Concerns about Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s absence from Nigerian public life, which have been trending on Twitter for days, are not ill-advised or misplaced gotcha tactics by political opponents.Concerns about the fitness of a man who has the best chance of becoming Nigeria’s president in 2023 are legitimate expressions of these worries.
Forget what polls say about the 2023 presidential election that are flawed, poorly designed, and, in some cases, clearly partisan.For the time being, the predictions point to Tinubu winning next year.
Peter Obi’s wild popularity in the Southeast, the South-South, and some parts of the Christian North is not sufficient to win a presidential election—unless it transcends these regions and leads to actual votes in his favor. Atiku Abubakar and the PDP are mired in an internal turmoil that is irrecoverably debilitating.
Therefore, heightened concerns regarding Tinubu’s disappearance from public view and at events where his presence is required are not, as his supporters might assert, the irrational, bilious indulgences of his detractors.They stem from the realization that he might be elected president, whose decisions will affect the lives of 200 million Nigerians.
When the presidential candidates of Nigeria’s 18 registered political parties met on Thursday to sign an agreement committing them to a peaceful campaign in the 2023 presidential election, Tinubu was the only candidate who did not attend in person.It was too important to miss that event.Why didn’t Tinubu notice?Where is he, and what was more important than it?
Charles Aniagolu of Arise TV was informed by a member of the APC Presidential Campaign Council by the name of Ayo Oyalowo that Tinubu is currently resting in London.What is his activity in London?Oyalowo stated, “He can’t rest in Lagos.”
They won’t let him sleep.Therefore, the majority of the time, he entered Abuja.He will not be allowed to rest at all.This man has been working 24 hours a day, 20 hours on average.As a result, reasonable individuals thought, “Oga, you need to leave this country because they won’t let you rest.”
This is a curious justification for Tinubu’s self-engineered silence from the public.Even if it is true that he needed a break from the intense pressures of political campaigns, why did he choose to leave the country just before or on the day of a significant event like the signing of a peace accord between presidential candidates, a tradition that has taken place annually since 2015 and has attracted the attention of international media?That’s a self-own, right?
But the most important thing is that if he becomes president, he would be under even more pressure than when he is running for president.Oyalowo seems to be suggesting that a President Tinubu would move the Nigerian presidency to London in order to avoid or lessen the pressures that come with being president?
Which self-respecting patriot who wants to rule his country flees to another country—and a country that was a colonizer in the past, too—under pressure?Outside of banana republics, where else does that occur?
Why London, then?Why not, for instance, the Yankari Game Reserve in Bauchi State or the Obudu Ranch in Cross River State?Or the Iragbiji hills in Osun State?In Nigeria, these peaceful, idyllic locations can restore inner psychic equilibrium and soothe agitated nerves.Why do the people who control or want to control Nigeria hold such a vehement hatred of the nation and a slavish reverence for our former colonizer?
Tinubu is not alone in this.Even Peter Obi, who claims to be “different” from the rest and is praised by his supporters, regularly travels to London to “consult” and plan for the 2023 election even though he is not seeking the endorsement of the same failed old stagers he claims to be different from.
In borrowed robes, he is a neocolonial Establishment flunkey.Atiku Abubakar is the same way.He is overcome by the same xenophilic fever that causes our leaders to revere the outside world and despise the nation they wish to lead.His second home, according to some, is Dubai.
Tinubu, on the other hand, is the front-runner and most likely candidate to succeed Buhari, Nigeria’s most neocolonial president who has given up all pretenses of governance and prefers to be in London rather than Abuja.
In a column I wrote on September 16, 2017, I said that Buhari had “Obsessive Compulsive Runawayism,” which I defined as the urge to leave Nigeria for London or anywhere else in the West when things get tough. Tinubu appears to also have this condition.
I wrote, “This is a president who will leave Nigeria for anywhere at any time.”In retrospect, he spent the majority of 2015 and 2016 traveling the world without justification, and he spent a good portion of 2017 in London on “medical vacation.”Therefore, he was not being truthful when he stated—or, if you prefer, joked—that he felt like “absconding” when he was confronted with the enormity of the task he had been chosen to complete.In fact, he ran away.After the column was published, it got even worse.
Our experience with Buhari, who has perfected absenteeism, complacency, and “ungovernance,” is the direct cause of our concerns and questions regarding Tinubu’s frequent residence in London when he is needed in Nigeria.Nigeria’s problems are too big to be added to by another absent, distant, and pompous presidency, as Tinubu’s current behavior suggests we will have if he becomes president.
It is necessary for Tinubu and his caregivers to disclose his health status.They must explain to us why he has not communicated with us in recent months if they insist that he is fit as a fiddle.
Nigeria’s presidential democracy, which is modeled after that of the United States, is fundamentally based on public communication.The president has the opportunity to influence public opinion, interact with citizens, and reshape the contours of national conversations through public communication.
Because of this, we now refer to the presidency as a “rhetorical presidency,” in which the objective of presidential communication is not simply to persuade lawmakers (which is no longer necessary in Nigeria because members of the National Assembly are frequently pliant yes-men and yes-women), but rather to win the public’s approval.If elected, what kind of presidency does Tinubu envision for himself?Continuing Buhari’s legacy?He might not have had as much luck as Buhari has.
The last thing Nigeria needs is another presidency that will double down on it after eight years of Buhari’s empty, dementia-plagued presidency. This would be accomplished through dishonest press releases issued by presidential spokespersons, paid social media troll farms, and television appearances made by deviously mercenary mind managers.
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