OPEN LETTER TO TINUBU, OSINBAJO: APC PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY ELECTION, TINUBU/OSINBAJO MOVING FORWARD

The All Progressives Congress Special Convention has come, I can’t really say if it has gone, but a winner has emerged, in person of the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

I congratulate you on this tedious mission, it was a battle well fought and victory well earned. Your doggedness is immeasurable, you’re really the Jagaban Borgu. You persisted when all odds counted against you, ranging from your deserted disciples and beneficiaries, the age and health challenge and series of campaign of calumny from within a house you laid it’s foundation.

Truth be told, findings revealed at a juncture that most of the party men that still upheld you as a leader were not even sure of the likely outcome of your political voyage, they only stayed and played their parts for the sake of it. Some of them were already chanting an agenda to the Social Democratic Party in your name. They weren’t even sure if APC will still stand after your “failed ambition”.

It is God that gave you the ticket, and only you can tell or identify the loyal ones that were with you through the sojourn, in truth and indeed, try to remember their names, faces and “places”.

I will be lying to say I wasn’t disappointed in the person of the highly reverred Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. No doubt, you’re a great, smart and intelligent man, but not noble as expected. Most of us see your emergence as the Vice President of the nation as a worthy one, not just for your intelligence, but for your loyalty as well. That loyalty is now in extinction. Though my wife, also a journalist, said the loyalty was never tested thitherto.

In one of the short videos making rounds, you once remarked that prior to 2014, you couldn’t have won a councillorship position… In another you noted how your estranged godfather built capacities as a detribalised Nigerian, building his cabinet around most of you non-indigene of Lagos State. To whom much is given, much more they say is expected, but you gave him emptiness when so much was expected of you. You were a right person for the position of the VP no doubt, but it mustn’t be you when they were options, even when someone as well could also ignore the good of it on the part of the nation and choose to be selfish. Remember who you were in the face and thought of the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, a common commissioner, to be elevated to the office of the VP, you should have been more grateful.

No doubt everyone wants to rise, loves to get to the peak, but you’ve risen, you are just not contented or you got carried away with the fantasy of the presidency. If your ambition was instigated, you allowed yourself to be used. If it was a result of advice, your advisers are your enemies. And if it was your decision, I’m sorry to say you failed to think twice.

When I read the disclosure of my former boss, Bayo Onanuga as the one who introduced you to Asiwaju and the mode of emergence, I was moved to tears and my compassion for the APC National Leader got stronger, I thus concluded you wanted to outshine your leader.

Don’t get me wrong, you’re qualified for the office in question and I am one of your admirers, a strong admirer if I may say. But at the observation of your benefactor’s interest in the same office, I expected you to concede to him, not because he’s the best man for the job but for his roles in your life, if that means anything at all.

Moving forward, I believe Osinbajo has a great role to play in this coming government. If we need a resounding success, the duo must work together. No man is indispensable, but there are so many things anyone in the office of the president must be a Jagaban to achieve. At the same time, the years of experience of PYO in the outgoing administration will be a plus for Jagaban if PYO is allowed to play a complimentary role.

For the umpteenth time, no man is indispensable but PYO will deliver better than anyone in a complimentary capacity – his experience coupled with intelligence, is to the advantage of Asiwaju and the success of the incoming administration. Some people will not agree to this for personal interests, Asiwaju, please beware.

How will a VP who cannot be appointed a minister function under the new system, are you wondering? It is possible if the duo genuinely have the interest of the nation at heart. If they will both drop their ego, sheath their swords for the good of the land, they can work things out.

I am one person that believes Asiwaju isn’t coming to make money but to make history. He testified to this when he said to the delegates at the Presidential Lodge in Abeokuta in Yoruba, mi o fe ko pami mo itan, which I believe to mean “I also want to make history”.

Osinbajo too has seen wealth and he’s a compassionate Nigerian with the interest of the nation at heart. If truly he meant his words to the delegates at Eagle Square, Abuja, that “One thing is certain— our circumstances will not afford the next leader of our country any time to learn on the job. In discharging my duties as Vice President for the past seven years, I have been prepared in the profound ways for the task that lies ahead, and I will be ready from day one.

“It is for these reasons that I, Oluyemi Oluleke Osinbajo, by the grace of God, Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, present myself to you, our distinguished delegates, for your consideration as the presidential candidate of our great party, the APC.” Yes, he applied as a presidential candidate, but if the nation deem you worthy in another capacity, it’s time to show the love you have for such people.

Jagaban will surely be the Head of that government, Osinbajo can be “a brain box and scrutiniser”. In a telephone conversation with my Engineer, Social Commentator and Public Analyst cousin, Femi Ojo, he said no other person can do the work of the professor in that government and I agreed to a large extent, for reasons I will suspend its enumeration. But in what capacity, he said no document should get to Tinubu without being perused by Osinbajo. Before Jagaban will sign any document PYO should scrutinize the details, analyse and give advice.

You see, the civil service is so corrupt with a porous system. If you’re not careful, you will only be working for them as a president. They will import whichever document with legal and moral justification for your appendage and if you’re not extra smart, probably with some spare smart tyres, you may fall a victim. Osinbajo is needed for detail observation, perusal or scrutiny, you can call it whatever. That doesn’t mean the president is incapable, but lets not give room for loopholes, this won’t undermine his presidency.

Yes we all believe in Tinubu, to transform the economy of Nigeria, but he isn’t the man he was 20 years ago. Yes he has served in executive capacity as a governor and has dealt with civil servants, no doubt, but he hasn’t been at the presidency. So I suggest he needs the man PYO, he should think about this. President Buhari already advised the eventual winner to be magnanimous in victory, not just that, for success too. If you want to doubt his loyalty, I think the incoming President is smart enough, he can handle that.

In the interest of the nation, Engr. Ojo said he can function as the Chief of Staff, there’s no crime in that, he can even be given the title “Chief of Staff at Large”.

May I suggest to some winner takes all politricktians that may be onboard not to advice Asiwaju against Osinbajo, I can tell you boldly he won’t take your shine, the Presidency is large enough to accommodate numbers of people. Let him come for what is best. The Asiwaju that I know is a team player but allow him to succeed as the president, let him make a good history.

OLANIRETI OLUSEGUN , a journalist, writes from Lagos
nextwordsmith@gmail.com

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