“Tinubu's Stooges and Almajiri Journalism” 1
Lagos politics is taking a new dimension most especially with respect to recent developments in the All Progressives Congress (APC). It seems it is now a battle between those who want progressive change within the party and the agents of compulsory maintenance of status quo of politics of imposition.
The most disturbing aspect of it is some errand boys in The Nation who have taken the gauntlet on themselves believing that the best way to continue surviving is to engage in gutter journalism and toilet patronage.
Let me say right away that I am one of the deprived party members in the last congress of the party in Lagos state and therefore make no pretence as per my interest in the subject matter.
Prior to my reacting to the said piece, I made contact with Premium Times which confirmed that in the said interview, Dr. Muiz Banire never specifically made mention of any personality and that was why they put the names in bracket, the import of which should be known to Mobolaji Sanusi if indeed he is a seasoned journalist.
However, since Sanusi has decoded it is Asiwaju that was being referred to, I will respond in that context. When it is clear that Tinubu has defecated in the temple and tore the holy scripts to clean his ass and the whole world is condemning his sins, a Lilliputian journalist like Sanusi, on page 22 of The Nation edition of Friday, November 14, 2014, shamelessly descended on the arena through his almajiri journalism of condemning anybody who opposes the denigrating politics of his lord and savior in Bourdillon.
How on earth can anyone in his right senses forget that Lagosians are not idiots that can be manipulated anyhow without resistance for politics of imposition to continue forever?
In the first place, Sanusi, in condemning the respectable paper delivered by Dr. Banire at the Colloquium in Honour of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, did not get his facts right. He did not know that Dr. Banire delivered his paper at Eko Hotel & Suites in Victoria Island, Lagos, but rather said that the paper was delivered in Osogbo. What a journalist!
Second, he claimed that Dr. Banire was a product of one Olatunji Hamzat's political benevolence. This rookie journalist is not knowledgeable in the history of politics in Mushin. For God's sake, anyone who was present in Mushin before and after 1999 knew that Dr. Banire was a political factor in Mushin through his party activities and not by any godfather.
His ascension to commissionership in Lagos State in 1999 was as a result of his excellent political performance in assisting Alliance for Democracy in the company of Senator Ganiyu Solomon and others to emerge winner in the governorship election that produced Tinubu as governor.
Elections are conducted in polling units from where the results would go to the wards and local government collations centres. Tinubu was not the one that mobilised Mushin Local Government for his victory in 1999 but people like Dr. Banire, who spent his energy and resources to mobilise the masses in support of the party.
How much did Sanusi's political leaders spend during the election and how can any writer manipulate history to make Dr. Banire a political apprentice of Olatunji Hamzat?
Assuming without conceding that it were so, is graduation from apprenticeship not in the dictionary of Sanusi, or natural order of events? Ignorance is a deadly disease. It is deadlier when it is compounded by sycophancy and these are the diseases worrying Sanusi.
Dr. Banire was a notable senior lecturer in 1999 in the prestigious Faculty of Law, University of Lagos and a practicing lawyer with numerous records of courtroom excellence in advocacy.
The almajiri journalist, in his begging business did not know that Dr. Banire became a political leader through dint of hard work and political wizardry. Sanusi claimed that Dr. Banire was using a ramshackle automobile before 1999 without mentioning the brand of the automobile.
This is evident of Sanusi's political sycophancy as he only makes false and baseless claims without supplying necessary particulars. Again, assuming without conceding that this is true, in Sanusi's clan, people never progress by dint of hard work?
Let us consider the record of this political savant, Dr. Banire. It was while Dr. Banire was in office as Commissioner for Transportation that we enjoyed some sanity in Lagos State. It was his achievement as commissioner that transformed the transportation landscape in Lagos State. A major achievement of Tinubu's regime was recorded in transportation and if not for the sharp intellect of Dr. Banire, this would not have been.
It must be realised that the political contributions of Dr. Banire during the first term of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola cannot be over-estimated. A major achievement of that regime was recorded in the Ministry of the Environment, where Dr. Banire was the Commissioner.
His contribution to politics in his area, Mushin, today is a reference point as Mushin continues to return the highest votes for the party in all elections. Dr. Banire coordinated the election of 2007 and the landslide victory recorded by Action Congress of Nigeria made him an indispensable product in the government of Governor Fashola.
The same thing he did in 2011 and he has never lost in his immediate constituency unlike Sanusi's paymaster, who even lost his polling unit in the last local government election of 2011. Nothing can be farther from the truth than the ridiculous assertion that all that Dr. Banire “achieved was through recommendations of his godfathers”.
The history of modern Lagos cannot be complete without the invaluable achievements of Dr. Banire in the Ministries of Transportation and Environments in Lagos. He is indeed an inspiration to new generation of young leaders in Nigeria. Hired writers can never diminish the invaluable contribution of Dr. Banire to Lagos.
Dr. Banire has been assisting his political party all over the federation towards victory in several elections. Very many governors of progressive inclination would testify to the unquantifiable support rendered by Dr. Banire towards their victories. The same Dr. Banire has been using his advocacy skills and financial resources to support the party in different states of the federation anytime an election was rigged against the party.
The records are there for anyone to appreciate as Dr. Banire was in Adamawa to fight for ACN despite the Boko Haram menace which was threatening the State. He did not think of his personal safety when he was traversing the length and breadth of the nation to protect the interest of the party.
Unfortunately, Sanusi did not respond to the allegations of fact contained in Dr. Banire's paper and interview published by Premium Times. He rather resorted to character assassination of which damages would have run him bankrupt if an action is filed against him.
Dr. Banire said “nobody should be intimidated as no one is God”, yet Sanusi is angry. One wonders if the threat by Tinubu to sack Sanusi some few weeks back due to financial impropriety of which he was accused is what made him to indulge in gutter journalism and almajiri penmanship.
Sanusi accused Dr. Banire of ingratitude to Tinubu for being appointed a commissioner. What is lost to this sycophantic mind is that a man of honour should not be shy to speak the truth and should not be deterred by sense of “gratitude” for an appointment which, except to Sanusi, is a privilege rather than a burden.
It is only people of Sanusi's mentality that see appointment to public service as a perquisite. No wonder the inordinate struggle for same in our country. In other jurisdictions, such is basically for service and not for amala benefit as in Sanusi's perception.
Let us remind Sanusi that his benefactor, Tinubu, fought himself off the shackles of the leaders and elders of Alliance for Democracy when they constituted themselves into sheer political nuisance. People like Dr. Banire backed Tinubu to achieve his freedom that brought about the formation of Action Congress and the demise of Alliance for Democracy.
History of Lagos politics in recent times cannot be complete without the mention of that development which brought about Action Congress. If Tinubu turns away from the progressive path, there must be courageous individuals like Dr. Banire, an important stakeholder in the progressive movement, who can mobilise to call him to order.
Sanusi wrote: “At what time did Banire realise that imposition was not progressive?” Sanusi does not know how long Dr. Banire had been campaigning against imposition in politics. Dr. Banire's stance against imposition relates to nomination of candidates and not appointment of political officers as anyone may be appointed to any office.
Sanusi displayed crass ignorance when he alleged that Dr. Banire's emergence as National Legal Adviser of APC was out of imposition. This is idiocy per excellence! Dr. Banire emerged the National Legal Adviser at a convention conducted by the party.
Assuming, without conceding that Dr. Banire had even benefited from imposition as alleged by Sanusi, does that make imposition of candidates right? If Sanusi had ventured to digest the interview very well, regardless of the above fact, Dr. Banire said in the interview that they are all guilty but only solicits change in line with the objective of his party. That I consider the height of humility!
It is clear that Dr. Banire has always been campaigning against imposition of candidates in the party for a long time which efforts he has always been carrying out within the party diplomatically while appealing to those aggrieved by the imposition. He made such individuals to stay within the party and he is now saying enough is enough! There is limit to such patience now!
Sanusi's paper is a clear admission that due process has never been followed in the past. We thank him for that clear admission as he said “Let us ask Banire if he is ready to henceforth follow due process himself.”
Contrary to the falsehood peddled by Sanusi, Dr. Banire did not sponsor anyone for speakership in Lagos State as we are very familiar with the politics of Lagos State much more than people like Sanusi can pull wool over our eyes. This is a simple case of hallucination! I am sure Sanusi is not further pretending not to know that Speakership 'appointment' remains the exclusive preserve of his paymaster.
Sanusi's article is nothing but a campaign to launder the image of his master, whose political dominance of Lagos State cannot continue forever. Yet, he, for a paltry sum of N250,000 monthly stipend has rubbished journalism as a gutter item by condemning a man of honour who has the courage to speak truth to power.
People like Sanusi are the ones who deceive Tinubu to believe that he is infallible as they lick his drooling spittle and assure him that the dirty habit is fashionable. They are the ones who want to destroy him with sheer sycophancy.
We thank Dr. Banire for his gallantry and honour. We thank him for voicing out the belief of the majority of the members of All Progressives Congress, who do not have the liver to oppose tyranny within the party. The era of imposing aspirants who lose at primaries is gone. We congratulate Dr. Banire for pointing out the dangers to the collective survival of our party in Lagos State and Nigeria.
-Sanyaolu is a Lagos APC member
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