Bola Ahmed Tinubu has already gone down in history as a trailblazer. Nothing showcases the steady, reliable, fuss-free Asiwaju brand better than adversity. His life has been marked with authenticity, reliability and trustworthiness. Those who think that the election that took place recently at the National Assembly is the beginning of the end of his political career will be shocked. Asiwaju may have lost the battle but we have to keep in mind that he won the war. People are now scrambling for the spoils of war. History will always remember him for his contribution towards the enrichment of our political culture.. Tinubu is a fixed thing, a person with actual successes and failures. He means many things to many people. You can find people who know him as a savior, a soured bet, an intellectual or six other things in between. But one thing you cannot take away from him is his love and passion for Nigeria.
According to Ganiyu Solomon, Asiwaju is our long-sought after quintessential Nigerian leader whose vision, dreams and aspiration tower above non-progressive sectionalism, myopic tribalism and ethnic jingoism. “His philosophy, orientation and socialist background have no doubt prepared him for what the future has begun to throw up. He has his eyes on the future and this is evident in his choice of people for leadership positions because he sure wants to look back in his old age and be complacent that posterity has a good place in stock for him.” In the words of a political commentator, Tinubu’s intellectual efforts and personal sacrifices of his time and resources for noble ends have become a loadstar for others to follow. “To talk of Tinubu, that seemingly fragile looking easygoing man is to talk of quintessential large heartedness. His indefatigability, and undaunted courage in the face of intimidating fear coupled with his powerful ambidexterity in the mobilization of men and resources make the man a political icon.”
What happened at the National Assembly recently is only a surprise to those who are still struggling to adapt to the shifting terrain of Nigerian politics-the quirks, betrayal, eccentricities and passion of our political culture. Asiwaju is used to political battles and cannot be intimidated at what played out in the National Assembly. But Bukola Saraki has done himself, and the party, great and unnecessary harm. His road back to credibility and respect will be extremely difficult. He has willingly jumped into a bear trap of his own creation. Further events will determine who will be the loser. The Chinese believe that the strongest person in the room says the least. A strong man does not have to broadcast his intentions. Asiwaju stands for restrained moral power, power that is absolutely lethal and purposeful when it is unleashed, but never unleashed wantonly, without precise plan or purpose.
It is morally wrong to encourage disloyalty in the party. Members should always abide by party decision so as to instill discipline in the party. Yakabu Dogara and Saraki betrayed the party and their actions have been condemned by well-meaning Nigerians. Mr. Sani Zorro, who represents Gumel/Maigatari/Sule Tankarkar/Gagarawa Federal Constituency, of Jigawa State called it an act of desperation. “As for those who went for an unholy marriage with another rival of the APC, well, apparently, they have done it out of desperation,” he said. “It is also clear that any of them put their self-interest first before that of the party. We have decided to remain loyal to the party because we have seen this kind of situation before.” A renowned Professor of law, Itse Sagay, is of the impression that the election that enthroned Saraki as senate president is fraudulent. “If you look at the moral point of view, that purported election was fraudulent. When you purport to hold an election deliberately in the absence of your opponent, knowing that he is absent, and intending to win at any cost unopposed by ensuring that absence, that constitutes fraud. Not only that, I think it’s an act of gross indiscipline, not just against his party, but against the whole country because we are all stakeholders in the electoral process, in who becomes the Senate President and we all felt cheated because there was no proper election. Again it’s also an act of gross impunity. In effect, he was saying ‘I know my opponent is keenly interested in contesting, I know my opponent is not here yet, and therefore, I will rush an election in his absence in order to be certain of victory at any cost.’ It’s absolutely unacceptable in a decent democracy.”
Asiwaju works hard to make the right tactical decisions and support the right policies and people. His support for Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila is a support for progress and unity of the country. Some people have chosen to misunderstand him and impute motives. A leader engaged in trying to bring about change will find himself living in an environment hostile to his intentions. The signature trait that has distinguished him from most politicians is his doggedness. He is a man that provides real leadership under pressure. His unique combination of intelligence, toughness and startling humanity makes him a master of the game. But Asiwaju will not do anything to scuttle our democratic experience because he believes that democracy is the highest civic good. He has been preaching the ideals of freedom and pluralism and this has been resolutely affirmed by his actions.
– Ikechukwu Orji
Ripples…without borders, without fears
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