How do I respect a choice that will not restrain its calamities within the confines of those who invoked it?
I have written elsewhere that the 2023 General Elections or any other one is not an election but a selection. It is not meant to liberate Nigeria from the prevailing status quo nor is it meant to usher in prosperity of any kind. The point of my contention, which most Nigerians have failed to understand, is that a country under the firm grip of an oligarchy cannot be liberated through an election that the same oligarchy presides over.
Oligarchs who hijacked Nigeria and its wealth since 1960 will not conduct an election that will result in them being bundled out of power. The earlier Nigerians assimilate this naked reality, the quicker for us to set in motion machineries for our collective freedom from the parasitic gang of criminals who think of Nigeria as their private company.
But, in all of this, what should frighten Nigerians the most as the 2023 General S(e)lection approaches is the possibility of a Tinubu’s presidency. It will be a dead end, the beginning of full-blown fascism, the outright legalisation of corruption, of thuggery and the permanent collapse of the vestiges of what may be left of this shambolic economy from the chaotic regime of dictator Buhari. In fact, everything will culminate in Nigeria throwing away its garment of simulation, through which oligarchs succeeded in tricking Nigerians all these years into believing that the country practises democracy.
His colleagues in the APC considered him their “best choice” to lead in a kakistocracy, but whether or not Nigerians will accept him in exchange for a plate of pottage like the delegate system that produced him, is a decision that only Nigerians can make, which will depend largely on whether or not they have learnt anything from dictator Buhari’s anti-people regime.
The simple truth, which Tinubu’s most vociferous and ardent supporters have quietly admitted is that he is not qualified to run for the Office of the President, especially after recent reports of his drug escapades in the United States and his academic controversies that have lasted for more than two decades.
Tinubu claims that his Chicago State University certificate was “stolen” whilst he was on exile, and that it was for this reason he could not attach same to his electoral forms. But I recall watching a video in June of 2022 in which journalist Adeola Fayehun called Chicago State University asking it what former students who misplaced/lost their degree certificate(s) could do to prove that they indeed studied at the institution. In response, the University unambiguously explained that it has a system in place to resolve such issues: which is that such former student(s) could apply for a replacement of their certificate(s) as much as three times in one year, at the cost of a paltry $25 on each occasion. The exchange rate for this sum under dictator Buhari’s ruinous regime that deliberately paralysed the Naira is in the region of N21,000. Tinubu has been on this certificate controversy since 1999, is this man telling us that it has not been possible for him to raise the sum of N21,000 during the past 23 years to silence those he refers to as his “haters”?
Besides his belief that it is his turn to be the new leader of the Nigerian oligarchy, it is now clear that Tinubu has no plans whatsoever for the country and its people. This is why he consistently runs away from the media, desperately avoids facing other presidential candidates at a time when he was supposed to take advantage of such public meetings to show the superiority of the ideas he claims to have. He also boasts of having a “powerful manifesto”, yet all he does is to hide from media interactions because he is not without the knowledge that one question is enough to prove to the entire world that he has no idea of the content of the document he flaunts as his “manifesto.”
In June of 2022, when Tinubu emerged “winner” of the APC presidential primaries in Abuja, I told a friend of mine that one thing Tinubu would do until the day of the election would be to avoid public engagements and debates at all costs. My friend did not completely disagree with me, but he did not altogether agree with me either. He simply did not see reasons why a presidential candidate should throw away an opportunity to present the superiority of their ideas to the electorates. Since that conversation in June, Tinubu has deliberately avoided all the public events and debates he has been invited to attend. Now, he only appears in front of APC’s crowds, chants the party’s slogan [when he remembers it], tells them anything else that comes to his head and then walks away afterwards because he knows they were not assembled there to ask him any question or to analyse his policies. They were, of course, gathered there to chant his name and make the public believe that he enjoys massive grassroots support.
Some people with whom I am associated have lambasted Tinubu and accused him of being arrogant over his consistent refusal to appear in debates [which, by the way, will continue until election day]. I have taken time to explain to them that Tinubu’s refusal to appear in debates has nothing to do with being arrogant. Rather, his refusal to appear is the best mechanism for a presidential candidate who is intellectually bankrupt to defend his candidacy. It is an escape route for a Presidential candidate who is bereft of ideas and only thinks that his best qualification is that it is his turn to be the new head of the Nigerian oligarchy. His refusal to appear is the best defence against the myriad of questions ranging from his certificate issues to the recent drug report from the United States, as well as several other issues for which the public seeks answers. It appears now that these are not issues for which he has answers, and so his best defence is to go into permanent hiding.
It is not possible for anyone to secure a job with a one-man enterprise without going through the rigours of an interview, neither is it possible to be so employed by a commercial bank. But here, curiously, we have a man asking to be handed an entire country along with its Central Bank without explaining what he intends to do with them! That’s incredible! An insulting sense of entitlement that is impossible elsewhere.
My submission should be vividly clear by now, namely that Tinubu is not qualified to run for the least political office in a serious country where the electorates are very well informed to ask crucial questions beyond the humiliating plate of pottage that desperate power-grabbers offer every four years. But this is not the case with Nigeria where the oligarchy has deliberately obliterated education and has created mass poverty and weaponised it to their advantage. The Nigerian oligarchs do know that without the creation of a suffocating poverty as their political capital, it would have been impossible for them to sustain their grip on power during these 62 years of internal colonialism.
When we analyse how extremely unsuitable Mr Bola Tinubu is to occupy the Aso Rock as its new landlord, and how he lacks basic ideas on how to move Nigeria out its present quagmires, his supporters are quick to warn us to respect their choice of him as their candidate. Preposterous! How do I respect a choice that will not restrain its calamities within the confines of those who invoked it? For example, dictator Buhari’s anti-people regime is hoarding petrol as I write, it has destroyed the Naira, defecated on the judiciary, buried the economy, amplified poverty, encouraged corruption, created mass unemployment, made terrorism a lucrative business, augmented starvation and then made foodstuffs expensive, hiked the general cost of living and is still rummaging for more hardships to impose on the Nigerian people. My question therefore is: was it only those who voted for dictator Buhari that suffered from the tyrant’s insensitivity? So, I will not respect your so-called choice for Tinubu except you are electing him to be president of your household, in which case I will have no right to challenge you.
In conclusion, the 2023 General S(e)lection is almost here and it is true that you are at liberty to vote for Tinubu even as a permanently hiding presidential candidate, but be careful. Only do so if you wish to witness the funeral of the Nigerian nation. You have been warned!