Lion Of Burdillion Versus Waziri Ilorin: Battle Of Titans And Salient Issues

By Ikenga Chronicles September 3, 2018

Lion Of Burdillion Versus Waziri Ilorin: Battle Of Titans And Salient Issues

–ThankGod Ukachukwu

At this auspicious moment in the chronicles of the current dispensation of the fourth republic has the saying; “those who live in glass houses should not throw stones”; been truer. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has been very vocal since the gale of defection of prominent figures hit the All Progressive Congress. As the national leader of the party and one who is known to be very circumspect in utterances on political issues, he has thrown caution to the winds, released a statement, “They Go Away Because We Go the Right Way” and has made many vituperation on different political podiums and gatherings. One wonders why the sudden rampant howling, one which smacks of extreme desperation and impetuousness. One may think that his obstreperousness in the face of the departure of powerful politicians like the Senate President Dr Bukola Saraki was of an altruistic inclination for the progress of his people and that of Nigeria given his history as a pro-democratic advocate before the convenient marriage of strange bedfellows in the sinking APC which delivered victory in the polls in 2015, but his grandstanding has been exposed in the face of the clash of the titans as hogwash.

Defections: The Epicures Return To The Conclave

Most Nigerians until the recent altercations between Tinubu and Saraki hold Tinubu in high esteem; the writer inclusive. Many youths worship at his residence, the Burdillion estate mansion in high brow area of Ikoyi, Lagos state. His residence has become sort of a political shrine from where he holds a firm grip on South West politics. Even former President Obasanjo doesn’t have the clout Jagaban Borgu has in South West politics. This is evident in the string of electoral wins amassed in that South West region all of which sprouted from Lagos state which was the only state he controlled in 1999. Such political dexterity is admirable but the expose on the unbridled ambition of Tinubu which a lesser mortal could not have brought to the knowledge of Nigerians has put the reputation of Tinubu in jeopardy.

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It will suffice to note that the man who can be termed the godfather of politics in the South West region have successfully captured all the states from Lagos from the then AD to ACN and today’s APC which controls all but one state where election would hold in the near future in 2018. In his two-pronged letter where he aimed to kill two birds with one stone, he bemoaned the departure of prominent members of APC who have pitched tents with opposition parties and especially the Peoples Democratic Party. He took swipes at Bukola Saraki and Tambuwal the governor of Sokoto state, both of which defected. Concisely, in Tinubu’s statement, he chided the defectors claiming they are power mongers who do not want to play by the rules and even attempted to create acrimony between them. Given that the duo are interested in running for president, he attempted to pitch one against the other by insinuating that Tambuwal will ‘dwarf’ Saraki in a presidential tussle.

Of Saraki And The Senate Presidency: A Case Of Usurpation

Tambuwal in his measured response stated that Tinubu’s statement confirmed that there is lack of internal democracy in APC and if the presidential primaries were thrown open, he would beat Buhari hands down. He further refuted the allegations that he left APC because he was denied automatic ticket. He also reminded Tinubu that in 2015 when he was refused vice presidential ticket, he tried to rock the boat. Tambuwal’s rejoinder didn’t create much ripples as he was circumspect not to engage in mudslinging with Tinubu given the already heated polity. The ever-smiling governor of Sokoto State is known to be soft-spoken but very clever given his past manoeuvring and political gymnastics when he defected to the APC in 2014 and became a speaker from a minority then in the House of Representatives.

How Buhari Is Turning Saraki From A Villain To A Hero

Whilst the dust raised by Tambuwal had not yet settled, unknown to all it was inexorably that Waziri Ilorin, Saraki, was going to put out a rebuttal to Tinubu but what hit the polity was a time bomb. The ripples are yet to settle and it threatens to retire Tinubu. Like a bombshell, the ever forbearing Senate president whose perspective to politics come with a peaceful disposition and sangfroid but ready to go on all out attack when pushed to the wall, released a rejoinder, “The Tinubu Rhetoric: My Response”. He made it clear he needed to respond to Tinubu in the media even though he is not used to that kind of politics but before facts become fiction and vice versa. A man as consequential as Tinubu can to a large extent influence perceptions of person in the media and emblazon prejudice if claims aren’t interrogated and records set straight. He defended the independence of the legislature and decried the arrogance with which the Buhari administration treated the legislature. As a democracy with three independent arms of government, mutual respect is a sin qua non for cordial relationship and effective governance. However, that has not been the case as we have seen since 2015 where the presidency has battled the National Assembly led by Saraki in a war of supremacy. Saraki further expatiated on his grievances against the APC which culminated in his departure. A situation where key stakeholders of the party which brought it victory in 2015 have been treated as pariahs and excluded from the highest level of decision making where they deserve to participate. He buttressed that there is “government-within-a-government” which ensured alienation of those who don’t belong. Having made “all entreaties for justice, equity and fairness as basic precondition for peace and unity, not only within the party, but also the country at large, were simply ignored, or employed as additional pretext for further exclusion”; he returned to the PDP.

If Blood Is The Price For Buhari’s Ambition, So Be It

The high point of the rejoinder was Saraki’s revelation that Tinubu was disposed to supporting Buhari even if he is on a hospital stretcher so that in 2023, with Buhari’s support, the presidency would be zoned to the South West. The last sentence is the earthquake which has continued to shake the political coliseum of Nigeria. More so, Tinubu knows that Buhari isn’t performing but prefers him in a “hospital stretcher” so presidency will be zoned to the South West by Buhari in 2023 and Igbo presidency jettisoned. Anyone who is conversant with Nigerian politics knows that Igbo presidency is a sensitive issue and given the situation where the region has not held the highest office of the country in a civilian administration even in the independence and the fourth republic especially, the unwritten rule states that a power shift to South East is one major panacea for the peaceful co-existence of the country. Given the agitations from secessionists groups from the South East, going by realities of regional politics, any conspiracy against Igbo presidency would be least expected from a man in the calibre of Tinubu. It is no longer news that Tinubu has a presidential ambition which caused a serious rift as Tambuwal noted in his rejoinder when he wanted to team up with Buhari on a Muslim-Muslim ticket. Tinubu reportedly almost rocked the boat when he was denied that joint ticket. The religious coloration of Nigeria is not amenable to such one-sided nature of governance as Christians would be very sceptical given religious intolerance and fear of radical elements taking advantage of such a development to pursue jihad.

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The bottom line of the takedown by Saraki is that the politician who has been very argute, whose political prowess aided President Buhari to win the South West, a major factor in the 2015, is on the verge of losing reverence because of unrestrained ambition and alleged conspiracy against the South East region, which has lamented marginalization for decades.

As at the time of writing, Tinubu has not replied, refuted nor confirmed the claims Saraki advanced. In sports parlance, this is whitewashing by Saraki, which has Tinubu riling on the ground. One rejoinder from Saraki has de-mystified the lion of Burdillion and is going to consign Bola Tinubu into political obscurity for the time being, fear anyone with the title Waziri, Saraki is one. Tinubu’s camp has been thrown in consternation of the highest order.

Buhari Is Right But Still Very Wrong

However, there is a video of Tinubu from Sahara TV which was shot in 2017 where he seemed to have confirmed Saraki’s claims and the video is currently circulating. To Ahmed Bola Tinubu, there is no vacancy in 2023 whether it is Buhari or another person that is handing over. Nonetheless, he was dealt a deadly blow as he is alienating an entire region and the South South included. Igbos are already up in arms because Tinubu’s position negates the principles of fairness and national cohesion. While Nigerians await his response, it is hoped that he walks back that position, for equity and fairness to reign supreme.

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