Posted by Ejikeme Omenazu | 9 November 2018 | 1,221 times
With the campaigns for the 2019 general elections about to kick off, one salient issue bothering Nigerians is if Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, can muster enough clout to influence the South West geo-political zone to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari as was the case in the 2015 election.
Already, there is a general lethargy in the region as many feel strongly that that South West did not get enough in terms of democracy dividends under the current administration considering the massive support President Buhari received from the region during the last election.
This is as all the regions, except the core North, have been crying of neglect by the APC administration since it mounted the saddle for over three years and six months.
It is against this backdrop that Chief Ayo Adebanjo, elder statesman and Afenifere chieftain, said the Yoruba nation would not be deceived again by Tinubu to vote for Buhari in the 2019 presidential election.
Adebanjo, who has thrown his weight behind Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said Tinubu succeeded in selling Buhari to the South West in 2015 due to his claim that the president had integrity and had the will power needed to turn the fortunes of the country around.
The elder statesman lamented that three years down the line, Nigerians, especially the Yoruba, had realised that the president’s so much touted integrity had become questionable, even as he had failed to keep to his promises, one of which was restructuring, as contained in the APC’s manifesto.
According to Adebanjo, Tinubu himself had realised he made a great mistake entering into alliance with Buhari, but had been ashamed to say so openly.
Hear him: “Do you think we are stupid people in the South West? Yoruba people are more intelligent than all that. Tinubu succeeded in 2015 because of the fake integrity attached to Buhari. He succeeded in bringing Buhari because of the fake integrity attached to him, but the last three years has exposed him to be fake.
“People have seen him to be fake. He is not somebody anyone can rely upon and I have no doubt in my mind that Tinubu would have seen the stupidity of aligning with him. By now, Tinubu must have realised the foolish mistake he made by aligning with him but he will not come out to admit it.
“Yoruba people are too intelligent to be used again. Once bitten, twice shy. Tinubu has sold the Yoruba by aligning with Buhari, even at this stage. He agreed with Buhari to do restructuring, to do federalism. When the man now got there and he is not doing it, has Tinubu got the courage to pull out?”
Adebanjo also berated Osinbajo for keeping quiet on the issue of restructuring, saying his desire to remain in Buhari’s cabinet despite the government’s insincerity on restructuring showed how insincere and disloyal he had been to the Yoruba people.
“The unfortunate thing about Osinbajo is that he was born into federalism. His father and I were followers of Awolowo. Osinbajo is intelligent and well informed. It is a sad story that all the Yoruba we believe would be protecting our interest sold out, led by Tinubu.
“I have told him that when you agreed with Tinubu to restructure Nigeria and to allow everybody to develop at their own pace and he is no longer doing that, why don’t you get out if you are sincere and loyal to Yoruba people?” he asked.
“He organised the APC manifesto and put restructuring there to deceive the Yoruba that their interest would be protected and when their interest is no longer protected, why is it that he is still there?” Adebanjo queried.
Buhari, before winning the presidential election, had been a serial contestant for the position. In 2003, he contested under the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), but lost to former President Olusegun Obasanjo of PDP.
However, following the realignment of forces before the 2015 general elections, the CPC, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), being led by Tinubu, the ANPP, a faction of the PDP, called the New PDP, and a splinter of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), led by Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, fused to become the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Having seen a brighter chance of emerging the nation’s President, which had eluded him for three consecutive times, Buhari recanted on his earlier decision not to contest the position again. This time, luck shined on him. Following a tough campaign mounted by the APC against the then ruling PDP, which had controlled the reins of power for 16 years, Buhari won the presidency this time around.
During the election, apart from the support he got from the North, Tinubu, who had emerged the APC leader in the South West, rallied the region to deliver all the states there, accounting for the overwhelming victory Buhari received in 2015.
However, since Buhari emerged the sole candidate of the APC for the 2019 presidential election, there had been divergent views on if he could make it at the end of poll.
•Excerpted from a Daily Independent report
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