Buhari takes battle to Tinubu’s backyard

4 years ago

Begins reconciliation of APC stakeholders ahead of Ondo polls
There is fire in the All Progressives Congress (APC). No more pretensions, the major combatants have taken battle positions. The old war general has found his musket! The November 26 governorship election coming up in the Sunshine State of Ondo, is turning out to be the defining moment for the battle of wits and intrigues that has been going on in the amalgam political platform called the APC.

Suddenly, against the popular notion of political aloofness and disinterest, President Muhammadu Buhari, has begun to take serious interest in political activities. Last Saturday, the president led APC bigwigs from across the country to whip solidarity for Chief Rotimi Akeredolu, the party’s standard-bearer for the Ondo governorship polls.

Recent developments in APC, which has been going through some internal discomfort, tend to present the possibility that ever since he mounted the saddle as civilian president, Buhari does not want to share his exalted political podium with former Lagos Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

Like a trained soldier that he is, the president managed a decoy, affording Tinubu the pleasure and freedom to over reach himself in the belief that it was the same Buhari that used to pass multiple nights at his legendary Bourdillon residence that he was dealing with.

In the long interface between ex-military officers and civilian politicians in the country, the civilians have shown a markedly poor understanding of the psychology of a trained soldier. Take away the discipline, soldier’s value intelligence and they see every engagement from the perspective of combat. Tinubu and his foot soldiers, most of who believed that Buhari’s seemingly political naivety and taciturnity would redound to their greatest opportunity, must by now begin to see the other side of midnight.

It is not impossible that a great many of political actors in the country would be relishing a sense of vindication in the feeling that ‘we warned him, but he could not listen’. But right from day one, during his inauguration, the president had hinted in his speech that he belongs to all, but to none. That is the typical jargon of those adept at camp fights in the jungle: no friend, no foe!

However, without having second thoughts about that charged sound bite, Asiwaju carried on as if he remains the ‘national leader’ of APC, despite the coming on board of a president on the party’s platform.

That could explain why the former Lagos governor wanted to be the one to determine the leadership structure and pattern of zoning of floor functionaries in the National Assembly. After playing the hide and seek over the manner of emergence of Senate and House of Representatives leaders, Tinubu was led to believe that his strategies were defrayed by the party leadership.

Then there was the intrigue surrounding the appointment of cabinet members. Instead of according him the ‘honour and dignity’ of being, not only the leader of the Southwest caucus of the party, but also as the Jagaban of the merged recessive political platforms, notable emergent politicians were penciled and informed to go and do obeisance to their principal. But the appointees were made to know who was doing them the favour so as to reciprocate with their loyalty.

Yet overlooking the potent signs of changing times, Tinubu had the political boldness to tongue-lash the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, over his jocular utterance that he could not become an emergency magician to improve the fuel supply situation in the country.

Sources close to the major occupant of Aso Villa, said the essence of that public rebuke via a scathing letter that was celebrated in the media, was not lost on the former military head of state. Then there was the other kitchen squabble when the ‘national leader’ descended on the national chairman of the party during a constricted National Executive Committee meeting of the party.

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