Analysis | On Tinubu’s presidential ambition The Informant247

Analysis | On Tinubu’s presidential ambition

Bola Tinubu’s story is simply that of a kingmaker who had quietly nurtured a lifelong ambition of becoming a king. Over the years, he remained silent on whether he will be throwing his hat into the ring or not. Many rumoured he will, others thought otherwise: they believed he will prefer to remain a kingmaker and install one of his godsons as king rather than becoming one himself. All doubts were however laid to rest the moment he, at the country’s seat of power, announced that he had informed the president of his intentions to run for president in 2023. That same moment, his presidential ambition kite began flying up above the sky. Despite being one of the main power brokers in Nigeria today, the fear that human and conditional force of gravitation might rebelliously hunt him down prematurely is still on the lips of most political analysts.

By and large, Tinubu’s declaration has opened the ring for whosoever wishes to throw his hat in the race. While Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State and Senate Deputy Chief Whip Orji Uzor Kalu have done that, others like Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and Transportation Minister Rotimi Ameachi – who should have ordinarily unveiled their ambition by now – are still trapped in the Anne frank.

No doubt, Tinubu was a frontrunner in the fight for the country’s modern-day democracy. As one of the traditional titles he holds depicts, the former governor has cast a niche for himself as the “Asiwaju” and ‘Oga Patapata’ in the contemporary Nigeria political landscape giving the unprecedented record of how ruled the former nation’s capital city like a garrison commander since to return of democracy. Holding some southwest states firmly, he fought a number of presidents to a standstill before he eventually championed the amalgamation that defeated former President Goodluck Jonathan. The first time a Nigerian President will be dethroned democratically.

Like the proverbial bigger victory and bigger battle, despite this impressive CV, a number of things stood against him as a huge hooded figure loomed out of the shadow, wielding a knife and demanding that he (Tinubu) gives him his wallets.

Firstly, due to his massive wealth, he is widely believed to have looted from the treasury of Lagos – a state with the biggest economy in Nigeria – which he governed for eight years. The two bullion vans sighted at his residence on Election Day in 2019 also did not help matters with many wondering how much a private individual will have to access two private ‘money-cars’. Also hanging on his neck are various controversies, ranging from his real name, to his real parents, to certificates scandals and age falsification. This irrevocably casts a shadow over his personality.

Also standing gallantly in front of his ambition is that of his political godson. This, many feared, will break the Tinubu’s camp and divide his loyalists. Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, a professor of law, is the former Attorney General of Lagos State under Tinubu’s leadership. No doubt, he became the vice-president with the support of his boss.

Describing power, Bertrand Russell, a British polymath, said “it is a drug, the desire for which increases with a habit”. This perfectly described the vice-president who is quietly ignoring his former boss’ to launch his own presidential ambition. Tactically, he is positioning himself before Nigerians as fit for the top seat going by the way colorfully edited pictures and clips of short moments of actions and oratory are being dished out on his various social media handles. It is now becoming clearer that both the king and his former chief might perhaps dance in the village square.

In all of these, the Buhari’s kitchen cabinet, a mafia-like group, is also not leaving anything to chance in their plan to maintain grip of power. Consisting of some northern governors and elders, they fear a Tinubu presidency will be a huge blow to them having witnessed how much influence he wielded as a state governor. For them, Tinubu can’t be trusted with power. They want a person they could call their own and send around. One who won’t dare check their excesses. Informed sources within the Villa said this group might be adopting a politically potent candidate from the south, someone like Rotimi Ameachi. This coming after the former President Jonathan’s card dealt a bad hand.

Another central discussion on Tinubu’s agenda is the choice of a running mate. An ordinary Nigerian understands perfectly well the arrangement that when the president is going to the South, the North automatically produces the vice. This is normal, but for Tinubu, here is the big deal about it: Is there a substantive Christian candidate from the North? Add to that, if there is, two things stand again, could such candidate pull the needed crowd in a dominant Muslim region, talk little of earning their support as the biblical prodigal son?

These clauses, if feared and drop, will undoubtedly be a push to Muslim-Muslim ticket. This means a Muslim President and a Muslim Vice-president. This might have worked once in the past, but, the question of if it would again is hinged on the clamours for restructuring and secession that has divided the country sharply across ethnic and religious lines.

Nonetheless, he is a garrison commander who must have weighed the pros and cons of his plan. Despite this, he chooses to grab the gauntlet and brave the odd by taking up the battle: For Tinubu, the deity has beaded the bead; it is now left to those who dare take it off.

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