Atiku, Tinubu, Buhari And Other Choices

By Lasisi Olagunju

Some decisions have irreversible consequences, no matter how much you try. One of such is deciding who to marry. Another is choosing who rules over you. A lady got married and walked into a media house to publish her change of name advert. A week after the publication, she was back with another advert to revert to her maiden name. Her marriage lasted only four days and she was unfazed by it. She was calm and cool as she gave instructions on when she wanted it published. Such status reversals are very common nowadays. Someone advised every man and woman to choose their life mate carefully. From that sole decision, he says, “will come ninety per cent of all your happiness or misery.” He may be right. Every action (or inaction) has intended (and unintended) consequences. You can reset your phone to factory settings but that doesn’t make it new again. That device, no matter how expensive and new, has lost its innocence forever. It is the same with that lady who breezed through a marriage. She is a tokunbo forever, her beauty notwithstanding.

Atiku Abubakar has changed party again. He is wise, and he should know that jumping up and down has wear and tear effects on brand integrity. His friends defend him; his enemies deride him. They liken him to practitioners of harlotry. They think political party membership is Catholic marriage: till death do us part. But Atiku is a legendary proof of the falsity of that idea. Walking in and out of political parties has become the bane of his politics. And Atiku is not alone here. He is just the bold tsar holding court in the chancellery of camp switching. Apart from Muhammadu Buhari who joined politics after the 1999 elections, who else hasn’t been a PDP member among the saints and sinners in our public space? Our twenty-something-year -old millennial cyber warriors can’t know that the heroes and heroines they worship started with that old, dirty, diseased PDP 19 years ago. They may be too young to know that the PDP is the source of all these sparkling parties they hail. The PDP is old, creaky and unfortunate. It is a badly used, poorly maintained old war horse. Politicians will continue to do what Atiku does with it every season. They will dance back and forth in the courtyard of the PDP. The ones who have built new mansions will keep welcoming PDP members into their bedrooms. It is the ancestral home of the Nigerian politician. Its members are the extended family of these other peacocks in the marbled APC. Nothing will make them abandon their source completely.

Switching parties happens also in other climes. And it worked for some while others fail to their sorrow. Theodore Roosevelt was Republican governor of New York 1899-1900. He was also Republican US President 1901-1909. Yet, when he could not secure his party’s third term ticket in 1911, he left to form his own Progressive Party. He failed woefully. But it worked for Ronald Reagan who was to become US President from 1981 to 1989. Until 1962, he was a Democrat. Something snapped in his relationship with that party, he left and told Americans: “I did not leave the Democratic Party. The party left me.”

So, changing friends and enemies is a salient feature of politics. But the examples I have seen abroad are not the every-season-back-and -forth type we have in Nigeria. Should persons who lead or aspire to lead be seen as rolling stones? The English say that a rolling stone gathers no moss. ‘Rolling’ means wandering. A wanderer cannot hope to go far in matters of trust. He cannot also amount to much. Latin writer, Publilius Syrus, is unflattering in his definition of who a rolling stone is: “People who are always moving, with no roots in one place or another, avoid responsibilities and cares.”

Choosing and dropping friends and friendships diminish the glitz in the gem of leadership. And Atiku is not alone here. He is no worse than Bola Tinubu who is in Afenifere’s coven today and is dropping vital info in Buhari’s cosy jet tomorrow. And those two, again, aren’t worse than Buhari who embraces an Atiku and a Tinubu in daytime and fetes their ‘enemies’ at night. And all of these potentates and their tribesmen are still not worse than you, the profligate party man without constancy. When the leader drifts and rolls without any explanation and you drift and roll with him without questioning, what kind of human are you? Trust thrives on deeply entrenched tap root of consistency. You cannot frequently replant a tree and expect it to yield good fruits — Planta quae saepius transfertus non coalescit… But we are being told that changing friends like sanitary pads is a choice – the choice makers say they have the right to so do. And the people also should have the right to choose who to trust and enthrone – and to enjoy the fruits of their choice.

Knowing the consequences of making wrong choices is wisdom. It is the reason our fathers take extra care in endorsing marriages or approving princes for thrones. Choosing presidents and governors is like choosing spouses. That singular decision affects lives, careers and destinies. You don’t entrust such decisions to the manipulative influences of strangers to goodness.

Two weeks ago, Ogun state governor, Ibikunle Amosun, said a foreigner would not succeed him in 2019. He did not name names. I was amused by the noise that followed that statement. Who among his critics would pray to be ruled by foreigners? Your brother may be a stranger if his ways are strange and weird. I expected every freeborn of that state to endorse that Amosun statement. He is not alone on that puritanical route. The position is already an issue in the coming elections in some other states. There will be louder noise on it in weeks to come. Does the Bible not even decree against giving your throne to outsiders? “You may not put a foreigner over you who is not your brother”(Deuteronomy 17:15). It is like marrying a stranger to the values you cherish. He will wantonly violate you while professing love. Every morning on Islam (TV) Channel, there is this profound prayer of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): “…Let not those who do not show mercy towards us rule over us.” (Hadith al- Tirmidhi). Foreigners don’t know it pains you when it hurts. Almost all the wars ever fought by humanity were wars against foreign rule. If our fathers were not averse to rule by just any sovereign, the Fulani would be installing their emirs in Yorubaland. And the British would still be around, giving tasks to Her Majesty’s subjects to perform.

Our fathers took special care to choose their kings from among the best. They also never solely relied on their own mortal wisdom. They knew that every installed sovereign possessed awesome powers of life and death. So, they worked deliberately to exact “moral guarantees” against the powers they were investing the king with. They tied the human sovereign to the powers of the transcendent Creator. They trusted the divine in making vital choices. And they were very clear on the dangers that follow and come with strangeness. They kept vigils on their throne to make it pure and free of predatory saviours.  Choosing presidents and governors is not as simple as choosing a sleep partner. It is not even as flexible as that marriage that can be dissolved whimsically. It is the same as giving the brass ring to the priest in the market shrine. It will take more than violence to wean the ring off the finger of the powerful. When you empower someone to become your president or governor, he becomes your lord and saviour or the opposite of what a saviour is. Kingmakers know the risk when they kneel down to hang the power sack. They know that when they are done and risen on their feet, their hands won’t reach that pouch again.

Another season of elections is here. There are already many strange movements here and there. Godfathers who suffered abandonment are being rehabilitated. It is wisdom to feed the ones you plan to sell. Political hostages are also showing affections towards their powerful captors. They appear ready to do what kidnapped Patricia Hearst did in 1974: She assisted her kidnappers to rob a bank in California, United States. There is an ongoing redefinition of the virtues of loyalty, honesty and friendship. Politicians are changing shades and colours. They will soon adopt new names and oriki. They will wear new masks and costumes to confound many. They will switch camps the same casual way s3xual perverts change paramours. Kingmakers, priests and prophets will take over the night with long knives. They will anoint the next destiny deciders for the millions who follow without questioning. Choosing rulers is a life-changing decision. The wise won’t follow monkeys of spin doctors to feed on bananas of foolishness. Wisdom teaches that you choose wisely, carefully. I pray that those who won’t show you mercy won’t rule over you — again.

Buhari’s Return Excites Tinubu, Says It’s A Sign of Hope For Nigeria

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has expressed joy at the return of President Muhammadu Buhari to the country after his medical vacation in the United Kingdom.

He described the president’s return as a nation’s hope fulfilled.

The former governor through his media aide, Tunde Rahman said in a statement that President Buhari had always been a man of moral fortitude, discipline, strength and dedication.

These attributes, according to him helped Buhari battled medical challenges and “will lead him to success in surmounting our national challenges.”

He said: “President Buhari”s return home is our prayers answered. President Buhari has always been a man of moral fortitude, discipline, strength and dedication. These attributes have helped him battle medical challenges. These same attributes will lead him to success in surmounting our national challenges.

“President Buhari has demonstrated time and again his devotion to this nation and its great causes. His love of country and the realization that he has a mission to fulfil so that Nigeria may realize its better self by providing security and prosperity to all Nigerians has compelled him home.

“Just as we gathered to pray for his health and his return, we must remain united in spirit to support President Buhari as he pursues the progressive agenda for which he was elected and that promises us all a better day.

“Our nation is strong but must overcome many challenges. We can do so with President Buhari at the helm and with the rest of the nation in active support.

“Thus, the president’s return home is both real and symbolic. We all must renew our faith in our collective purpose and rededicate ourselves to a nation indivisible and united in reconstructing our political economy so that it provides a decent and good life to all our people.

“It has been a heartening thing to see that our nation has matured to the point where governance continued in a meaningful, seamless manner during the president’s absence. This again was a sign of the harmony between President Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Tinubu, Akande, Oyinlola, Osun traditional rulers pay Aregbesola condolence visit over mother’s death…eulogize Mrs Aregbesola’s virtues

Following the death of the mother of Osun state Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Alhaja Saratu Aregbesola, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former Interim National Chairman of the APC, Chief Adebisi Akande, former Osun state Governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola on Wednesday stormed Osogbo on condolence visit to the bereaved- Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
This was even as the traditional rulers in the state were also in attendance to express their condolences to Governor Aregbesola and the entire family of the deceased.
Among others who have come to condole with Aregbesola are Senator Musilu Obanikoro, the Southwest Zonal Vice Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Pius Akinyelure.
Alhaja Saratu Aregbesola died on Tuesday at age 84 years at her residence in Ilesa‎, Osun state and she was buried on the same day.
In their separate remarks, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, described the deceased as an enigmatic woman whose entire life was dedicated to service ‎God and humanity.
He described Late Saratu Aregbesola as a woman who dedicated her life for the education of her children and their well being.
‎Tinubu added,  “I know late Saratu Aregbesola just as I know her son- Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. Mama was a virtuous woman par excellence. She was a woman indeed whose character could not be faulted for any reason because she dedicated her entire life to service God and humanity.
“She was a good mother not only to her children but to all. She took us very well. She loved us just as sheloved her children.
“Nobody has the control of his or her life except God. He gives and takes, so for the death of Mama Aregbesola, we thank God for taking him graciously.
“Though her death is painful but there can not be a better time for her exit than now because one can not write a biography of a great woman than the success which God had made Mama to accomplished during her life time.
“We give solace in the fact that Mama lived a good life and left a great legacy worthy of emulation. She left a good legacy by giving her children best things of life as been manifested in the life of Governor Aregbesola.
“So, there is nothing certain as death and for this reason, we pray God t give her eternal rest and give Aregbesola and other members of the family the fortitude and courage to bear the irreparable loss.
Corroborating similar gestures, the former Interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Adebisi Akande and former Osun state Governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, described late Alhaja Saratu Aregbesola as a woman that can never be forgotten in the history of humanity.
They described the death of Alhaja Saratu Aregbesola as a colossa loss to her children, family and the entire people of Osun as her legacies made most especially to oversee the victory of Governor Aregbesola will be forever be remembered in the book of histroy.
The duo while consoling Aregbesola to take solace in God for ensuring a gracious exit for Mama, thanked God for making the Governor to live behind his mother.
To Senator Musiliu Obanikoro and an APC chieftain from Borno, Hon. Kazim Imam, described late Alhaja Saratu Aregbesola as \’a rare gem of humanity\’.
According to ‎Obanikoro, \’I express my lofty sympathy for the loss of Mama. There is no doubt that Mama has gone to Paradize because her life was dedicated to service God and humanity. She built good legacy and this was reflected in the quality of her children, family and those who her life impacted in one way or the other.
Also, three of the traditional rulers in the state, the Akinrun of Ikirun, Oba AdulRauf Adedeji, Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun and Timi of Ede, Oba Munirudeen Adesola, described late Saratu as a woman of virtues.
In his response, Governor Rauf Aregbesola described her mother as an extra-ordinary woman who had no means of qualification in motherhood.
He said his mother lived all her life to ensure that her children receive best training a good woman can ever give to children in all ramifications.
‎While giving thanks to God for giving him a virtuous woman as mother, Aregbesola said his mother\’s love for children can never be undermined as her entire life was passionately lived to service God, for her children and the entire humanity.
Governor Aregbesola expressed profound gratitude to those who participated in the burial ceremony of his mother most especially the islamic clerics.
“The death of my mother caught me unexpected because I had no premonition that such a thing would happen otherwise I may not be where I was when the news of her death was broken.
“But in all, I give thanks to God that my mother lived a worthy life that anyone could pray for. She was a mother indeed. She loved us and she always stand by us in all situations.
“She was a committed, dedicated ‎and virtuous woman whose dedicated her life to ensure our collective greatness”, Aregbesola added.