By Ikeddy Isiguzo
WE have to thank Alhaji Ahmed Bola Tinubu for making the choices before voters easier except if they do not want to vote. Wisely? Twenty days to the presidential election, some have not made up their minds.
Others may be wondering what it means to “vote wisely”? Choices have never been easier.
Tinubu, the Jagaban Borgu, has on several counts disqualified himself from the race. There were times he was not clear. At other times his not being the top candidate seeped out from his frustration at the poor attention that he gets from the Villa. Tinubu is angry.
His anger has been a prominent feature of his campaigns and rightly so. Only a few understand the entitlements that Jagaban Borgu expects. He is not about to get them. When he does, he feels the respect that should come with them are lacking.
Anger before the party’s presidential primary occasioned the first emi l’okan “outburst”. He went overboard. Apologies to President Muhammadu and insinuations that transliterations by non-Yoruba speakers, were to blame, not Tinubu, only escalated the depths of the jabs on Buhari’s inability to win elections without Tinubu.
All Progressives Congress, APC, threw the ticket at Tinubu. Support has been slipping out of his hands ever since. There is a gross mis-interpretation of what the party should do for Tinubu who in Abeokuta part one was short of saying he would get the ticket with or without Buhari.
Tinubu’s frustrations are more obvious. He sees only Buhari’s refusal to endorse him. Back to Abeokuta again, he blamed people around Buhari, APC, other forces, for the abiding misery they have brought on Nigerians. Sometimes he lobs his verbal missiles straight into the Villa.
Which other presidential candidate has asked voters to shun his party? Who has reminded us that APC did not know what to do or how to do it? Did anyone miss Tinubu blaming Buhari for the depreciation of the Naira from 200 to 800 to the US Dollar?
Cost of fuel has gone up. The change of bank notes had been mis-management to the point that people blame the government for deliberately putting them through the troubles of being unable to access their resources in banks. Businesses are suffering, people are going hungry. They cannot get enough even to buy food, medications, and everyday needs.
How has Tinubu reacted to these? He has told us several things, among them that the Buhari government, at least people around him, were against Tinubu’s success in the election. Harsh government policies targeted him. He is also a victim; he tells Nigerians. In 2015, Tinubu deceived to vote out President Goodluck Jonathan, an administration Tinubu and company said would bring Nigeria utter ruination if allowed longer in office.
Tinubu gleefully appropriates accolades for stopping Jonathan from another tenure. The plaudits are due him. He, however, does not want anything to do with the unmitigated failing of Buhari’s eight years.
He had foreseen the challenges of selling himself through the inattentive Buhari. The approach was no solution to fears that Tinubu would be worse than Buhari on several scores – his poor health that has proven degenerative, coupled with the choice of Shettima as his running mate.
Shettima came with more luggage than duplicitous responses to questions about Tinubu’s age, origins, identity, educational qualifications and exactly what he did in Chicago where he claimed to have obtained his higher education. A forfeiture of over $400,000 to the US authorities after he could not account for millions of Dollars that passed through his bank accounts are explained away with a different answer each time he is asked.
Only Tinubu could have added to his burden by choosing Shettima. The 25 December 2011 bombers, knew him well enough to seek refuge in the Borno State Liaison Office, Abuja after bombing the Catholic Church in Mandara, Niger State. More than 40 people were killed. Shettima was the Borno State Governor then.
The divisions the Muslim-Muslim ticket decision dumped on Nigerians have not been resolved. It was another instance of Tinubu feeling he knew what was good for everyone. He did not care what Nigerians felt.
In distancing himself from Buhari, Tinubu denied himself a right to benefit from Buhari. As I have noted elsewhere Buhari is unforgiving of slights like the ones that Tinubu make against him in public. Only an entitled Tinubu can probate and reprobate. He is the Jagaban Borgu, known in the North, sure of the votes. He had also said he would win no matter the plots against him.
Matters get worse when the likes of Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai support claims that there are elements in the presidential villa who want Tinubu to fail. Tinubu’s supporters latch on to such dubious support and Mrs. Aisha Buhari re-tweeting el-Rufai’s message as proofs that Tinubu was right in attacking Buhari.
Tinubu forgets he had promised to continue Buhari’s policies he now condemns. Sometimes one wonders if Tinubu was still a member of APC. Is he an independent candidate? Has he realised he has lost the election and is bent on drowning the campaign of other APC candidates.
If you ever needed a reason to vote out APC, listen to Tinubu: he tells you everything wrong with APC, and promises to continue in that path. Tinubu has told you, “Don’t vote for me; my party failed you woefully, and so would I”. He has said it enough for everyone to hear.
FIGHTS breaking out in banking halls tell a fraction of the stories about trying times that ordinary Nigerians go through to get their own money. POS, ATM, the banking halls, have all failed to provide service. Everything should be done to ensure that these frustrations do not pour into the streets.
IMPUNITY was evident in the distribution of PVCs. Staff of INEC and their agents impeded the efforts people made to collect the cards. We expect that INEC would sanctions those staff.
“I TELL you this change does not affect politicians, they have their money and they are prepared, they know how to access the new notes, it is poor don’t have ways, even yesterday we were told one of the governors was given N500 million of the new notes,” Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai told BBC Hausa Service, according to Daily Trust.
Ikeddy ISIGUZO is a Major Commentator on Minor Issues