Bola Tinubu’s terminological inexactitude

3 mins read

I HAVE never met Bola Tinubu, but I have been told that he is a rather short man. I nevertheless get the feeling, that he must have a very tall ego; tall enough to fit the lofty ambitions of a man described as “National Leader” of his Action Congress of Nigeria party; a position I was also reliably informed, is not in the party’s constitution.

But what does it matter, Bola Tinubu literally ‘owns’ the party in truth, and whatever he chooses to be called only underlines his place as ‘owner’, ‘main shareholder’, ‘lawgiver’ and the ‘primus inter pares’ of Nigeria’s leading opposition party.

In truth, I am not his fan whatsoever, but I am a political realist and I grudgingly accept that he is a consummate master of the smoke-filled recessesof Nigerian political intrigues, and has been able to eyeball (no pun intended!) the PDP to submission, especially in his South West redoubt.

He has constructed a laager in Yorubaland and it is therefrom that he is taking the politics of merger into Northern Nigeria. What with the talks being held with Buhari’s CPC! If it works out, we face the interesting prospect of a political marriage between the North and the West, which can change a lot of things in our country, for better or worse.

But there is something eternally disturbing about the man. He has a tendency towards terminological inexactitudes: from the controversies about his academic records! The most recent issue is the alleged invitation to attend the Democratic Party’s National Convention.

Tinubu’s spokesperson, Sunday Dare had written that: “Tinubu will be at the ringside as the Democratic Party concludes activities that will culminate in the nomination of President Barack Obama as its candidate for the November 2012 presidential elections in the USA”.

The statement went further: “Tinubu received a gold card invitation which is prime…”, adding that Tinubu was invited as the leader of the opposition in Nigeria.

But in a dramatic twist, online journalism sites claimed that Bola Tinubu had purchased the invitation for five thousand dollars, contrary to claims of “a gold card invitation which is prime”. Quoting a DNC source, the online site, said “the invitation card sent to Tinubu …was generic” and it “generally goes from the campaign organisation and not personally from President Obama”.

Opening for counter blows

The ruling PDP, too long at the receiving end of Tinubu’s ACN’s political stick, found an opening for counter-blows, asking that Tinubu and his party come clean on the invitation. But the ACN’s Lai Muhammed, a longstanding Tinubu sidekick, pooh-poohed the challenge, alleging a smear campaign and shadow chasing by Tinubu’s PDP opponents.

When the central figure returned from his “successful” American visit last weekend, which included a carefully arranged picture of the “leader of Nigeria’s opposition (Bola Tinubu)” effusively clapping at the Convention, he asked the PDP to face serious issues of governance! Well said! Eh? Except that we are not any clearer about the issue at hand. Lai Muhammed passed the buck that not ACN but “Tinubu Media Office that issued an unambiguous self-explanatory statement”.

That may well be the truth, in terms of the point of origin of the spin that went decidedly wrong and exploded political bubbles in the faces of Tinubu and his party men.

They seemed to have missed the point. Politicians are wont to trying to do to the facts of situations, what Yuri Geller does to iron: bend them! When Tinubu got Sunday Dare to issue a statement that he was issued “a gold card invitation which is prime” as the “leader of the opposition in Nigeria”, it was clear that he was being “BIGGED UP” (as they say!), but like a hurriedly buried corpse with limbs sticking out of the grave, they didn’t reckon that the small lie could be so easily discovered in the world of online journalism and open spaces of search and find!

The central issue is credibility, dear Tinubu, Lai Muhammed and the Action Congress. You have become the biggest opposition group in Nigeria and are locked in talks to create an alternative platform to the highly compromised and incompetent PDP.

Nigerians expect you to be substantially different and be more responsible. If you tell small lies about invitations to conventions in America, on behalf of a Bola Tinubu that many people say might very well be Nigeria’s next vice president, what big lies may you have been telling the Nigerian people?

It is frightening that Tinubu, the consummate politician, who has built a notable personality cult amongst his followers, especially in the Southwest, seems to repeatedly stumble upon an unfortunate character flaw.

He is haunted by it; and though his generosity has helped to take the eyes of many commentators from this flaw, it is imperative, for the sake of the political and emotional hopes being invested in the merger talks, for Bola Tinubu and his handlers to respect the truth more consciously. The “gold invitation which is prime” tale does not do the man a lot of good!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.