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The piece “Buhari beware of Tinubu” in the 2nd September Sun newspaper comes from the depleting arsenal of the forlorn amalgamation known as the PDP. At least we can say that the Sun newspaper has remained faithful. It was propaganda vehicle of the PDP prior to the election and has decided to stick to that role.

This article can be cited as an exemplar of graveyard journalism, its author an unabashed necromancer. For he disinters and romances old lies and falsehoods that have been investigated and buried because they were unfounded. No person so publicly and fervently revives old lies to express new truths. The author's motive shall not be found in the codex of honesty and fairness. The purpose is as murky as the PDP and the former government it led.

Nothing these people do is straight. The arrows they shoot are crooked; the bow they use is warped. Nothing they say can be taken at face value.  Every time they speak, they increase their inventory of lies by at least one per word spoken. While in office and with all the power of state at their disposal, all they could do was break the nation while defaming our collective intelligence by telling us all was getting better by the day. Instead of leading the nation to fine pastures, they led us into a dark cul-de-sac. Now they have the gall to castigate Bola Tinubu in order to distract the people from all the wrongs they have done and the money they squandered. Had they governed the nation as well as the APC's progenitors governed Lagos, Nigeria would be a much better place.  They know this. More importantly, the people know it.

In the article, a so-called guest columnist accuses Tinubu of having amassed an unimaginable fortune. The writer claims that Tinubu cannot be part of any progressive change and that president Buhari must disassociate himself from the former Lagos governor. This author is the latest to ply a transparently slanted and incredible theme that seems to have become a psychological life rope to the PDP and its mercenaries.  “If we can only get rid of Tinubu” goes their salacious dialogue.

Implicit in this sinister plot is the belief that driving a wedge between President Buhari and Tinubu will not only take Tinubu out of the picture, it will leave President Buhari politically isolated and vulnerable.  They seek to politically kill a progressive political actor in Tinubu and Buhari's progressive government with one regressive stone.  We could not reasonably expect a strategy any less treacherous from this group and they did not fail to live down to our low expectations of them.

None of the accusations made against Tinubu are new. They are a rehash of a rehash. All of these things have been investigated and discovered to be acidic lies. The writer tried to explain away the case that the Jonathan administration opened but lost against Tinubu. But the writer could not intelligently tell why the Jonathan team would have let Tinubu off the hook if they had incriminating, potentially incarcerating evidence against him. When they took him to trial, they were acutely aware of his political stand and the threat it posed to their hold on office.

They knew him to be the prime strategist behind the political merger that became the APC that would eventually unseat the PDP in the 2015 elections.  While no person is indispensable, the APC would not have been established with the form and capacity it assumed had Tinubu been sidelined.  The history of the elections might have been different and more beneficial to the PDP incumbent. Jonathan and his team knew this.

With so much at stake, there is no way that the Jonathan team would not have closeted Tinubu if they had the chance to sideline him with criminal culpability. They would have relished the chance because it would have come as close to sealing the election as any one singular act could. The decision not to pursue Tinubu did not result from a largess of spirit. The decision was based on the realization that they lacked evidence to pursue the contrived suit.

In any case many of the allegations made in the hatchet piece are already issues of libel in the law court against AIT and similar organizations.

That this story appears now is predictable. For the last few weeks, the regressives have tried their hardest to cause acrimony within the APC, publishing fiction that Tinubu was at war with important APC figures, particularly in the Southwest. Try as they might, those lies could not gain traction. Facts and common sense rebutted the machinations.  The APC stalwarts were too wise to take the bait. Having exhausted that approach, the provocateurs quickly switched to see if they could pit President Buhari and Asiwaju Tinubu against each other.  The attempts to tarnish Tinubu's relationship with the President and with other APC stalwarts have been recurring tactics pulled from the PDP's bag of tricks.

Having destroyed their own party from within, they now seek to destroy the APC. The observations we can make about them is that they excel at failure and are creative in destroying things. By their wiles, we know them. By the results their conduct has produced in Nigeria, we reject them.

Overripe with lies and falsehood, the article says more about its author than about Tinubu. The writing is a sad testimony to barrenness of the PDP. The party is slowly disintegrating before our eyes. Yet, they stubbornly refuse to change their ways. Like thief gravediggers they venture into the cemetery in broad daylight to dig up old, refuted calumny and defamation.  As the opposition in an open democracy, they have free and wide latitude to offer alternative policies recommendations and a different vision for the nation. They can't take advantage to this option because they could not produce one credible new idea if the whole lot of them gathered for a year of deliberations.  After all they did not do it in sixteen years of blatant misrule.

We know now that the regressive conservatives who comprise the PDP and its allies are a stubborn brew. Their stubbornness so deeply envelopes them that it has affixed itself to them as terminal blindness. They refuse to see what is plain to all others.  They lost the election because the people rejected their policies and the corrupt, mean way they implemented them.

These blind men now go thrashing about feverishly, trying to engage a battle already lost. They boast that they shall make the government and governing party quake. However, their desperation is palpable. While they rudely hector at the democratic procession passing them by, deep down they know their voice is weakening; they themselves are but apparitions, fading as a new and progressive political economy takes shape despite their futile efforts to halt it.

Try as he might to ridicule the President Buhari and Tinubu, the author of this piece merely showed the bankruptcy of his own mind and of those who asked him to sign his name to public libel and false witness. Instead of being aware of Tinubu, they ought to be aware of the hole they have dug. It appears they are close to falling into it.

***Sunday Dare is the Media Adviser/Chief of Staff to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu

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