HomeViews and ReviewsTinubu, Nobody's Knight In Shining Armour

Tinubu, Nobody’s Knight In Shining Armour

By

Hon. Rahman Owokoniran

 

It cannot be true that our nation has fully become a Banana Republic under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. When I read the President’s Riot Act in his resolution of the Rivers State crisis, two things came to my mind.

1) The setting of and conclusions from the Aso Rock settlement of the Rivers palaver cannot be true by any stretch of the imagination; I assumed that the fake news carriers were at it again.

2) The President cannot be predictable as an autocratic opportunist at this auspicious moment in the life of our democracy.

He has been trying his best to take the minds of the people away from the economic crisis that has plagued our nation under him; and the Rivers crisis provided an opportunity for him to present himself as the Knight in Shining Armour, something he is not.

However, taking a deeper look into the suggestions of the President, it is obvious he was playing games with the people’s minds in general and in particular the Rivers State citizens in his attempt to hijack the state for his party, APC. There is no doubt he is very well aware of constitutional provisions that applt in the Rivers State situation.

The Presidency is very well informed about the Constitution, thus ignorance has to be completely ruled out. Therefore, what was the President up to when this matter he meddled in was already before the court of law? When he suggested that the 25 Assembly members should be allowed to take their seats back and continue their legislative duties, who was he expecting to implement that? Is he suggesting that the Governor of Rivers State should withdraw the letter he wrote to INEC or the letter should be disregarded by INEC?

Even the directive that the Governor should re-present the state budget to the President’s newly-constituted State Assembly is devoid of any meaningful approach.

Mr. President has lost track of the processes and procedures defined by the Nigeria Constitution. This was highly unusual given the enormous capabilities of The Presidency.

Again, I suspect that the President was only playing dumb to fool the Governor and his party to pave the way for Wike and his party APC to backstab and backslide the ruling party PDP in Rivers State. Every suggestion offered by the President was for the Governor to beat a retreat. If those instructions were to be followed, APC and its 25 legislatures would be enabled. Remember that this APC was the same party that deceived the whole country with the Electoral Act, which was a violation of our Constitution. The opposition parties struggled to conform with the Act to their own detriment while the ruling party, APC, snubbed the Act and suffered no consequences for violating the so-called electoral laws.

These suggestions of the President constitute a major embarrassment and consequential violation of our democracy. It is my opinion that the Governor should ignore the President’s advice and allow due process to take its course. Like the APC’s deception during the last general elections, this call is unnecessary; and it is nothing but a wishful thought to confuse the Governor. And for those screaming to the high heavens, let them know that Rivers State has capable leadership and elders who can mediate their own affairs. The state has come this far after 24 years of sustained growth in this democracy. The people should have earned their right to choose their leaders. Managing their own destiny in a democracy shouldn’t be a problem.

Mr. President has enough on his desk concerning the job to keep the ship of State afloat and steady. He should stay focused on the necessary steps to reduce the current economic crisis that has been raging in recent years as a result of the global economic slowdown.

APC folks had been irresponsible in the attempts to win elections, they over-promoted their capacity to deliver and ended up underperformeding. Former Ekiti State’s Governor Kayode Fayemi recently confessed that former President Goodluck Jonathan was right to have proposed the withdrawal of the oil subsidy in 2012; but that they as governors were playing politics when the whole nation was shut down by their “Save The Nation” campaign. The former President was also right when he proposed to build up our foreign reserves from the excess income from crude oil exports during the same period. The governors that fought against the well thought out economic plan in court have since become the consolidated opposition party, APC.

They won the case against Jonathan’s proposal and went ahead to take over the presidency in 2015. But the people lost to deceit, parochialism and nepotism. This has become our albatross; and the only way out of this mess is to go back to the fundamentals.

Forget about Agbakoba’s PR job for Tinubu. The SAN struggled so hard to make meaningful conversation but he kept withdrawing back to his comfortable corner in the usual lawyer’s game. Sure we understood him quite well. He simply tried hard to give the President a soft landing for respite from his critics and his lost followers. I don’t know how impactful this will be, given the economic situation in our country today.

We need a President who is ready to lose his seat for the good of the people. We need a President who can take this nation away from the prejudices of the past and begin to take the bull by the horn. We cannot function well in the 21st century by continuing to apply the archaic rules of the 18th and 19th centuries. We must have a conference that is representative of all the different cultures in our country. This is very important because we need a nation we can all proudly call our own.

Right now what we have are several nations sharing a common identity, the one Chief Obafemi Awolowo called a mere GEOGRAPHICAL EXPRESSION.

Our democracy has been the government of the minute elite, by the special class of citizens, for the upper class of the country. The notion that our people are not capable of making the right decisions therefore they have to be protected must be mistaken and misguided and jettisoned. We cannot afford a situation that will ultimately force the people to defend themselves against their oppressors. They must not cross that threshold to defend themselves from tyranny. It will come with huge consequences, the end of which no one can predict if citizens continue to wallow in poverty and unemployment.

The politicians have proven to have learnt nothing from history. They are too comfortable in their skins. Listen to some of the senators that granted interviews on Channel TV recently. They believe that there can be no consequences to their actions. Should they have been correct about their assertions, there wouldn’t have been the fall of Oyo, Owu and many other empires across the world. Those of the leadership class who neglect the growth and development of their own countries will later regret their mistakes. That is the unmistakable lesson from fallen empires, from revolutions like the French Revolution and from the collapse of Communism.

Our leaders have to understand that no position in life is permanent. Let us Save Our Nation while we still have this chance.

HONOURABLE RAHMAN OWOKONIRAN IS ACTING CHAIRMAN OF SOUTH-WEST PDP AND WRITES FROM LAGOS

 

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