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Tinubu’s Sword of Damocles

By Andrew Jam

Undeniably, it is dangerous to become an unrepentant “displayer” of ego. It is more dangerous when the veiled persona is no longer hideous and plies his trade a manner that aims to intimidate and blackmail others. It spells doom and heralds a tendency to crush its own dreams because ego peddlers unjustifiably see other interests as too inconsequential.

Asiwaju Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu applies himself these days as a politician over possessed with the attractions’ of national power, from the sidelines. He seeks to lick it from the backyard. So, he addresses or asks his admirers to prefix his identity with the sobriquet of “APC National Leader.”

Tinubu lacks no conventional titles to prefix his name. Even if he lacks, he can acquire them with a flick of the hand. He is already known as “Asiwaju.” But he is more thrilled with this phrasal title, “APC National Leader.”

Reason! It confers on him an immortal aura in the comity of politicians of the ruling APC led government in Nigeria. It gives him an imperial feeling as someone higher than any other member of the party. He reckons the party’s national chairman, Chief John Odigie Oregun as his “steward” and President Muhammadu Buhari, his chief sentinel of the party.

Excited by this haughtiness, Tinubu invokes, barks orders, and cajoles hordes of party men and women to seek his royal blessings for a rewarding space in the party. He deems himself Nigeria’s unequalled apostle of democracy of “change” and secretly blackmails the President for declining his overtures of inclusion in his kitchen cabinet. So, he frightens everybody and unleashes his veiled attack dogs to overwhelm the media with accusations against the President’s best and closest aides on perceived loopholes to set the house in disarray.

Eerily, he forgets easily, that party APC has a hierarchy and organogram; So, he sacks its national chairman, over a perceived wrong; cleverly clothed in the euphemism of asking him to resign his position for derailing the “Change” agenda. In his bedroom, Tinubu appropriates all their powers put together.

But the bulwark erected by some close Presidential aides and trusted men, which has widened the gulf between him and Buhari is his cause of anger against them. And the failure of Buhari to reprimand them about his importance, in his estimation, also makes the President a culprit in the power game enough to be distracted and discredited.

Credit must be accorded Tinubu for fruitfully midwifing opposition politics in the Southwest region these years, which peaked into its mutation and merger as a major opposition party, the APC, which today leads Nigeria under the commandership of President Buhari.

But it seems this profile of Tinubu in national politics has flattered him to the point of over-bloated ego overnight. He feels President Buhari should allow him run Nigeria by proxy. Having pocketed APC by his self-acclaimed status of its national leader, he desperately battles to cage Buhari’s liberty to lead Nigeria freely. He also, undermines the North, the President ancestry. But clearly, some members of Buhari’s cabinet are his nominations, but he is not satisfied.

To belittle the Presidency to stamp his relevance, the APC Lord is suspected to have hired media online activists’ and traditional media who consistently hit at Buhari’s close aides and appointees with a litany of misdemeanors. Tinubu knows that Buhari’s stern anti-graft war, is not only one of the highest selling points of his administration, but it has received international accolades

To diminish this record, Buhari has to be portrayed as a President who fights corruption outside, but harbours and protects corrupt aides. Thus, the masked actors have ensured that every Northern personality around President Buhari with a reputation of pillar of the success of his administration is baselessly demonized and painted as corrupt. Through this means, they erroneously feel an accomplishable task to scoff at Buhari’s much taunted anti-corruption war.

At a time, it was the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai and later, the Minister of the Interior, Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazzau. The missiles were hauled at them very hard, but disclosed nothing new or profoundly convincing. Only allegations of corrupt acts were bandied in all media.

Attention has now shifted to the Chief of Staff (CoS) to the President, Abba Kyari, and Alhaji Mamman Daura, the President nephew, who is not even a government appointee.

The CoS is serially alleged to have abused his office, by influencing the choice of appointments for President Buhari. What else could be his briefs as CoS? It is the unwritten code that lobbying is a normal norm.

Forces allegedly loyal to Tinubu’s fall over themselves with tissues of allegations against the duo. Kyari’s personality has been so brazenly assailed. Its either he is accused of attempting to block the confirmation of the Acting EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu or influencing Buhari to reduce the N1.4 trillion fine imposed on MTN by Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and bribery links with Mr. Jide Omokore, owner of Atlantic Energy.

Kyari’s appointment as a board member of NNPC attracted fresh tantrums. The attacks donned a new face, as they complained it was too much work burden on a single man (who has not complained any). When there was no response on his removal, the only solace was to link him with prospecting for Valiant Offshore Contractors Limited, an allegedly outlawed oil firm, in oil business deals.

Quite ridiculously, others alleged Kyari has usurped the powers of the office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), held by Mr. Babachir David Lawal, by accepting and hoarding memos to the President from ministers. Why would ministers consent to submitting official memos to the president through the office of the CoS instead of the SGF? Is it believable that ministers are ignorant of this elementary administrative protocol or could it be Buhari who also directed them to pass such memos through the CoS?

Laughably, the accusers’ and paymasters claim to be in possession of proof of Kyari’s corrupt life-style in Aso Rock, which has been presented to the President severally, but he declined action. They are more interested in his sack, than striving to make the nation better. They would do the nation good to publicize such evidence in their custody, as presented to Buhari and his failure to act should compel them to institute a legal action in court to enforce his prosecution by law enforcement agents.

The case of Alhaji Mamman Daura is even more pathetic. The elderly man is maliciously maligned only on account of his blood relationship with President Buhari. They are irked that Daura gets the President attention without hindrance anytime. But to colour it with some semblance of truth, some alarmists claim Daura uses Jets in the presidential fleet anytime he travels to his Kaduna residence. It sounds hollow and nothing can be more distortive of the truth.

To unconsciously betray their satanic motive with labels of nepotism against Buhari, they claim his intelligence and judicial arms of government are populated by his kinsmen. But they prefer not to remember that other sections such as the Southwest also control key positions in the cabinet. Assuming Babatunde Fashola were a northerner, they would have cried loud that lumping three powerful ministries of Power, Works and Housing in Northerner is unacceptable. They would have said, the North controls Nigeria’s finances in Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, the minister of finance or Mr. Omoleye Daramola, the minister of State, Niger Delta, has been dashed the region and would have perceived Mr. Isaac Adewole, the Minister of Health, in similar light.

Discerning minds now know these antics, as not just empty, but embody astonishing first rate falsehood. They are designed to achieve nothing other than pooh-pooh and erode the gains President Buhari has recorded.

The constant reminder that Buhari rode to leadership on the crest of “change” especially to battle corruption, but has fallen prostrate is irritating. Buhari’s integrity and incorruptibility as a person cannot be punctured by those with an unquenchable lust for power.

His uprightness has earned him global acclaim as recent as yesterday. The UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon echoed this much when they met at the 71st session of the UNGA in New York. Who makes up the president’s personal aides or kitchen cabinet is his prerogative and so, the fuss is all about nothing.

Suspiciously, Sen. Tinubu and cohorts’ umbrage against Kyari and Daura are directed at the presidency and meant to create a reaction that would unearth a path for their usurpation of the Buhari Presidency through the backdoor. And Northerners like Dr. Junaid Mohammed and co-travellers, who are unfortunately tricked into this trip, should have a rethink as tomorrow interprets events of yesterday.

Jam wrote from Karu, Nasarawa State.


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