Growing Anti-Tinubu Sentiments

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Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu must do more than just relying on his personality or the home zone support to survive the political battle ahead. Shola Oyeypo writes

Although the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has continued to shy away from the fact that there is serious internal wrangling threatening to disintegrate the party as a result of the power play ahead of 2019. But followers of the Nigerian politics are not unaware of calculated ploy to decimate ‎a former Lagos State governor and one of the national leaders of the party, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Curiously, the development is now being considered a conscious attack ultimately targeted at the Yoruba race. What transpired in Kogi State, where after the APC candidate, the late Abubakar Audu, who had almost won the election before he suddenly died before results were announced and his running mate‎, Hon. James Faleke, who is Tinubu’s ally was prevented from benefiting from the votes gathered was one case in point.

The alleged manipulation by the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun in edging out Tinubu’s preferred aspirant, Mr. Segun‎ Abraham in the recently held Ondo State governorship election was another development believed to have depicted some form of conspiracy against Tinubu. Yet, to a lot of Tinubu’s supporters, any attack on the APC stalwart is an attack on the Yoruba nation.

Prominent Yoruba leader and chieftain of a pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo‎, though particularly not a Tinubu person, he was quick to describe the perceived attack on the former Lagos governor by some elements within the APC as an indirect attack on all of Yorubaland.

Adebanjo said the gang up against Tinubu was a strategy to divide and create confusion among the Yoruba in order to give the North total control of the party, stressing that although he and Tinubu had their differences, now is not the right time to mock him.

“People are expecting me to mock Tinubu and say God has dealt with him over the manner he treated me and other Yoruba leaders but I won’t do that because what is after six is more than seven. Attack on Tinubu is not directly at him but an attack on Yorubaland. I am not shortsighted. They want to break us up and cause division so that they can take over. He (Tinubu) has made his mistake and I hope he has learnt from it”.

Adebanjo noted that he cautioned Tinubu not to form the alliance that gave birth to the APC but he (Tinubu) ignored his warning. But now, the alliance is going awry.

Tinubu is not having the best of time in the party he helped to form. The outburst of the First Lady, Aishat Buhari over ‎alleged alienation of some people behind her husband’s electoral success is also an indication that now is not the best of time for the Lagos politician.

Tinubu’s call for Oyegun’s resignation is a further pointer to the situation within the party. Though Tinubu himself has yet to come out openly to say it as a result of the ill-treatment being meted to him, people are already insinuating that ‎Tinubu and some of his loyalists may eventually break away from the APC to form a new party ahead of the 2019 elections.

But a House of Representatives member from Ayedaade, Irewole, Isokan federal constituency of Osun State‎, Mrs. Ayo Omidiran, recently dismissed the insinuations that Tinubu strong allies like the Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, and others would leave the APC for another political party.
‎True or false, some other people within the Yoruba body polity are said to be moving to ensure that should Tinubu opt to quit the APC, his exit from the ruling party does not necessarily translate into the exit of the Yoruba nation from the ruling party.

Though this group of people is yet to come out publicly on their stand over the political future of the South-west, ‎THISDAY gathered that at a recent meeting in Lagos, the position was to project the interest of the Yoruba nation in the national politics ahead and beyond 2019.

In their evaluation, they appraised whether or not it was in the best interest of the people to bring the South-west out of the national politics because of Tinubu’s interest, or whether to continue to align with the centre irrespective of Tinubu’s interest.

It is possible that the agenda of this group is never made public but that will be on one condition: Tinubu must remain within the APC without working against the party during the elections. But where it is contrary, then, he must be prepared to face a very stiff opposition from a section of people drawn from various political strata and the civil society groups.

Their argument is that should the Yoruba race pull out of mainstream politics and go back into playing regional opposition because of Tinubu’s interest? Second, to them, there is no concrete evidence to support the sentiment that anyone of his estranged political allies or the “Abuja boys” betrayed Tinubu in the Ondo governorship election‎. They considered the primary held in Ondo as an improvement on Tinubu’s old style of singlehandedly imposing candidates.

When the issue becomes public, some of the questions the renowned politician will be answering include: what is the quality of representations by the people Tinubu singlehandedly imposed as Senators and members of the House of Representatives in Lagos State and other places? For instance, can he justify the choice of his wife, Senator Oluremi as a sound replacement for her predecessor?

Again, going by the calculation that he was propping up Senator Solomon Adeola otherwise called Yayi to succeed Governor Ibikunle Amosun in Ogun State and the insinuation that Aregbesola is already being positioned to take over the position of Olamilekan Solomon as senator in 2019, the question is, must everybody who aspires for any public office go to Bourdilon for blessings?

The sentiment against Tinubu may however not come directly as a blessing to the forces believed to be working against his interest within the party. This is because the likes of Amosun, Fayemi, Fashola and others are already being seen by Tinubu’s people as traitors, who sold out their benefactors on account of personal interest, even though their action is being defended in party’s interest and justifiably so.

In the coming days, except where Tinubu opts to stay put in the APC, the party’s national leader must brace up for an opposition as he has never seen before and crux of opposing him would only be on whether it will benefit the Yoruba to pull out at this time or continue with the APC, considering that the region has always played opposition and regionally limited politics.

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Their argument is that should the Yoruba race pull out of mainstream politics and go back into playing regional opposition because of Tinubu’s interest? Second, to them, there is no concrete evidence to support the sentiment that anyone of his estranged political allies or the “Abuja boys” betrayed Tinubu in the Ondo governorship election‎. They considered the primary held in Ondo as an improvement on Tinubu’s old style of singlehandedly imposing candidates