Wednesday, 03 August 2022 04:10

It’s not Muslim-Muslim ticket; it’s Tinubu - Dele Sobowale

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Dele Sobowale Dele Sobowale

That Bola Tinubu opted for a Muslim-Muslim ticket after winning the election primaries of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was not a surprise to me. I expected it; even as I was predicting that he would emerge as the flag-bearer for the APC. Several reasons account for this; but they all come to the same thing. Tinubu is an unrepentant Muslim bigot; as I will explain later fully.

So for me, the issue is not Muslim-Muslim, M-M, ticket as such. It is Tinubu at the head of that ticket. In my opinion, he cannot be trusted to be fair to Christians. His words and actions in the past demonstrate the fact that Christians allowing themselves to be lulled to sleep by the illogical statements of Tinubu’s supporters will regret it later. To be blunt; I don’t believe that Tinubu will be fair to all. That is the sort of politicians’ promise which only gullible individuals will swallow. He has never been fair to Christians – except the few who received crumbs from his table.

FIRST A DIVERSION

“Money makes everything legitimate; including bastards.”

Jewish proverb, VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS, VBQ, p 163.

Let me quickly explain here that I am not referring to the controversy regarding anybody’s father here. I am challenging the bastardisation of logic by those who hitherto were opposed to Muslim-Muslim ticket, but, who now embrace it because a wealthy candidate champions it. Even the Abiola-Kingibe ticket was shoved down our throats with tons of money. Let a poor man try it and we will see how many of the hypocrites endorsing Muslim-Muslim ticket will embrace it. Furthermore, is it a coincidence or deliberate action that the idea has been muted by a Yoruba Muslim? No Northern Muslim has ever proposed it.

The first and only Christian-Christian ticket was proposed by late Obafemi Awolowo, who as the Presidential candidate of the Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN. Awolowo’s running mate was late Phillip Umeadi, an Igbo Christian  from Anambra State. History would record that the ticket received less than 3 per cent of the votes in the Southeast. The bulk went to the Nigerian Peoples Party, NPP – led by Nnamdi Azikiwe. Nationally, the ticket faired a little better only in predominantly Christian states. Was it a coincidence that Awo/Umeadi got less than one percent in Sokoto and Kaduna?

Despite that preamble, I can categorically state that my votes went to M-M tickets in the past several times. Two prominent among them were Jakande-Jafojo ticket for Governor/Deputy Governor of Lagos State in 1979 and 1983. I was old enough to know they were Muslims. I even worked for the campaigns and travelled 45 kilometres on election days to Agbowa-Ikosi to vote for them. Abiola/Kingibe ticket on the platform of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, in 1993 got me travelling again. Neither Jakande nor Abiola ever did me any favours; and it did not matter. I trusted them; so the religion did not matter.

Finally, from August 1994 till Abacha died in 1998, I wrote several articles on these pages defending Abiola/Kingibe mandate; went to detention four times; could have lost my life at DMI despite the fact that it was a Muslim-Muslim ticket that I, a Christian, was defending. I don’t need any lectures from anybody, please. At any rate, there are other reasons why I find this ticket hard to support. Here are a few for now.

TRUST IS A MAJOR QUALITY IN NATIONAL LEADERS

Trust is a matter of bets about future actions based on experience…A track record of keeping promises is a good predictor. Rosabeth Kanter, Editor, Harvard Business Review. Sep-Oct 1992.

I had no problem with all the other Muslim-Muslim tickets because they were trusted. Among the elements of the trust were their clear antecedents. Most people knew their life histories from birth to the day of the elections of 1979, 1983 and 1993. None of those who want to brow-beat Christians to accept the current M-M can provide a straight narrative from birth to date of the two candidates which is unquestionable. Only someone who can be trusted can expect people to follow him down a dangerous alley. And, nothing can be more politically perilous than M-M in the wrong hands. Tinubu does not provide the degree of confidence that I need to believe that he will be fair to all – not just Christians; but other Muslims who don’t belong to his own faction of Islam. Furthermore, he has always favoured a Muslim-Muslim ticket. That to him is always the best ticket. I will provide the proof shortly.

I would not be bothered if Saraki, Fashola, Makarfi, Tambuwal or Banire were the leaders of the M-M team. They are Muslims whose antecedents provide re-assurance. One of the advocates of M-M used Kaduna State, where El-Rufai rammed through M-M ticket as example to prove it works. Like most purveyours of half-truths, he failed to tell readers that Kaduna was peaceful before El-Rufai’s ill-advised M-M ticket. It is hell on earth now. So are Katsina, Niger and Zamfara – all governed by M-M tickets. The road to hell is sometimes paved by good-intention idealists; who make decisions based on what they  hope Nigeria will be, rather than what it is.

So why the opposition to Tinubu’s M-M ticket?

GOVERNOR TINUBU 1999-2007

“Even God cannot change the past.” Agathon, 447-401BC.

If you want to guess what a man will do in the future, then ,take a look at what he did in the past. Tinubu was Governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007. he left footprints on the sands of that period which no amount of propaganda can erase in my own mind – starting with the treatment of his Christian Deputy Governors.

Ms Kofo Akerele-Bucknor was the first to taste the humiliation which he dished out to everyone unfortunate to be his Christian Deputy Governor. He made it clear, right from the first day in office, that the Second In Command, 2i/c, was not the person elected as his Deputy, and a Lagos State person, but the carpet-bagger he installed as the Chief of Staff. Only in Tinubu’s tenure was the office of Chief of Staff occupied by a non-indigene of that state. Lai Mohammed from Kwara, a Muslim of course, was the de facto 2i/c in Lagos. That was not all. It did not take long for everybody to know that the “Kitchen cabinet” consisted of Mohammed, Aregbesola (from Osun), and Banire  -- all Muslims.

There is no need to list all the names of the heads of all major parastatals of the state; but they were mostly Muslims; so were the Permanent Secretaries and Directors. The Civil Service, which was divided almost 50-50 in 1999 – Muslims and Christians – was already skewed to 60-40 in favour of Muslims when Tinubu finished his second term in 2007.

His chosen successor was Babatunde Fashola, a Muslim, who had succeeded Lai as Chief of Staff. Following Tinubu’s footsteps, Fashola also appointed a Muslim as Chief of Staff from 2007 to 2015 with Tinubu’s tacit approval. If Tinubu and Fashola had their way, another Muslim would have been Governor in 2015. Only the spirited efforts made by some courageous Christians and I changed their plans; and Ambode emerged as the Governor. What happened to Ambose is now history; but not a story which should make any Christian to trust Tinubu to be fair. Those Christians claiming to trust him are welcome to their delusions; but they can count me out.

There is another reason, more recent, that should alarm all of us.

RECENT UTTERANCES TO FELLOW MUSLIMS.

It is baffling to me how those asking us to forget religion and accept the M-M ticket of the APC could have forgotten so quickly what Tinubu himself said early this year. So, let me remind all of us that I raised the alarm to Christians in March of this year in the article cited below.

EVERY CHRISTIAN MUST READ THIS

“A presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, has charged Supreme Council for Sharia in the country to create department of political affairs to create political awareness among faithfuls towards producing a Muslim President in 2023.” News Report, March 20, 2022.

The address, delivered on Tinubu’s behalf has revealed a mindset which most Nigerians, especially Christians, have failed to notice in Tinubu. There are several aspects to it; but, permit me to point to only a few which are terribly disturbing for someone seeking to be our President. The most obvious can be deduced from the report. Tinubu will be President for Muslims only. Christians and traditional worshippers will not count.”

From facts available to me from reliable sources within Islamic groups, Tinubu has followed that injunction to the Supreme Council for Sharia, by making secret pledges to expand the reach of Sharia to more Southern States if elected. Heads of States Alkali Courts have been mobilised politically and financially to ensure his victory in 2023 – not because he is the best candidate but because he is a Muslim. That campaign is still going on fiercely.

During the Lamentation of Emilokan, Tinubu confessed that he supported Buhari in the hope that he would be nominated as Vice President,VP. So, the emergence of a Muslim-Muslim ticket in 2022, with Tinubu as Presidential candidate, was not an error of judgment by Tinubu; it is an affirmation of a strongly held belief that only Muslims should rule Nigeria. I have nothing but pity for those Christians who are prepared to accept second class citizenship under the government that would emerge. And he has a soul-mate in Shettima – who, in my opinion, is a Muslim jihadist, if ever there is one.

WHY APC LOST IN OSUN

“Vote for Oyetola because he is a Muslim.” Governor Ganduje of Kano State.

Many armchair analysts have offered several reasons why the incumbent Governor of Osun State lost the election. They overlooked a major contributor to his loss – which should give Tinubu a pause for re-think. Among the invaders, who shared the podium with Oyetola and Tinubu, was Governor Ganduje of Kano State. He urged the people of Osun to vote for Oyetola, not because he performed well (given the resources at his disposal), but, because he is a Muslim. My phone started ringing; calls were coming from Christians from Osun; who were ready to vote for Oyetola. Ganduje’s announcement changed their minds. Now, Tinubu’s fixation on Muslim-Muslim ticket has shown its true face in Osun. Over 70 per cent of Christian votes went to Adeleke, also a Muslim, on account of Ganduje’s reckless utterances. Tinubu now runs a great risk of losing Osun State in 2023 on account of the M-M ticket.

There is more to come on this issue.

AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE…

“Hypocrisy is saying one thing and secretly doing something else.”

I don’t dispute other people’s religion with them; neither do I want anybody to bother me with their views about Tinubu and his M-M ticket. Like most Christians, I take my religion seriously; and M-M is objectionable to me because of this particular team – Tinubu and Shettima. Christianity will be in danger.

So to me, on this occasion a vote for this M-M ticket, by any Christian, will amount to a vote against Jesus. Those who do it can, thereafter, forget Jesus. They should instead pray in the name of their political god when trouble comes – as it does to all people.

LAST LINE. Has anybody bothered to ask, why we are always disputing Muslim-Muslim ticket and not Christian-Christian? That should tell those self-deluded Christians who contend that religion does not matter something. They are backing a candidate who strongly believes that Islam is everything.

EXCHANGE RATE IN FREE FALL

“Naira falls 34% to N710, Senate summons Emefiele.” News Report.

In July 2020, while on admission fighting for my life, I advised everyone to change any extra money to dollars. The exchange rate was N380/$1. A few did. Anytime soon, it might be N760/$1.

Add legitimate Money Doubler to my list of titles.


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