The outburst of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu against what he described as injustice in the ruling party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) orchestrated by its chairman, Chief John Odige-Oyegun may have deeper underlining and possibly far reaching consequence.
Many pundits have their permutations for the party believed to have been constructed out of necessity. While some question the credibility of those who formed the APC, others question the psychology, chemistry existing between leading the party into the change mantra dream of President Muhammadu Buhari administration. The fair conclusion of pundits submits that the party is on a fast slide into a predictable crash.
Chief Odigie-Oyegun may not be Tinubu’s immediate problem, but an arrow head fired by some forces deep inside the apparatchik of the ruling party. What was Tinubu thinking after losing the leadership battle in the National Assembly, Kogi state botched election and subsequent post electing cases that has affirmed Alhaji Yahaya Bello as the substantive governor of a state he single handedly picked a stooge as running mate for late Abubakar Audu?.
The former Lagos state governor has steady built a political monarchy for himself in the Southwest, installing stooges in Lagos state since he left government in 2007. He was instrumental as bargaining chip for the 2011 victory of ex-president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. His role in bringing Buhari cannot be disputed in the coalition that birthed the APC in 2013.
The strides of Tinubu are akin to the influence of our founding fathers, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Dr Nnamdi Azikwe and Obafemi Awolowo. He has simply recreated a Southwest region by fathering many governors, senators and more. He fought and won many political battles, he has also escaped many political traps. He possessed the nine life potentials but how much of his lifeline has been expended in the change government is what only time can tell. Is the political monarch still in charge?
For a man with senator Tinubu’s strong political sagacity, some political strategists in the present change dispensation cannot but whittle his mettle to ease his cloud from precipitating doom for Buhari. His sin might be established under the following permutations; that he is too powerful for a single individual or his power is already too much for him and making him thirst for more grounds to harness against the wishes of larger majority of the party. Either way, the master strategist is indeed swimming against a tide set to drown him.
Signals of his dynasty going awry didn’t just happen on him suddenly. Except he failed to take cognizance of the body languages fashioned against him, the powers stoking the flame against him went to work immediately the administration commenced affairs of governance in 2015. The likes of Kayode Fayemi, Babatunde Fashola, Lai Muhammed, where given powerful ministerial portfolios ostensibly to wean themselves of the political control of Tinubu, the colossus.
The calculation weaved around getting his men to hold sensitive portfolio’s is certainly strategized for what is happening in recent time against the erstwhile “national Leader” of the ruling party. His ‘henchmen’ are now masters of their own in the government at the center. They are no longer lackeys holding sway for him at state levels anymore. Their sympathy for Tinubu may not be as personal as it used to be.
Experience of his 64th birthday brought out the wound inflicted on the “godfather” politically. The former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and their loyalists were missing from the row call of dignitaries. Mr President may be present, but that can be understood as a personal visit of an appreciative politician attending a celebration organized to honor a friend.
The Buhari administration is standing on a tripod. Each stand is owned by the trio of Buhari, Atiku and Tinubu. Atiku is in the mix on account of his force of ambition, and pedigree to muscle his way to the next available platform to wrest his way towards the top job of presiding over affairs of government at the center. He may not have the grass roots cloud, but he has the opinion base of many topnotch politicians in the North. Already, the tripod is holding the party with a quicksilver gait and the water of strength is spilling out each move it makes.
The problem of the APC is predicated on the level of ambitious assembly of politicians leading it. The fracas boiling hot between Tinubu and the forces behind Odigie-Oyegun is crafted around interest. Tinubu is only working the mills to retain his political empire while the opposing forces are bent on wresting it from him. Tinubu is certainly not going to be part of those who will hold the ploughs to farm the party back to power in 2019 if the status quo is not changed. The problem for him is certainly going to be absence of foot soldiers who would have completely depleted before then.
Tinubus’ juicy content is almost completely extracted and might soon become useless. His days as a political gorgon controlling the Southwest might just be over. The powers projecting the party national chairman will only be done when Tinubu is safely in the gulag. There are so many gaps that can be raised from the archives to hunt him. His options are slim, the odds are stacked against him. His grip is getting weak and his voice is diminishing.
The political predator is about becoming a prey.
Ebije wrote this piece from Abuja. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org