Of Tinubu’s Declaration and PMB’s Performance 

By Ati Terkula 

“If you want to know how your wife will look in old age, just look at your mother-in-law”. - African Proverb

Only earlier this week former Lagos State Governor and National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, made known his intention to join the race for the number one position of the country, the Nigerian Presidency.

Tinubu a seasoned politician and adjudged determining factor of South Western politics, is certainly not just another flash in the pan politician who’s declaration should be seen as a media stunt, neither are his political antecedents unknown to any grown up Nigerian.

Dubbed Jagaban of Nigerian politics, he has survived the political transition from one dispensation to the other, successfully installing and removing loyalists in his state of Lagos and even beyond Lagos to almost all the South Western states where he has proven his grit by installing his loyalists whom he usually groomed from Lagos to take over in their various states.

He was adjudged the single most influential person at the inception of the Buhari administration producing a Vice-President and several ministers, including other juicy positions where he put his “boys”.

Tinubu who many have touted to be the magic wand that gave success to the 2015 victory of APC via the Northern and Southern alliance, midwifed by him, has also proven his mettle in governance as reflected in his tenure as Lagos State Governor.

He has also succeeded in making and maintaining his wife as senator and his family members as important officials in the state. He is incontestably a powerful man with the track record of delivery.

This is why his decision to throw in the hat in the race didn’t come as a surprise but was expected long ago even though many political pundits have criticized it owing to the toga of a “ king maker” which he carries but has now refuted; others have criticized this decision based on his age. They have complained that he may be too old to run a complex nation like Nigeria and may lack the physical and intellectual strength needed for such a task.

All these postulations may be valid or not depending on which side of the divide one falls. However I have my grouse buried deep in his statement to journalists after his visit to the president, where he declared his intent.

According to news outlets Sen. Ahmed Bola Tinubu, while fielding questions from reporters stated thus, “ I have the confidence, vision, and capacity to rule, build on the foundation of Mr. President and Nigeria better. I’ve done that before in Lagos State. You’ve seen that experience and the capacity to turn things around and that is what we are doing”. This is certainly the greatest political and ironic statement ever!

This is unfortunately reminiscent of the failed bogus and in-explanatory statements bandied during the 2015 Buhari/Osinbajo campaign where so many unrealistic promise were made without practical proof as to how they would be delivered, just because it came from a man Nigerians believed was honest and a performer in previous outings ( especially the younger generation who had not witnessed his administration in the military but heard of superfluous feats achieved and had longed to enjoy a replay), but have had their dreams shattered as nearly all these promises remained at the podiums where they were spoken and the bill boards they were displayed.

It is pertinent this time around to critically ask Tinubu what he meant by the above statement. We will save ourselves another 4 or 8 years of the locust if he specifically tells Nigerians what foundation the PMB administration has laid which he has promised to build upon.

It will be clearer if Jagaban tells us what aspects he is building upon. Is it the security sector which is completely dysfunctional? Is it the nepotism that has become a cankerworm in the fabric of the nation? Is it the inability of the administration to drift the nation away from our over dependence on crude revenues but has rather deepened our dependence on it? Is this foundation that of inability to fight corruption but rather provide a cushion for it to relax and continue to eat deep into the life of Nigeria? Did Tinubu in his declaration to build on PMB’s foundation refer to the bastardized nation’s judiciary? Does he intend to take us through another round of reckless borrowing and also Father Christmas sharing in the name of several empowerment schemes whose only achievement has been to become cash cows for a cabal who has taken advantage of our lack of data to eek a living off the acclaimed poverty alleviation programs?

For me “this declaration no clear”! Jagaban has to actually tell us if he intends to steer the ship away from the current docile and failed (it is however worth mentioning that the government has done well in the delivery of the SKUK projects) trajectory or he intends to bamboozle us with grammar when electioneering campaigns begin like they did in 2015, so as to send us deeper into the abyss of failure!

I pray Asiwaju comes out to simplify because using Buhari as your yardstick is as suspect as the looks a hungry cat gives a piece of iced fish.

Ati Terkula writes from Makurdi, Benue State.

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