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Understanding Tinubu’s silence

By Emmanuel Aziken

It has undoubtedly been a very exciting week for the media, especially the genre of online media.

With salacious tales from the bumpy eruptions of the stand-up entertainer at COZA, the eccentric predilections of the senator at a sex toy shop, and the bizarre abandonment of the Ruga settlement project, it has indeed, been an exciting week.

Tinubu, Nigeria
Tinubu

It is not surprising that at times like these that comments from leaders are normally restrained. Certainly not because they are shy. The reason flows from the re-echoing injunction of Jesus, The Christ, who famously told Jewish leaders of his day without sin to cast the first stone at the woman caught in the very act of adultery.

Given your correspondent’s proximity to political leaders in the course of his years on the beat, it is safe to say that those we see as our leaders are also human. They feel hunger, go to the toilet, and do stupid things because of sex!

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They are susceptible to the weaknesses of the flesh.

Interestingly, the weakness of the flesh is not unique to Nigerian leaders. What we find with our leaders is also common with other world leaders. However, the difference is in how we respond to the issues that are found with our leaders.

It was as such welcoming that on Thursday that it emerged that Senator Elisha Abbo was questioned by the police over his altercation at the sex-toy shop.

Before then, his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP had summoned him for questioning at the end of which he made his tearful apology on Wednesday night.

It perhaps could be a new beginning. In the very recent past, we have had tales of leaders enthroned over institutions that they desecrated or leaders with indictments promoted to higher offices.

Or who has forgotten that a governor was caught on video just as Senator Abbo more than once collecting bribe. And the same governor has the moral arrogance to cut in pieces a 200-year old emirate just in the bid to suppress the conscience speaking against him.

It is remarkable that Senator Abbo apologized for the physical assault on the lady in the sex toy shop. Good enough.

It is, however, shocking that the moral latitude of Nigerians has gone so low that few are raising the question as to what such a leader was doing with three ladies in a sex toy shop?

Mr. Biodun Fatoyinbo, who is about the same age with Senator Abbo who should have raised such issues has himself been embroiled with allegations of his sexual escapades within and outside the country.

Understandably, the political class is in no position to provide succour. Never mind the indignation that was raised by some senators over Abbo’s indiscretion. We know what happens when senators travel, especially for retreats!

In the face of these, the quietness of a particular section of the political class to the Ruga Settlement issue has also been conspicuous.

Of particular note has been the silence of the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

At the peak of the controversy with ethnic jingoists taking over the public space there was the expectation that the leader would show the way by bringing caution to bear as he often does.

The leader was, however, uncharacteristically reticent. Understandably so, given the sensitivities involved. Many had assumed that the president as a patron of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN was personally involved as the project was seen as one to benefit the Fulani.

It was even remarkable that when a MACBAN official traced the Ruga programme to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that the country’s number two man came out with a stunning denial.

Until President Muhammadu Buhari came out to claim ignorance of the project, it remained about the most divisive policy ever to be linked to the APC administration.

The question many had asked was whether Ruga was in the APC manifesto that was presented to Nigerians ahead of the last general election? Did Asiwaju who was the co-chairman of the Presidential Campaign Council ever solicit the Ruga proposal to the electorate?

It is as such worrisome that a policy that the president claims ignorance about, and which the national leader of the ruling party has been quiet about, and that has also been disowned by the number two man in government could have found its way to near implementation.

It then brings to fore the question as to who authorized the implementation of the programme? Was it some middle-level apparatchiks or some cabal outside the mainstream of government?

Given the high expectations from Asiwaju on account of his frontal role in returning the APC to power, there is high expectation on him to regularly provide direction to his many followers and then much-needed counsel to the man he did much to return for a second term.

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