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Tinubu and his "Jeleosinmi" mandate -Abdulwahab Oba

Abdulwahaab ObaChief Press Secretaryto the Kwara State

African elders are filled with native wisdom. I remember the practice where you will send a troublesome kid to your neighbour asking for something nonexistent for your use. The neighbour, having understood the code, will literally detain the lad with a promise to supply the item, until long enough to have given the mother the needed rest back home. I think it is call "Arodan". 

With the coming of civilisation and introduction of nursery school systems, the arodan strategy changed and now involves sending your underage kid to school to allow some peace in the home. You know the kid goes there to learn practically nothing but the cost of that nothing cannot be compared with the  reprieve a mother has from the activities of a rampaging, trouble shooter at home. It is called Jeleosinmi; let there be peace at home.

These scenarios seem to be act one, scene one in the APC political chess board towards 2019 with the sudden appointment of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as National Reconciliation Officer of the party. Give it to President Muhammad Buhari on this; it is a deft move full in the best demonstration of African wisdom for handling a troublesome personality. But Asiwaju is not a troublesome personality. He is a political generalissmo. He understands politics beyond ordinary eyes, dancing the rhythm beyond imagination. Asiwaju takes steps ahead of his peers with tested political theories. He is a master of his game. 

Asiwaju is the queen on Nigeria's political chess game. Let's start from the start. He was the brain behind the emergence of the mega party call the All Progressives Congress, APC, realising immediately after the 2011 that only a combination of forces can halt the shenanigans and arrogance of the People's Democratic Party, the PDP. His efforts yeilded the greatest fruit when Saraki led other members of the then nPDP to the mega coalition. It was the beginning of a new beginning. 

Tinubu was also at the forefront of the campaign for Buhari's candidacy. In comradeship with Saraki and Ameachi they fought and defeated the titans of the emerging party. And Muhammad Buhari emerged as the party's presidential candidate. Then the battle for who becomes Buhari's vice presidential candidate almost turned the party asunder between those who wanted an eastern or south/south candidate and a south western candidate, especially to acknowledge and accommodate Asiwaju, regardless of whether a muslim/muslim ticket will fly in Jonathan's Nigeria. At the end, Tinubu still had his way by presenting his choice candidate and the south east became the campaigner-in-chief. 

The coast was clear, albeit transitionally. Asiwaju Tinubu led other party faithfuls, crossing rivers and valleys, climbing mountains and hills, going to mosques, churches and palaces soliciting support for the new political baby, the highly misunderstood but incorruptible Buhari, the People's General, our new democrat. And again, Buhari won. 

It was time to share the spoilt. The emperor had assumed full rulership  and expectedly controlling the direction of the ship of state. At least, he knows Nigerians enough to decide who and who work or do not work with him, irrespective of their electoral relevance. No more party supremacy in the rule of engagement, it is the President, the President and the President.  Expectedly, suspicion set in. The first open crisis of the party was the election of officers at the National Assembly. In that election, Tinubu allegedly once again assumed the driver's seat. His men lost. 

That was the first disappointment. But a rugged fighter he is, that would be the beginning of another movement. The movement for  redemption, unleashing all sort of arsenal against the winners, including but not limited to the humiliation of a key member of the party, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, through what is generally regarded as a political trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal. Several members of the National Assembly were given one dose of humiliation or another, with Mrs Oluremi Tinubu refusing openly to accord the protocol of honour reserved for the occupant of the Senate Presidents seat.

But it was not only the National Assemby that engaged the attention of Asiwaju. The Jagaban had written openly on why the National Chairman of the party, the APC, Chief John Oyegun must go. Up till now, the Oyegun-must-go song is still in the air, as some members have reportedly taken Oyegun to EFCC even without exhausting available party mechanism for  conflict  resolution.  This might be one reason the regular meetings of the NWC of the party has been irregular; the reason the NWC has not been working effectively with the National Assembly; the reason the ruling party has not been able to muster enough strength to execute any of its own agenda in the National assembly despite having the majority number, no matter how slim that number is.

But take it or leave it, Asiwaju has not been fairly treated in the party he so much laboured for. Is it with the situation in Kogi state? Ondo state? Edo state? Or with the appointments made by the Presidency right at his backyard without his inputs? I am talking about the approximant of people like Raji Fashola, Kemi Adeosun, Adebayo Shittu etc as Ministers without asking for his hand  and the ultimate creation of a body of former Tinubu boys now PMB acolytes in the Presidency who would turn the table against him in the elections at Kogi, Ondo and Edo states.

Now that Asiwaju has been appointed as a reconciliator in chief by the same authority many see as having nearly humiliated him, this assignment might yet be an attempt to give a breathing space to a suffocating mother. If truly the President is desirous of a lasting peace, the starting point, from my perspective, is first to put an end to the political trial of the Senate President. That will give opportunities for a true reconciliation within the National Assembly, between the National Assembly and the Presidency and between the national Assembly and Tinubu himself. 

Then, the reconciliator in chief must speedily sort out areas of disagreement between him and the National Working Committee of the party; the presidency must agree to work with party organs and structures  in all the states;  Dissolve all structures with loyalty to personalities and allow genuine democracy to reign. That will be the change that will give us the real change the party promised in 2015.
Tinubu and his "Jeleosinmi" mandate -Abdulwahab Oba Reviewed by Unknown on February 19, 2018 Rating: 5

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