25th May, 2022
By Senator Ajibola Basiru
“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”
Cultural and moral principles differ across human societies, but that of Yorùbá tradition in which Senator Olusola Adeyeye and I were raised, even though have no orthographical trace, have a place for human decency and regard; the latter of which is usually sustained by individual’s commitment to honesty, dignity, and integrity. The implicit conclusion here is that an individual is short of any modicum of integrity, irrespective of their socioeconomic class or age grade, if they speak from both sides of their mouth, when they are outright dishonest. This cultural understanding permeates all spectrums of Yorùbá’s epistemology, and its knowledge is mutually intelligible. My predecessor, Senator Olusola, should be able to attest to this fact.
But my predecessor, perhaps suffered chronic cerebral malfunction when writing his rejoinder to my article, “Osinbajo: Senator Adeyeye and his dishonest thesis”. On the whole, the Senator from Ora Igbomina has succeeded in confirming and projecting his hatred for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. That is the only clear thing he has been able to put forward. Senator Adeyeye’s purported rejoinder was not about Reno Omokri. It was a veiled diatribe against the person of Asiwaju, he only used Omokri’s opinion in his Column in This Day Newspaper of Tuesday, 3 May 2022 to launch it. Senator Adeyeye’s apology to Reno Omokri is well placed because he twisted his narrative out of context in his failed attempt at drawing out Asiwaju for an open confrontation.
I made no pretence about not being the mouthpiece of Asiwaju neither am I the spokesperson for any of his numerous campaign organisations, but I am his staunch supporter, and he is my hero and a father figure to me. My concern stemmed from the fact that it is uncharitable for anybody to spin webs of lies against the personality of another in order to score cheap political capital. Demeaning Asiwaju and trying to use him as fodder for the campaign for your preferred presidential candidate is uncharitable.
My concern stemmed from the fact that it is uncharitable for anybody to spin webs of lies against the personality of another in order to score cheap political capital. Demeaning Asiwaju and trying to use him as fodder for the campaign for your preferred presidential candidate is uncharitable.
Senator Adeyeye’s thesis of imagined assertions about the person of Asiwaju and his contrived facts to back his conjured history is dishonest. The veiled attack in response to Reno Omokri’s article is calculated to deceive undiscerning minds and paint a picture of Asiwaju as a villain who should be given a wide berth and stopped at all cost. What better example of dishonesty beats this?
Being a supporter of a presidential candidate does not give anybody the latitude or impetus to concoct lies and all sorts of unverifiable historical anecdotes to justify the fantasy of their preferred candidate as the anointed. Senator Adeyeye is well within his rights to pander to the permutations of people whose predilections support his leaning towards a preferred presidential candidate but, that does not give him the right to heap vitriolic attacks on others, in this instance, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The vehemence in the Senator’s words against Tinubu is disturbing. He stated that Osinbajo, after being vice president for seven years has not lost his idealism, ethics, and can-do spirit. So, Asiwaju has lost his dexterity as a manager of people? Has vice president Yemi Osinbajo not been allowed to develop to the best of his potential from the magnanimity and under the tutelage of Asiwaju?
In Chapter 8 of his thesis, “on 2023’s Political Realities that annoy and heal,” Senator Adeyeye stated thus; “I (President Buhari) won’t tell you my favourite for 2023, he may be eliminated if I mention. I better keep it a secret”. He wasn’t joking. The comment is revealing. It tells us he was aware of the intense jostling for the position going on within our party. It tells us he had someone in mind already and that person isn’t a party Goliath. “For a man who knows what Osinbajo has endured as vice president, he knew what he was talking about. Of course, the only thing is that he has not expressed his preference to Osinbajo himself.” Does this statement leave anyone in doubt as to whom our honest Senator is referring to as Buhari’s candidate? It is obvious that Senator Adeyeye possesses the power of clairvoyance and sees what we ordinary mortals don’t. Has his denial that he stated this in his earlier write-up not contradicted his stance in his latter work?
The discerning public will be at a loss on how illogical, contradictory, and confusing Senator Adeyeye’s stand on the issue of the 2023 presidency is. He has stated that “it doesn’t matter what party you look at in Nigeria, people have the right to aspire to any office in Nigeria, as long as they’ve not been found guilty of an offence that disqualifies them. The only person who’s not a criminal and not qualified in Nigeria is Obasanjo having served two terms, any other politician who hasn’t been pronounced guilty has the right to aspire, the more the merrier.” Senator Adeyeye is confused and showing sheer inconsistency as he cannot stand by his words in just two months.
He was of the opinion just two months ago that every Nigerian has the right to aspire to any office as long as he’s not been found guilty of any offence that disqualifies him, but in his bid to satisfy his new leader and display hatred and envy towards Asiwaju, he decided to shift the goal posts in the middle of the match:
“If Tinubu wants to be President, why should he not want? If Osinbajo wants to be President, why should he not want? If Okorocha wants to be President, why should he not want, it’s left to party members to choose who they want, and if the party then chooses a wrong candidate, the citizens might show them by rejecting their choice at a free and fair election, if I were younger, I would also throw my hat into the field (sic). I believe I’ll make a fantastic president, I have ideas, but I have given up on the ambition.”
Undeniably, it is within Senator Adeyeye’s right to give up his ambition. But he cannot by subterfuge coerce others, who unlike him, absolutely believe in the democratic process, to give up on theirs. It is the responsibility of party members to elect the party’s flag bearer, a fact Senator Adeyeye subscribed to two months ago, but which now totally negates his warped establishment tendencies. That Senator Adeyeye is openly advocating a deviation from the democratic process is ominous of the dangerous abyss the nation may be plunged into politically by turncoat democrats.
It is laughable to have this coming from the same person who, just a few weeks ago, was unequivocally acknowledging Tinubu’s brilliance and industriousness, ascribing the political wherewithal needed to aspire to that office to him. According to my predecessor some weeks ago “Tinubu is a fantastically hardworking human being, he has the right to aspire to that office.” It will sadden the heart of anyone who is politically savvy to arrive at this clearly handwritten fact that a sudden or probably long-nursed bitterness against the perceived and hugely proven shrewdness of Tinubu’s political machinery have overwhelmed my predecessor so much that he is getting himself buried under the burning logs of share inconsistencies that could only be euphemized as hallucinations borne out of his chequered political sojourn.
Senator Adeyeye’s rejoinder was openly dominated by his CV but I need not do that as I am not profiling and angling myself for juicy political crumbs. Indeed, my expose on the thesis of Senator Adeyeye was not borne out of conjecture, with respect to his reference to the nebulous class of 1966, my claims are ascertainable and verifiable. Senator Adeyeye has not been able to answer one of my major questions; “which establishment brought President Muhammadu Buhari into power?”. The professor of science has circumvented this question and instead went into a frenzy about undocumented history of how presidents are made in Nigeria, obviously from his own archive of contrived facts. The establishment as constituted by the powers that be in 2015 didn’t want Buhari as president, yet Sai Buhari emerged by defeating President Goodluck Jonathan, and flushing down the puerile argument of the Establishment as propounded by the professor into the soakaway of history.
If the establishment is indeed in favour of vice president Yemi Osinbajo as the anointed candidate for the office of President and Senator Adeyeye, his avowed foot soldier, is sure of this as stated in his self-written history of how Nigerian Presidents are made, why then is his candidate travelling to all parts of the country to canvass for votes from delegates preparatory to APC presidential primary? He should just sit pretty and wait to be crowned since the all-knowing Senator, his Man Friday, has spoken.
Senator Adeyeye’s arrogance was deflated by my response in the Guardian of 14 May 2022, hence his approach to issues raised in his latest piece. His treatise contains, mostly, attacks on personality and banal references to issues and persons. His dishonesty in his assertions is legendary, or how else does one place his statement that Asiwaju is a blackmailer? Where are the facts to support this baseless and unwarranted statement? What happened to civility? He said he did not call him a blackmailer yet he understands why those who do see him in that light. Who are those people? Why is the elderly Senator speaking from both sides of the mouth? The Yoruba are right when they say, ‘agba oi kan ogbon ori’; age doesn’t bequeath wisdom.
As a flunkey of vice president Osinbajo, Senator Adeyeye should be reminded that he is doing more harm than good to his principal’s attempts to reach Aso Rock. The singling out of Asiwaju for unbridled vitriolic does not improve the chances of his preferred candidate. Apart from crisscrossing bedrooms of power in Abuja, listening to tales by moonlight and casting aspersions on his political benefactors, I doubt if Adeyeye knows a single delegate from his Ward 8 in Ifedayo Local Government that will participate in this election.
Men like Senator Adeyeye abound, they know the truth and by the virtue of their age are supposed to know better but, their reasoning is clouded by inordinate ambitions of attracting political patronage by being agent provocateurs who gore others for them to be noticed by their supposed benefactors. Ironically, Senator Adeyeye who cannot ordinarily win his ward is the one calling out the great Jagaban! Someone who has not been able to install a councillor in office in his Local Government since the beginning of his political sojourn dares to challenge a man who has made Governors, Senators, Ministers, and many more.
Men like Senator Adeyeye abound, they know the truth and by the virtue of their age are supposed to know better but, their reasoning is clouded by inordinate ambitions of attracting political patronage by being agent provocateurs who gore others for them to be noticed by their supposed benefactors.
Politically, Jagaban has paid his dues. He is the critical mainframe in APC that every person of conscience must not only respect but support. This name-calling and disparaging remarks on Asiwaju are not working. It is cheap politics by lazy politicians who are intimidated by his ideas, vision, accomplishments, strategy, and energy. One, therefore, wonders how it suddenly became a capital offence for someone whom Senator Adeyeye described as a fantastically hardworking human being, with a right to aspire to the office of the President, but for which Tinubu must now be crucified. If this is not rooted in outright malice for the person of Tinubu, Adeyeye should tell the world what it is? How else can someone display dishonesty? Is it by continuously contradicting yourself?
This Senator Adeyeye understands the social, political, and moral implications of being dishonest in the Nigerian political territory. For a man who said, “Tinubu is already UNRAVELLING (emphasis mine) publicly and even a lot of those who ordinarily would have loved to support him are right now having a rethink the more of him they see” to, in the same breath, say that he is only promoting his preferred candidate and not maligning the character of an individual that has given all he has for the success of our political party APC, is nothing short of being dishonest.
It is not in Senator Adeyeye’s place to make a malicious admonition that Asiwaju should be dissuaded from aspiring to the presidency of this country because it is not for “his type.” Professor Yemi Osinbajo is a shining light, truly, the possession of whom any serious political camp would celebrate so heroically. But then, as you conceded, the beauty of every democratic political engagements lies in the ability to honourably disagree with a candidate without discrediting their integrity. If I had been interested in discrediting your person, I would have flung open the curtain on your evasive disposition to Osun Central after the same political territory has facilitated your growth and national relevance. People would testify to how your relationship with the senatorial district is strictly parasitical. But do not be paralyzed by this revelation, some of us already knew before you did it, that you were not participating in politics to enhance social revitalization, but for self-aggrandizement.
While you can, read the last three paragraphs of your rejoinder, and defend your open disavowal of this harmless man, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. But then, let me retire my pen by drawing from the analogy of Chidi Amuta which you quoted yourself that, “In the APC, there is Bola Tinubu who set Lagos on the path to a modern mega city status and introduced a tradition of enlightened governance.” If you think anyone can do this without having a strong moral character, vision, and determination, perhaps I have been wasting my time by overrating your intelligence.
It is also laughable from Senator Adeyeye’s rejoinders that the arguments advanced in my thesis amount to hero-worshipping. For a man of his ‘putative academic standing,’ it is uncharitable for him to equate a robust challenge to his manifest display of dishonesty in originating odious attack on the person Asiwaju, as hero-worshipping. This to me is suggestive of Senator Adeyeye’s misapprehension of my thesis or an attention-seeking mechanism – to curry public sympathy by playing to the gallery. Senator Adeyeye has not debunked the assertions in my thesis. His rejoinders are nothing but attempts at name-calling and nothing more. It is what in local parlance is referred to as ‘beautiful nonsense or beautiful lies.’ Henceforth, I’ll stop further correspondence with Adeyeye on this issue.
*Senator Ajibola Basiru Ph.D., Senator representing Osun Central Senatorial District and Spokesperson of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.