TINUBU AND 2023 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: The Odds Against The Opponents,by Shehu Bashir Esq

2023 presidential election is not like any other in the history of political contest in this country. This presidential election is more particularly intriguing as it is getting more interesting. Unlike the previous ones, where things got more intense as we move on, the boil on our armpit in this one is gradually loosing up and releasing the pus, albeit with much desperation and frustration from the potentially losing sides.

Before this electioneering, we have always had a two – party race, between the losing party and the winning party. This period, however, an interloper joined and is hanging on the sidewalk of the track in a race he is not even in the contest in reality.

Elections are planned, executed and benefited with so much strategy – from conception of the intention to contest, to planning, planting, building structures across board, getting people in place, dishing out programmes and executing these campaign programmes. In all the contestants, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, seems to be the only one with his hands on the knife to cut his onions that he knows better. Others are more of pretenders than contenders.

Notwithstanding that he is fighting a multidimensional battle, facing more than three main opponents/contenders in this contest, Tinubu continues to dictate the tune and set the pace for assured victory. The unveiling of his action plan which is now officially the Party’s manifesto sent jitters into his opponents such that they can’t sleep anymore. The book has become the only actionable manifesto with dialectical analysis of our situation as a country and provision of surgical solutions to those problems. Nothing is close to it from others.

Caught nappy, the opponents rushed to their printers to produce mere papers, which couldn’t match up with the versatile Asiwaju’s action plan. In this same rush, the opposition ended up either stylishly copying the already said programmes in Tinubu’s papers, or confusing themselves with what they will never be able to do. One even said he does not need to have a manifesto. A clown!

Realizing that they have almost nothing to say against Asiwaju and his definitive emergence as the next president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the opposition have started to sponsor one conspiracy theory after the other. After having exhausted their false claims of Asiwaju’s ill-health and certificate forgery, again, they went berserk, alleging without any fact at all, that Asiwaju was “involved” in drug dealings. They went to their grave yard of infantile memory to bring up a settled matter of tax dispute between Tinubu and United States to say all manner of things contrary to the true situation of things. Infact, certain other fifth columnists have been “employed” to do the dirty job and that is why you will see a TV station goof to such an intentional embarrassment to carry a fake news of INEC probing of Asiwaju. Other social media spaces which allow for unregulated group interaction will fuel the ignorance and mischief of the oppositions to employ the services of unpatriotic seditionists to engage in very dangerous and libelous accusations, the same that has been repeated in every election cycle. There is definitely going to be legal consequences to every libelous accusation.

If there is any political circle where the centre is not holding, it is not the APC and Asiwaju’s team, it is the Atiku’s PDP and Obi’s Labour Party. While Atiku has failed to be able to reconcile the rift within his party, with five to six governors in fierce disagreement with him, he is busy sponsoring social media spaces for lies, using same as though it is the judiciary to make a phantom verdict of “imminent disqualification” of Asiwaju. What a fuss! Infact, the PDP spokesperson who was on a live TV to rant about a non-existing criminal liability against Asiwaju did so badly that he forgot to dust his legal archives to recall on the official verdict of indictment passed by the Congress United States of America on the corruption charges involving Atiku Abubakar and Jefferson who is still serving a jail term. If there is any criminal indictment to disqualify any candidate, it is Atiku that has one as the facts against him are sacrosanct The odd is definitely against these jokers.

Obi will want us to forget the burden of integrity on his neck with respect to pandora papers, the illegal money laundering he has been accused of. He is probably thinking we have thrown away the many indicting evidence released by Premium Times on his involvement in these crimes – the shady investment in tax haven. Infact, Obi is thinking that we will just all lose our memories to the unfortunate but unforgivable crimes he committed whilst he held sway as the governor of Anambra State with many unresolved genocide accusations on his neck involving SARS operations in that State. He must have thought we are all as dull.

In Labour Party where Obi is, everyday comes with a new comedy skit. Just recently their National Youth leader was suspended for his involvement in financial misappropriation. That is after several allegations have been made against Obi himself for running a one-man show and diverting the money donated to the party to one unknown company. There have been several rancour within Obi’s party and ironically, most of these allegations have been about mismanagement of funds. This is to the extent that Obi is reported to be “threatening to quite the race”. So, someone who cannot honestly manage a small party finances with integrity wants to have free access to our national treasury. No, e no go work like that.

I recall Prof. Charles Soludo, the governor of Anambra, saying in his last epistle that “Obi knows why he is in this game, he knows we know why he is in the game and he knows he is not going to win this election”. Soludo might not have disclosed in details what he knows about the real motive behind Obi’s impossible mission in this race, but we also have an idea of one of those reasons. And this is also applicable to Atiku Abubakar.

Atiku has lost so much in recent times to Nigeria’s new stance on corruption. Many of his “businesses” which were built from the proceeds of corruption are crumbling already because there is no more conduit to continue to funnel his corruption. Intel which was his highest earner has been stopped by the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, from continuing to milk the Nigeria resources through illegal concession. It was a blow Atiku could not withstand. He has been staggering ever since then. Infact, many staff of his University in Adamawa were sacked because salaries can’t be paid anymore. Just yesterday, Atiku was reported to have shut down one of his “ofege” companies, a certain Rico Gado Nutritional Limited in Yola because he can’t sustain the financial obligations to that entity. It is as though Atiku has never even made any legitimate earnings from any of his so-called investment but through third-party–secondary financing coming from a source not so legal. Indeed, Nigeria dodged a bullet to have cancelled the concession contract between the NPA and Intel.

The truth is Atiku is broke, very broke. His antecedents with respect to financial management are not palatable. Obasanjo made certain irrefutable allegations against Atiku, none of which has been convincingly denied. Nigeria suffered in the hands of a rich Atiku, he sold almost all our national assets to himself. How do we even expect to cope and trust a broke Atiku? God forbid bad thing.

Up until now, no media house is bold enough to ask and challenge Peter Obi to come out clean, to tell Nigerians about the One Billion Naira he allegedly gave to the PDP Chairman Ayu to “buy” the party’s presidential ticket when he was in PDP before things fell apart and he hurriedly left. Even the Arise TV, the organizers of Town Hall meeting forgot to make that question a top mark priority. The accusation that Ayu collected One Billion Naira from someone is not in contest and the arrow of complicity is pointing to Peter Obi. So, why can’t he then come out to say a thing on that?. Or, is our “saint” not finding his words on this?

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Mr. Peter Obi have both lost alot in recent times and are merely desperate to use Nigeria’s financial resources to revive their dead businesses. If anything, Atiku’s first intention would be to exhume Intel’s dead body, breathe life into it by compelling the NPA to reengage Intel in the concession contract. No, Nigerians would NOT allow our resources to be looted again.

Obi can’t even withstand losing a billion naira to a political scamming. He is not just sad that he lost this huge amount of money, he is even frustrated that he still has so much to spend in the coming days in the course of the campaigns. This is even at the time he is desperately struggling to revive his “NEXT” to nothing supermarket which was involved in that unfortunate fire incident. The black attire addict is beginning to realize that “I don’t give shishi” doesn’t win an election anywhere in the world. Without going off the roof, election financing comes with a big budget and nobody can sermonize us about one-colour-code “jankara” satin.

Asiwaju’s TV station was burnt down by sponsored mob, he didn’t call for crowd funding before he brought back alive that TV station in 48hours. Asiwaju’s business estates are not in ruins so, he is not desperate to use Nigeria’s money to revive his businesses. Tinubu is not in bad shape financially to have his eyes on our treasury. He is therefore the best person whom we can say with our bare chest that he wouldn’t corruptly enrich himself with our money.

So, the obvious truth is that, the odds are against the opposition and the opponents. Any of these people can continue to make all manners of spurious allegations against Asiwaju, it doesn’t translate into reality. The reality here is that, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his Vice Presidential candidate are moving on and waxing stronger. The APC is one indivisible house and we have successfully managed all internal differences. The opposition can’t even achieve the feat, hence their desperation to fan the embers of discord and national disintegration.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his Vice Presidential candidate, Senator Kashim Shettima are clean from any criminal obligations and not under any burden of integrity to come clean in any allegations whatsoever. But the same can’t be said of Atiku and Obi who are primarily in this race for the mere purpose of reviving their dead business estates as both men are in serious legal or financial mess

On these elections, APC is a party to beat and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu will win and be sworn in along with Kashim Shettima as president and Vice President respectively, Maa Shaa Allahu. The opposition can either accept these facts and quite the race honourably or continue to waste their time and resources to compound their woes, Nigeria will not stop breathing on their losses.





*Shehu writes from Abuja and he is a member of the 2023 APC Presidential Campaign Council, Media and Publicity Directorate.

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