Today, like the Ambode-Tinubu tango, globalisation is unravelling. It is not about the persons. It is about the elemental forces at play.
Many explanations have been given for the undeclared political separation, if not divorce, between the two reigning sweethearts of Lagos. Part of it is how Akinwunmi Ambode, the sitting governor, is a lone ranger. He is accused of playing the team game of politics like a lonesome missionary among crusty natives. In other words, Ambode is a kind of a haughty colonialist rajah.
Of course, there are other analyses of how it all went wrong. But there is one that nobody is talking up. It is that all systems made by men or of men are subject to a shelf life or best-by date iron lore. Beyond that date, no contraptions of man is of any use even to itself, save it is reinvented.
Now, if you went into a pharmacy or food shop and bought some items, the labelling comes with best-by dates. It all means that the products you just paid for can best serve you within a stated time window. Beyond that, it becomes toxic, poisonous, almost like Ambode, in the eyes of his frenemies. Ahiazuwa.
Of course, relationships are not thought of as commodities, but they are. And this includes political relatedness and relationships. Additionally, they are man-made and are like pharmacy prescriptions, consumables. And in being that they are biodegradable. That is, even in the “absence of human” interventions, the elements alone will ensure that these relationships unravel or atrophy on their mere beingness.
In fact, a physicist friend who commented on my first draft spoke of entropy, as the near physicist equivalent of best-by date notations. According to him, “Entropy is the general trend of the universe (and I suspect political relationships) toward death and disorder.”
In other words, there is nothing exotic in the collapse and disunity of the Ambode-Tinubu political knot. It is in the nature of things. Their political “bromance” has had its shelf life.
Let us do the simple arithmetic. For Tinubu to be the capo he has become, it means the following: he ruled for two terms of four years each. That gives him eight years. He chaperoned the Fashola eight-year reign. That adds up to a 16-year vice grip on power. Now, Ambode has just “done” four. That gives Tinubu a 20-year imperial lien on Lagos politics. Given a generous lifetime of 70 years of which active adult years are about 30, it may be safe to say that Tinubu has curated Lagos by the jugular for 2/3 of his active adult life. That adds up to 2/3rd of a generation. And new generations, by iron lore, call for change or disruption.
In other words, the system Tinubu built is bound to suffer accumulated entropy. That is to say, Ambode could not have done any better, even if he killed himself for Tinubu. It is just that the system Ambode inherited is in heat for disruption. It’s only that it is all happening during Ambode’s tenure. This is not to say Ambode has done well or not. It is just that there are other more potent forces at play.
READ ALSO: Lagos gov derailed –Tinubu
So, the question suggests itself. Will the new Tinubu man, Sanwo-Olu, do better? The answer is, of course, no, save the system is revamped. No power systems survives generations without a revamp. This is an iron lore. It happened to globalisation, to Marxism and others. We only need to recall, for instance, that there was a time globalisation was hotter than fire. Today, like the Ambode-Tinubu tango, globalisation is unravelling. It is not about the persons, a Trump, an Ambode, at work. It is about the forces, the elemental forces, at play. And no man can stop an idea whose entropy has come.
READ ALSO: Threat to globalisation
Can Baba-Ahmed trigger an Obama-style upset?
In the coming PDP presidential primary convention, it is certain the wolves will be gathered. And so also will be the eagles. So, the great task to save Nigeria via the PDP, if such will happen, is two-layered. The first is to separate the wolves, even as they come in sheep’s clothing, from the general pack of conclave members.
By the way, identifying these wolves seems to have come easier than expected. The Rivers helmsman, Nyesom Wike, who is host governor, has given a hint. For him, some presidential hopefuls are actually planted moles of the Federal Government. And we shall show them the way out. It needs little repeating that the wolves, even when they come in sheep’s clothing, have come to destroy and to eat, both nation and party.
Immediately the wolves are identified and isolated, the next big task calls. It is to choose from among the eagles the very best of them. And that best must come with the brightest of vision and all-inclusive wingspan. Yes, as important as the vision is, the wingspan is no less a given requirement. In fact, with the hell of an apartheid we have encountered with APC rule, a practiced sense of Nigerian inclusiveness is decisive. In Nigeria, a country as large as the sky is for the eagles, we most urgently need men who will bring us together and not scatter us apart as the APC does.
Of course, there are the big, even celeb, names on the block. They have seized our imagination. But as is with popularity, their name recognitions are not necessarily related to their content or suggestive of their abilities. And nothing proves this better than the present government of APC. Before now, folks voted Buhari as their messiah. Why? Buhari was more popular than tuwo shinkafa in Kano and was sold as more nourishing than amala in Ibadan. And the rest is history. Today, folks are abandoning the putative messiah and are confessing. Dr. Sobowale is one such fellow. He has openly and profusely apologised in his well-received writings for misleading himself and the rest of them.
All this is to warn Nigerians. Popularity, media image, is not a driver of democratic development. To get it right this time, Nigerians, and especially PDP, must shine their eyes and awaken their souls. We must abandon that which is propagandised and go for that which is substantive and substantial.
First of all, this caveat: I believe it is only the PDP that has the structure to sack APC and thus secure the fate of Nigerians in particular and the black man in general. So, our focus on PDP is pragmatic. Immediately this is taken, one can say that, pound for pound, toe to toe, and on the road show, Dr. Datti Baba-Ahmed will weigh in unbeaten. Not many, if any, has the credentials or gait to take him on in the ring.
First, a shocker. In all history, those who have really turned us around to a new order of greatness are outliers from within the mainstream. Repeat, outsiders from within the mainstream. Barack Obama is a typical example. We quote: Before the (Democratic Convention) speech, Obama was an unknown senator. After that speech, people started thinking of him as the next president of the United States. (The Speech That Made Obama President).
And if we all may now recall, the rest is history. And this history is in part that all the world changed. And changed for good. Lest we be misunderstood, we hold nothing against good and mighty names. But, judging by historical credits, it is that their potency may have reached or exhausted itself, and is headed towards entropy. If elected, they did be in it for the cruise of it, and not the acceleration of history or our greatness, our destiny.
So, to save ourselves, we must seek out that man among the rest who is our closest Obama. And is there another that comes as close as Dr. Baba-Ahmed, based on facts?
He is sufficiently mainstream as an Obama was before his presidency. He, like Obama, has been senator, etc. And as Obama with establishment America, Baba-Ahmed is not tainted with the political skulduggery that is Nigeria. Incidentally, both are well-received scholars and thinkers. And just like Obama again, Baba-Ahmed is interfaced on a personal capacity with his community. While Obama did much of his via an NGO, browsing his Chicago neighbourhood, Baba-Ahmed is gone even higher and broader. Baba-Ahmed is become an ace educationist. He founded and runs one of the most well-rated universities in Africa, Baze University, Abuja.
But most important is this. If the PDP is to most easily sack APC, they may have to tap into the Obama-like shocker. It goes like this. The very fact of the newness and vigor of Baba-Ahmed will traumatize the APC’s old and lifeless order into its final burial rite. The corollary is that the APC are already battle-ready for the old and famous horses. And may have worked out killer antidotes. So, for a PDP to win and win outrightly, without inconclusive elections, it may be necessary to pitch Buhari against his polar opposite. And Baba-Ahmed says it best: “With me as the PDP candidate, there is no chance for Buhari. Absolutely! I am the antidote to Buhari. I am his complete opposite. Buhari is about the old, I am about the new. Buhari is about incapacity, I am about capacity. Buhari is about the past, I am about now and the future. Buhari is about arresting and detaining people, I am about solving systemic problems … Buhari is about religious bigotry. I am about gender sensitivity, ethnic and religious balance.”
All Nigeria needs is a polar opposite of Buhari, just as Obama was against they who stood in contest with him.