Getting the focus right is more important than getting the speed wrong. Outside the right focus, all speeds are in error, all speeds are misbegotten.
The race to unseat President Muhammadu Buhari from his throne of power and privilege is on and about. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is the major player and rallying point. This is for practical reasons. Only such a behemoth party has the robust chance of sacking the ruling APC, a party that is stewed in its greed for power. For all practical purposes, APC and Buhari have concentrated power like no other rulers in the world’s democratic history. And this concentration of power is grossly nepotistic everybody agrees.
READ ALSO: On Buhari’s alleged nepotism
However, there is a point many miss in this style of despotic nepotism. It is that this Buhari/APC model of power concentration is largely Arabist derived. Essentially, Arabic nations currently, and their earlier empires, including the Ottoman, are or were run on such lines. For instance, modern Saudi Arabia is strictly policed and garrisoned not by professional cops and soldiers. Modern Saudi Arabia’s entire security arms and architectures are headed and manned by nepotistic princes to the last branch. And a key part of the consequence of a nepotistic security order is that no Arab nation is worth its weight in gold. Deeds have consequences, dudes.
Now, the nepotism of the Buhari administration is writ large and is self-evident. To give a hint of this, let us make reference to the words of a Buhari supporter turned worrier: “Now add Bichi as the DG of DSS to the list and it would be stupid for anyone to argue that the leadership of Nigeria’s security agencies is not overwhelmingly and embarrassingly northern.” (Solving the Buhari Puzzle).
But that is not exactly the point. The greater point is that of all the presidential contenders not one, till now, has taken up frontally the issue of Buhari’s nepotisms as governance policies. One is clearly at a loss as to why the reticence. The big name presidential contenders have mainly spoken of Buhari’s alleged infrastructural and other governance failures. Or they go ahead to promise a more inclusive government. But all that seems to be changing. In a report, a presidential hopeful, Aminu Tambuwal, is reported as follows:
“We need a leader that will put aside primordial sentiments, when it comes to getting the best brains to work for the best interest of our country, and when assigning national assignments…”
He said the unity of Nigeria was seriously being threatened, saying, “It has never been this bad in the history of this country; we need a leader that has the capacity to bring everybody together and hold it together.’’ (Tambuwal Kicks off Presidential Campaign in Abakaliki).
For the avoidance of doubt, we repeat, nepotism is a threat to unity. In fact, nepotism is a form of civil war by other means, by policy choices. Civil wars are bids to separate a composite peoples by bloodshed and mayhem. Nepotisms also are attempts to separate a composite peoples, but here by government policies and apartheid. In other words it can be said that the current administration has studiedly plunged Nigeria into a civil war, an undeclared civil war. To put things in perspective, the sacking of the Southerner/Christian/Bayelsan man and the preferment of a Northerner/Kano/Moslem dude to complete the Arabist-northernisation security blanket is just a case of a civil war gone thermonuclear. Thus it is safe to say as follows: The APC is telling Nigerians, to your tents o Israel. So far, it is only Tambuwal who is opening up to this.
Now, whether APC intends this or not is irrelevant. What matters in politics is not good intentions. What matters in politics is deeds and predictable outcomes. And the predictable outcome of the APC-led administration is that this country is better off disintegrated. The matter is clear. If the APC wanted Nigeria together, they would have taken everybody along in security as in economics, etc, as democracies do. But their preference is to run Nigeria like it is an Arab fiefdom, full of bloodletting feuds and sectarianisms. That is, APC is for a Nigeria in a ceaseless state of civil wars and thus hanged in a never developing limbo.
In summary, the battle charge of the opposition should concentrate on dislodging APC along the flank of its greatest threat to our common existence as a nation. All oppositional hands must be on deck to bring to an end the undeclared civil war going on in Nigeria, before it goes entirely nuclear on both sides.
In other words, there is no more urgent national task than that of reconciling our nations, Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa-Fulani, etc, and the various religions with one another. For the opposition to be about any other thing is to be like the householder whose roofs are on fire and he is running after the rodents fleeing the inferno.
Again, it must be made plain that the country cannot, and perhaps should not, hang together on the nepotism of those in power. We are better separated than having nepotistic rulers. In all, getting the focus right is more important than getting the speed wrong. Outside the right focus, all speeds are in error, all speeds are misbegotten. Ahiazuwa.
Ambode walks the tightrope
Akinwunmi Ambode used to be a wonder boy of governance in Nigeria. Or he was marketed as such. But all that is gone like a silly fart. He is fighting for his political life. The details are not clear but the following is in the open. A large swathe of party grandees are disenchanted with Ambode’s style of sub-imperial rule. He is reputed to run a government structure that is completely divorced from the party. In a word, Ambode is a one-man party in power.
But it is also clear that Ambode himself has faltered on some crucial matters. And one of such is the management and disposal of urban waste. Here, Ambode met a system that was working and “fixed it.” And in fixing a working model, Ambode now has a Lagos that is broken down in disease, choked in filth. But the salient point is that it is not that failure that did him in. Ambode’s greatest crime in the court of party lords, we suspect, is political, not administrative. To put it in its lingo, Ambode did not properly declare and or share the proceeds of crime, sorry, governance. The point is that, among politicians, there are really no crimes such as misgovernance. The only crime in politics is in playing solo, in forgetting to declare and share the proceeds of the crimes against the populace. That is, the only crime in politics is the crime of unitary greed. If one “federated well” with the proceeds of crime and or misgovernance, the party champagne lords will be there to save his neck if only to insure their own income streams. So, what they are fighting is not really misgovernance as the malfeasance of unshared and or undeclared proceeds of greed. Or personalising “our in-group” greed.
However, there is another angle to it all. It is that the much-touted Tinubu succession model is not exactly working. What is the Tinubu model? As popularly posted, it is that Tinubu is some kind of an elemental force. He is so all-knowing that he spots the best “sleeping talents” and brings them to work. And folks point at its inaugural or pilot captain, Babatunde Fashola. And now there is his second line successor, Ambode.
But all that is the popular myth. The point of why Lagos “works” to the extent it does has little to do with these men. It is the forces at play, not the men at work, that make Lagos what it is. Anyway, a well-connected journalist captures the fragility of the Tinubu succession model in the following words.
“There had been rumours that the political godfather in Lagos, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and his political godson, the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, were at loggerheads … And if it was for real, they had hoped it would be resolved eventually in favour of Ambode, as it was in the case of Ambode’s erstwhile predecessor – Tinubu versus Governor Babatunde Fashola, when Fashola sought a second term in office. Somehow, that ugly situation was reportedly amicably settled then. However, later events were to demonstrate that any resolution had merely been on the surface, as Tinubu and Fashola now appear to be intractable foes.’’ (Will Otedola Mythology Haunt The APC in Lagos State?)
Whatever be the matter, the failure of the Tinubu succession plot is a larger topic than can be dealt with here. In all, one thing is clear, the Tinubu model is not exactly working. On its maiden voyage, with Fashola, it hit the rocks. And on the recovery and repair of the Fashola wreckage, Ambode is about to beach the whale. One may thus say that Tinubu’s succession plan is at best a work in progress. That it is a working or workable model is plain hype.
And to make matters more interesting, the wisdom of Lamidi Adedibu, the late strongman of Ibadan politics, is worth recounting. It is that political quarrels hardly get settled. For the sage of Ibadan politics, “if you settled the quarrel, what of the enmity?” That is, even if the Tinubu-Ambode saga or quarrel is “resolved,” the suspicion and or enmity is eternal, a la Fashola. Shit happens.