Penultimate Friday, four loyalists of the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, met with President Muhammadu Buhari in his Abuja abode. Former Osun State governor, Chief Bisi Akande, who has become a permanent feature of such Tinubu-linked visits, led three others, Chief Segun Osoba, and two Lagos GAC members, Tajudeen Olusi and Abayomi Finnih. They went in buoyant and left gloomy.
Yoruba always attribute post-family meeting despondency among siblings to plain and painful truth, shared behind bolted doors. 13 days before the crabby visit, a presidential delegation led by CoS Ibrahim Gambari, had paid a condolence visit to Tinubu and the state government over the #ENDSARS bereavement, and it should ordinarily be assumed that Jagaban had sent his eminent foot-soldiers to thank the President for commiserating with him, in both personal and sub-official capacity as the Governor-Emeritus of Lagos. You ask why he wasn’t on the trip as the man who received the presidential sympathy. Do Yoruba not always advise the bereaved to stay in-door.
Well, Tinubu wasn’t on the trip because it was opportunistic. His camp wanted to explore the so-called economic tragedies that just befell him, during the protest, for political capitals. The President may be Fulani but he seemed to know much about Yoruba’s warning against antics; e ni ba ta oja yepe, a gbowo okuta. Because the sentiment is always in favour of the one who just suffered a loss, the Lagos group must have thought that Buhari’s resolve to take charge of the party, before his exit from power in 2023, God willing, would be weakened by the emotions of Tinubu, being at the receiving end of what he was suspected to have programmed. His gang was caged.
Before the #ENDSARS tragedies, the President had sent a message to Tinubu he wanted to take charge of the proposed membership registration for APC faithful and he expected the Lagos strongman to give him full support, the way he (President) also supported him in 2013 when the Lagos lord was allowed to take absolute charge of the party register, now described as obsolete, by the party leadership.
The exercise should ordinarily not be much of a problem, since it should be desirable to know the party’s actual strength and measure growth. The only snag here is that the entire party organs, from up to bottom, are also being primed for dissolution, just like the Adams Oshiomhole’s NWC which Tinubu backed like a rock, was dismantled by Buhari like a house of infamy, to pave way for the Mai Mala Buni’s fidie (interim) national leadership of the party.
The President’s resolve is now a major headache for the one seeking to succeed him and emissaries are being thrown into it right, left and centre, to get the Aso Rock soldier, to listen to the billionaire lion, who has been deliberately placed on poor partisan diet by his powerful adversaries in the fortress they jointly built, to provide political cover for them. Apart from trying to turn the habitation to a cage for Asiwaju, the shares allotted him in the joint venture are being deliberately squeezed to make him uncomfortable to the point of either barking or backing out. None of the options, is comforting.
The membership registration about to be conducted by the party, will shame some leaders who have hitherto used bogus register of the past, to confer undue community value on themselves. Since the new one is expected to be digital, too many rumps may be in the open at the end of the day.
Take the story of a state chapter for example. During the presidential primaries, Buhari got 1.9 million votes, ostensibly mainly from party faithful. In the general election, he got 850,000 votes, supposedly from party members and independents! How do you explain that. Heavyweights are going to be paperweights.
Tinubu asked Baba Akande and others to assure the President Lagos exco needs no dissolution as all is fine and well, despite the several court cases in Abuja and Lagos, challenging the emergence of Tunde Balogun and his men. In fact, Lagos matter isn’t a laughing mata like Baba Akande tried to make it look in the photo-op with the President. It is constitutional in nature; it is whether to determine if APC is standing with the constitutionality of the existing 20 local government or its leader and his 57, which aren’t in the rule book.
The President was firm in his No. Can we dissolve party organs in 35 states and leave Lagos out? That was a rhetorical question that gummed the lips of the emissaries when they left Villa. The breaking news of their coming ended with no news, or maybe unpalatable news for the leader. Nothing to report.
Now that is certain Buhari is very interested in his successor, at least, the one who would emerge from his party and it is increasingly looking he isn’t going to emerge from Bourdillion, a fight would soon erupt, I predict.
How do I know? You can’t take all away from a man at a go, without a fight. Not even a man of God. He will ask God to fight for him, since he can’t possibly seek revenge on his own. Daddy G.O, one of the most-known doves in today’s Christendom famously said he would ask God to kill anyone that touched his jewel, Mother-in-Israel, Mummy Folu. And Tinubu is definitely no dove. He is more of a raptor, because he has learnt to be a patient destroyer when dealing with powers that could commandeer his economic and political destruction in a blink. What they are trying to take away from him, is bigger than Lagos.
States without APC sitting governors, where he had joined Oshiomhole to instal pliable excos from which he was planning to reap a windfall of delegates during presidential primaries, are about to be dismantled. Almost certainly, his powerful enemies, including those in the national secretariat who are biting and blowing breeze, won’t allow his friends back as excos in those states. As at the last count, you can’t count more than five sitting APC governors on his side. Then the Umahi, Goodluck permutations and projections keep coming into the APC presidential mathematics and you expect Tinubu not to fight, after his men like Adams, Fowler and Magu, have bitten the dust? Yoruba will say, ekan lomokunrin nku (the courageous always go for the broke). Tinubu will be within range to fight back, because his adversaries appear determined to either turn him into a party effigy or add so much fire to the water until he jumps out.
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