Femi Aribisala’s article entitled ‘The Impending Betrayal of Muhammadu Buhari’ only succeeded in turning my stomach. The article is not only inconsistent but positively unseemly. There is nothing remotely commendable about this article. Aribisala’s flirting with heresy will soon become his succubus. I guess the idea of an alternative platform is so instinctively repugnant to him. It is his aim to see a bitter and destructive conflict within the All Progressive Congress (APC). He is blinded with surprise and carried away with rage at the progress being made by our great party. There is no analytical mind that will shower this article with adulatory adjectives.
Aribisala has sharpened his teeth on APC and our great leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Each time he slobbers and snarls for Tinubu’s blood. Tarring his reputation has become his pas-time. This kind of cyclonic castigation is worrisome. How can Tinubu betray somebody he has not endorsed? Asiwaju has consistently stated that the APC presidential primaries will not be skewed to favour anybody. He believes that all the aspirants are eminently qualified; hence the party will support anybody that emerges in a free and fair contest. Again, the aim of forming APC is absolutely not about Tinubu’s interest. It is simply about Nigeria. In APC, nobody virtually monopolizes initiatives and decisions on policy issues. But my happiness is that Asiwaju has a knack for ignoring critics like Aribisala. He feels neither threatened nor moved by voices raised in ignorance. Those who detest APC so strongly will be excruciatingly embarrassed at the end of the day. They will be preternaturally silent when the party concludes its primaries without rancour.
The writer’s attack on Tinubu is eyebrow-raising and utterly bland. He takes pleasure in smiting him hip and tight. Aribisala wrote that “If the door was slammed shut to a possible vice-presidency, Tinubu has a plan B of nominating a disciple as Buhari’s vice-presidential running mate. Thus, when Buhari finally declared his candidature for president for a marathon fourth time at Eagle Square, Abuja, Tinubu’s ACN brigadiers were there in full regalia to give him conspicuous moral support. The wily Asiwaju himself was absent, perhaps in order to seem an honest broker among the APC presidential gladiators. Nevertheless, he was suitably represented by his Senator wife, Oluremi Tinubu.” I find these sentences especially galling. This is completely illogical and downright mischievous. I am embarrassed at this ideological complexion. First and foremost, Tinubu is supremely qualified to engage in politics and politicking. Secondly, he did not embark on the formation of APC to achieve selfish ends. The man simply wants a political system that is more vigorous and more capable of mobilizing national resources for specific political ends. Asiwaju works hard to make the right tactical decisions and support the right policies and people. Tinubu ideology has helped him to combine strategic purposefulness with tactical flexibility. This is a man that knows the consequences of over –concentrated personal power.
Thomas Jefferson once said “Whom will you make your inquisitors? Fallible men; men governed by bad passion, by private as well as public reason.” Aribisala is fallible man who is simply pursing his selfish ambition. His piece is a fanatically emotional attack on Tinubu and the APC leadership. The same Aminu Tambuwal he said that Asiwaju was backing had recently opted out of the presidential primaries. So, his article is purely fictitious in nature. In commending Tambuwal over his decision to quit the presidential race, Tinubu said: “You secured the wish of a virile section of our party, especially your colleagues, Honourable members who meant well in their desire to have you vie for the highest office of the land. And excited by your politics and candidature, most Nigerians looked in your direction hopeful in the prospects of your candidacy and a New Nigeria. But rather than pursue a selfish ambition, you humbly submitted yourself to the service of the common good. Whatever anyone may say, you have made history.” Aribisala wants to understand the ways of our party but he is hopelessly incapable of doing so. He is jubilant already at the prospect that the APC will experience problem at presenting a presidential candidate. From his article, it is obvious that PDP is scared of losing the next election. There are so many contractions in the ruling party. But the APC structure is more cohesive, more uniform in experience, and more single-mindedly accustomed to thinking in terms of the betterment of the society.
Asiwaju is a man on a mission. As a leader, he is actively engaged in trying to bring about a transformation. He has spent time and personal resources on nurturing people who can effectively pilot the affairs of the nation. Asiwaju will not be distracted by the Aribisalas’ of this world. He will keep his vision rightly focused, his will fully engaged and his self discipline intact. This kind of jaundiced article by Aribisala can never weaken his morale and distort his judgment.
By Ikechukwu Orji.
Orji is a media consultant and a Freelance Journalist. Ikechukwuorji@yahoo.com