Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, came under fire on Tuesday from Chief Dele Momodu, Director of Strategic Communications for the PDP’s National Election Management Committee, for what he called Tinubu’s “less than impressive engagement” with his audience on Monday at the Chatham House in the United Kingdom.
APC leaders, according to Momodu, are “window-dressing” Tinubu on a big platform.
Responses to Tinubu’s performance have been inconsistent, especially from the opposition parties, who were unimpressed by the candidate’s choice to ask APC leaders Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna State, and Kayode Fayemi, the outgoing governor of Ekiti State, some of the questions that had been posed to him.
Mmodu, in a piece titled “Weep not for Tinubu but Nigeria,’ the PDP chieftain lambasted the handlers of Tinubu for causing the nation a huge embarrassment on a global stage.
He said, “Call it what you will, what happened at Chatham House, London, yesterday (Monday), was a complete charade. The Tinubu handlers fumbled, and bungled it big time. They showcased him like a packaged invalid. It would have been better to present him as a brilliant politician and administrator, warts and all, who is capable of independent thoughts. No man is perfect. His gaffes would have been more pardonable and acceptable. He was expected to sell his own vision and mission.
“But what we saw yesterday was a theatre of the absurd. It brought back memories of our great former President Umaru Yar’ Adua and how he mysteriously disappeared from radar and some of his aides governed by proxy. I was one of those who led the ‘Enough is Enough’ protest against the Yar’ Adua cabal in Abuja in 2010. What was unacceptable then is even more unacceptable now with benefits of hindsight. Our country should be placed above friendship.
“Truth is, the problem of Nigeria is often aggravated by the voluptuous ambitions of some acolytes who wish to remain eternally relevant in the corridors of power at the expense of the long-suffering nation.
“All those around Tinubu yesterday (Monday) knew the bitter truth but chose to fool Nigerians.
“One of them was heard in a viral video telling Tinubu to dance to the popular song ‘Buga’ by Kizz Daniel because ‘that’s what the youths want to see’, and lo and behold, Tinubu instantly transfigured into an accomplished choreographer.
“It is very sad, and unfortunate, that whenever we think Nigeria can never sink deeper into the abyss, something occurs that jolts us out of such assumptions and complacency.”
The PDP campaign spokesman recalled that the incumbent Commander-in-Chief performed admirably seven years prior when he visited at the same location to interact with a large international audience.
“I was with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), the day he visited Chatham House seven years ago. He was solid and charismatic. He needed no one to prompt him. He answered questions eloquently and intelligently to the best of his abilities.
“That is what Tinubu was expected to accomplish yesterday (Monday). What he did instead was like inviting helpers to sit the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board examination. It is horrifying to watch some respected intellectuals like El-Rufai and Fayemi as they struggled to window dress Tinubu on a much hallowed global stage,” he said.