Let us cast our ethnic fears aside, there is no ideological party in Nigeria. Otherwise, we would vote for Labor Party. We can vote for Agbaje PDP in Lagos and vote for Buhari to capture Abuja without contradictions. Those familiar with chicanery Tinubu played as NADECO member, to outfox Funso Williams knew he broke the soul of Pa Dawodu. Not Buhari, he will pay Tinubu with his own coin. As Obasanjo told sponsors, they might as well consider their investments lost.

President Jonathan has already shattered born-to-rule mentality and Nigerians, wherever you come from can become the President of Nigeria. It does not sound like a big deal now, but older Nigerians understand what that means. Unfortunately, good intention of Ebele is not enough in a country like Nigeria. Problems did not start with Ebele but it must end somewhere. No matter our empathy for Ebele; he tried but his best was not enough. Not even Babangida can help him.

During the time of Abacha, an elderly man visited a Nigerian meeting in the United States. As he was begging Nigerians to send money home to parents and relatives, he broke down and cried. He said the type of scholarships he and his cohorts enjoyed locally and internationally had dried up. Our children were suffering from ignorance and foresight. It has gotten worse today.

When Buhari broke down and cried, some Nigerians laughed at him, others understood Nigeria is worth crying for. Anyone that grew up in Nigeria in the fifties and sixties and has not shed tears for our state of decadence, does not have a heart. Buhari did not cry because he missed looting the treasury, he wept for what Nigeria has lost. This was a country that was flowing with milk and honey literally without oil, so much that Nigeria could feed the other countries.

This writer is one of those that condemned Buhari for his extreme religious views and will never forget that he cancelled Jakande's subway proposal, losing our deposit. Yes, his Operation WAI was too harsh, with that son of Kwara, Idiagbon. Deep inside most Nigerians, we know we need someone as Buhari but with democratic check and balance. There is no doubt that he jailed too many folks and let go royalties and well connected. It's a foolish mistake, which still haunts him.

However, please make no mistake about it. United States is the richest democracy in the world but also has more people in jail per thousand than Russia or China. Unfortunately, minorities make up a bigger proportion of their criminal system. It is not a justification for Buhari. It is a reminder that a great leader is the one that can challenge the rich and the powerful, not the one that thread on soft spots because folks are too poor to fight back.

The poor people are not afraid of Buhari, they are always in jail whoever is the President. It is those rich and powerful who are afraid of Buhari by trying to hide behind the poor. Oyegun has reassured them. It takes a great deal of retrospection for anyone that is rich and powerful to say they will rather be in jail under Buhari than freedom under business as usual. Let us face it, Nigeria is not working and no amount of income from oil, gold or diamond can make it work.

Nigeria needs a leader that can challenge the rich and the powerful, that is the task that must be accomplished. People in every state know the sincere leaders capable of ruling for a change. Yet we continue to practice stomach infrastructure. After the bag of rice is gone, we are left not only to fend for ourselves but to pay back into looters' pocket. We want fairness, yet vote for thugs and vagabonds that choose a few winners of lottery: Abu's blood and sweat to feed Abu.

Agbaje, not in this writer's circle, represents the soul of Lagos, not a party since godfathers have no ideology to present. You may not like Bode George or Ogunlewe as PDP stalwarts; they are no different to Tinubu as godfathers. This coming election is not about Any Party in Power, PDP or APC bereft of any tangible sincerity to rid a country on its knees the yoke it carries. The only concrete surety Nigeria has to decent life, right now, is whoever is going to get rid of corruption.

We also know what aches Buhari's heart to make him cry! Agbaje and Buhari may be in two different parties judging by their godfathers, but do not forget that the fish rut from the head. Buhari will set the example for all to follow and Agbaje has the tendency and predisposition to be clean. He is not hungry and he was not born in the gutter. He cannot disown his home!

Whatever the assumed popularity of Tinubu in the West, Yoruba are not proud of him as their leader. But when it comes to fire, Yoruba send fire to combat fire. If that is what it takes to sacrifice Tinubu, so be it. Enough insults and abuse has been poured on the quality of Yoruba leaders. Tinubu never made the grade, much less the mark needed to assume leadership in Yoruba land. When he loses his Lagos loots, Abuja cannot save him or replenish his greed.

The problem of Lagos and how a figure like Tinubu assumed leadership is self-inflicted on the part of infighting by Lagosians that history will deal with. The overriding influence of NADECO on whose wings Tinubu rode cannot be blamed on opposition against Abacha alone. The fact that Funso Williams was not one of them changed Lagos. Pa Ganiyu Dawodu went to his grave regretting the emergence of Tinubu. Politics is dirty but someone has to bell the cat.

Their game was up a long time ago. We can fight and kill one another over oil and ethnicity, it will not change our poverty stricken status. All the incomes we made over the years have not stayed in the Country. The more income earned from any source, the more we plough outside for the benefit of others. We spend more money fighting one another than we spend uplifting.

Cutting Tinubu's long arm in Lagos will put a stop to the celebration of mediocrity, corruption and avarice used to recruit youthful generation to their detriment. If the rich and powerful make their money legally, they need not fear Buhari or leave the Country. But if they …………!

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Articles by Farouk Martins Aresa