This is not the exact discourse I had scheduled for this space today. I had planned something else even though a bit close to what you will be reading. It would have come under the title, «On the mandate we stand.» It was intended to be a part response to those creating concerns in the country with a view to reap political capital from it and those pushing in particular the rumours of possible coup. Put clearly: military take over in the country. This is rubbish thought. 

    Those pushing the angle must be careful. The truth is that while every part of this country had at one time or another ran with the idea of secession, the Yoruba in recent times have done much more to keep the country one. Their contentment with having Lagos has kept the desire for one united country going, else if they joined the agitation for division, the story would have been different. I am Igbo and know they desire to be set «free.» The core North wants to go but it is held back for reasons of economics. If the oil explorations dotting the region, for which the country has had to commit billions in foreign currency bringing us to near point of isolation had turned out oil in very large commercial quantity in any area in that region, it would have been long they kissed goodbye to the rest of the country and gone their way.

   They want a country where their culture and religion would reign supreme. They have made efforts to have that in Nigeria (Sharia, cattle routes, cattle colony, control of water ways, Ruga and Nigeria without borders, deep liaison with Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Turkey, Jordan and the current one, Qatar, there have been pushes but not much results. Resistance everywhere, conflicts arising from the misguided ventures tearing each day at the bonds of unity. Importation of Islamic terrorists is at the root of the current food scarcity. Naturally, we are a food producing country.

For years, farmers couldn’t and still can’t go to farms. Those terrorizing far flung rural communities didn’t just drop from heaven and automatically have war weapons and conversant about their operations. These are hardened, well trained fighters raised in neighboring countries of the Sahel. If the north doesn’t find oil and gas in the near future, it is very easy to predict worsening security situation. Again, President Bola Tinubu is like a scorpion perching on scrotum, if you hit very hard you incur personal colossal damage.

    President Tinubu, like Obasanjo before him, made it look like a political lone ranger. The core north is adept at raising people who are not in sync with their people, to high political offices but the danger here is that the Yoruba we have known don’t “throw” away their own just like that. They didn’t like President Obasanjo but when “when the come come to become”, the Yoruba had no qualms about supporting Obasanjo including handing over the area electorally to him. It is the same with President Tinubu.

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  How we treat him will determine Yoruba reactions to the quest for one Nigeria. He is being pilloried and we saw him hide under condolence visit to the family of late governor of Ondo State Rotimi Akeredolu, to attend a meeting of Yoruba leaders. Tinubu understands the game and knows that feathers could be ruffled. He is preparing his defense. Smart politician he has always been. If it were his Igbo equivalent they would have been singing a different tune. We leave that for now.

     Now the President›s gaffes, just the ones he committed last week alone. He can do away with family members in government. No need courting avoidable controversy and attracting smears when such matters can be rested from the word go. We saw his two sons on stand before Ministers. In what capacities? Such can be avoided, especially given the time where soberness and clear headedness should reign utmost. Now mooting the idea to go to Qatar alone for anything at this time further lowered the esteem of both himself and the country that prides itself as there  “Giant of Africa”. We began the race for development long before Qatar. Now Qatar, a desert country found oil just like us, see what they made of their own endorsement. See the administrative setup and the relative stability. Then turn to physical transformation and take account of what they have made of human capacity development. Yet, we trudged on about the same time. Now we go begging. Shame, shame, shame… SHAME.

     It was even worse we got to know they had the effrontery to write our President to stay back in his country and work and not come. Nothing was more embarrassing to see our President insist he must be in Qatar for all two days, to do what «talk with the business community». Very laughable, did we have to insist? For a big country like ours? the leaders of Qatar will be laughing their hearts out at our approach to development. A country going out to beg business people, “Please come we are dying, come or else we die”.

    Countries who know what they are doing don›t beg. More importantly, they know the rule is to organize the home front, lift local labour, make it very productive and it will naturally be attractive for foreigners. We don’t have electricity, the roads remain terrible and rail is near non-existent, add that insecurity and here is the leader on bended knees begging foreigners to come. We can say it again, “foreigners never developed a place”. President said bring your money and you can take away all your gains of course in foreign currency. This speaks about his understanding of hiccups in our development trajectory.

    At the bottom of the altercations between America and China is profit repatriation. This is the main reason. President Tinubu told his Qatari audience, “If any official asks you for bribe, come to me.” Big gaffe there. No good, well nurtured leaders talks down his people in the midst of foreign elements. It amounts to a run down, pure and simple. Before this the president did make issue out of incessant protest by Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). He made it look like he may be inclined to resort to underhand tactics. This isn’t new though.

    Why it has become of a concern would be because Tinubu has worn for too long the garb of a democrat. To be reasonable to him he has ran so far with fine democratic temper. However, he must know protest is a right and his administration did excellent getting the police to guide NLC protest. Good score. More that he must be willing to engage the labour much more vigorously and to show goodwill by prompt implementation of agreements reached. If anything his style appears tentative and very hesitant. This is not good.

      President Tinubu means well. But governance is far more than good intentions. There are persons he ought to take, he appears to have thrown far away, Akande, Yemi Osibanjo and Fayemi are some of those. An embrace with full doses of prescriptions by western institutions will undo him if he becomes insistent. We want him to succeed, so we tell him the truth. Nigeria is at the threshold where working with all ethnic groups in the country has become a sine qua to non. We keep talking to our leaders but they don’t hear. I don’t want to believe Tinubu is one of such.