Tinubu Commends APC Over National Convention Committee

A former Governor of Lagos and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has commended his party over the inauguration of a committee to organize its National Convention on Monday.

The former governor expressed optimism that the convention will be hitch-free as he believed that members of the convention committee will carry out their duties without favoritism.

In a statement released by his media aide, Tunde Rahman, Tinubu said, “I congratulate the Chairman and members of the Congresses/Convention Committee of our party, the All Progressives Convention, just inaugurated to take charge of the conduct of the forthcoming congresses and national convention.

“Jigawa State Governor Abubakar Badaru, who is the chairman of the committee, is a man reputed to be of high character and integrity.

“Working with other members of the committee, I’m persuaded that our party would conduct hitch-free congresses at all levels and the national convention.

“I also congratulate our party for embarking on the congresses against all odds. This is the way to go if we are desirous of building and upholding a truly democratic political party. Our ultimate goal should be the greater interest of the party.

“I believe that all members of our party are high in the expectation that the committee would perform its assignment without fear or favor through which our party can be great again.”

Will Bishop Oyedepo Shave Tinubu’s Head For Lying? By Tunde Odesola

(Publisher in The Punch of Monday, April 9, 2018)

The thrifty history behind his mane notwithstanding, as one of his acolytes, I should warn Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, not to visit some Nigerian university for now, otherwise, a pair of covenant shears would scissors his crown-like shock of wispy hair – sssha! sshaa! ssshaa!, and the spongy white strands of knowledge would cascade to the floor of ignorance. I would’ve offered the same advice to the greatest reggae musician of all time, the late Bob Marley, if he was planning to visit Nigeria this perilous period.

Latin language is dead. It died thousands of years ago when it ceased to be the native language of Latium, a central-western region of Italy, where it was spoken with flourish during the gleam of the Roman Empire reign. Today, Latin emits the embers of an unenviable afterlife. Latin wasn’t completely buried with the emergence of Italy as a modern nation state. Rather, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Catalan, Provencal and Romansh languages evolved from it. Latin gave the world the word ‘emeritus’. Growing up as a starry-eyed teenager with a curiosity for highfaluting English words, the title, Emeritus Professor, struck me with fascination back in the day when Professors Ayodele Awojobi, Chike Obi, Chinua Achebe, Claude Ake, Soyinka and co were the guiding lights to a nation groping in the vortex of self-discovery. Then, I had thought ‘emeritus professor’ was superior to a ‘mere’ professor. I never knew emeritus is another word for retired. I never knew emeritus is a Latin word for ‘veteran soldier’.

I know universities confer emeritus statuses on distinguished retiring or retired professors. But I don’t know who conferred the title ‘Emeritus Governor’ on a former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. For the fact that no Nigerian politician has been as influential, all-permeating, robust and dominant as the Lion of Bourdillon since 1999, I won’t contest the title. I think it’s richly deserved.

Another Nigerian, though not a politician, but who’s also making waves in his calling, is Bishop David Oyedepo, the founder of Living Faith Church Worldwide. Both Tinubu and Oyedepo have quite a number of things in common. They’re both from Muslim backgrounds as Oyedepo’s dad was a Muslim from Omu-Aran in Kwara State. Both married Christian spouses. While Tinubu clocked 66 last week, Oyedepo will clock 64 on September 27, this year. Whereas the net worth of Tinubu’s stupendous wealth isn’t in the public domain, Oyedepo is reputed to be one of the richest clerics in the world. I’m sure the net worth of Tinubu’s wealth, if made public, would draw more daggers from enemies than praise from supporters. Both are Yoruba leaders who leave no hair on their pates. Both studied in the US. Today, they’re orphans, who actualized their dreams in Lagos State. And both aren’t strangers to controversy.

Oyedepo’s Covenant University, Ota, was in the eye of the storm again, last week, when a cross-section of Nigerians condemned the cutting of the hair of some students of the university by authorities who deemed their hair bushy. Arguments have oscillated between the university being a citadel for the cross-fertilization of divergent academic ideas, and the university being a place where man-imposed ethics must shave off individual freedom, wearing the cassock of utter obedience.

To buttress what they deemed as hypocrisy, online commentators uploaded the picture of Oyedepo sporting a bushy hair in his younger days. They also uploaded a six-member family picture of the Oyedepos, where one of the two young men standing behind the bishop and his wife, Faith, wore a trendy crew cut hairstyle. Not done, some commentators condemned Covenant authorities for using the same hair clipper on the erring male students in succession – without sterilization, raising health concerns over the risk of disease transmission. While some commentators were of the opinion that the university’s laws must be absolutely obeyed by students, who, upon admission, pledged allegiance to Covenant’s rules, some said Covenant’s regulations mustn’t supersede the Nigerian Constitution, which provides for self expression, freedom and human dignity.

In all of these, I stand by the words of a two-term British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, a Jew, who said, “A university should be a place of light, of liberty, and of learning.” I think it is high time Nigeria began to raise a new breed of future leaders that wouldn’t be cowed into blinded religiosity against demanding a better deal from the wasted generation currently leading the country. I reckon that except Prophet Elisha who was bald, all the great Jewish leaders in the bible wore long hairs – Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Abraham, Samuel, Samson, David, Solomon, the Messiah, Jesus Christ; etc. Pictures don’t lie.

But the Jagaban Borgu told a black lie last week. I won’t dwell on the impropriety behind the categorization of a type of lie as white and another type as black. Basically, a white lie is described as a harmless or trivial lie while a black lie is described as harmful, evil. With President Muhammadu Buhari in attendance, Tinubu, delivering a colloquium speech to commemorate his 66th birthday in Lagos, told his audience that the All Progressives Congress never promised Nigerians “honey and sugar”. Haba! Ogini kwa? What then did your party promise Nigerians? Serpents and stones? If not in deference to old age and respect for the beautiful and ageless Oluremi, your wife, I would’ve called you a blinking liar because I was personally at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, where the APC presidential primary held in December 2014. If ‘change’ is not a promise of “honey and sugar”, is it a continuation of the Goodluck Jonathan ruinous years? When you led Buhari to campaign grounds nationwide, urging Nigerians to vote for him, did you promise them suffering?

Tinubu told his birthday audience, “Yes, when we came in, we came in with a whole lot of hope… thinking and believing in ourselves, that we can change Nigeria… Life is not interesting without challenges. We didn’t come with a political party showing our logo as honey and sugar, our logo is (a) broom bound together, (symbolizing) united Nigerians, focusing against terrorism, against corruption, and to promote the economic revival of the country.” Latin is not a language of betrayal, but like the betrayed Julius Caesar, I ask, “Et tu, Tinubu?”

Inadvertently confirming that he had been shut out of the Buhari Presidency in the last three years, Tinubu said, “We have a nation to rescue; we have a good leader to emulate and we have hope. We have reduced the propensity for corruption… I will submit a proposal on how we can stimulate the economy.” Sir, what’ve you been doing in the last three years? Watching the economy chained by inflation?

Tinubu mocked former President Olusegun Obasanjo, saying, “My grandmother used to ask me to write letters to her. Somebody is writing letters now, letter of politics these days. As if they’ve not been there before. Bad belle letters!”

With barely a year left in Buhari’s tenure, Tinubu said, “I’m happy the President can change the course of the ship wreckage – the ship of this country that’s headed in the wrong direction. To steer the ship back or anchor before redirecting it, which, of course, is necessary.” Steering the ship for three years?

For the black lie told by Tinubu, I wonder what Oyedepo would have done to his hair if he was a student of Covenant. Need I speak Latin again? Ok, I’ll. I concur with the Latin phrase which says “acta non verba” – meaning “deeds, not words” – are needed for Nigeria’s development because “barba non facit philosophum” – “a beard doesn’t make one a philosopher.” And I’ll leave President Buhari with the words of a fellow Roman military commander, Hannibal Barca, who said in Latin, “Aut viam inveniam aut faciam” – meaning: “I will either find a way or make one.”

——-

Tinubu Reveals Who Made Him Governor Of Lagos State

A national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Tuesday revealed how Afenifere chieftain, Ayo Adebanjo ensured he became the Governor of Lagos State.

Tinubu said if not for the honesty and integrity of the elder statesman, he would not have become the governor of Lagos State in 1999.

The former Governor explained that it was Adebanjo who insisted the results of the primary election which favoured him must be upheld even when others were trying to scuttle it.

Tinubu spoke at the formal launch of an autobiography in commemoration of the 90th birthday anniversary of Adebanjo.

The programme was entitled “Telling It As It Is,” and was held in Lagos.

Tinubu said, “He (Adebanjo) insisted that every member of the AD must stand for primaries. He said the results of the free primary election must be upheld and that was in my favour.

“If he were corrupt, he would have collected bribe then as the Acting Chairman of Action for Democracy but he stood his ground and upheld the primary election, which later made me the governor of the state.

“May God bless you. I pray that you will continue in this your honesty, I respect you, and you are a mentor to me.

“Though we may disagree on some issues, he is my mentor and he taught me rebellion, that means I am not a bastard.”

Truth Of The Matter With AYEKOOTO: Enigmatic Akanbi

 

[email protected]

By Ayo Akinola

Modern (if I may use this word) Osun, Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Imo etc and to some extent, modern democratic Nigeria, could be safely said to be as a result of the sagacity of this leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. As we celebrate his birthday this week, Aye Kooto cannot but say something.

Even a voluminous book will not be enough to write on the enigma called Akanbi Bolanle Ahmed Tinubu, with the epithet: Omo olodo ide, (the prodigy with a mortar made of bronze). He has defined what leadership ought to be. It may be safe to conclude that Bola is the major issue in contemporary Nigeria’s political landscape because when it comes to the politics of Tinubu, you cannot be on the fence: you either love or hate him. As governor of metropolitan Lagos, he bestrode the landscape of western Nigeria’s politics such that he became a kingmaker of sorts, even long after leaving office.

Bola Tinubu was born on 29 March 1952 in Lagos to the illustrious Tinubu family. He attended St. John’s Primary School, Aroloya, Lagos and Children’s Home School in Ibadan. In 1975, Bola left Nigeria for the United States of America in search of the proverbial Golden Fleece with a heart brimming with unrelenting determination to achieve his visions. There he studied first at Richard J. Daley College in Chicago, Illinois and then at Chicago State University. He graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. Tinubu worked for American companies Arthur Andersen, Deloitte, Haskins, & Sells, and GTE Services Corporation. When he returned to Nigeria in 1983, he joined Mobil Oil Nigeria, becoming an executive of the company. In 1992, he was elected to the Nigerian Senate representing the Lagos West constituency in the short-lived Nigerian Third Republic.

In 1993, after the results of the presidential elections were annulled, Tinubu became a founding member of the pro-democracy group called National Democratic Coalition (NADECO). In 1998, after the death of military dictator Sani Abacha, he returned to Nigeria to heed a call for all Nigerians to join in the National Reconciliation and Development. During the 1999 elections, Bola Tinubu was a protégé of Alliance for Democracy (AD) leaders Abraham Adesanya and Ayo Adebanjo. He won the AD primaries for the Lagos State gubernatorial elections and later was elected Executive Governor of Lagos State. During his eight-year period in office, he made large investments in education as well as new road construction, required to meet the needs of the fast-growing population of the state.

Tinubu received several awards: Best Governor in Nigeria for Y2000 by the Nigerian-Belgian Chamber of Commerce; Y2002 Best Practices Prize in improving the living environment, awarded by the Federal Ministry of Works and the UN Habitat Group; Y2000 Best Computerized Government in Nigeria Award by the Computer Association of Nigeria. Tinubu is married to Oluremi Tinubu, the current Senator of central Lagos State. His youngest daughter, Abibat Tinubu, graduated from a Music college in Boston, Massachusetts, US in 2013.

Describing him as the leader of modern progressivism in Nigeria may not be far from being correct. His political sagacity, coupled with his natural ability to assemble egg-heads in whatever he does and wherever he found himself made his path to cross with those who would steer the ship of statehood, even till date: Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Information Minister Lai Mohammed, Joint Tax Board Chairman and Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Tunde Fowler, among others too numerous to list passed through Tinubu. After several shots at the Presidency, Mohammadu Buhari probably later learned that crossing path with the Jagaban will inevitably bring Mother Luck to him. That has become history today. A popular fable surrounds him, which is that no one goes to Tinubu in tears comes out of his home without a smile.

Neglect him to your peril. Ask former deputy governors Femi Pedro, Chief Mrs Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, and  Adebisi Sosan as well as political juggernauts of yesteryears Musiliu Obanikoro,  Chief Bode George, late Ganiyu Daodu, late Funso Williams, former Works Minister Adeseye Ogunlewe, and former Ondo Governor Olusegun Mimiko and a few others. Even the Ebora Owu, former President Obasanjo received lashes from him at the courts when the former withheld Lagos funds on accounts of new LCDAs.

Today the fates of those who choose to ignore the leadership of Asiwaju such as APC national Chairman John Odigie Oyegun and that of Ondo Governor Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu hang on the balance. The hands of the clock is turning towards him as President Muhammadu Buhari seems to be “seeing the light” as to why he should not betray his benefactor.

As a mortal, he has his own faults. But the good in him has almost eclipsed those faults. He has also suffered loss of a scion in Jide Tinubu. May God assuage the loss. Amen.

Whenever I think about the octopus hands of this enigma, I always have it in my mind that, take or leave it, at any point in the history of any nation, fate or God has always made it possible for certain individuals to give directions. God chooses those leaders Himself and gives them all needed human and material resources to implement His wish for the destiny of such nation. Asiwaju is unarguably one of them.

As Asiwaju marks another milestone, we wish him a very long life and prosperity.

PHOTONEWS: Aregbesola Attends 10th Annual Bola Tinubu Colloquium

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the State of Osun on Thursday joined President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo alongside other dignitaries at the 10th Annual Bola Ahmed Tinubu Colloquium to mark his 66th birthday.

Dolapo Julius captured the following images from the event.

 

 

AGF Congratulates Asiwaju Tinubu At 66

A socio-political group, Asiwaju Grassroots Foundation (AGF) Osun state chapter has joined millions of well meaning Nigerians to celebrate the National leader of the ruling All Progress Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on his 66th birthday.

The group in a press statement signed by its acting Coordinator, Com. Sikiru Tijani and Secretary, Yahya Adeniji which was made available to newsmen, described the former Lagos governor as a unique leader, determined democrat whose life is committed to the course of the masses.

According to the release, “It is imperative to note that this leader who is filled with patriotic spirit has done well in bringing and building the nation, Nigeria by his ideology.

“We want to join all members of the All Progressives Congress and other people who Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu has affected and influenced positively, to celebrate another milestone in the life of the great leader as he turns 66.

“We are blessed with many gifts in human form and Asiwaju Tinubu is one of such gifts especially in the political terrain which has gone a long way in charting a new possibility for the generation beyond.

“As he turns 66 years, we are of the opinion that Asiwaju has raised the bar for many political leaders across the country and has also bequeathed a style of leadership that completely altered the landscape of the commercial capital.

“Asiwaju Ahmed has without doubts, been a source of joy and inspiration to many. Your selflessness is second to none and of course, you are a desirable leader.

“We ask God in his infinite Mercy to grant you long life in good health, wisdom and happiness in the years to come.”the release added.

Osun APC Felicitates With Tinubu

The State of Osun Chapter of the All Progressives Congress APC has felicitated with the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on his 66th birthday.

This is contained in a statement signed by the state party chairman, Prince Adegboyega Famodun in Osogbo on Wednesday.

PRESS STATEMENT

The All Progressives Congress in the state of Osun felicitates with its national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on his 66th birthday celebration.

In this testy period of Nigeria’s history, for a person of his age and calibre and capacity to be at the helm of affairs of the ruling party in the country is no mean achievement.

Starting from 1999 when he was a much younger person in charge of the most important state in Nigeria – Lagos, Asiwaju has started to distinguish himself as a pace setter and a unique achiever.

For eight years, between 1999 and 2007, he set Lagos on a progressive agenda which has not faltered until today. He left a heritage which was unique, and he ensured that those who succeeded him were not only the right people, but also individuals with foresight and energy to excel.

The excellence of Lagos today is the heritage of Tinubu, whichever way one looks at it.

As a fighter, he upturned the applecart when he fought the Federal Government to a halt under the Olusegun Obasanjo regime. He not only succeded in maintaining Lagos, under his governorship, he piloted the ship of state successfully in spite of Federal Government illegal withholding of the allocation due to Lagos.

Come 2014, he shepherd the establishment of a coalition, that for the first time in the history of Nigeria, defeated the sitting government in an election.

All of these are ethical and momentous achievements, deserved for prodigies.

Asiwaju, the Jagaban Borgu, we celebrate you on your birthday for reasons proudly mentioned above.

Long may you live.

Prince Adegboyega Famodun,
Chairman,
APC, State of Osun.

Tinubu Speaks On Absence At APC National Caucus Meeting

National leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Thursday opened up on why he did not attend yesterday’s national caucus meeting of the APC presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the new Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Stating that his failure to be at the Presidential Villa for the APC caucus meeting is not worth any fuss, he explained that some young Nigerians, ahead of his birthday, organized an event in Lagos on Monday where they expressed their impression of him as a leader and motivator, hence the need for him to honour them with his presence.

Tinubu’s spokesman, Tunde Rahman, who made this known while being interviewed by presenters of Political Platform, a programme on RayPower FM, said, “Yesterday, a group of younger ones put together a programme for him where they were talking about their impression of him as a leader, as a motivator. You needed to be there; it was so inspiring. You know these younger ones were talking about what they feel Asiwaju stands for. What they think about Asiwaju. I think that was what kept him away from Abuja. He couldn’t be in Lagos at that event and be in Abuja at the same time.”

When asked why his principal would sacrifice APC caucus meeting for an event put together in celebration of his birthday, Rahman said, “I did not tell you these young ones came to visit him. They organized a programme in celebration of his birthday. I think was only fit and proper that he honoured them (with his presence) the way they honoured him too. You needed to be there. He was the celebrant and everything was around him too.

“So, I do not know why you would think that is not equally important as well. Don’t also forget that the caucus meeting he did not attend is an advisory body. The caucus is an advisory body. So that he did not attend the caucus meeting should not be a thing that we will make a lot of noise about.”

Tinubu Absent At Caucus Meeting With Buhari As APC Crisis Heightens

Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was absent on Monday at a national caucus meeting of the party that had in attendance, President Muhammadu Buhari and other top government officials.

The meeting was held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

nation2 700x467 - Tinubu's Absence: Photos from APC national Caucus Meeting
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It was reported that Tinubu, who is heading a presidential reconciliation committee set up to reconcile aggrieved party members across the country, may present his interim report at the meeting but his absence proved otherwise.

Top government officials that attended the meeting include; Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and state governors.

 

Party Chairman, John Oyegun led other party officials to the meeting.

Tinubu Felicitates With Osinbajo On Birthday

Holding a high public office did not change Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as he remains humble and committed to performance, the All Progressives Congress National Leader, Chief Bola Tinubu, said on Thursday.

In a letter to Osinbajo, Tinubu said that the vice president, who clocked 61 had remained committed to the principles of justice, fairness, honesty and equality of all people.

A copy of the letter was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Lagos by Tinubu’s Media Officer, Mr. Tunde Rahman.

“This day presents an opportunity for us to thank God for the years he has given you and to pray that He provides you with many more birthdays.

“Your birthday also gives me the chance to tell you that the respect and affection I have for you as a brother and friend are deep and abiding.

“Your life has been one of commitment to the principles of justice, honesty, fairness, and equality of all people under God.

“You plied your knowledge of the law to advance the welfare of the common man and, thus, protect those ideals and beliefs integral to the exercise of our collective humanity, Tinubu told Osinbajo in the letter.

He noted that during Osinbajo ’s eight years as attorney-general and commissioner for justice in Lagos State, he continued to stand for profound and worthy courses as he did in private practice.

“You vitally contributed to most of the landmark cases and laws passed in the state, which paved the way for the ongoing development of the state. Those same rare talents and traits you continue to live by today.

“You did not allow the high office to change you or dilute your humanity.

“Your performance and service to the nation is a source of pride to those who know you. Along with President Buhari, you have helped to show that assumption of high office does not have to lower one’s sense of morality or lessen their humanity,” Tinubu added.

Tinubu, a two-time Governor of Lagos State, prayed God to grant the vice president more years in good health, strength, and wisdom.

(NAN)

APC Crisis And Tinubu’s Mission Impossible, By Majeed Dahiru

About a year to the 2019 general elections, President Muhammadu Buhari has taken several steps towards putting his party, APC, in proper shape to come out victorious in the oncoming polls, again. After successfully torpedoing the PDP from power, the APC has been embroiled in a crisis as a result of the management failure of its leadership, which has left it disunited and fiercely factionalised.

With the PDP taking a well-deserved rest and unable to function as an opposition party in an apparent fatigue from sixteen years of misrule, the APC has taken up the dual role of both the ruling and opposition party. In order to reverse what some concerned APC members consider an ugly trend, Buhari has finally stepped out of the shadows, having been severely criticised for shirking his responsibility of providing purposeful leadership to the ruling party.

In a bid to unite the APC towards the next election, a move that may not be unconnected with his second term aspiration, Buhari is beginning to assert his leadership over the APC.

Realising the futility of a second term kite being flown by a handful of very incompetent APC governors, whose terrible records of performance in their various States would be a blight on his ambition, Buhari’s first step towards achieving unity and cohesion within the rank and file of the APC in order to march into battle with the same force as in 2015, was to appoint veteran politician and strategist, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, who also goes by the honorific of “national leader” of the APC, to chair a reconciliation committee.

As a typical Nigerian politician and member of the state resources-dependent ruling establishment since 1999, Tinubu jumped at this tempting offer to negotiate a few more jobs for the boys and possibly settle some scores with his political adversaries within the top echelon of the ruling APC, as a panacea for stability and guarantee of a second term ticket for Buhari.

What the Asiwaju of Lagos kingdom does not realise is this is one assignment he cannot undertake successfully and which may actually lead to his demystification as a politically invisible strategist.

In a presidential system of democratic government, the various elected public officers on a party platform, from president to councillors, are the leaders of the party.

This leadership thrust is not to meddle in the internal democratic structures of the party that produced them but their ability to evolve policies out of their party manifesto and fulfil campaign promises in order to satisfy the electorate with enough dividends of democracy, in fthe orm of improved welfare and security (physical and fiscal).

The failure of the elected APC public officers, particularly at the executive arm of government at the three tiers, to substantially meet up with their obligations in the social contract they entered into with the people to improve their economic wellbeing, social welfare and security, is largely responsible for the crisis in the APC.

Party members are products of the larger society, who are also feeling the pressure of excruciating poverty and deterioration in the standard of living just like every other Nigerian. In a federation like Nigeria with a strong centre, President Muhammadu Buhari is the biggest culprit in this failure of APC leadership to meet up with its obligations in the contract entered into with Nigerians to better their lot.

As the supreme leader of the All Progressives Congress, President Buhari has not been able to deliver on the promise of “change” by the ruling party as a result of a combination of a the dishonest disassociation of his presidency from some important aspects of his party’s manifesto and his failure thus far to fulfil his own campaign promises of fixing the economy, ensuring the security of lives and property and fighting corruption.

On the political front, Buhari has failed to lead the APC from an assemblage of politicians and other interest groups with card carrying membership whose aim was power grab from the PDP, into an ideological platform of a progressive political party wherein the economy forms the basis of political engagement.

The quest by partisan politicians to benefit from a government they helped get elected is legitimate within a democratic setting. Similarly, disagreements on how these benefits should be dispensed are also legitimate.

However, the kinds of benefits that most Nigerian politicians are used to are direct patronages from government in the form of well remunerated duplicitous political appointments, contract awards with inflated monetary value and cash gifts under the pretext of security votes, all at the expense of the lean state purse.

The over-reliance on this illegitimate form of direct patronage as a reward system for political loyalty by elected public officers at all levels is no longer sustainable as a result of a combination of factors such as increased greed for primitive acquisition and the ever increasing army of professional politicians who are economically dispossessed and have now crowded the political space looking for the available crumbs to survive on.

The failure of Buhari as the leader of APC to replace the illegitimate and corrupt patronage reward system that is increasingly unsustainable because of the inadequacy of Nigeria’s earning from 2.3 million barrel of oil sales per day oil, with a robust system that pragmatically aligns politics and the economy for the purpose of legitimate wealth creation and shared prosperity for both the state and citizens.

A departure from this system of political patronage that manifests itself in the form of a parasitic relationship between partisan politicians and Nigeria’s common patrimony under the leadership of Buhari, would have given a positive meaning to the change Nigerians hoped for when they voted him into power.

Achieving this lofty ideal of wealth creation will be for a visionary leader to galvanise all energies and talents of his countrymen by providing proper infrastructure to support individual business enterprises, while securing for them a sizeable share of world trade through the instrumentality of a realist and economic focused foreign policy.

This will launch Nigeria into the league of enterprising nations of the world that are fiercely competing for world resources to grow their individual wealth and resource base. Unfortunately, Buhari has deepened the age long system of patronage that corruptly rewards cronies with government jobs, contracts and cash that illegitimately enriches a few, while leaving the majority in penury.

With only a few benefiting from this unsustainable system and beneficiaries appropriating all benefits in a most primitive manner, discontent among the majority of party members and consequential unfavourable public perception as a result of poor performance is inevitable.

Nigeria’s political process is heavily dependent on political parties. Political party structures are pivotal to securing a spot on the dining table of the national cake. With a comatose economy leaving government as the major source of survival, there is the mortal combat over the soul of the APC party structure, as whoever controls the structure determines who will fly APC flags at the various levels and stages of elections.

Therefore, this mess created by President Muhammadu Buhari in the APC is not one Ahmed Bola Tinubu can solve. In a presidential system of democracy, the buck stops on the table of the president. His successes or failures rob off on the image of the party he leads.

Just as President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal went a long way to shape the liberal ideology of the Democratic Party did President Olusegun Obasanjo’s neo-liberal economic concept of “government has no business doing business” resulted into a conservative PDP.

Muhammadu Buhari’s sectional tendencies in favour of his strong base of supporters, drawn mainly from his Muslim northern Fulani section of the country has given the APC the image of a far right political party. Like PDP’s neo-liberal economic policies that enriched a few oligarchs and impoverished the vast majority, APC’s far right politics has favoured a few with privileges of birth than the vast majority with a disadvantage of birth.

Expectedly, majority of Nigerians have become disenchanted with APC’S far right politicking as they were with the excesses of PDP’s unbridled corrupt capitalism. The solution to APC’s problems is for Buhari as the leader of the party to begin the process of reform and dismantling of his far right political structures to give way to an inclusive purposeful leadership for all in line with the original promise change.

Failure to do this, members including Bola Tinubu should take bold steps to retrieve their party from Buhari and urge him to step down after his first term to give way to a reform minded leader of the party, who will keep faith with the manifesto of the APC.

Such a leader would properly articulate policies and programs using the rich manifesto of the APC as a basis that will focus on improving the welfare and security of the lives and properties of the people. If these critical steps are taken, the trust of Nigerians will once more be reposed in the APC with its chances of victory at the 2019 general elections greatly enhanced.

 

Majeed Dahiru, a public affairs analyst, writes from Abuja and can be reached through [email protected]