“If you work for a man, in heaven’s name work for him. Speak well of him.
Think well of him and stand by the institution that he represents.
I would work for him not part of the time but all the time.
I would give him an undivided service or none.
If put to pinch, an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness
If you must vilify, condemn and eternally disparage, why,
Resign your position and when you are outside, damn to your heart’s content
But I pray you so long as you are part of an institution do not condemn it.
Not that you would injure the institution – not that – but when you disparage the concern of which you are a part, you disparage yourself”
THE political scene has been hot for some time and the issues responsible range from budget debate, Chibok girls, Rivers re-run election and of course petrol scarcity. I nearly forgot that the present administration also organized an economic summit from where we began to have a glimpse of the economic agenda of the Buhari administration. I said in last week’s article entitled, ‘Buhari’s true face’ that I like some of the things the president said on that occasion and I asked for support so that the government can walk-the-talk for the benefit of our nation and the people.
Many of those who reacted wondered why I should support the president, but I have said it here a good number of times that our political culture should include the attitude to know when elections are over and when governance begins; the concept of opposition is wrong, what we should have should be competing development partners. As I said earlier, the political atmosphere has been tense and what all of us who love this nation would expect is that every contribution should be such that mellows, tempers and calms the people so that the various tiers of government can have congenial atmosphere to work for us.
Last week we had a big contribution from a personality I consider a big political fish, Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu and I don’t think that interjection was helpful to the nation, the government he and others helped to install or the political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), which Tinubu was a major factor in establishing. Let me do a concise introduction of Tinubu for the interest of those who may not know him and I am doing this because his status would have something to do with my deductions that his outburst, which I consider boisterous was not in the best interest of anyone.
Tinubu was a onetime elected governor of Lagos State under the platform of the defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD), a party that drew its strength mainly from the Yoruba of the South West. He was able to transform AD into a new party, the Action Congress (AC) which later changed name to Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) which again merged with other political parties to form what we know today as APC. To this extent Tinubu is not just a stakeholder in the APC; if APC was to be a limited liability company, Tinubu would be the prime owner. Last week Tinubu, who celebrated his 64th birthday, went public with scathing criticism of management of the oil sector. He spoke of performance and efficiency which he said if they were available could give magical results; he virtually took the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu to the cleaners, saying the minister’s statement was at variance with the party philosophy and programmes, a statement that seemed to suggest that the president went outside the political class to pick strangers for cabinet responsibilities.
Since Tinubu made the statement, the gate appeared to have been opened to all manner of persons including big time charlatans and political jobbers who are never in short supply in a rental economy such as ours. We might be surprised even the South-South and Southeast chapters of the APC that should come to the rescue of their ‘brother’ abandoned him in his most vulnerable hour and pitched tent with his supposed enemies. If nothing else tells a story of the frustrations and dirty power play within the APC, this attitude of the APC from the two zones more than does; if this is not enough of the squaring in APC, all a critical observer needs to do to catch the trend is to read The Nation newspaper of present times and compare it with those of the pre- and immediate post-election times and you will reach the conclusion that things are gradually falling apart because the centre may not be holding as much as some of them may have wished. The naked dance of the two zones is likely to have flowed from the dogfight going on.
Even economic saboteurs suddenly found their voice, not to talk of my constituency the media who should have grilled Tinubu and try to find out if he was jumping ship. Rather, they joined the chorus with such headlines as “Tinubu blasts” or “Tinubu’s timely warning.” Blast or warning to whom? That is what I don’t understand. The most comical response came from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) when one of their senators said, “APC can continue to blame themselves, that is not our concern, what is, is that one of their leaders has confirmed that they have failed and that they came to power without solutions for Nigerian’s problems.”
The last view is good enough reason why a leader of Tinubu’s caliber is not allowed to dance naked in the public place. When a commander begins to fret like the ordinary untrained citizen, it is an invitation for anarchy because the troops would be in disarray and gradually the situation would snowball to internecine relationship in which case everybody becomes an internal enemy.
Tinubu is so high in the APC hierarchy that he can effect correction from within. If this option is closed to him, then there is a problem. Besides, Kachikwu is not the oil minister, more than that is that political etiquette does not allow Tinubu, a leader of same institution, to talk from the rooftop and that is the point I expected the media to hold tight to and rub it into the skull of our political leaders. We should also be concerned about motives, after all Kachikwu’s case is not the first time public officers showed indiscretion. One of them insisted we must pay high tariffs for services yet to be rendered and another said Nigerians may starve to death and yet some against protocol have made a joke at a public forum about the Vice President’s height, something that should not be.
I love the coming of APC but the truth is that it is time those inside it know they are in governance and it is not a child’s play; there is need to put on the thinking cap and stop the syndrome of internal enemies and of fighting on different fronts. The challenge must be seen for what it is, to develop our nation.