do business.
PMB has now truly reached to his private mail bag with his exclusive last card, resolving contradictions in his party by playing mutually antagonistic caucuses against one another to emerge the only idol worthy of worship and sacrifice. He has always known that the smooth talking party chairman is no threat and, in fact most comfortable with his position that, even on Buhari’s sickbed then, John Oyegun was already baptising Nigerians with the proclamation of expected Buhari second term.
Buhari made his cabal strip Tinubu of real strength and power by poaching his boys in all states, except Lagos and to some extent, Osun where his loyal lieutenant is actually his own master. He allowed Asiwaju to amuse himself with the title of the National Leader of the party, though only in some of Tinubu friendly media. He craftily patronised Tinubu in his speech at NEC, referring to him as our respected Asiwaju and his phony reconciliation committee, as the Asiwaju Committee.
It was surprising that Tinubu failed to know that Buhari was showing who the real leader was, by the greek gift of a reconciliation assignment, which may actually sing the nunc dimitis of the real Tinubu followers in the party. In truth, if there is any group to be reconciled with the mainstream APC and its government anywhere, it is the Tinubu group considered loathsome by all.
Yet, Asiwaju, the inarguably most accomplished politician in Nigeria since the return of democracy, openly walked into the trap of wanting to be a judge in his own cause, ignoring the admonition of his well meaning lovers, including his wife. Surprisingly and most tactlessly perhaps, Tinubu showed his hand too early in his acrid letter to Oyegun, the beloved son. The NEC meeting was actually called to finally cage the Lion of Bourdillon.
Before his very eyes, Oyegun and the errant structure of the party was asked to midwife the process of the 2019 elections, effectively putting an end to Tinubu’s trouble shooting. The unanimous adoption of this proposal, should be for Asiwaju, more than an ominous sign of a perfected coup. My militant governor in Ondo state delivered the message in the most enchanting wizardry of sophistry, when he denied saying that he ever told Tinubu to stay off the state with his assignment, but that Asiwaju’s coming may be unnecessary because he would actually have no reconciliation work to do. Yet so reconciled is the Ondo State APC that Arakunrin Aketi has declared one of their only ranking senator a persona non grata.
With the states’ party Executives in the firm grips of the governors, perfectly alligned with the compliant Oyegun smooth talker, Tinubu now knows his assignment is over and merely marking his days at the mercy of his traducers in the party knuckled together by his tireless foot walking across the nation. Now merely holding the strands ends of the broom, one or two strands may come his way, by compensatory appointments to his supporters at this twilight, his hands are far from the handle of the broom.
This is no doubt a most trying time for the most enigmatic Nigerian politician of this generation. In 2003, contrary to popular beliefs, Tinubu was the first among the AD governors to express support for Obasanjo’s second term, when he declared at the Muritala Mohammed Airport, on his way to Mecca, that he would deliver 5 million Lagos votes to Obasanjo. At the critical time, Tinubu beat a tactical retreat and warned his colleagues and the national leadership of the Afenifere against any deal with OBJ. Tinubu was proved right and remained the last man standing, strategically wining his Lagos baby from the Obasanjo’s onslaught.
When he felt his presidential runs with Atiku or Ribadu were going to produce no goals, Tinubu did a solo and maradonically meandered his ways to the posts. He did not win the national match but certainly not disgraced, as he added to the Lagos lone goal, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti and Edo states. He’s yet to decipher the Ondo formula.
From self retirement, Asiwaju took Buhari from the cold, brushed off the images of irredentist religious bigotry and ethnic jingoism and tagged him with the messianic message of change and the rest now is history. Let those beating their chests that Asiwaju is spent, particularly those who rode on his back to reckoning and feel they could suck and throw him off like a piece of orange, be told that this Sunmeri needs only the next rain.
Sunmeri is the proverbial plant in the riverine climes (I don’t know the English name) which, when you think is dead and dry, only surprisingly sprouts in the next rainy season. The firmament is gathering clouds for the next season of political rains. Let those dozing avoid snoring.
*Ebiseni writes via: reubenabati.com.ng