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Bola Ahmed Tinubu Not A Credible President, By Sanusi Muhammad

IT is within his Constitutional Right as a Nigerian Citizen to aspire to any elective position in Nigeria but with the required credentials as stipulated by law, and as it is also our constitutional right to screen his credentials to reject or to embrace depending on our findings.
Usually in the cruising ship of aspiration, there are scammers, fraud and tricksters found on the political turf including their hangers-on strategically located within the federal, state and local government employment making noise than a canary and beating chests as politicians that can deliver positively.

The most mis-recommending criterion against a Tinubu presidency is that in mental depth, the Lagos capitalist is just a whiff higher than former President Buhari.


Remove the cockney accent he feebly mimics, you will find out that most times, his extempore speech lacks coherence, simple logic and verve.
As the governor of Lagos State in 1999, I accompanied the then features editor of Ibadan based Tribune Newspaper, Festus Adedayo on a mission to Tinubu’s Alausa office in Lagos to verify a damming news story on his claimed educational qualifications.
Accessing Tinubu as a governor by the veteran journalist was like searching a lost needle in the sack of hay.
Tinubu’s press secretary sent a word to Adedayo that an irritant interloper had come to ferret a response to a news magazine’s damming exposure on Tinubu. Tinubu could not be accessed, instead, he made a contact with Tribune’s Editor-In-Chief for a cover and the damming story had a natural death but not buried.

In 1999, Dr Waliu Balogun had written a petition against Bola Ahmed Tinubu, leveling a number of allegations bordering on fraudulent claims of sound educational achievements. Among other things, he accused Tinubu of lying in an affidavit attached to his INEC form that he lost his Degree Certificates while he was on exile between 1994 and 1998. The now rested The News Magazine later published those details in a gripping expose’ which left sour tastes in the mouth.

One after the other, all of Tinubu’s claims sworn to under oath in the Form CF001 he submitted to INEC, were shredded to smithereens by the magazine’s story. St. Paul’s School, Aroloya, Lagos, which he claimed to have attended, was found never to have existed, in the investigative report, just as his name was conspicuously missing from the records of Government College, Ibadan, which he claimed to have attended between 1965 and 1968. Indeed, Government College Ibadan’s alumni association, the Old Boys of the famous institution, debunked Tinubu’s claim of having him as a member. So also was his claim to have attended Richard Daley College, Chicago, between 1969 and 1971.
Punctured also were Tinubu’s claims of being a student of the University of Chicago in the United States between 1972 and 1976, as well as obtaining a B.Sc Degree in Economics from the university. A request to those institutions for affirmation of Tinubu’s studentship came up with a resounding ‘NO’ till date, in spite of his having vanquished the legal principalities spearheaded by the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, with the Supreme Court voiding.

Fawehinmi on technical grounds, none of Tinubu’s classmates, school mates or even teachers, came out to publicly counter the facts of the legal behemoth erected against him.

Four years later, in 2003, it was time for Tinubu to fill FORM CF001 again, in pursuit of his second term bid. His ‘enemies’ who were waiting for him to make those claims again were dazed when they saw what he filled. In all the columns on the form, the ‘gentleman’ simply filled NOT APPLICABLE—Primary School: Not Applicable; Secondary School: Not Applicable and: University: Not Applicable! Could that have meant that Tinubu never attended any conventional school but allowed to contest an election?

Tinubu was not alone. Rife as expectations were from the new-found Nigerian Republic in 1999, like alligators, renowned for the incredible nasal power of smelling a drop of blood, even in 10 gallons of water, Nigerians smelt crises in the cache of scandals that involved newly elected office holders of the republic. Less than three months after commencement of the Fourth Republic, Nigeria began to manifest noticeable cracks. It took political scientists and students of Marxian dialectics to allay our fears and tell us that those cracks were curative, self-correcting and akin to the Marxist postulation of thesis and antithesis which, when they jam, produce a synthesis.

In a quick succession of messy, damming scandals, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Salisu Buhari; Senate President, Evan(s) Enwerem and Bola Ahmed Tinubu got entangled in seismic, rolling scandals of identity misappropriation, subversion of their oaths of office and perversion of truth. While the earlier two were swept away by the typhoon of the crises, Tinubu not only survived the ignominy, to spite the allegations, he is today one of the top three most consequential and powerful Nigeria’s politicians alive, and said to be a president.
Salisu Buhari, the affable and young Speaker of the lower parliament was unraveled by the media as an age inflator and certificate forger. Hitherto a Kano-based businessman, Buhari had made an entry into politics, but barely two weeks after being sworn into office, the, now rested news magazine, The News, in its February 16, 1999 edition, published details of Buhari’s age and certificate forgery. The magazine wrote that he was actually born in 1970 and not in 1963 as he claimed. That was a clear case of perjury as we have today, several members of the National and State Houses of Assembly and political office holders with forged credentials.

Not only that, even in the civil service there are cases of forged credentials most especially in the services of Federal, State and Local Governments to mention a few. We shall come to that in due course.
Again, The News put a lie to Buhari’s claim of having graduated from the University of Toronto, stating that he not only did attend the school, the mandatory youth service he claimed to have undergone at Standard Construction in Kano was equally his imagination.
On July 23, 1999, like a rain-soaked squirrel, Buhari was contrite, disgraced and admitted all the allegations. “I apologize to you. I apologize to the nation. I apologize to my family and friends for all the distress I have caused them. I was misled in error by the zeal to serve the nation. I hope the nation will forgive me and give me the opportunity to serve again” he murmured as he forcefully resigned from the House. He was subsequently convicted of certificate forgery, sentenced to two years in prison but pardoned by President Obasanjo before he could reach the gate of the prison.

Senate President, Evans Enwerem was to kiss the canvass a little while after. In the race for the Senate presidency, he had sidestepped his closest sprinter rival, Dr Chuba Okadigbo, for the office by 66 to 43 votes. Shortly after his ascension in 1999, Enwerem was shoved into the sleeve and scrutinized on the allegation of an, identity opacity. He was held up on the fire-spitting wire gauze for the falsification of his name. A ball-fire of controversy erupted on whether Enwerem’s real name was Evan or Evans. In the melee, on November 18, 1999, his ouster, spearheaded by Okadigbo and his allies, became a fait accompli.

Between his consequential emergence on the political turf of Nigeria in 1999 and now, only an armchair, analytical yoked will underrate or belittle Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s awesome and colonizing genius in Nigerian politics. He became so consequential that some translucent analyses compare him to the Yoruba sage, Obafemi Awolowo. It appears that immediately he got away from the drowning tidal waves of that identity theft legal tango and the lacerating fisticuffs of the numerous political adversaries. Tinubu tightened his muscles on the political levers of Lagos, a State which had always been the microcosm of Nigeria since 1960. He saw how the almighty power of the media, like a mammoth whale that almost succeeded in capsizing his ship of state and political career.

Rising from the ashes of the crises, Tinubu encircled his claw-like fists on the media, meandering himself into its total corpus and essentialising himself in its operations. While English crime-thriller writer, Rene’ Lodge Brabazon Raymond, popularly known as James Hadley Chase, says Fear Opens the Wallets of the Rich, Tinubu’s street chemistry, which he displays, says that licit and illicit favors, prebends and perks, imprison consciences and arrest captives faster than the glue gum traps mice. Unconscionably, Tinubu waves these aces with the magisterial clinicality of a professional executioner, succeeding in the process in harvesting a huge cache of political, media, government, judicial, corporate, etcetera clienteles inside his massive pouch.

The truth is that since 1999, seldom has Nigeria had a political aficionado who has deployed the genius of the streets in the service of politics, as Bola Tinubu has done. Scarcely can anybody have the mis/fortune of encountering him without becoming a captive of his cash influence. Someone once said that even the god of Mammon would be envious of Tinubu’s sagacity in deploying its essence as a weapon.
Within the span of his Lagos governorship of eight years, from someone who those who knew him said was passably well-to-do, Tinubu grew a monstrous wealth, such that a 2015 back page opinion of Sun newspaper claimed he owned almost half of Lagos and urged former President Buhari to clone the Vladimir Putin method with which the Russian president neutralized drug czars who funded his presidential emergence. Within this period, Tinubu also acquired a humongous political influence within Lagos and outside that could rank aside those of the Pharaohs and Emperors of old. In 2007, a former governor, who witnessed the miasma of power flakes encircling him as he arrived, the Lagos airport, jealously told some journalists that it was godlike.
Superficial analyses of Tinubu claim that his vice-hold grip on Lagos can be found in his ability to “build” and plant people in state and national offices, while sustaining a linear pattern of succession. This, such analysis claim, reflects his sagacity. Those who know the modus operandi of this power retention system however put a lie to it. To them, deep beneath it is an opaque, yet fastidiously maintained and pervasively sustained system of mega corruption and the perpetuation of self hegemony, through a carefully mastered mind-coercion, which is promoted by a cultic abidance to an oath of allegiance.

Those who see Tinubu’s strength in his fluid recruitment of aides, should also be able to answer why he suffers the huge casualty of his investment in such persons? Could it be that he uses them as indentured viceroys? Or that the rebellion we see from them is an attempt to set them free of his hold? There must be a single thread that unifies Tinubu’s foot soldiers’ rebellion against him. Unfortunately for Tinubu, this same set of soldiers, knowing the secrets of the sustenance of their power machine, were against his emergence as Nigeria’s president and will willingly supply the fire that will incinerate his ambition in 2027.

In Yoruba land, apart from Lagos, Ondo and Osun States, which of APC governor can Tinubu claim to be under his boot?
If nothing else, the controversy provoked by Chief Bisi Akande’s My Participatory unraveled the mythic notion that Tinubu promotes his aides to the top for the love of country. Back and forth arguments, especially about Vice President Osinbajo’s nomination in 2015, revealed that not only is the Lagos landlord obsessed with the self alone, the ascension of others in his loop is secondary and subordinated to the personal interest. The world saw that Tinubu grudgingly acceded to Osinbajo’s candidacy, only when his personal interest hit the rocks.
In his desperation to replace President Buhari, Tinubu paid a visit to the president some few hours after he, Buhari had granted an incoherent interview where he claimed that if he named his successor, the fellow could be assassinated. A content analysis of the president’s statement must have revealed to Tinubu that he could never have been the one Buhari was referring to.
Tinubu had an inkling that Buhari knew that a plan to murder Death would be easier done than assassinating Nigeria’s Mafia don, the Capo dei Capi himself.

The most mis-recommending criterion against Tinubu presidency is that, in mental-depth, the Lagos Landlord is just a whiff higher than Muhammadu Buhari. Remove the cockney accent he feebly mimics, you will find out that most times, his extempore speeches lack coherence, logic and verve.
Counter-arguments have been proffered against the school of thought that says Tinubu’s ultra-stupendous wealth should recommend him against vying for the Nigerian presidency.
You will recollect that the military apparatchik argued along this line against MKO Abiola presidency in 1993. Abiola, they said was as wealthy as to grant Nigeria loans. Weak as the argument was, it is strong in Tinubu’s disfavor, for its moral and deleterious implications. While the world knew that Abiola’s wealth was procured from international business transactions, especially in ITT, Tinubu is said to own a pie in virtually every sector of the Nigerian economy, ranging from oil, steel, finance (tax), airline, real estate, to the media, and you name it. These are all operated in names of shells and proxies. In all these, as the Americans say, we can see the bucks but not the shop.
What morality will Nigeria be preaching by having a president of such opaque composition and disposition?
Either real or imagined, it is said that the only thing that is real about Tinubu is his person and that every other ascription on him is a borrowed robe. He has not come in the open to effectively disclaim the allegation that his name is not his name; that the parents he claimed were not his; that the certificates he claims to be his are not and that the schools he claims to have attended, do not know or recognize him. I don’t know of any baggage bigger than this for a country like Nigeria that is struggling to market herself to the world, to now have its president burdened by his pernicious pedigree.

With the calamity that the Buhari presidency posed to Nigeria, it is more calamitous with Tinubu as his successor. Governing Nigeria is not all about identifying surrogates who will man critical political offices for future political gains. Nigeria needs a cerebral, healthy, comparatively morally overboard president, a man — borrowing from Oscar Wilde’s description of his gay partner friend, Sir Alfred Douglas in De Profundis— who is not a man for whom the gutter and all that is in it fascinates.
One would have expected Tinubu to heed the counsel of the wise men who must have had in mind leaders who are heavy-laden. Burdened by baggage of their past, when he counseled that, as all shrubs be the predilection of a herbalist seeking curative herbs; not all palm trees in the forest should excite the palm wine tapper either. Sagacious leaders who carry stupendous moral baggage of the Tinubu hue should know the forests they ought to venture into.

The forests of presidential contest that the Lagos landlord ventured into is what the same wise men in the vinyl, referred to as the forest of the heartless, the hard carapace-hearted hunters. At least not anyone who does not have the benefit of a real mother—a real mother’s prayers are like magic, steeped in mystical and metaphysical powers. Anyone said the wise men, who; does not have a real mother who can provide the protection of witchcraft for them, should not venture into the forest of the heartless. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu does not deserve any trust for leadership even in a rogue country that is lawless. The man is only a man by creation not by making. Let Nigerians shine their eyes!

Muhammad is a commentator on national issues

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