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PERSPECTIVE: The Political Portmanteau Of Osinbajo/Tinubu: What Betrayal?

PERSPECTIVE: The Political Portmanteau Of Osinbajo/Tinubu: What Betrayal?
  • PublishedApril 29, 2022



IT is a pity that most of our political analysts are like motivators of the school of Direct Interpretation of Equivocation (DIE). They often tend towards the way of hackers .

Instead of looking at obscured political issues from the Dynamic Equivalent Interpretation (DEI) system of communication, they look at them from myopic lenses. A Psycholinguistic approach to this Osinbajo/Tinubu betrayal syndrome (being bandied from mouth to mouth) would definitely have assisted us in avoiding gobbledygook or hobbledegooking while saving us from playing the folk etymologists on issues that need clarity of mind. Many critics don’t actually understand the meaning and the psychology of betrayal, a word which is in the same cognate family of traitor and traditor among others.

And how do you have the whole and holistic view of a word which depth of cantilever you do not fathom? Too many of our media generation go into needless depression and die from unmet expectations, even as many engage in hate literature as a result of folk motivational system of communication rammed into their mindset. 

It was the same DEI metalinguistics system of manipulation with which the Shakespearean three witches communicated their predictions to Macbeth and brought him to an Equivocation in which they fired up his desire but robbed him of the needed strength. Zeal without knowledge is dangerous while knowledge without zeal is weak and useless. It is the breeding ground for arbitrariness. 

I go with the Chinese Philosopher whose priority among other things is to correct language. “If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant, if what is said is not what is meant, then what ought to be done would remain undone, if what ought to be done remains undone, then Art and Moral would deteriorate; if Art and Morals deteriorate, then justice would go astray, and if justice goes astray,  people would stand in awful confusion.” This is the reason why there should not be any arbitrariness in whatever we are saying.

No doubt, too many analysts (in this context and content) are getting the meaning of betrayal wrong simply because we are in the days of lazy drones who have folk attitude to motivational speaking, where-in we ignorantly equate speaking with popular etymology and the Tall stories for popular consumption. 

There is no doubt that they are part of acceptable linguistics but they have limited political and monolingual resources to in-depth and critical thinking which such matters touching the destiny of Nigeria demand.

It was reported that Asiwaju had long been insinuating and smelling betrayal around Osinbajo since the time he allegedly counselled that a Muslim/Muslim ticket, on the fulcrum of which Tinubu was hoping to share the Vice Presidency ticket with Buhari, was not then appropriate for Nigeria.

Again, many armchair analysts are also bandying, from lips to lips, the same theory (like cats in a chorus) that the Vice President’s well-informed decision to go for the Presidency amounted to betrayal of Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu. A case of the tail now wagging the dog.

What is it to betray? To betray is to deliver up a person or thing treacherously. To be treacherous is to be perfidious. Perfidy is formed from PER+FIDES (FAITH) That is, to violate faith. Indeed, it is a word more in the household of faith than in the corridor of other thing. 

The alternative word for betrayal is Tradere”. The word is cognate of the word Traitor, formed from the Latin traditor, and from tradere, which is to deliver. 

Traditor is anyone of the early Christians who in order to save their lives, gave up copies of the scriptures or the good of the church to their persecutors. 

This is not the space to tell about the untoward attitudes of too many of our Nigerian Christians who expect political manna of power to fall from heaven as if power does not require responsibility. They claim that politics is a dirty game, yet celebrate Christmas in which the Lord Jesus Christ wears humanity to enable Him touch humanity for good governance. Betrayal is a word that touches faith more than any other subject. It is more of faith in a cause than in any other things.

The issue of faith or religious belief speaks for the deepest feelings and sensitivities of individuals and communities. On such issue as one touching on one’s goal, the Sage of our land, Chief Obafemi Awolowo counselled that one must be immutable even though one could be flexible as to the method to achieving such goal.

With Professor Osinbajo’s experience as far as Presidency is concerned, he is nearer and more at home than Tinubu could ever be, especially in this political dispensation. 

And as a man of faith, conscious of the fact that faith must be expressed in action, even as the most appealing political mission is being genuinely concerned about the welfare of the people,  the Vice President would be betraying his conviction if he refuses to go for presidency just because Tinubu had consistently showed interest in it. 

It is high time the country’s interest and political destiny were surveyed as issues of deep concern beyond what should be subordinated to the wishful inanities of ordinary people; simperings of socialites and pomposities of politicians.

When we talk about the Portmanteau of Osinbajo and Tinubu, we are not talking about their travelling bag but referring to the transferred mantle of leadership between them.

What do we mean by portmanteau?

No doubt it is a travelling bag or box for carrying clothes. French: portmanteau, from PORTE stem of PORTER; to carry. But It is formed from PORT+MANTEAU(MANTLE) being POWER. Conversely, it is the box of power.

Those who are thinking that Tinubu declared his interest and intention in the nation’s Presidency must be missing the point as far as the political portmanteau between him and Professor Osinbajo is concerned. 

Tinubu had more than seven years ago made his intention known through his lobby and demand for the Vice Presidency slot, which mantle however fell upon Osinbajo.

“When two masquerades encounter each other in public, it is usual for them to seek obeisance one from the other. On the lower levels, their followers operate as if the issue depended on whips and blows. But when the two masqueraders confront one another, they know that the contest on the higher plane is a contest of “MESALIYM” Every word uttered by each of them is not allowed to pass on its face value.” 

Tinubu had not only in the presence of his political lieutenants sighed concerning his interest in the Presidency, he asked for it through the Vice Presidency office but he was not blessed with sufficient: “hukemu” being statements couched in the future tense but assuming the character of commands.

And the very day he lost it to Osinbajo was the very day his political Elijah yielded the double portion of his mantle of presidency (though reluctantly) to Professor Yemi Osinbajo. 

Tinubu should be God-fearing enough to pour for God, the water of the Presidency fetched by champions, like Osinbajo who risked all it takes to go to Aso Rock. 

Professor Yemi Osinbajo had been faithful in many of the assignments that came his way during the short period he acted for the President. I do recall here that it was during one of such periods that experts gave kudos to him for initiating progressive economic measures which culminated in the improved World Bank rating of Nigeria as the 145th country operating transparency in enabling business environment and in easiest access to credit facility.

The experts who noted that Nigeria had with a 24 milestone success jumped away from its previous 169th position in the world, agreed that policies put in place within four months by the Vice President had yielded economic dividends but called on government to deepen the initiatives across board while matching them with acts of parliament for sustaining the tempo.

Indeed, if there is one enduring legacy which posterity dare not to squander, it is the sanity which President Muhammadu Buhari has finally brought to bear on June 12 episode, as he did not only give national apology to the winner of the 1993 presidential election as well as to his family, he crowned June 12 as the nation’s Democracy Day .

This is where I find Farooq Kperogi’s article titled:” Ten reasons Osinbajo will ignite a Religious Civil war” distasteful, weak and illogical. 

The allegation that the Vice President was a bigot could only have held some water if Osinbajo is not part of Buhari’s administration which redressed the evil perpetrated on June 12 by a fellow Muslim.

We may not need the second citizen to go to rooftop or any hilltop to convince Nigerians about the presidential cordiality between him and the Number One citizen in the last seven years, and everyone who (for instance) knew the relationship between President Olusegun Obasanjo and his vice, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar when they were in power, understands that the difference is simply clear .

“It is a good horse that never stumbles and a good wife that never grumbles.” And timing is still an essence of military or political success.  It was said of General Fabianus that he used the element of right timing for the many great battles he fought and won. He would not go to war simply because his enemies are spoiling for fights, He would bide his time and wait till the zero hour when he launches right into the territory of the enemies, routing them, black and blue. 

The zero hour doth come for Osinbajo; 

Let those who have ears hear.

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