Following the #EndSARS massive protests that rocked the nation Lagos witnessed days of rage, fire and fury of angry mobile young Nigerians. Youthful Nigerians, enraged by the callous killing of close to a dozen folks massed at the Lekki Toll-Gate by the military, had visited extreme violence on Lagos targetting private and public properties and infrastructures.
Worst hit were corporate concerns owned by or linked to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the former Governor of the state of aquatic splendour and invincible godfather of Lagos politics. Royalty was not spared as the Palace of the Oba of Lagos was ransacked. And some prisons were also attacked with many prisoners freed from Benin City to other cities.
As the dust settled down corporate headquarters of The-Nation newspaper had been torched and the broadcasting equipments carted away. Also, the TV Continental broadcasting office was invaded and burnt down. The Bourdillon Road Lagos home of Jagaban was equally besieged and ransacked. But Tinubu was not found anywhere near his fortress.
Online news had reported that the controversial chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had travelled out of the country and was in France. One of his sons was also said to have jetted out of the country with his family in a jiffy as the demonstrations got nasty.
The invasion and looting of public and private assets by ‘hoodlums’ could be blamed on frustrations following the brutal assassination of fellow young Nigerians in Lekki toll plaza few days prior. President Buhari, true to his sadistic nature, never said a word about the Lekki massacre in his reluctant national broadcast of last week.
Asiwaju Tinubu had last weekend visited his godson, the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at Marina State House where he had, according to him, gone to ask pointedly the Governor if he had ordered soldiers to attack #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki toll-gate on a black Tuesday last week. And if he was not the one that gave the order for the trigger-happy soldiers to pull the trigger then who did.
The executive answer Governor Sanwo-Olu gave his gofather was not revealed to the public but we could deduce that he must have denied ever giving any order for the ignorant soldiers to open fire on protesters with live bullets! When the Governor dutifully told Lagosians that issues related to the army were beyond his control many believed him.
Tinubu reasoned (unreasonably!) that those who suffered casualties had questions to answer to wit: what they were doing out there and who among them were miscreants and bandits? Besides, he declared that it was tantamount to a ‘handshake beyond the elbow’ when and where we began getting “the looting, the carnage, the burning, the invasion of police stations, stealing of arms, maiming of the innocent?”
Even before the Lagos explosion of uncontrollable violence Tinubu had issued a controversial statement concerning the popular #EndSARS revolution. While he acknowledged that the youths had made a point he made it clear that enough was enough in order to preserve the democratic gains in his reckoning.
He argued that President Muhammadu Buhari had heard the youths and was ready and determined to reform comprehensivelly the federal police force. While advocating for the discontinuation of the protests he warned that government might be forced to put them down in the event of same degenerating out of control.
Surely, it degenerated out of control when soldiers were invited in to kill and maim the innocent! That must be held responsible for whatever backlash that followed.
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu remains a shrewd politician from every indication. He has the money, the ‘area boys’ and the connections. He nurses a presidential ambition come 2023 post-Buharism. Having conquered Lagos Tinubu seeks to extend his political conquest across the federation by replacing Buhari in a few years time.
Read also: #EndSARS: A revolution foretold!
While ambition (political or otherwise) can never be described as a crime Tinubu, given his elitism and establishment-friendly disposition, cannot boast of any radical change in the event of getting himself (s)elected as President.
Addressing journalists at the end of the visit to Marina Tinubu sounded hubristic when he declared that those claiming that he was out of the country got it all wrong as he was in town. Perhaps hiding somewhere beyond the reach of the angry mob searching frantically to physically assault him.
He had these to say: “I’m a Lagosian and I still hold the title of Asiwaju of Lagos and I am still a Jagaban….Fake news is all over the place. They say Seyi my son was kidnapped and was chased but look at him. I didn’t pay a penny to bring him here”.
While it could be conceded that some disgruntled political enemies or adversaries could have instigated the irate youths or thugs to dismantle the Tinubu propaganda machinery the truth of the matter is that many Lagosians are fed up with the godfatherism of Lagos politics as epitomized by Asiwaju.
Sanwo-Olu today, Ambode yesterday and Fashola the other day. Who knows, may be Seyi Tinubu tomorrow! Jagaban is capable of pulling it off whenever Babajide falls off the guber perch.
As 2023 draws nearer political opponents in Lagos and elsewhere are preparing themselves for a showdown with Tinubu whenever he makes his presidential ambition public. Whoever (be he a marabout or a fetish priest) told him that he would be handed the presidency on a platter after Buhari exits Aso Rock could have not prophesied well. It would be a mortal political battle!
Asiwaju Tinubu, the irrepressible godfather, got a hit during the recent mayhem unleashed on Lagos by the so-called ‘hoodlums’. A valuable lesson must have been learnt through the frightening incident.
From now onwards Tinubu must learn to play pro-people politics if his empire must continue to endure. Otherwise, more surprises and upheaval await him.
The #EndSARS revolution had succeeded, if anything, in demystifying a whole lot of politicians. And Nigeria’s political space can never be the same again.
AUTHOR: SOC Okenwa…
Articles published in our Graffiti section are strictly the opinion of the writers and do not represent the views of Ripples Nigeria or its editorial stand.
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