Monday morning, as news filtered out that the Court of Appeal was in its usual element, playing politics of justice, commentators all over, were busy filing out the obsequies of Adams Oshiomhole. The interment was overtly expected the next day at the now-aborted NEC. But he was lucky to have a “miracle” working friend who “loves” him, so much. Hours before Monday, his “powerful” friend had come swinging at real and imagined enemies. He didn’t spare the heathens in Aso Rock. Before the close of Monday, Oshiomhole had been raised from the dead.
The Court of Appeal that initially said, hun hun (muffled No), gave itself brain as the X-generation would say, and said, hun (muffled Yes), by quickly convening a panel of justices which the leadership had earlier said, would be done at a God-knows-when, commencing sitting at a time a normal court should be rising and closing for the day. But the miracle of raising the dead is never a normal occurrence and it becomes nocturnal, when purity is missing, as was in this case.
Even a lazy-thinking pupil would know someone who desperately wanted to bring the dead back to life, was handing instructions out to the judiciary. If this is the story of this season that the judiciary wants to ink for itself, I say, good luck.
With Wole Olanipekun leading the judicial charge of Oshiomhole, it is crystal clear Jagaban (meaning a warrior), Bola Tinubu, was putting his money and mouth together in the matter, regardless of the unambiguous stance of President Muhammadu Buhari, though the Nigerian leader still adopted his usual style of using people to fight his battles while hiding, behind a finger. Bubu seems to have adopted the cowardly act as his stratagem, to not lose face when battles backfire and trust Mr. Garba Shehu, his oratory in excuse for his principal, has been the best of his act, as a presidential megaphone.
Mr. Tinubu must have read that weakness in Buhari, to continue the drag of party leadership with him and in the process, developing a master-key to always take one, over his leader, whenever there is a contestation for the soul of the party.
Even sustaining and answering to the rattling national leader nomenclature, should be a fatwa-affront, but you can always get away with “murder”, holding the mumu-key of the one who should hold you accountable.
Bringing Oshiomhole back from the dead is the second major victory lap the Lagos strongman would be taking over the one who should have been his direct boss, but for the hysterical perception of Muslim/Muslim ticket. In 2018, Buhari had signed in, on an extension agenda for the John Oyegun-led national exco of the party, which was going to, badly hurt, the interests of the party’s co-owner. A then-national officer had disrupted my sleep with a midnight call, to celebrate how Tinubu’s obituary was supposedly drafted, signed and announced at that fateful NEC meeting. Hours later, the unyielding Lagos leader had framed and owned the narrative of an unconstitutional tenure extension, which eventually got the co-landlord, Buhari, walking back his extension endorsement. How sweet can a victory be!
I have heard arguments like Buhari, bowed over Oyegun because of re-election; No, he didn’t want Tinubu to go and join Atiku his biz-partner, et al. Ok, let’s buy that pre-2019 prebendalism argument, so what is Buhari looking for now, from Tinubu? Support for succession agenda? If anything, whatever arrangement, pre-2019 poll, that put Buhari at the mercy of Tinubu’s kind, should work in a reversal now. Bubu’s second tenure is constitutionally-settled, though he’s practically whiling the days, away and not even the Nigerian legislature would shake him out of the lethargy cocoon he ensconces himself, in a national emergency.
But his exit politics can’t be as sour and dour like his governance style, except he wants to live his retirement in trauma. Even in saner America, presidential successors are programmed, despite God disappointing men in ‘016 with Trump. In the on-going Democratic Party primaries, those who own the land had decreed a stuttering Joe Biden into the touching distance of the nomination, despite Bernie Sander, the unwanted outside, looking good, at the starting-block. Will Buhari now endorse the one who already has his balls?
For Oshiomhole, I liken him to Lazarus. He could do all the shaku shaku in the viral video with the APC UK Leader after the Monday doomsday. Just like a top party man predicted in our conversation, he would still “die”. Lazarus had to die again to be in paradise. Only that Oshiomhole’s second death may not take him to political heaven or anywhere blissful. Since Tinubu has now used him twice to rub Buhari’s nose in the mud, he will likely be the Ijimere (monkey) the Aso Rock hunters will soon hunt down so badly to teach the Lagos man, how ramrod Fulani fight.
With a loaded and devastatingly-corked indicting report at the DSS, Buhari’s enforcers won’t have to break much sweat sinking Adams, with traces of forbidden apple, denting his dentals. But that is the main problem with the man in Aso Rock. He always needs enablers and enforcers and Tinubu was a primus inter pares pre-2015. He understands Buhari’s politics; call him out in innuendoes for him to know you can see his hand and the president does the tortoise, drags his head inside. He wants to approbate and reprobate on all issues, so his illusionary sainthood isn’t stained. No, such flip-flop makes one a reprobate. Men of character and inner strength, stay with the maxim of quod approbo non reprobo. I fear for the president’s household and what his Will, will likely cause when he eventually passes. Wills of men of substance with better persona than the president have run into gullies, how much more an atesibi ayetesi (a rolling stone).
A major takeaway in Buhari/Tinubu’s tangential tussle for rulership of APC is the mantra of know-your-enemy. Despite being the president and supposed comptroller-general of all institutions of governance, considering how weak they have been made, Tinubu has realised that Buhari’s main base is rooted in primitivity (almajiri) and provinciality (friends and farmers).His enlightened enablers and enforcers like himself, the Lagos billionaire, can buy off. So, in a sense, the emperor is naked in Abuja power game and except he would not mind the direct bolekaja, kafasoya tactic of Tinubu, he will continue to lose to one man, who should be at his mercy, but always gets the president asking for mercy. Only a powerful husband enjoys such a privilege over a tamed wife.