Yorùbá Nation: What Do We Want? - Rejoinder To Dr. Oladimeji Alo
One has just finished reading the rejoinder to the article, "Bola Tinubu, Ibrahim Magu, The Cabal And 2023", written by Dr. Oladimeji Alo. This piece is a rejoinder to his rejoinder, and please, pardon the tautology. This headline was chosen to avoid boredom and disinterest, while essentially addressing the issues raised in the original piece and Dr. Alo's rejoinder, from whence this title was actually appropriated.
His rejoinder, without a doubt brought forth a different perspective to the issues in public discuss, but evidently, not on the matters raised by the original article. In his very first paragraph, Dr. Alo had written inter alia:
"There appears to me a grand theory or hypothesis that has been constructed and there is a tendency to fit emerging data into that construct, however tough that attempts becomes."
It is one's considered view that his rejoinder fits this characterization more than anything he might have believed, albeit wrongly, that one had tried to do along that line. There was no theory anywhere. The was no hypothesis anywhere. What one did in that article was just pure analysis of events as they unfolded and were still unfolding in lieu of other anticipated occurrences in the public space, before expressing one's opinions which could not have been sacrosanct by any means.
For ease of comprehension, one would take his points chronologically as he laid them out.
Dr. Alo had written that one's "essay appears to presume Magu guilty, in his current travail." With due respects sir, this was a made up. There was no evidence of this in the original piece. In the piece, one had written inter alia:
"As the Chairman of that anti-corruption body, his era exuded an aura of effluvial. It was not just ugly, it ceaselessly rained moral pain on the polity. Rather than the edification of the mural of our morality on the public wall of our values, with unguarded gusto, Magu's era magnified the morass of our maxims, licentiously lacerating the laws and rules that are frameworks for justice, fairness, balance and equity."
Twice in this paragraph alone, the word "era" was used. In the previous paragraph to this, the word "trajectory" was also employed to denote the span of time. So, how this became pronouncement of Magu's guilt "in his current travails," is a source of curiosity. This, however, does not erase the obnoxiousness of media trials that Magu and his predecessors engaged in, ruining reputations, losing high profile cases, becoming political hatchet men, targeting only opposition members or rebellious party members. Most eggregiously, Magu had been unable to appropriately account for the looted funds among several heinous acts.
Dr. Alo was worried that one spoke of Magu's nomination by BAT. He wondered what could be wrong with that. Obviously, Dr. Alo did not understand the message laid bare here. One of the reasons politicians nominate cronies into positions was to get such protégé to do their bidding when needed. Like Attorney-at-law, Ayo Turton had pointed out, such efforts were made for the purposes of "rub my back, I rub yours." This essentially is at loggerhead with the public good and interest. It is not morally right to use any office to specially benefit any interest at expense of the general public. Dr. Alo was speaking of guava while the subject matter was pawpaw.
It could not have been less interesting to know also, that Dr. Alo would consider the rivalry between Bola Tinubu and Bukola Saraki a "speculation." It is either he did not follow the events that led to the emergence of Senator Saraki as the Senate President or he was oblivious of the nature of the Nigerian politics. Senator Saraki had to be pleaded with, from several quarters to even allow some of the Tinubuists in the Senate to be on some committees. It was so bad that even Senator Remi Tinubu, the wife of the Jaggaban had to "blackmail" Senator Dino Melaye, Saraki's "man Friday" for her to get limited breathing space in the Chamber.
Dr. Alo was in addition, discomforted by the summation in that piece that Magu, like Osibajo, Fowler and Oshiomole, have been removed or humiliated in and or out of office in a grand design to stop BAT from contesting the presidency in 2023. Or, that Femi Falana failed in his bid to become AG of the Federation because he was backed by BAT. In this case again, one was speaking of tangerine, Dr. Alo was speaking of pear.
The competence or lack of it, the corruption or lack of it on the part of these people had nothing to do with their being humiliated in or out of office. Dr. Alo obviously was not able to see what was and is still going on in the high wired politics. The scheming, the treachery, the shifting loyalty, the short and long knives being used to subvert or destroy identified and or presumed political foes. Would Dr. Alo be bold to contend that Akin Ambode, for example, was not forced out of Alausa because Tinubu wanted to maintain control?
Same goes with the Cabal that is determined to hold on to power in 2023. If they fail in their objective, they certainly would make sure that Tinubu did not get it, at leasy, that is what political traffication implies. To this extent, to further weaken Tinubu, all his men must be ousted or incapacitated before the competition started. As I was writing this, the news broke that Tinubu's candidate for governorship race in Ondo State, Mr. Segun Abrahams has been disqualified by the APC. Piece of a puzzle.
The refusal of Dr. Alo to comment on the rigging of the 2019 elections actually intrigues one. Evidences abound of underaged voters in several parts of the North. News and pictures of stolen ballot boxes abound everywhere. The inability of the INEC to resolve many electoral crises was unambiguous in the psyche of the public. In many cases, it was to the Courts that the politicians had to resort for resolutions.
On the treachery of Tinubu against the Yorùbá Nation as exemplified in his silence several times when there had been crisis in Yorùbá land, Dr. Alo noted as follows:
"If my memory serves me right, BAT issued statements on each and everyone of those crises. What anyone could say was that his statements on each issue did not meet the expectations of those who wanted him to do more. My view is that every leader is free to choose his own approach to a crisis, based on his assessment of the appropriateness of time, space and strategy."
Unfortunately, Dr. Alo could not quote a single statement from any of the Tinubu's responses to the occasions mentioned as evidence of his claim. I respectfully posit that Dr. Alo should not have relied on his "memory" alone. He should have done a "little research" to bring out evidences of his claim that "BAT issued statements on each and everyone of those crises."
On RUGA for example, Tinubu's silence was so deafening that Emmanuel Aziken wrote in the Vanguard of July 6, 2019, under the headline "Understanding Tinubu's Silence," as follows:
"In the face of these, the quietness of a particular section of the political class to the Ruga Settlement issue has also been conspicuous.
Of particular note has been the silence of the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
At the peak of the controversy with ethnic jingoists taking over the public space there was the expectation that the leader would show the way by bringing caution to bear as he often does. The leader was, however, uncharacteristically reticent."
On Amotekun issue, Tinubu could not be seen or heard. On January 16, 2020, one had written a piece titled, " AMOTEKUN: Where is Bola Ahmed Tinubu?" Six days after the article, on January 22, 2020, Tinubu was forced to release a statement titled, "Public Discourse On Amotekun," in which he prevaricated, equivocated and cavilled to the nausea of the majority of the Yorùbá people, gauging from their public reactions.
The public would need the help of Dr. Alo to refresh their memories with those "statements" of Tinubu made about the issues raised in that article. The public would like to know what exactly did Tinubu say on the crisis at Ile-Ife and the carting away of Ife sons to Abuja for trial? What exactly did Tinubu say on the kidnapping of Chief Olu False and the murdering of his security? And on the murder of Pa Reuben Fasoranti's daughter, yes, Tinubu made a statement and we acknowledged it: "Where are the cows?"
Any leader who is bereft of compassion for his people is not worthy. Your people should not matter to you only in election season when you flaunt around bullion vans loaded with cash. They should matter to you at all times. What has become incontrovertible about the Tinubu political saga is that his mercantilist politics is all about "profit making" at the expense of the Yorùbá Nation. He sees the Yorùbá people as pawns in his game of illicit money-making chess. Thus, the schools could rot, the hospitals could decay, industries could pack up, youths could be unemployed, their farms could be gutted, their women could be raped, it did not matter to him. For his ambition, anyone and anybody was dispensable at anytime of any day.
Dr. Alo also had issue with one's position that "BAT is not enthusiastic on the issue of Yoruba nation. Rather, all he wants is power for himself." One is not backing off this position because there are more than abundant evidences for this. But where Dr. Alo got it wrong was to bring about the clamour for Oòduà Nation as the reason Tinubu was being called out for his acts. In one's article, this was not even an issue at all. Not even Restructuring of which Tinubu himself was part of the deceptive, duplicitous, deceitful and dishonest All Progressive Congress (APC) crowd that sold it to Nigerians during the 2015 Presidential Campaign, was mentioned in the piece in question.
So, how Dr. Alo appropriated those issues to justify his defence of Tinubu in his rejoinder remains a source of curiosity. If Dr. Alo was interested in discussing the issues of Restructuring as well as the desirability of the clamour for Oòduà Nation, he would be welcomed to the table. Dr. Alo's rejoinder veered off the rail as far as this matter was concerned. In Philosophy 101, that would qualify for "red herring."
Finally, in his concluding paragraph, Dr. Alo wrote as follows:
"Finally, I would plead that we recognize the achievements BAT recorded in the last 20years, even when we disagree with his person or his politics."
One nearly puked reading the above. The "achievement BAT recorded in the last 20 years"? What achievement (s)? It was interesting that Dr. Alo once again, could not avail us the so-called achievements. Is it the destruction of our educational system in Yorùbá Nation? Or the turning of our hospitals to slaughter slabs? Or the destruction of our industries? Is it the financial fleecing of the Yorùbá States to comatose? Or the perversion of everything that was Omoluabi as he openly insulted all our traditional Obas? It doesn't matter if he feeds them, he had no right to drag them collectively in the mud. Anyways, Obas are supposed to be fed, what else is new? So, what are we going to point out as his achievements?
Stretching out a helping hand to Dr. Alo, could the achievement of Tinubu include installing the plague called Mohammed Buhari? Or the rigging of Election in Osun? Or the making of anti-people mercantilist politicians out of his cronies? The institution of kleptocracy across the Yorùbá political landscape? The making of governors who planted flowers and painted roundabouts at billions of Naira?
Some even pointed to the ascension of Yemi Osinbajo and other political nitwits as an advantage for the Yorùbá! I had a professor postulating that many of these kleptomaniacs have had "personal advancements" because they get bigger posts and political appointments! Woow! Imagine such reasoning about the expectations from the political class by a professor? That was doomy and gloomy.
What is the benefit of Osinbajo's Vice Presidency or any of the empowered Tinubu cronies to the ordinary man or woman at Iragberi, Sepeteri, Oko Awo, Iree, Adà, Idominasi, Itire, Odédá, Ìjèbú - Igbó, Erùnmu, Olódó, Ìlárámòkín, Ilè-Olúji, Ìlàje, Ìlawe, Mushin, Arámoko, Ìgèdè, Ìbàràpá, Idominasi, Ilowa, Isonyin, Ilora, Ajebandele, Ilese-Ijebu and many more towns and villages across Yorùbá land? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Rather the lot of the people under Tinubu's leadership has been tears, misery, misfortune, gnashing of teeth, death, arson, kidnapping and several woes that have scarred their psyche. The measurement of a good leader is the well being, progress and happiness of the greatest number of the people. This is the only criterion that matters. Any other criterion would be window dressing.
In the last line of his rejoinder, Dr. Alo asked, "what exactly do we want?" Well, while we are not particularly looking for a Saint, we want a leader with an iota of integrity; with a trajectory that is not forged and with a modicum of morality. We want a leader that wouldn't be a laughing stock, that would have the moral force and not the force of illicitly acquired money to lead. We want a true patriot who sees his ambition and future in the desires and aspirations of his people. That is what we want at the minimum.
"In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility - I welcome it."
- John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1960
© Remi Oyeyemi.