By Wole Arisekola
I was driving through Lagos Island yesterday when I received a call from a stranger. After their usual way of telling you what you are supposed to do but failed to do, he started telling me why I should stop writing anything good about Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, claiming and lecturing me that he knows Osho’s mum better than Osho does. He doesn’t know that I was part of the great men who formed the Action Democratic Congress which transformed to Action Congress then Action Congress of Nigeria and later All Progressives Congress. And as a matter of fact, I was the first spokesperson of the AC in the year 2006. The caller is naive and like most of them, they are not good students of history. Some of these people may need to leave their enclaves and join national politics.
Even, as he said, that my relationship with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is not making him and his political leader comfortable with me, I laughed in Ibadan style. Is that not this guy’s headache? I kept pondering.
What is my problem with you not being comfortable with me in a country of over 190 million people? Your opinion is inconsequential and immaterial to me anyway.
Besides, I don’t know why those from the South-East and South-South where Tinubu did not rule as governor are those that abuse him the most whenever his name is mentioned.
Some of them can’t even remember who their governors between 1999-2007 were. But Tinubu’s name always rings a bell in their ears. Their hatred is based on two reasons; firstly, he did not support Jonathan’s reelection in 2015 and secondly, because Tinubu supported Buhari in 2015 and 2019 against their People’s Democratic Party candidates.
Tinubu’s immunity expired in 2007 and PDP left government in 2015. Tinubu was without immunity for good 8 years under PDP and Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and Jonathan had nothing to nail him financially. Even Nuhu Ribadu did not probe him under Obasanjo.
Three Chairmen of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, ( Nuhu Ribadu, Farida Waziri and Ibrahim Lamorde) couldn’t trace anything incriminating against Tinubu between 2007-2015 but you want him probed now. Has he taken any contract from the state or federal government that he has not executed? Has anybody reported him for financial crimes? You always refer to Tinubu’s companies as if he had no means of livelihood before now.
Same Tinubu became an Executive Director/Board Member of Mobil Oil before he joined politics. Obasanjo and Atiku established private universities as sitting President and Vice President. Obasanjo established a presidential library as a sitting president. Atiku sold shares of companies to himself as VP and chairman of privatisation. Peter Obi took state money to support family business as Governor of Anambra yet, he is your hero. When other former governors were busy developing foreign economy, Tinubu was busy establishing his business in Nigeria. Those he employed working in his companies are feeding their families.
He met Lagos IGR at about N600m per month and he left it at N12-14bn per month. When Obasanjo seized Lagos allocation despite the Supreme Court judgement against his decision,Tinubu was paying salary and pensions regularly for three and half years that it lasted. It was Yar’Adua that paid the allocation to the Fashola administration. Tinubu used his initiative to create Lagos State Traffic Management Authority and Obasanjo in his copy cat attitude went ahead to create the Federal Road Maintenance Agency.
Those of you that always criticise Tinubu because of hatred, when will you start criticising Ikpeazu who has not been paying salaries and pensions in Abia? Why did you not say Tinubu was corrupt in 2011 that he supported Goodluck Jonathan? Did He not win Jonathan’s government at the Code of Conduct Tribunal when he was charged? “Tinubu this and Tinubu that” as if he is your Governor or President. If you are abusing Tinubu because he is sponsoring APC, is Atiku not using money to sponsor PDP and his presidential project? Where is he also getting the money from? Where did he get all the dollars he spent during APC’s presidential primary in 2014 and the PDP presidential primary of 2018?
Tinubu is no longer a governor and neither is he the president but he is the cause of your problems.
Where were you critics when Tinubu was busy building his political structure since 2003, after PDP’s massive rigging in the South West?
When his party graciously offered Atiku a platform to use for his presidential project in 2006/2007, where were you? When he was busy building bridges across the Six geo political zones, where were you? In 2015, you all mocked when Ahmed Lawan and Gbajabiamila lost out the leadership of the National Assembly to Saraki and Dogara. He was not disturbed. He moved on till he was successful.
When he brought up Babachir Lawal and Boss Mustapha ( former and current SGF)in ACN, where were you? When he was doing these, Chief Bode George was busy calling Tinubu a local champion (because his party was only in the South West). Now that he is no longer a local champion, you are busy attacking him. Tell us your governor that performed better than Tinubu.
Your Peter Obi couldn’t build APGA in the South-East. Instead, he defected to PDP to kill APGA.
My brothers and sisters from the South East and South South, my candid advice to you all is that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is not your problem, he is not the one collecting your regional allocation, kindly remove your dagger from Tinubu’s neck and thrust it into those of your ‘do nothing’ leaders.
And if I may put my two cents in, your opinion cannot change the will of God over Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s life.