The Positive Fallouts of Chief Obasanjo’s Endorsement of Labour Party Candidate And Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Presidency By Prof. Ojo Emmanuel ADEMOLA

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The Positive Fallouts of Chief Obasanjo’s Endorsement of Labour Party Candidate And Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Presidency

By Prof. Ojo Emmanuel ADEMOLA

For some of us with strategic minds on political developments in the Nigerian space, particularly as the race gets intense towards February presidential election, the much-taunted endorsement of the Labour Party (LP) candidate, Peter Obi (PO), by the former president Olusegun Obasanjo (OBJ) has not come as a total surprise. Rather, the trajectory postulation that marks out a progressive candidate like Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) from the pack of pretentious, uncultured and ill-prepared ones has come into full glares of politically minded Nigerians. And definitely, this will further help the cause of BAT solidify his hold on the race.

Like I have stated in the past series of my articles on Asiwaju’s quest for the presidency, the race will not be for lilly-livered candidates resorting to self helps, including the irrelevant endorsement of old stock political players, but to a visionary, committed, results-oriented, bridge builder and broad-minded candidate. In all ramifications, BAT has proved beyond reasonable doubt that he has all it takes to clinch the coveted position of president.

When sometime in August last year (2022), Asiwaju made an informed visit to OBJ in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, we had reasoned partly that it was a smart, political master stroke befitting of a progressive democrat and one that would demonstrate his broad-mindedness to galvanise all the available resources, particularly human elements towards the task of rebuilding the Nation. Indeed, in this instance, OBJ was considered a significant stakeholder among the lots, and a consultative move towards him was justified. That OBJ didn’t see through this well-intended and sincere gesture of Asiwaju to move beyond the pedestrian political calculation tallies the earlier proposition that there’s no love lost between Asiwaju and OBJ.

I had stated that Asiwaju and Obasanjo were not the best of friends if we were to talk about the turbulent politics of Nigeria. Both served in the same democratic epoch. While Obasanjo was the president of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007, Asiwaju was the Governor of Lagos during the same period. While Obasanjo wielded the enormous power of the Nigerian presidency, Asiwaju wielded massive power as Governor of the wealthiest, most powerful, most influential state in Nigeria during the same period. While Obasanjo was of the ruling PDP, Asiwaju was of the opposition AD at that period.

But then, the character traits of the two did not match confluence. Obasanjo was an autocratic, forceful, removed and brash leader; Asiwaju was a democratic, humane, persuasive and urbane leader with a solid connection to the people.

What’s more, the kind of coercive politics Obasanjo chose to play as President and Leader of PDP pitched him strongly against Asiwaju, who was unofficially the Opposition Leader then and resented such forceful and coercive politics. So there was no love lost between President Obasanjo and Governor Tinubu as their reign lasted.

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As a staunch democrat, Tinubu, as Lagos Governor, instituted and prosecuted many judicial cases that questioned the kind of suzerain rulership of Obasanjo. Such laws sliced through the absolute powers of the centre over the states, and to his credit, most of these cases were successfully prosecuted in favour of the states, thus nibbling off some of the centre’s powers in the states’ turn. These judicial interventions have gone a long way to redefine the Nigerian federal structure. But Obasanjo and his PDP did not like this hence the frosty relationship they maintained with Tinubu.

The high point of the cat-and-dog relationship between Obasanjo and Tinubu was the vexed issue of local government creation, which led Obasanjo to seize the local government allocations for Lagos during the entire years he was in power. Lagos, under Tinubu, created other local governments to augment the paltry number of local governments in the state. The Obasanjo-led federal government argued that Lagos was acting outside its powers by creating more local governments, insisting that the power to create new local governments resided with the federal government. Lagos went to court to establish its power to create local governments, but the Obasanjo government resorted to self-help by withholding local government allocations due for Lagos. Eventually, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Lagos, both on the right to create new local governments and the illegality of the Obasanjo government in withholding its allocations. Despite the Supreme Court rulings, the Obasanjo government still held on to the allocations to the end of Obasanjo’s tenure.

We recall that during the 2003 elections, Obasanjo unleashed brute force and untoward acts to annex the entire South West for his PDP. These were successful, as the five AD governors in the South West were brutally removed in that farcical election. It was only Tinubu that survived this onslaught, and this added to the anger of Obasanjo and the PDP against Tinubu. Still, there was nothing they could do about it than live with the reality of Tinubu’s impregnable political clout. This Asiwaju combined with a consistent demonstration of the wisdom to place activity and achievement side-by-side without confusing action with achievement.

With the scenario above, one would wonder why Asiwaju should visit Obasanjo in the process leading to the coming presidential election. For anything, Obasanjo is not really an active politician, having severally announced his retirement from politics and having publicly quit PDP.

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But those that raised this poser are utterly ignorant of Asiwaju’s liberal personality, which knows no differing boundaries. To Asiwaju, everyone matters, in apparent deference to his persona. Asiwaju believes that there are no permanent friends or enemies; thus, he believes in enlisting everyone that has something to contribute to the impending task of furthering the rebuilding and repositioning process in Nigeria. Also, Asiwaju patterned his political strength on attaining excellence; he knows that if great minds chase perfection, they usually can catch excellence. As a former military and civilian leader, Asiwaju believes that Obasanjo still has something to contribute to Nigeria. He believes that partisan politics shouldn’t prevent him from tapping such contributions because petty partisan influences do not trap him.

The meeting between Asiwaju and Obasanjo then furthers the readiness and preparedness of Asiwaju to take up the baton of Nigerian leadership in February 2023. It further consolidates his wide acceptance and cements his attribute as a consummate bridge-builder that has the capacity to bring everyone, tribe, faith and gender, on board to advance the progress of Nigeria. To Asiwaju, no river is too deep to cross to give Nigeria the top-notch and enduring leadership he gave Lagos. The same attribute that made him engage and involve everyone to deliver a stellar record in Lagos is what Asiwaju demonstrated by engaging Obasanjo. This shows that he will never hesitate to engage other Nigerians, irrespective of political persuasion, in the task of governing Nigeria if he is eventually elected President in February. This is a fundamental trait in Nigeria, divided down the line by partisan inclination and interests.

But that the elder OBJ has today openly pitched his political tent with another candidate of LP in the conquest for the prized position clearly highlights the dynamics embedded in the political etymology of endorsement.
The elder statesman Obasanjo, who has never solved any democratic problem because he is just of significant input to the foundational issues of Nigeria, should look for a scheme to save his face instead of using a ‘cataract approach’ to cloud the political space with his zero electoral worth.

Having been head of State at the age of 39 and 42, he benefited maximally from the progressive fight for democracy that culminated in the MKO Abiola’s election; Chief Obasanjo keeps representing himself as a significant problem initiator and perpetrator in Nigeria.

Chief Obasanjo has never exhibited even an average quality of being a Democrat. He remains an autocrat who loves to benefit awkwardly and never considers the impact of his action on the people. Thankfully, he’s accessible to his opinion on any matter that has to do with Democracy. Baba Obasanjo should now keep to his words that he retired from politics and borrowed a leave from Elder statesmen like Generals Gowon and AbdulSalam.

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However, since his endorsement of Obi has no electoral worth, it further damages Atiku and adds more electoral votes for Asiwaju. The purported acceptance is to confirm that PDP has failures and remains incurable failures in their foundation, as both Obasanjo and Obi were PDP politicians. Also, Obasanjo and Obi are never progressive politicians. Obasanjo and Obi are political vultures ready to eat other dead vultures – Atiku, in this scenario.

The Asiwaju visit to OBJ was not necessarily for endorsement. Still, instead, it confirmed that at least everyone in Nigeria has something to contribute to the Country to elevate a national interest. Once again, this endorsement confirmed my earlier position that some are part of Nigeria’s problems unrepentant and can only create more problems. Thank God, Asiwaju winning will be so overwhelming, and all Nigerians will be engaged fully in Nation Building.

Obasanjo, Atiku and Obi do not have any progressive democratic nature! They are tripods of no-ideological politicians. Obasanjo and Obi are political failures and had no fruit after them when they left Government. Atiku is a political dead vulture, and Obasanjo and Obi are real-time vultures who are ready ever ready to eat the dead vulture.

When essentially viewed from another perspective, OBJ’s endorsement bestows Asiwaju with a higher moral ground of authority when he emerges as the overall winner of the presidential race in February. For once, it will be clear that he assiduously worked for his success despite the opposition from his own kinsman (OBJ) and that the good Lord has vindicated him.

Asiwaju is a masterpiece progressive, wholly consistent and fully competent politician. When he becomes president by God’s Grace in May 2023, he is coming to solve problems like what God used him for in Lagos between 1999 and 2007.

So, God is in charge of Nigeria’s affairs, and let’s not fret about a non-endorsement issue but focus on the tasks ahead.

Prof. Ojo Emmanuel ADEMOLA

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About Babatunde Adekanmbi 139 Articles
Babatunde Adekanmbi is a digital creator with a demonstrated history of working in the civic and tech industry Babatunde Adekanmbi holds an Ordinary National Diploma in Mechatronics Engineering and Higher National Diploma in Electrical Electronics Engineering Yaba College of Technology Yaba Lagos . A certified Autocadd specialist , Google Digital Marketer with featured articles on various digital news platform .

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