Sunday, 20 November 2022 06:04

Tinubu’s campaign flag-off gaffe, et al - Dahiru Maishanu

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When I wrote ‘Tinubu’s albatrosses’ not too long ago, many people thought I was unjustly harsh and probably seeking for my own ‘pound’ of flesh (whatever that means) and therefore writing balderdash.

I mentioned Tinubu’s health, his controversial educational back ground, his age vis-à-vis his mobility and morbidity as many of the tides that may count against him in the 2023 general election race.

So many, especially from his political flank dismissed my write up as mere  ranting of a supposed ‘Pen’ enemy.

But the events at the official flag-off of the APC Presidential campaign in Jos Tuesday 15th November, 2022, were  horrible for Tinubu and somewhat, a vindication of my ‘insinuations’.

The happenings of that evening were very embarrassing to both Tinubu, the Presidential Candidate and Muhammadu Buhari who was present at the occasion as the sitting President and leader of the Party.

The duo and the entire APC membership and the nation at large were taken aback when amidst proceedings at the highly publicised and advertised  flag-off, a group of youths stormed the venue with various weapons.

They hurled dangerous arsenals across the heavily populated arena wounding many and making many to scamper for safety despite the MC’s persistent call for peace to reign in the arena.(kuyi hakuri)

The pandemonium diluted the place and devoured it completely despite the Presidential presence. The President and the candidate were literally taken hostage by those urchins, hoodlums and hooligans who were there supposedly as APC  members.

Buhari, as the National Leader of the Party was also naturally expected  to deliver an address at the event but unfortunately didn’t.

This has made tongues wagging on a possible rift between the President and the Candidate.

After the intervention of the security services, the aura of the flag-off was somehow restored until towards the end of the occasion when the Presidential Candidate goofed to the embarrassment of all and sundry. Tinubu surprised everybody when he said at the end of his address God bless PD..APC and then immediately changed to God bless APC.

This is one goof too many for Tinubu who had already been nicknamed ‘goof master’ based on so many blunders of the mouth he had committed previously. That Tinubu has never been a member of the PDP is never in doubt.

This also made pundits wonder how sound and balanced his mental health is when juxtaposed with the gigantic responsibilities resting on the shoulders of the President of the most powerful and most populous black nation on earth.

Nigerians at the venue and those who watched via the media were also embarrassed by Tinubu’s inability to remember the correct names of his campaign’s Council’s Director-General who is also his chief host as the sitting governor of Plateau State and convener of the event. The Presidential Candidate referred  to Chief Simon Bako Lalong as simply Solomon Lalong confusing him for a former minister of Sports Solomon Dalung who had already severed his relationship with the ruling party a long time ago.

All of this puts Tinubu’s health  and mental stability into question as the opposition has always been stressing. The common understanding here is that the APC is trying to sell a mentally unstable and physically weak individual to Nigerians even when the party is fully aware of this and the Nigeria’s patrimony and commonwealth would suffer as a result for generations.

The above and many others are truly disturbing signs that there is something fundamentally serious about the opposition’s concerns about the ability of Tinubu to steer the affairs of this ship well, bearing in mind what has been happening so far.

Nigeria has just borne the financial and economic crunch of a sick leader who has travelled dozens of  times in search of medical treatment at the expense of the tax payer in the last seven years. Nigerians are saying once beaten twice shy.

  • Maishanu is a former Commissioner of Information,  Sokoto State.

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