By Aanu Oluyide

Nigeria is acclaimed to be the land flowing with milk and honey. the phrase needs an update to something like ‘nigeria is a land flowing with Chancers and Opportunists parading themselves as political leaders. They are more like werewolves than who becomes human beings every 4 new moons (years). Since this is a little over a year before another general election, we are beginning to see them come out in typical werewolf fashion.

So who are the werewolves we should be expecting this time? is there one in particular? are they all from the same pack? In this series of articles, I would be profiling the likely contenders, starting with the leaders of the pack: Bola Ahmed Tinubu of APC.

In typical rinse and repeat campaign style, he started the earliest. A old political juggernaut that maximised the corona lockdown. There is a standard method used by politicians in Nigeria whenever elections are close. Tinubu started by dressing in northern clothing and giving palliatives to residents in Kano. The pictures were taken and splashed all over the internet but it did not do quite well what they wanted it to do, i.e. “presenting him as a lover of the poor, sympathetic and understanding, solidly supporting one Nigeria”.

He strategically started out by trying to appease the part of Nigeria acclaimed to be the most populous, hence they are the major determinant of election results. Even if this region is the poorest, most troubled, and the reason Nigeria is on the map as one of the most terrorized countries in the world, it still does not matter. The game is the game, right? After all, they aren’t complaining about being mere political tools.

The next strategy was packaging him as a “Sorosoke ” Generation, like a Gen Z. The shirts, the orthopaedic sneakers, everything was perfectly arranged to make him look young and urbane. Well, that didn’t seem to do well either, in trying to present Tinubu as a young person capable of running around and leading a country where more than 60% of its population are youths, they ended up exposing him to the world as unfit and unhealthy. Most of the things people now know about the presidential candidate, they didn’t know before the campaigns. We are expecting to see more of him in Igbo and Fulani attires, as well as money and food giveaways. i also expect to see more of him on social media as well as mingling with the masses to eat corn, yam, and other street foods.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not a new name in the Nigerian political scene. for a long as Nigerians can remember he has been a popular name. especially since his time as the 12th Governor of Lagos State. However, that is just the version most people can reckon with, Tinubu has been in Nigerian mainstream politics since 1992 when he joined the Social Democratic Party (SDP). He was an open supporter of MKO Abiola and the June 12 elections, further proving this by founding together with some other people the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO). The only period tinubu ever disappeared from the Nigerian political scene was during Sanni Abacha’s military junta (1994 – 1998). Tinubu miraculously took the governorship mantle of Lagos State a year later, in 1999, and the rest as they say is history.

Much of what is known about Tinubu is that he is the Godfather of Lagos State, with nothing happening in the state without his awareness. Even after the completion of his 8 year tenure in office, he is said to have more authority than a sitting Lagos Governor, controlling the state by proxy from his Bourdillion residence. In fact, at the mention of both Bourdillon and Bullion Vans, Nigerians would quickly mention Tinubu. The entertainment industry has used the references in both music and movies, a 2015 documentary titled “The Lion of Bourdillon” was also produced.

The EndSARS protests against police brutality and harassment by Nigerian youths last year ended with the death of several youths from military bullets. Tinubu, who was reported to have fled to france during the heat of the protests, flew back after the massacre to the scene of the Lekki Toll Gate Massacre, alongside the Governor of Lagos State to ask only one question “what were they doing there?”. He categorically absolved the government and military of their animalistic behavior. That is the same tinubu now out campaigning to lead a country with more than half of its population being youths.

Another chink in his armour was his aloof stance to the incessant attacks of herdsmen and bandits in the southwest region of Nigeria where Tinubu excercises his political dominance. When the daughter of a prominent southwestern elder was allegedly killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

The unfortunate incident led to an outcry but Tinubu, who is respected as one of the strong pillars in “political” southwest, would rather play “damage control” with his kinsmen lives than take a position, by asking “where are the cows?”.

Tinubu, just like Buhari, falls into the same category of a man who is supposed to spend his retirement amongst his family but wants to grasp power due to never-ending greediness. i have concluded that nigerian political leaders do not understand what retirement means, they are simply obsessed with the illusion of power and they want to die with their names in the record books.

If we put aside mpunity, corruption, greediness, and wickedness, Tinubu as president means that the country is saddled with another unhealthy leader who wants to rule 200+ million people with over 240 ethnic tribes and groups. It also means we have handed over a country torn and destroyed by insecurity, ethnic disparities, economic meltdown to someone who cannot remember last words and cannot walk 30 minutes on foot. With Tinubu, Nigeria would witness much greater impunity than it presently does. Tinubu being at the forefront of the presidential race, holding onto the ticket of one of the two most popular political parties in Nigeria, will simply translate to more misery for the people..

No miracle is coming.

(c) Aanu Oluyide 2021