The last two weeks have been crucial to the public’s understanding of both the crisis in the country and what is going on within the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential candidate’s campaign council. First, the presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in Abeokuta, let fly with strong allegations as to how the scarcity of both the new naira notes and fuel were plots by certain powers that were to affect the elections. The presidential campaign team tried to explain it away but the truth was clear – Bola Tinubu, the one known as the lion of Bourdillon, was reaching the end of his tether and was starting to roar. He was done with the shenanigans and scheming against him. Next, Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, took up where the Jagaban left off and expounded that certain nebulous powers within the president’s inner circle, that secret assembly of hated personalities known nationally with opprobrium as “the cabal”, were in cahoots with opposition parties to scuttle the elections. His claims were soon proven.
First, the First Lady of the country, Aisha Buhari, who has been a long-time critic of the perfidy of the cabal, reposted el-Rufai’s outburst. She more or less stamped it with a seal of approval. Second, an underhand conglomeration of forgettable political parties approached the courts to bar the CBN from extending the deadline for the validity of the old naira notes as legal tender. Third, footloose and fancy-free minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, went on a media outing where he feigned resignation at the court’s pronouncements and stated that there was nothing the federal government could do but to assist the CBN in obeying the court and keeping to the deadline of February 10. It was evident that it was all schemes at this point, and that the schemes were being so badly acted out that it grated on the nerves of the polity.
El-Rufai soon had another outburst where he reiterated his position that the unrest the country was experiencing due to sufferings and scarcities was the work of people within the presidency’s cabal and disgruntled elements in the APC working in cahoots with other parties. Incendiary to the last degree, el-Rufai no longer cares whose interests suffer. He has become a perfect hornet’s nest. Stirring him to this level means it is virtually impossible to stop him. He wondered how any parties in the north could contrive to retain the presidency in the region when they were duty-bound to rotate power to the south according to the gentleman’s code on power rotation that the country had been informally practising.
Stirring the hornet’s nest and provoking a lion are not profitable ventures. Rousing both el-Rufai and Bola Tinubu to the extent of their outbursts was unwise by those involved. It is, however, a good thing that they spoke out. Tinubu’s loyalty to even those who have betrayed him has been criticized by some as being his tragic flaw in politics while it has been praised by some as being the hallmark of a great leader. During the EndSARS protests, for instance, Tinubu had no involvement in anything that was going on. However, certain mischief makers found a way to accuse him of being involved in everything that was going on. He knew who they were, he knew what their plans were, but he refused to “snitch” on them. He has, however, played his cards right this time by speaking up before he is accused as the troubler of the polity’s peace.
Nevertheless, he ought to speak up some more, damn the consequences of protecting other people’s interests while they seek to bury his political career, and at least protect his integrity. How can a man have given so much for this country and allow himself to be betrayed on all fronts and made fodder for exuberant ignoramuses who know next to nothing about the country’s history and politics? Despite his efforts to prevent the marginalization of the southeast, the region continues to defame him and twist his words, while turning youths against him. The time has come for him to speak up and throw the guilty under the bus. Tinubu and el-Rufai need to tell the entire story so that aggression will be directed at those who instigate it.