By the time the Buhari presidency fumbles and wobbles to the end, hopefully next year, it shall be missed for a number of reasons. One is the irrepressibility of the president’s wife: until Mrs. Aisha Buhari happened, I used to think my favourite or model First Lady, the late Mrs. Maryam Babangida, was the boldest of them all. Two is the administration’s annoying, barefaced, crass nepotic approach to governance: It leaves you wondering whether the helmsman thinks Nigerians are deaf, blind and dumb. Others are: the talk of a cabal being in charge, the infighting, the puerile missteps, the 97:5% voting and sharing ratio, and as someone in the governing party confessed, the application of insecticide to non-Fulani misdemeanour but deodorant to Fulani felony!
That tedious list is not exhaustive, though. People like me shall miss the smartness of Team Buhari. Remember one of the super-sly, subtle ways they reacted to the damning statement released by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, PhD? Former Secretary to the Government of the federation, Babachir Lawal, was hurriedly ‘arrested’ by Magu and company.
Of course, the man walked away from the EFCC the moment they thought all the prying eyes instigated by Dr. Obasanjo had moved on to other things. Add that to the dastardly naked neglect of the Igbos in the first two years of the administration and the 360-degree volte face (read open placation) the moment re-election appeared on the radar. Then, in the mix, consider also the father of all smartness: inviting the man forced into being a rebel leader, debriefing him with a pep talk, and throwing him right back into the arena as the peacemaker. We may have underrated the politician in President Muhammadu Buhari for too long, to our own peril!
But, all of that should change now. Whatever comes out of this latest deft political manoeuvring, Nigerians must realise that Politician Buhari is not a man to take for granted. The masses should raise the bar of faith concerning 2019 by going out to register to obtain our Permanent Voter Card (PVC). Seeing how notoriously-sharp this president is, no amount of public condemnation would stop him from craving a second bite -only the PVC can stop him from getting it!
While we are at that, let’s take a second look at the shock appointment of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu by President Buhari. Clearly, the first consideration that must have compelled this option is the element of surprise. As a former soldier, the president understands the effect of taking people unawares. In fact, it can be said that choosing the All-Progressives Congress national leader to lead the process of reining in in-house wailers that he led or leads -depending on the undercurrents- is a political masterstroke with which the president has gained the hitherto-lacking 2019 traction and mileage!
But, for how long would this talisman remain potent? Would this vague blandishment heal the Asiwaju of Nigerian Politics so easily and soon enough or was he too wounded the nearly three years the president abandoned him out here in the cold? Would he be willing and able to convince his inner caucus to trust the president again after all the humiliation knowing full well that post-2019 a president Buhari would have no more cares and could deal with him more terribly? From the foregoing therefore, would the one man who contributed the most to the making of the 2015 presidency forgive and forget or avail himself of this golden opportunity to extract his pound of flesh by undermining or taking political advantage of his own reconciliation process?
That’s the poser that might make or mar 2019 not only for President Buhari but also for Nigeria. I foresee a ‘bloody’ horse-trading in this horribly-timed pointless peace process. Head or tail, heads would roll and blood would flow, figuratively speaking: the president’s or those of Tinubu protégés who developed wings in 2015. God bless Nigeria!
Help, my party has gone off-key again!
If you are a Nigerian and have lived in Nigeria since 2015 at least, it would be an anathema to think that you could remain apolitical over 2019. That being so, there’s no running from the truth that the People’s Democratic Party which leads the opposition has the brightest chance of regaining Aso Rock!
Consequently, whatever the party does or doesn’t do should be of great interest to us. For example, what do we make of National Chairman Uche Secondus’s rumoured kite-flying automatic ticketing of its National Assembly members?
Since the man has such an unenviable job at the moment, I empathise with him. I have told myself to understand that in seeking to strengthen and reposition the party, he may now and again give here to take there.
So, as a strong party man, I take solace in the fact that that my National Chairman knows that every single decision taken at every level of our party must dovetail with provisos of the constitution of country and party as well all electoral guidelines. As such, there’s no need to disagree with him publicly on this or any such matter.
Politics being local, any generic policy such as the extant example (if true) would only transform into a guiding parameter after having survived the sentiments, scrutiny and prerogative of delegates/electorate. My National Chairman may only have done the needful on an occasion; we should await our turn to do ours.
Our party is too experienced and has paid too much price already to allow any internecine generosity that would jeopardise, rather than enhance, its 2019 chances. In the interest of our party and democracy, we the people must be allowed to have our way!