3rd February, 2023
By Abdullahi Haruna Haruspice
At the venue of the All Progressives Congress party convention in Lagos in 2014, all was set by the duo of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso to define your end politically. They came prepared to pull the rug off your feet but one man -only one man saved you. The man is Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu! Sensing the clandestine onslaught against you, he rolled out his political canopy and got you enveloped, thereby shielding you from the dangerous arrows of defeat. You came victorious because this man used his massive clouts to see you emerge the presidential flag bearer of the APC.
We should always know that life is a circle, a vicious circle with a dot. In 2014, you were the dot that got shielded with Asiwaju’s circle, and 2023 offers you the opportunity to reciprocate that gesture, by shielding Tinubu within your circle because he is the dot. The law of nature expects that you stand stoic in this spiral stage to support the man who sacrificed his friendship with Atiku Abubakar for you. It is halal to be reciprocal in gesture like he backed you then, it is your turn to carry him shoulder high. This is character, this is integrity and it must be upheld. Leaving Tinubu in the cold at this defining time of our nation’s history is tantamount to redefining loyalty. Posterity will stand in grotesque testimony of your person. Tinubu believes in you because the people trust you, you need to trust him because the people believe in him! True friendship is when we stand for each other in times of need, not in need of time!
Few weeks to Nigeria’s presidential election where your party has fielded a candidate to replace you, everything seems perilously loose with no definite commitment from you. You seem distant from the party’s stance and make passive and lukewarm statements that create ripples of uncertainties among party faithful. Your interview with the media where you said Nigerians should vote for whoever they like sounds very statesman but deadly injurious to your party. You are not an umpire but the driver of your party mechanism. Detaching yourself from the struggle of the party at this crucial time stands for re-tuning the rhythm of self-centeredness. A man baked in the oven of integrity should not manifest this. You may not see it but know that your party is going into the general elections in trepidation. The expected confidence from an incumbent party in power is gradually losing its lustre.
Beyond you and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, there is a moral contract between the north and south of Nigeria; this mutual political unwritten consensus has been there and faithfully respected by the two regions. Anything contrary to a reciprocal embrace will alter the aged long political alliance that has always existed. In 1976, following the gruesome murder of General Murtala Ramat Muhammed, the northern military elites came together and ‘forced’ General Olusegun Obasanjo to succeed Murtala. Following traditions, Obasanjo handed over power to Alhaji Shehu Shagari as the first executive president of Nigeria. That show of trust and dependability was to manifest again in 1999 when the same north rallied around to make Olusegun Obasanjo the president of Nigeria with the return of democracy. It is this same tradition that Asiwaju reenacted by wholeheartedly supporting you, Buhari to be president in 2015. This circle of life continues and it should be respected for posterity’s sake.
Nature never forgets nor forgives those who stay aloof when the house that harbours them burns in ruin. Besides Asiwaju, you owe the party the duty of survival. The APC must not go down as the party that came blazing in prospect to a party that fizzles into oblivion. I see that happening if you detach yourself from what lies ahead. The signs are not clear; the broom may be swept away. And it will be more tragic to be referenced as the man under whose the reign the APC died.
The ongoing reforms, especially the naira redesign -as good as it is carries truckloads of anguish, the people are groaning from its effects and all anger isn’t at you but the APC which they are battled prepared to meet at the poll come February, 25! Policies are relaxed during elections. As insincere as it may be, it suits the reality of electoral permutations. The reality is that if the APC fails to return to power, the very cherished reforms you put forth at the expense of your party will be fiercely repelled by any party that wins. This is the time to be circumspective or like the harmattan fire, the APC ends with you sir.
We understand you want to play safe as a democrat but your disposition reflects tragic aloof style of kingship, by presenting the pattern of ideal kingship as independent from various orders of sequential articulation, including biological succession and history itself. If this continues, history won’t be kind to you. Leaders who deprecate political loyalties because they want to be seen as upright suffer the ignominy of history- they are not replicated.
*Abdullahi O. Haruna Haruspice is the author of the book, ‘The Buhari In Us’, a staunch lover of the president.