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2023: The Odds Against Tinubu



By Eric Elezuo

The emergence of former two terms governor of Lagos State and National leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as the party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 elections, came with more of backlogs rather than glamour. Much as his diehard supporters see victory in his quest to become the president of Nigeria, many Nigerians believe that the quest of the man, who is better known as Jagaban, was dead on arrival.

Addressed as the National Leader of the APC since its formation in 2013, the twelfth governor of Lagos State desperately wants to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in May 2023, amid excess load of inanities trailing his candidature, including severe ill-health that has become too difficult to hide in recent times..

Tinubu’s victory at the APC primaries was the beginning of his many problems at trying to win the general election. It is not hard to imagine that Tinubu has a hand full of bumpy path to navigate in this race. And the way it appears, bookmakers have already scored him failed mark.

The reasons for the dead on arrival status of the Tinubu-ambition is pictured in so many transparent loopholes that have made the average Nigerian wondered why someone, if anyone at all is supporting his election. These reasons are encapsulated as follows:

In the first instance, it must be noted that Tinubu was not the consensus candidate announced by the APC Chairman Senator Abdullahi Adamu, when the party decided to settle for a consensus candidate as supported by President Buhari. The party had settled for the president of the senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan, who comes from the Northeast. His adoption may not be unconnected to the fact that the party wished to compensate the region as they are yet to produce a leader since Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. Tinubu’s intrusion into the presidential race, and finally grabbing it is seen as an affront to the northern oligarchy, who by all intent and purpose, may not show an iota of interest in his bid. Tinubu and his supporters have followed up the grab with unapologetic campaigns.

It should not be taken for granted that the announcement of Lawan as consensus candidate is a signal that some leaders in APC recognized the suffering the North East has passed through, especially as regards the degree terrorism, which has decimated lives and economy of the region in a long stretch of time.

Again, and for those who kept a keen eye on Tinubu after emerging winner at the June 6 presidential primary, will understand that the former governor was never magnanimous in victory. This was captured in his acceptance speech, which showed no humility, but expressed in as many words that he was on a vengeance mission, having defied all odds to clinch the ticket. Tinubu had targeted and fired several humiliating and insulting shots at the president as if his “It’s my turn’ slogan suddenly changed to it’s my turn to revenge.

Consequently, to all those whose Tinubu’s emergence was a massive embarrassment to, especially the APC party chairman Senator Adamu, who had earlier announced a different person as the consensus candidate, and the party generally, and the Igbo contingent, who felt cheated at the way the mandate rested on the bosom of the highest bidder, there is basically nowhere for Tinubu to hide. To them, he is a misplacement of priority. Adamu himself knows that with a Tinubu presidency, his job as the chairman if the party will definitely come to an end. After all, he didn’t share the joy of victory with Tinubu as he fidgeted to lift the flag of the party on the night.

And with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, a son of the Northeast, and Adamawa State to be precise, it is unlikely the region will settle for a second in command in the person of Tinubu’s running mate, Hashim Shettima, in spite of the number one position. This is not only the theory of the northeast, but the entire Hausa/Fulani tribe that populates the north west and east of Nigeria

Another reason Tinubu’s candidature is dead on arrival, and a subject of failure, is the report by Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research, a subsidiary of Fitch Ratings, and an international credit rating organisation, which harped that a victory for Tinubu will destabilize the peace of the country.

The report said the social instability will be prompted by a chain reaction emanating from the party’s Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket. It is important to note that no Nigerian will want a more destabilised Nigeria, seeing the precarious position the country is presently in as a result of the unending insecurity that has plagued the very fabric of the nation as well as the harsh economic realities that have reduced over 133 million Nigerians to abject poverty.

The report reads:

“We maintain our view that the ruling party’s Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the candidate most likely to win the presidential election as a split opposition vote will favour the APC,” the report stated.

“Protests and social discontent are likely to ramp up in the aftermath of a Tinubu win since this would end the recent trend of the presidency alternating between Muslims and Christians.

“Since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999, there has been an informal agreement that resulted in the presidency alternating between northern and southern states, as well as between Christians and Muslims.

“A win for Tinubu would break with this unwritten tradition and likely fuel sentiment of perceived marginalisation among Christians,” the report revealed.

Other notable Nigerians, who have expressed the impossibility of Tinubu berthing in Aso Rock is the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, who warned that Nigeria will collapse completely if the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, is elected to govern the country.

Obaseki, who stated this in Benin, at the inauguration of Edo State Campaign Management Council of the Peoples Democratic Party, said that no administration had done the kind of damage the APC government had done to Nigeria, noting that the debt profile of the country under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government has hit N60trn.

“God forbid APC comes into power, this country will break; this country will fail, it has already failed, because no government has ever done the kind of damage the APC has done to this country.

“As I speak today, the debt of this country is going to N60 trillion. When are we going to come out of it? Every day, every month, they are printing and printing money to pay salaries. When I cried out years ago, I never knew it was as bad as this. What will happen to the Naira? Only God will help us. They (APC) has destroyed the basis of this country. Electing Tinubu will lead to a total collapse of the country.

“APC is threatening the coexistence of this country, but by the grace of God, when we come into power, we will revive this country. We will make this country what it ought to be,” he said.

In the same vein, a veteran flutist, Omatshola Iseli aka Tee Mac, advised Nigerians against the choice of Bola Tinubu, to succeed Buhari.

The artiste, who claimed Tinubu is his in-law, explained that it was important for Nigerians to reflect deeply and consider their choice of next president.

The flutist alleged that the former Lagos State governor was not qualified to be Nigeria’s president, and argued that there was so much about Tinubu that was shrouded in secrecy.

Reacting in a comment section of a writer, Yemi Olakitan, on Facebook, who had declared his support for the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, the flutist said it was important for an “intelligent person” to interrogate Tinubu’s candidacy.

He said, “Dear Yemi. Anybody can choose any candidate, but an intelligent person will ask himself the question: do I choose rightly? Is the man qualified? Is he honest? Does he tell us the truth about his age, background, and how he made his money? Is this man healthy enough at 86 to take up the task of a totally run-down country…?

“I stopped supporting him and stopped family visits etc when he sold that Buhari to the nation in 2015. My advice to the nation is that this man is absolutely not qualified to become our next president. Respectfully Tee Mac Omatshola Iseli.”

Tee Mac’s fears about Tinubu bring back to mind how he stood like a rock, and sold Nigerians the candidacy of Buhari with a promise of a better Nigeria. However, the opposite is the case as Nigerians have in comatose as regards standard of living, and holds Tinubu responsible. It is even more disheartening that in most of his campaign speeches, Tinubu has pledged to continue the legacies of Buhari. And to the average Nigerian, Buhari’s legacy is continuous hardship, and no one will deliberately engage in voting a candidate that will further perpetrate hardship. Buhari’s almost eight years government is a thorough disadvantage to the desperation of Tinubu.

Another odd against the APC candidate is his mental health status in addition to his physical health, which has continually exposed him wherever the former governor finds himself. Tinubu has been known to speak incoherently in the public, unleashing one mumbojumbo after another, and holding his audience shamefaced. A lot of videos has trended and many have continued to trend on Tinubu’s misrepresentations in speech and utter verbalization of balderdash. These displays have him appear like someone in a trance or in a state of stupor. It is very unlikely that any Nigerian would want such an entity as their president, especially not after experiencing the presentations of the current president when it mattered most.

Tinubu has also been in and out of hospital over yet to be disclosed illness that has reduced to more like a vegetable in his physical outlook. Recall that it was impossible for the presidential candidate to hold up a flag shortly after he was declared winner of his party’s presidential primary. On many occasions afterwards, he has had to be helped to maintain balance while he walks. His total public exhibition smacks of a person, who is nursing a terrible ailment that does not require the stress that comes with presiding over about 250 million Nigerians.

Stakeholders have reasoned that should Tinubu emerge president, he will spend a greater part of his tenure transversing the length and breadth of European nations in search of medication, thereby abandoning governance to God knows who. The way Nigeria is today after almost eight years of Buhari rule, the country cannot afford an absentee president.

Yet another backlog of Tinubu’s candidacy is the fact that most of his educational and professional life are shrouded in secrecy. Most of the schools he claimed he attended have not come out clean to defend his claims, including academic institutions in Chicago, United States. In 2003, his current spokesperson, Mr. Festus Keyamo, challenged his academic status in court and state House of Assembly, saying that there are many things suspicious about his academic qualifications.

In addition to Tinubu’s academic and physical health challenges, the presidential candidate has dubious character backlog. He is alleged to have been involved in drug related deals. A certain document released by the United States confirmed that Tinubu once forfeited his money in some US banks to the US government when he entered a plea bargain to escape court processes, and risk going to jail. The document hinted that money forfeited were proceeds of drug deals.

Though his media handlers are trying as much as they could to defend his involvement as drug lord, it is common knowledge that anyone connected with drugs is not fit to be president of Nigeria, and so it is with Tinubu.

It is also worthy of mention that Tinubu every public outing where he may possibly field questions about his eligibility and programmmes before intellectuals and media personalities. Though there’s no law that compels any candidate to appear for debate, it is imperative that candidates present their programmmes before the people they wish to lead, and give spontenous commentaries on issues with a view to proving that they have full knowledge of the office for which they seek election. But Tinubu has shun all available debates only appearing on programmed town hall meetings where he read albeit incoherently, from prepared text. He was seen at a campaign rally reading from a paper.

Until date, the relationship between Tinubu and Afenifere has remained a no love lost affair with the pan Yoruba group roundly endorsing the candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, erupting a crisis of choice in the entire Yoruba land.

It is still left to see how the jagaban will surmount all this odds and backlogs as the election draws dangerously close to February, 2023.

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A’Ibom 2023: Umo Eno, Deputy To Receive Certificates of Return Today




Pastor Umo Bassey Eno, the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) who won the March 18, 2023 will today, Thursday, March 18, 2023 receive his Certificate of Return as the Akwa Ibom State Governor-elect.

Pastor Eno will be presented with the certificate at the office of the Independen National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Uyo, the State capital, along with his deputy, Senator Akon Eyakenyi.

The ceremony where his victory at the polls where he garnered an overwhelming 354, 348 votes to defeat his closest opponents, Senator Bassey Albert, 136, 262 ( YPP) and Obong Akanimo Udofia, 129, 262 ( APC) would be affirmed is certain to be attended by his family, friends and supporters.

Pastor Eno who had since extended an olive branch to all his co-contestants has pledged to deliver democracy dividends to Akwa Ibomites through the ARISE Agenda while running an all- inclusive administration.

The electoral umpire had on Saturday March 25 in a statement signed by the Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr. Festus Okoye informed Nigerians of its decision to present the certificates to the victorious candidates in accordance with the law.

The statement read in part thus:

“By the provisions of Section 72(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, the Commission is mandated to issue a certificate of return within 14 days to every candidate who has been returned elected under the law.”

“Pursuant to the above provision, the Commission has fixed Wednesday 29th, Thursday 30th, and Friday 31st March 2023 for the issuance of certificates of return to Governors and Deputy Governors-elect as well as State Assembly members-elect.”

He further explained that the presentation will take place in INEC offices in each state of the Federation as Resident Electoral Commissioners and Administrative Secretaries of each state are mandated to inform the recipients of specific dates for the presentation”.


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ICC Confirms Receiving Ethnic Hate Petition Against Bayo Onanuga




The International Criminal Court (ICC) has acknowledged a petition by Professor Gideon Christian accusing Bayo Onanuga, Media Director to the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, of inciting ethnic hatred.

The ICC, however, said the acknowledgement does not mean that an investigation has been opened or that any action has been taken, but that the Court will consider the communication as appropriate.

The ICC’s acknowledgement letter, dated March 27, 2023, with reference number OTP-CR-109/23, was signed by the Head of Information & Evidence Unit, Office of The Prosecutor, Mark P. Dillon.

The acknowledgement letter reads: “The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court acknowledges receipt of your documents/letter.

“This communication has been duly entered in the Communications Register of the Office. We will give consideration to this communication, as appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

“Please note this acknowledgement letter does not mean an investigation has been opened, or that an investigation will be opened by the Office of the Prosecutor. As soon as a decision is reached, we will inform you, in writing, and provide you with reasons for this decision.”

Prof. Gideon Christian’s petition wants the ICC to investigate election and post-election violence in Nigeria, as well as the alleged incitement to ethnic hate against Onanuga and others before, during and after the governorship election in Lagos.

In his complaint titled: “Request to Investigate the Election and Post-Election Violence in Nigeria, as well as incitement to Ethnic Hate by Mr. Bayo Onanuga”, the petitioner asked the ICC and the Office of the prosecutor to conduct an investigation into a series of ethnically motivated violence which resulted in injuries and death during the elections.

According to Professor Christian, Onanuga had issued a threat on Twitter, which warned individuals from Nigeria’s Igbo ethnic group that 2023 should be the last time they would be interfering in Lagos politics.

He said that promoting attacks against individuals from a particular ethnic group residing in a particular area violated international law. Professor Christian said that the international community must, therefore, take action to prevent a repeat of such acts and as well hold to account individuals involved in such international wrongdoing.

Professor Christian noted that the petition was brought Pursuant to Article 15 of the Rome Statute.

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Akwa Ibom 2023: Umo Eno Advocates Unity, Continuous Peace





… as 7 Guber Candidates Vow to Work with Governor-Elect
































































Akwa Ibom State Governor-elect, Pastor Umo Eno has advocated for greater bonding amongst the citizens and continuous peace across the state, especially as it sets to transit to a new administration
































































Speaking at a meeting with 2023 gubernatorial candidates of seven different political parties and some state party chairmen, he noted with dismay that the state has been polarised along party, ethnic, religious and other lines which has hampered progress.































































He noted that elections were over and the healing process must commence immediately, adding, “Akwa Ibom remains our common patrimony.”
































































The Governor – elect who reaffirmed that he has extended an olive branch to all his opponents said he was ready to lead the unity charge.
































































Pastor Eno who enjoyed overwhelming support at the last election, noted that political parties are just platforms for election of leaders, adding that only one winner can emerge through the process.
































































He noted that by the grace of God and support of the people, he has been elected, adding that as a man under such grace, he will always pursue peace for the good of al
































































Pastor Eno who has asserted that he is gifted in the ministry of reconciliation, appreciated candidates of the seven political parties who have accepted to share their ideas with him and work towards achieving a better Akwa Ibom State.
































































He urged them to reach out to other candidates who were yet to accept the reality to sheath their swords and join hands with him to build a greater Akwa Ibom.
































































He assured them that none of them would be left behind by his administration
































































According to him, “This is the way to go for us all,I see this gesture as the beginning of the healing process and I thank you for your felicitation, like I said shortly after my declaration, we will run an inclusive government. It is important that after this kind of election, we begin to work out ways to deliver service to our people. It will not be a winner takes all affair because no one will be left behind.”
































































Pastor Eno likened the governorship candidates’ forum as a class which must have a captain, adding that by God’s grace, he has been elected to be the captain who is prepared to serve for the overall good of other members of the class.
































In his remarks, the Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council , IPAC, Hon. Ubong Emmanuel expressed delight over the meeting, which he said was the beginning of greater days for the state.
































Speaking with newsmen shortly after the event, the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Barr. Ita Ekpo said they were moved by the peaceful disposition of Pastor Umo Eno, stressing that anyone who genuinely aspires to serve the state cannot resist such hand of fellowship.
































































He noted that elections were over and the continuous peace, development, and unity of the state must not be sacrificed on the altar of individual ambition.
































































Barr. Ita said they were prepared to share their ideas and to support the governor-elect in any way possible to further on the development trajectory of the state.
































































It would be recalled that the group under IPAC had earlier congratulated Pastor Umo Eno on his success at the polls describing his victory as the will of God.
































































The message which was addressed to the governor-elect read in part, “Dear Governor-Elect, your resounding victory at the polls, is a further affirmation of the divine will of God at ensuring that not only the best candidate was elected and given the mandate by the people, but one who best understands where we are coming from as a people, where we are presently and who knows the best route towards attaining and achieving our target destination.”
































































The opposition parties expressed optimism that Pastor Umo Eno’s ARISE Agenda would serve as a vehicle to promote both economic growth and social cohesion throughout his term as governor of the state.































Aside from Ita, governorship candidates of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Social Democratic Party, (SDP), Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Action Alliance, (AA), Boot Party( BP), Peoples Redemption Party ( PRP), Mr. Nsikak Hogan, Mrs Emem Udoh, Mr. Eyo Ekong, Abasiekeme Ekanem, Akan Epenyong, Sunday Ekanem respectively, as well as the leadership of IPAC in the state, were in attendance at the lively gathering.




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