Talking about change, sacrifice and commitment to democratic ethos, two names stand out, as embodying such attributes – President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) and Ahmed
Bola Tinubu (ATB). Both President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) and Ahmed Bola Tinubu (ATB) have significantly contributed in deepening and consolidating Nigerian democracy through constructive and purposeful opposition to the greatest Multinational Corporation –The People Democratic Party (PDP).
The world of politics is full of deception, surprises and disappointment. That is why, it is often said, politics is a graveyard for people with good intention; especially the Nigerian brand of politics. The Nigerian brand of democracy and politicking has defies conventional theoretical and analytical definition and explanation, due to the attitudes, actions and inaction of players on the field. Indeed, it has rules of engagement, but, these rules and regulations are subject to personal interpretation, resources and state apparatus at the disposal of the players.
A rule to either bends it according to their whims and caprices or enforces sometime by somewhat quasi justice system. The referees and officials can only call the attention of players, but, players have the prerogative to determine how to play according to their own rule. This was the scenario of politicking, engagement and governance in the last 16 years.
Interestingly, we have survived 16 years of armed twisted political gangesterism, economic banditries and impunity. Even though we survived the last 16 years of hopelessness and impunity, but, without various degrees of bruises, fractures, dislocation, and death. We are indeed grateful through God’s mercy, share efforts, sacrifice and commitment to humanity and nation, we have finally arrived the “change train”.
Ever since the PDP emerged as the ruling party in the last 16 years, so much has change in our national life. The PDP is the classical reflection of redefinition of the ethos of democracy and politics; as they bulldozed and deconstruct the meaning of democracy, good governance, national unity and development. Interestingly, in this wholesome madness and hopelessness, indeed, President Muhammadu Buhari and Ahmed Bola Tinubu provided leadership, guardianship and direction on how to confront the mad cow in China shop. In 2003 President Muhammadu Buhari announced and contested the Presidential election for the first time and lost; while Ahmad Bola Tinubu became the only surviving South West State Governor and Alliance for Democracy (AD) stalwart to survived the rigging powers of the Multinational Corporation – the PDP.
The survival spirit of the then Governor of Lagos State, Ahmed Bola Tinubu (ATB) sealed his political faith and future as an emerging opposition figure in South West and Nigeria at large. In responds to this failure, the PDP lead central government began a policy of antagonism, frustration and withholding of resources and developmental projects to Lagos State, to dwarf and ridicule ATB; but, unperturbed ATB continue to used his ingenuity, courage and patience to manage the little resources to developed and laid a solid foundation in Lagos State, which was further consolidated by Babatunde Raji Fashola. The survival spirit and pragmatic display of services, determination, and survival solidifies ATB status among progressive and opposition elements within and outside the country.
As ATB continue to fight and battle his political future, on the northern front, another serious minded and nonsense anti-corruption leader is rising and fighting the virus of anti-people and corrupt riddle administration of the PDP, then General Muhammadu Buhari. Indeed, General Muhammadu Buhari’s three time attempts, to be elected as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was meant with brick walls of opposition and conspiracy by the powerful Nigerian elite.
With mass followers and strong support based, General Muhammadu Buhari had the opportunity and political will to scuttled Nigerian democracy, but, decided to subjected his case through the legal process; even though, we neither had the legal process, nor the committed judiciary to dispel justice to the common and injured man.
Yet, three time, he continue to subject himself to the skewed legal system, thereby building confidence and trust in the minds and souls of his supporters, that, the ballot is the only way to change of government. And on March 28th 2015 their patience, perseverance, and dedication to Nigeria and humanity finally pays off when they united and united Nigerians and gave heavy blow to the Multinational Corporation –PDP.
Hate then or like then, the reality is that, these two opposition figures have contributed significantly in deepening and consolidated Nigerian democracy through constructive and pragmatic opposition engagement and politicking. This constructive and pragmatic opposition, engagement and politicking were finally consolidated into the merge process that took place in 2014. The basic reality is that, the merger that took place in the APC, is between General Muhammadu Buhari, CPC and Ahmad Bola Tinub, ACN; any other elements that participated were just an appendage into the moving train of change and opposition consolidation or desire to save dwindling political future or political refuge from the persecution of Multinational Corporation – PDP.
So, one is left with no option, but, to say, that, the beauty, commitment and achievement of the merger process was because of the courage, selflessness, exemplary statesmanship and sacrifice of President Muhammadu Buhari and Ahmad Bola Tinubu throughout the process. These beautiful attributes finally sealed the yearning and aspiration of the masses for a mega party that will wrestled power from the destructive, arrogant and deceptive ruling elite and Multinational Corporation – the PDP.
For onlookers and non-partisan Nigerians, the arrival of the All Progressive Congress (APC) was a great blessing for Nigerians and democracy, but, we equally had our fears about the characters and nature of operational models and the bobby traps in choosing Presidential, Governorship and other elective offices. This is against a background, that, most past attempts and failure were as a result of infighting, greed and avarice of politicians. But, indeed, the APC shocked supporters and adversaries including the man that informed the world, if the party survived one year they should call him a bastard. Bastard indeed, he became, as the party, not only survived one year, but, went ahead to organised the best and most transparent Presidential primary ever seen in the country.
While eulogizing the various actors that contributed to the success journey, but, one name standout outstanding, Ahmed Bola Tinubu for many fundamental reasons. Firstly, for sacrificing his Presidential and Vice Presidential ambition; secondly, throwing his weight and support behind President Muhammadu Buhari against money bags and influential party men; thirdly, contributing resources, time and political machineries in support of the people’s General campaigns; and fourthly delivering the South West Zone to the President, which make the huge difference and ensure the unanticipated Presidential victory against the biggest Multinational Political party in Africa PDP; thereby throwing away the clueless and incompetent government of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan into the dustbin of history.
It is interesting to say, from the records, President Muhammadu Buhari will always get the 12-13 millions votes from the northern part of the country; but, for 2015 presidential elections, what made the difference was the votes from South West region period. Then the question is who was responsible for the huge alliance and vote delivery? The simple answer is Ahmad Bola Tinubu (ATB), the leader of APC in Nigeria and South West.
So, therefore with all these aroma of sacrifice, steadfastness and contribution to nurturing democracy and mentoring process, one find it difficult to understand or appreciate the new insult and criticism against ATB and the Jagaba of Africa by some political neophytes and so called self induced moral spiritualists. Most criticism and insults is coming from people who are envious and wounded because of the rising profile and sacrifice of ATB in nurturing the democracy we are enjoying and the change mantra we are now celebrating. Unfortunately, most of this arm chair critics and self righteous advocates are even worse than the Ahmad Bola Tinubu of all season, they are daily insulting and calling names.
One of the problem and confusion about these self righteous advocates and armed chair critics is that, when the nation was descending into chaos and dictatorship, their voices were missing; while some are active participant in creating the problems and confusion the like of Ahmad Bola Tinubu and President Muhammadu Buhari sacrifice, fought against and finally won the battle. No doubt, it is the like of progressive and democrats like Ahmad Bola Tinubu that rally Nigerians and like minds to struggle and liberated Nigerians against vampires and enemies of democracy and good governance.
Ahmad Bola Tinubu and the like minds did everything within their constitutional powers and democratic tenets to delivers the change and progress we are witnessing today. For me, am not saying, that, Ahmad Bola Tinubu is infallible, but, he is a human being subject to making mistakes; and equally has same imbedded natural disease of egoism and selfishness; but, irrespective of his weakness and so called baggage, one thing you cannot take away from him is his determination, sacrifice and contribution to nurturing our democracy and the subsequent change we are witnessing today, therefore, he deserved respect and understanding from the new hangers and self righteous critics. However, on a deeper note, one can understand the frustration and vituperation of majority of armed chair, self righteous and moral advocates.
It is purely attempt to destroy ATB in the eyes of the public and to make him look undeserving to be close to President Muhamadu Buhari and his government anti-corruption posture. Unfortunately, for these opportunists, self righteous moral advocates, agents and enemies of democracy, is that, the relationship, self respect and clear understanding between President Muhammadu Buhari and Ahmad Tinubu Bola is thicker and more solid than what most of these characters are projecting. In the last few months, we saw that cordiality, respect and understanding between these two leaders. There is no doubt, we one can say the conduct and support based coming from Ahmad Bola Tinubu and like minds has been reciprocal and solid, even though these opportunists prayed and worked to scuttled such ambiance of respect and understanding among the two leaders.
It is only frustrated politicians and selfish characters that are afraid of Ahmad Bola Tinubu and his political sagacity and pragmatism at the time of crisis in the party especially in South West region. Therefore, the fifth columnists and opportunists are doing everything within their powers, to create space of vulnerability and unease conflicts, to separate this solid relationship, respect and understanding, by creating tension between President Muhammadu Buhari and Ahmad Bola Tinubu.
But, i believed, President Muhammadu Buhari and Ahmad Bola Tinubu understood these shenanigans and conspiracies from various enemies of Nigerians, disguising as civil right advocates and anti-corruption fighters. The reality is that, Ahmad Bola Tinubu has paid his dues by making sacrifice, and contributing significantly to nurturing and consolidating our democracy; thereby enriching our country’s democracy, leadership and society. And the world and humanity can attest to this; one wonder, what their contribution to nurturing and safeguarding humanity from dictatorship and anti-democracy posture were?
Therefore, to all the noisemakers and arm chair criticised, Ahmad Bola Tinubu deserves respect irrespective of what we feel about he, because, he has made significant sacrifice and contributions to democracy and Nigeria as whole. He has not only stepped into the beautiful and comfortable shoes of the late sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo, but, he assisted the Yoruba race and South West region into mainstream politics and all the benefits that accrues to it. Through his pragmatic disposition and service to humanity, ATB has nurture young people with political elective positions and mentorship in various leadership cadres in the South West and Nigeria at large. His ability to discover talents and opportunities to mostly voiceless constituency “The youth” reflects the wisdom and futuristic vision of the ATB among his peers.
I believe politicians and self righteous advocates should show some respect and understanding to the man who sacrifice everything (political careers, economic, resources, time, and emotion) in nurturing and contributing to what we are now calling change and democracy. We shouldn’t forget people who contributed and sacrifice everything to the “change” we are now praising. We must understand that, for this change and the role played by Ahmad Bola Tinubu in making it happened is the reason why he is been persecuted at public court by opportunists and so called self righteous advocates. So, we need to tell the noise makers, opportunists, wounded politicians and hypocrites, that ATB needs some respect from all these shenanigans.
Equally, these opportunists are doing everything possible to separate and destroy the cordial relationship and understanding between President Muhammadu Buhari and Ahmad Bola Tinubu for their selfish and political reasons. I hope President Muhammadu Buhari will not only listen to these opportunists and political jobbers nor allow these opportunists to come in between him and a loyal partner, who sacrifice everything to nurturing and delivery a strategic votes that made a difference. Finally, we wish the jagaba all the good health, protection and continue rising political profiles as he continue his sagacious and pragmatist sacrifice and contribution to nurturing democracy and mentoring process of young minds into politics.
Bukhari M. Bello Jega
Writes from Gwagwalada Abuja