I woke up yesterday feeling a little bit low in spirit and psyche. The night before I had watched several reports of the floods and ecological mayhem that had attended 34 states of Nigeria. I also read the reactions to the attack on Apostle Suleiman in which seven people lost their precious lives. I saw an Apostle saying he knows those after him, but he won’t reveal their identities; but he was flummoxed by the killing of one of his assailants who was caught. If you know those after you, do you need any evidence from the one apprehended and was later shot? Too many stories travelling across the stratosphere; each one bearing a life of its own in a country that has become heavily polarised.
As I was about putting my phone down, a story popped up from a familiar number, talking about the APC candidate and his visit to Kano state. The Lady has become one of those social media itchy fingers, who will just ram stories down your throat without cross-checking her information. I have had cause to correct her fake news several times. This time, she simply wrote; “APC MEMBERS, WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM IN KANO WITH TINUBU?”
Hope all is well?
Uncertainty in Kano Government House, as Bola Tinubu boycott Gala night organised for him yesterday night, (sic). Also this morning his scheduled visit to Kano Emir’s palace was cancelled, while press has been asked to leave the area Tinubu stays, (sic).
I would not have bothered to respond to some of these nebulous vomits from professional fake news carriers, but for the fact that it was coming from the PDP baking House. This response is now necessary. It is obvious that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has become the real issue in the 2023 political campaigns discourse. Aside from being a formidable candidate, his stature as a political player over the years has placed him as the man to beat in the 2023 general elections.
Tinubu’s breadth of experience in both public and private life coupled with his understanding of the intricate logic of the Nigerian federation, having been an activist of note, has aided him to acquire uncommon skills in contending with developmental challenges in the polity.
The era of social media and their e-rats components would naturally throw up discourse that are completely baseless; but which cannot be ignored. Now, having promoted a fake news item, and circulating it all over WhatsApp, I had to correct her, and debunk her claim. I sent her a picture of Asiwaju Tinubu addressing a cross section of different ethnic and socio-cultural groups in a hall in Kano. I also reminded her that the great Emir of Kano, was away to Morocco, so there was no way Asiwaju could have visited the Palace. Rather than apologise for her misleading content earlier, she posed another question; what of the Gala Nite? I felt undone. Of course, Asiwaju had been in Kano for two days consulting with several stakeholders all night long. His capacity for dialogue and constructive engagement is what distinguishes him amongst others!
It is obvious that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has become the real issue in the 2023 political campaigns discourse. Aside from being a formidable candidate, his stature as a political player over the years has placed him as the man to beat in the 2023 general elections
Asiwaju has not just become a victim of the flourishing industry of lies of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, he has continued to grow in strength and depth despite all the bile thrown at him. When he travelled to London a couple of weeks back to get some rest, and gather steam before the real campaign began, all manner of stories were baked from PDP’s oven of lies. A man who did not visit any hospital in London was accused of being an in-patient in a nameless hospital. Some were even conscripting post codes that were neither here nor there. When he returned to the country looking his urbane self, the story took a different dimension. Since his arrival, he has been upbeat, unveiling his action plans for renewed hope, and telling the public what he intends to do when he wins the elections to lead the country. His action plan for renewed hope captures short term, middle and long term solutions to our nagging problems as a nation in these troubled times. He did not only unveil the nuances of a new thinking in our way of life, he proffers solutions that would be put to test in combating our challenges.
Tinubu is not new to testing his strong political will. He understands the appurtenances of the struggle and knows how to stay close to the oven to bake ideas under tremendous pressure. He did it in Lagos; he did it in Mobil. He did it on the streets during protests, agitations and freedom walks. He understands the feelings of the public. He knows quite well that his party, the APC has not completely impressed us, and he plans to take us out of this present position, to a better and prosperous future. Every time they strike Tinubu with their bullets of lies, the man comes out stronger.
The opposition PDP has been spewing lies about Tinubu’s health as if the party had acquired the appellation of his personal physician to determine the wellness of his person.; (and please look and see clearly the sick man they are fielding in Atiku).
Aside from being a political strategist with an uncanny ability to dissect political puzzles, Asiwaju Tinubu knows how to navigate Nigeria’s murky political waters. He has his hands on the issues. He has not only built a network of friends across the socio-political divides, he understands the expectations of the different geopolitical zones and is ready and can meet them. His energy is remarkable
Each time they try to drag Asiwaju Tinubu down, he comes out stronger and showing uncommon zeal, energy, grit, charisma and resilience. He had declared in Kano that all he needed to contend with leadership responsibility is a strong mental attitude that is able to process situations and act accordingly to provide solutions. He is neither a wrestler nor a boxer or grave digger. But partisan analyst in Arise TV, Dr. Reuben Abati, who was guber running mate to late Senator Kashamu, the alleged drug baron under the PDP, would require that presidential candidates face the rigours of wrestling and boxing to test their wellness and fitness. A President’s mental attitude is the most that matters. Added to this is his capacity and ability to dissect issues, synchronise and process them, before taking informed decisions for the overall good of the country. A President’s political will is also an integral part of his leadership attributes that would help him take decisions without let or hindrance, in pursuance of the common good no matter whose ox is gored. Asiwaju Tinubu does not only possess the grit, stamina, gusto and ability to understand situations, he also has experience and wit, having been part of the struggle to birth a country with flourishing opportunities.
Instead of the PDP to keep promoting bile from their industry of lies, it would profit them more if they were able to unify their platform to reconcile all the divergent views and interplay of forces for the good of a virile opposition role that would help deepen our democracy. While they devote abundant time and attention on running down Asiwaju Tinubu, the APC candidate is soaring even higher and higher; like an eagle, breaking new grounds, absorbing new converts, and penetrating certain strongholds.
A man who wants to govern this country must be someone who is at home with all shades of opinions, viewpoints and persuasions.
When Peter Obi donated twenty four loaves of bread to flood victims and a paltry N5m as palliative measures, the social media space was set agog. But in Kano State, Asiwaju Tinubu displayed his cutting edge style in confronting ecological challenges. In one fell swoop, he donated N100m to flood victims of Kano State. I am sure, given his style and nature, he would also extend a similar hand of fellowship to other states when he visits them.
While Asiwaju Tinubu was in Kano, Atiku Abubakar, was in Edo State for his campaign stop. Edo State PDP is a metaphor for our collective sufferance amid the ugly realities that stare us in the face in the state; a state that is sharply divided politically has been idling away in the hands of The Governor, who prefers to be called a leader than a governor.
At the rally at Ogbemudia stadium, PDP was a shadow of itself as all the Local Government Chairmen were absent, the Wards chairmen were all absent while 99% percent of the State Working Committee also abstained from the said rally.
In order to cover its culture of shame, following the derisive statement by the great Oba of Benin to the Governor, the PDP needed to farm out lies from its industry to divert attention. Oba of Benin, had thanked the PDP candidate for bringing his Governor to him, even though they both live in the same neighborhood . “Na your face be this” as commonly said in local parlance, is to drive the narrative home that all has not been well between Government of Edo State and the Oba of Benin.
While PDP has so much on its hands to contend with, it would be better if it desists from employing a wealth of resources on lies; it behoves the party to live above board in confronting its own campaign challenges than spending its energy and resources to manufacture lies against Tinubu, their common nemesis.
Whenever Tinubu speaks, PDP liars would say he’s incoherent. Whenever he speaks in parable, they will digress from the content for lack of understanding. Whenever he puts an idea forward, they will say oh, he plagiarised it. But all these further distinguish Tinubu from the pack.
When he spoke in Kaduna, the people were spellbound . He did not only show a deeper understanding of the issues, he was in a world of his own in setting the agenda for renewed hope across the country. You may hate him in the usual Nigerian way without any discernible reason, but you cannot take away the fact that the man’s intellect is rich and fecund, and his delivery? Very cerebral!
Aside from being a political strategist with an uncanny ability to dissect political puzzles, Asiwaju Tinubu knows how to navigate Nigeria’s murky political waters. He has his hands on the issues. He has not only built a network of friends across the socio-political divides, he understands the expectations of the different geopolitical zones and is ready and can meet them. His energy is remarkable. I have had cause to appeal to him to retire for the day when at 3a.m, he was still trying to keep an appointment with a group of persons. A man who has a listening ear and loves to consult is a better political player than those who display a sense of “ know it all”.
Asiwaju Tinubu may not be your everyday politician, he sure has a better grasp of the issues of leadership and apparently more prepared to lead from the front, than others who have taken Dubai as a second home.
In 2023, we need a president like Asiwaju Tinubu who will devote the better part of his time and other resources in leading us back home, here; not Atiku Abubakar who may be dishing out instructions to us his perceived subjects from far away Dubai.
. Afegbua is a former Commissioner for Information in Edo State