The regular pilgrimage of elements from Nigeria’s leading political class to the London home of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has again shown the political sagacity of one of Nigeria’s greatest political icons of the Fourth Republic.

It is indeed superfluous to say that no one among the 1999 class of governors has remained as viable as Tinubu.

Since his exit from power in 2007 he has remained the single most influential person planting all his successors.

He has succeeded in planting three successors, removed one who was supposedly obdurate.
Tinubu is no political gentleman or pushover like his 1999 colleague in Borno State, Mala Kachalla who was run out of Government House by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff. Or like the bombastic Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State who while talking grammar had the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP structure removed from under his feet.

Indeed, Tinubu’s stretch outside Lagos has also been overwhelming.

His bid for national ascendancy has also been gaining momentum. It is now generally accepted that it is the fear of him that has made the APC to continue to adopt the controversial ad-hoc structure in its leadership.

However, despite his seeming political invincibility, Tinubu is still flesh and blood. He is human and mortal.

He has remained in the United Kingdom for more than a month now despite the upheavals in the country when as the national leader of the ruling party he should have been all about helping to quieten the polity.

Mischief makers according to his aides have alleged that he is in London attending to his health.

His hardworking media team had almost successfully debunked the narrative of ill-health until President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to him in London.

Buhari was in London at the same time also attending to his ill-health despite the campaign promise the two men gave of improving our health infrastructure.

It was especially so that the two men were in London when doctors in Nigeria were on strike over the administration’s alleged shortcomings in that sector.

Besides the awkwardness of the two leaders abandoning Nigeria’s health infrastructure for that of Britain, Nigerians have over the last few days been also making comical reactions to the spate of visits to Tinubu.

Ordinarily, Tinubu was the one expected to visit Buhari in London or anywhere else.

However, the visit of Buhari to Tinubu tended to suggest to some that Tinubu was in a worse situation and deserving of a visit by a fitter Buhari.

However, Buhari’s visit subsequently turned into a storm when the national leader was pictured holding a walking stick during the visit.

Now, before Buhari, Governor Sanwo-Olu and Rep. James Faleke had visited but the pictures and the narratives that came out from those visits did not show Tinubu with a walking stick. Indeed, they came back to say that the leader was in good health.

However, with the president visiting, the tables turned around and it was not shocking that some elements in the Tinubu camp were unhappy with the display of the pictures of Buhari’s visit.

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It was even more remarkable that the picture of the visit was taken by Bashir Ahmed, the Special Assistant to the President on Social Media.

Bashir is believed to be a proxy of the Villa Cabal that is engaged in the scheme to stop Tinubu’s 2023 aspiration.

With the picture of that visit, the issue of Tinubu’s health turned into an issue despite the assertions of his media team.

After Buhari the flow of visitors has seen Muiz Banire and Governors Kayode Fayemi and Rotimi Akeredolu also going to London to visit.

Now forget the taunt of some social media cranks that Tinubu has been wearing the same pair of shoes in the pictures. It shows that he is a good accountant that does not waste money on dressing!

Also, forget the claim that Nigeria’s much needed foreign reserves is being depleted by the visits.

The visit of Banire was touching given the fact that the former Lagos commissioner and National Legal Adviser of the APC had been estranged from Tinubu for sometime.

That is despite the fact that Tinubu kept mute to the missiles hurled at him by his former commissioner.

Even touching was that Tinubu paid condolence to Banire when he lost his mother sometime in 2019.

Even more provoking was the visit of the pair of Fayemi and Akeredolu.

It is no secret that Fayemi is about the most formidable rival to Tinubu for the APC presidential ticket among the names that have been mentioned in the Southwest.

Anywhere Fayemi goes, Akeredolu also would go.

Tinubu and Fayemi have in the recent past been in vicious political combat carving out the Southwest and the rest of the country ahead of the APC presidential convention.

While Tinubu has held his own in such delegate rich states like Kano, Sokoto, Borno, Akwa Ibom, Delta and Lagos, Fayemi is holding on through his remote influence on the National Caretaker Committee led by his proxy, Mala Buni.

Besides the shoes, cranks have also made jest of the photograph the three men took with Tinubu. Of course, there was no walking stick.

Instead, cranks were alleging that the National Leader was sandwiched between the two men who they alleged held him up!

Of course, this correspondent does not believe that, but that narrative shows the extent to which naysayers are ready to damage Tinubu.

After Tinubu and Akeredolu, the question on your correspondent’s mind is when Senator Ibikunle Amosun would visit? Mind you, Amosun is reputed to be Buhari’s closest associate in the Southwest.

He is also a hard but also subtle political fighter. Your correspondent envisages him going to London with a walking stick gift!

Vanguard News Nigeria


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