By Dele Sobowale
“A presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has charged Supreme Council for Sharia in the country to create a department of political affairs to create political awareness among the faithful towards producing a Muslim President in 2023” – News Report, March 20, 2022.
The address, delivered on Tinubu’s behalf, has revealed a mindset which many Nigerians, especially Christians, have failed to notice in Asiwaju Tinubu. There are several aspects to it; but, permit me to point to only a few which are terribly disturbing for someone seeking to be our President.
The most obvious can be deduced from the report: Tinubu will be President for Muslims only. Christians and traditional worshippers will not count. Before going forward, let me declare that what follows should not be misconstrued as an attack against all Muslim candidates. It is not even an attack on Tinubu. I just want him to know how his statement strikes Christians.
Four real stories will prove conclusively that I have no hatred for Muslims and have actually supported a Muslim Vice President and two Muslim candidates against Christian Presidents. Former VP Atiku Abubakar is still alive.
From 2005 till 2007, when ex-President Obasanjo went after him and sought to remove him from office, I wrote at least 15 articles in support of Muslim Atiku and against Christian OBJ. Shehu Garba is my witness.
I was already working for the election of Muslim Muhammadu Buhari, in 2010-2011, when Tinubu backed Nuru Ribadu for President. I again repeated my support for Buhari in 2015 at a time when Tinubu was struggling to foist a Muslim-Muslim ticket on Nigeria.
Like most Christian progressives in the South, I have voted for Alhaji Jakande, Bola Tinubu and Tunde Fashola, all Muslims, as governors of Lagos State. Before that, I voted for the late Chief MKO Abiola on June 12, 1993; and stayed in Nigeria under Abacha to defend the mandate – while Tinubu ran away with others without guts. I was in detention four times for supporting a Muslim I never met; and who did me no favours.
For Christians, like me, that appeal to the Muslims by Asiwaju is so heart-breaking – given all the easily demonstrable support we have given to Muslims and to him personally. It also smacks of ingratitude.
CHRISTIANS MADE TINUBU GOVERNOR OF LAGOS
“Ingratitude is a crime more despicable than revenge; which is returning evil for evil, while ingratitude returns evil for good” – William George Jordan. I voted for Tinubu in 1999 – despite my strong objection to the way he emerged as candidate of the Alliance for Democracy, AD. But I was persuaded by one of the leaders of Afenifere that his support for those who ran to exile was responsible for their position.
I am always a very grateful person for any favours done for me or family or Club or Church. So, as the Head of my Family, I ordered everybody to vote for Tinubu, a Muslim. Later, Tinubu betrayed the old men who gave him the opportunity he enjoys till today.
Thus, when his mostly Muslim campaign workers cry about disloyalty by somebody else, I sometimes wonder what their ethical standard is – or is it a matter of “who pays the piper dictating the tune?”
PRINCIPLES MATTER IN POLITICS
Mohandas Gandhi, 1869-1948, listed seven things that would destroy us. The first was “Politics without principles”. Christians voted for Tinubu twice; and we followed him until it dawned on us that, as far as he is concerned, no Christian was good enough to be governor of Lagos State. He had lined up four possible Muslim successors to Fashola.
Until that time, I had stood aloof from politics in Lagos State. The reports reaching me in 2010 changed everything. I teamed up with like-minded individuals to actualise Christian governor in Lagos State in 2015.
But, in order to reassure our Muslim brothers that it was a struggle for equity, not anti-Muslims, we went out to campaign for Buhari against Jonathan – a Christian. In everything, we placed national interest above selfish interest. None of us was a candidate or had a close relative as a candidate for any office.
Unlike what Tinubu just did, we stood for fairness, selflessness and for our state and country. I can speak for myself. I never asked for appointment or contractor help from Ambode or Buhari till today.
A presidential candidate, who stands before the “faithful” to ask for votes based on religion is not only selfish; but, he is also sowing the seeds of a post-election religious violence if he loses to a “non-faithful”. We are on the way to Lebanon – if care is not taken.
ADVICE TO TINUBU
“Advice is seldom welcome; and those who need it the most always want it least” – Earl of Chesterfield, 1694-1773, VBQ p5.Let me keep it short and simple since it will probably be rejected anyway. Asiwaju should release another statement modifying the one reported. If he gets the APC ticket and Christians take him at his words, then he will certainly lose the election. Even 30 per cent of Christians voting against him are sufficient to ruin his chances – even in Lagos. But, he can try his luck.
MY ADVICE TO CHRISTIANS
“A very great part of the mischief that vexes this world arises from words” – Edmund Burke, 1729-1797, VBQ p281.As I have disclosed before, I read over 6,000 books, magazines, professional journals, pamphlets and newspapers when compiling the VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS, VBQ.
Nearly 3, 000 of the books followed me home from the US to Nigeria. I was most fascinated by personalities whose characters are very similar despite differences in nation, period, and situation.
Hitler and Putin think alike and act alike; a Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr, 1929-1968, and Mandela, 1913-2013, behave the same way. Because the characters behave alike they are therefore very predictable.
Tinubu is also a type of public personality whose next moves, despite the attempts to camouflage them, are predictable – at least to me.
“The only prize much cared for by the powerful is power. The prize for the General is not a bigger tent; but, command” – US Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Wendell-Homes, Jr, 1841-1935.
Justifiably, to a great extent, he felt betrayed by the party in 2015 after the great investments, financial and personal, he made to get Buhari elected. Nobody can dispute the fact that without the ACN, led by Tinubu, Buhari would have lost once again. He was bestowed with the title of National Leader which has no constitutional role or powers. Unlike the late Chief Anenih, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who occupied the same position, and who was given wide powers by President Obasanjo, Tinubu was just a figurehead National Leader.
Tinubu spent an enormous fortune to get Buhari elected only to end up holding an empty bag. Now, he is in no mood to help anybody else grab the prize. He resents Osinbajo’s ambition; and he will not help the Vice President. Never.If he should ultimately win, Christians will be third class in Aso Rock from 2023. So, be careful how you cast your votes. The man has already told us whose President he will be – if elected.
INTRODUCING YORUBA FOR IGBO PRESIDENT 2023
“Heavens help those who help themselves.”The President of Ohaneze, Professor George Obiozor, recently voiced out his concern that Igbo candidates are not reaching out to other Nigerians. I cannot agree more. From personal experience and discussions with like-minded individuals, it appears that most Igbo candidates operate under the assumption that the agitation by Ndigbo and the advocacy by Igbo columnists, coupled with the justice of their cause, are sufficient to clinch the ticket.
Apparently, they are doing any non-Igbo person wanting to join the struggle a favour. If only they know the hostility we endure for what is actually an unpopular agitation among the other people and politicians in Nigeria.
With only one exception, Senator Anyim, none has even bothered to give us a hint of what he intends to do and how he will govern office. We have pledged to support a credible Igbo candidate whose CV suggests that he knows Nigeria’s problems.
Until Peter Obi entered the race, only Anyim seemed to fit the bill. It is up to Obi now. But, nobody should imagine that we are begging to work for him. The Yoruba for Igbo President 2023, YIP2023, is totally committed to this cause until we have no Igbo candidate to support. That will be a great tragedy.
GO PARK THE BULLION VAN
‘2023: APC tickets mustn’t go to highest bidders – Buhari’.
This is no body language. This is a knock out punch. My own Deep Throat in the Rock told me that Buhari got security reports about how much a candidate for presidency has already spent; and how much he offloads from the van at each stop.
Baba was alarmed. How can somebody spend so much without intending to recover the investments – with profit? Baba was horrified. Who wouldn’t be? Bros, go park the van; the race is almost over.
Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of Vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.