Abraham Lincoln, the former president of the United States of America, once declared that there is nothing impossible to a willing heart. It is expedient and as a matter of fact and urgency, imperative that the United States of America, which is generally regarded as the custodian of democracy and a deacon of light from whom the African countries and other countries of the world, have borrowed the system of government that is being précised today to rise to the occasion. Understanding that a good and responsible teacher is not one who only passes the instruction to his students concerning what is expected to be done, and concerning how it is to be done, without caring to know to what extent the instruction given is not just being carried out, but the level of compliance in terms of accuracy. The African countries in particular have been carrying a heavy yoke by forcing themselves to be in democracy, when in reality, what obtains in most of the African countries is pseudo-democracy and with pseudo democrats as leaders. It has now dawned on Africans, both those who are at home and abroad that the West, especially the United States of America, United Kingdom, and France, who have had a direct influence on the African continent through colonialism and neo-colonialism, do not as a matter of fact, have the interest of the Africans at heart, rather the system of government that is promoted is just a bait, designed to penetrate at will and to exploit the people. Otherwise, how does one explain why the so-called advanced democracies will always look the other way when democracy as a system of government is being bastardised and not précised under the rules governing its practice which guarantees the flow of the dividend of the system to the people? This, to say the least, is hypocrisy at its best and unfortunate. It is worthy of note how America and the United Kingdom seemed to be inciting the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) against the Republic of Niger, concerning the coup d’état carried out by the military junta. One would have expected these advanced countries to appreciate the fact that the member countries of Ecowas have a lot in common with the Niger Republic and by extension, it is like inciting brothers against themselves, an action that does not make any sense and is unreasonable.
What is going on right now in Nigeria concerning the legality and legitimacy of Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a problem that can easily escalate if care is not taken and the countries, especially America from where democracy is borrowed, fail to play the role that is expected of it in a trying period like this in Nigeria. It is important to note that the challengers of the outcome of the presidential election of February 25th, 2023, namely the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the former vice president of Nigeria and the Waziri of Adamawa and the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, His Excellency, Mr. Peter Gregory Obi, the former governor of Anambra State had their petitions premised on three important issues, two of which have to do with the United States of America. For instance, they are challenging the claim of Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu that he attended the Chicago State University, as well as his denial of being an ex-convict, concerning drug matters that led to his forfeiture of four hundred and sixty thousand dollars to a court in the United States of America. Rather than the relevant agency and the appropriate authority of government in the United States of America to help in getting to the roots of this matter, what we see was the office of the vice president, Kamala Harris, as well as the secretary of state, Antony Blinken, giving support to the man in the eye of the storm, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, before and after his inauguration. Nigerians are disappointed in those who are expected to know better and who should be helping Nigeria and other African countries to deepen their democracies. It is likely to be the resolve of Nigerians in the diaspora, especially in the United States of America and the United Kingdom, to withdraw their membership and support for the ruling party in these countries, if the needful is not done and such that will be in favor of the aspirations of Nigerians towards having people of integrity in positions of authority.
What is playing out in Nigeria concerning the activities of Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his supporters is an eye-sore. It is a known fact that the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) awarded to the All Progressive Congress Party and its presidential candidate, only 37% of the vote cast during the presidential elections. This without gain-saying the fact, automatically, makes the administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu the most unpopular since the country’s return to democracy in 1999. However, the administration, not being sensitive and perceptive enough, still goes about forgetting that when one has only worked as a cat, one is not expected to get a lion’s share, in other words, you cannot have an outcome of 37% and go ahead to have a spoil of 100%. Because of the apparent lack of legitimacy and the fear of what evil awaits his administration, where energy is being expended, now is on propaganda. Recall the noise that has been made with regard to the outcomes of the meetings that Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his entourage purportedly had on the side in India during the G-20 Summit that was hosted by the Prime Minister, Modi of India, as well as the report of the outcomes of the meeting between him and the royal ruler of United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on 10th of September in Abu Dhabi. The special adviser of media and publicity, to the President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Mr. Ajuri Ngelale, on Channels TV, Politics Today Programme, while reporting to Nigerians the outcomes of the meeting, exaggerated all that happened by making it seem like there was a far-reaching agreement between the UAE and President Tinubu, on issues relating to the visa ban imposed on Nigerians and the suspension of flight especially the United Emirates Airline, to and from Nigeria, since 2022. After cross-checking the press release made by the government of the United Arab Emirates, what their report suggested is that rather than reaching an agreement, all that happened was the exploration of ways by which the impasse between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates could be resolved. The press release did not say categorically that any agreement in that regard was reached. What is playing out, with regard to the propaganda embarked upon by Tinubu is just a matter of trying to distract the attention of Nigerians from the verdict of the presidential election petition tribunal which Nigerians regarded as a pronouncement rather than a judgement and the fear of the possible outcome of what might be the verdict from the supreme court especially realizing that the FBI in the United States of America has agreed to release to the presidential candidate of PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar approximately, two thousand and five hundred pages of classified documents on the criminal activities that Bola Ahmed Tinubu was involved in, in the United States of America. The administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu is doing nothing other than playing to the gallery, in other words, they are embarking on activities that cannot in any way, move Nigeria forward, for lack of profundity. Their efforts are in futility and a waste of the resources of the country which ordinarily should have been directed to the area of providing palliative to the suffering and impoverished Nigerians.
Here is an admonition that if appropriated to our conditions can help to a large extent in putting the country on the path of progress. “We say we want a renewal of character in our days, but we don’t really know what we ask for. To have a renewal of character is to have a renewal of a cradle order that constraints. limit, binds, obligates and compels. This price is too high for us to pay, we want character but without conviction, we want strong morality but without the emotional burden of guilt or shame, we want virtue but without particular moral justifications that invariably offend, we want good but without having to name evil, we want decency without the authority to insist upon it, we want moral community without any limitations to personal freedom. In short, we want what we cannot possibly have on the terms that we want it” James Davison Hunter
Going forward, Nigerians should come to terms with the reality that power lies in the hands of the people. We should discard the erroneous belief that power only lies in our PVC. That can be true to an extent, but only regarding choosing our leaders. The truth that cannot be controverted at this point, especially in a situation where those who are in positions of authority are not those who were chosen by the people and who do not represent the interest and the will of the people, is that, what leaders like that, who are opportunists need at all costs is legitimacy. This accounts for all the propaganda, lying, and deceit that are being perpetrated. No government can succeed anywhere without the support of the people and what I mean by the people is the people, who are active participants, not the passive and sleepers. Nigerians, especially the youths should rise to the occasion and use all the God-given powers that they have to deny the administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the recognition and by extension the legitimacy that it is looking for. This is the era of social media, realizing that they only have 37% of the votes awarded to them, all the ministers, the APC governors, legislators, senators, advisers, and all others who are working for them are those who form the 37%. The remaining 60% and above are the well-meaning Nigerians, both old adults and young, without whose support the administration cannot function. This is not the time to go into their space by engaging in violent acts that may incur the wrath of the blood-thirsty leaders, who have the armed forces and the police at their disposal or in their control. We have what is stronger than guns in our hands, and these are the education that we have, the knowledge, and the wisdom that we can put to use. Disregard whatever policies they are putting forward by withdrawing your cooperation and support for them and before you know it, you defeat them and render them impotent, psychologically. This is just one way of stopping our adversaries from taking over. The judiciary, on its part, has failed us, but thank God that we have only gotten the verdict of the presidential election petition tribunal and not the Supreme Court. The issues to be challenged at the Supreme Court are those that the presidential election petition tribunal considered as lacking in merit and this include the double nomination of the vice presidential candidate of APC, Kashim Shettima, the fraudulent Chicago State University certificate, the drug conviction case of Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the United States for which he forfeited 460 thousand dollars, the 25% win in the FCT, Abuja and his dual citizenship issue. These matters have not been adjudicated on; the election petition tribunal only discountenanced them for lacking in merit according to them. In as much as it is possible in Nigeria and by the laws of the country to expel a student, regardless of how far he has gone in his studies, when the authority of the institution he is attending discovers that he gained admission into the institution with forged documents, the matters of the qualification of Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima cannot be regarded as pre-election matters and must be looked into by the judges of the Supreme Court. Nigerians are full of hope, not because of the integrity of the judiciary, but because the evidence to prove the ineligibility of both the president and the vice-presidential candidate of the APC is available, strong and compelling enough to bring about a turnaround of the table against them.
A wise man once declared that “He who raises the black flag on any avenue of life is riding hard for a fall”. Let this sound as a warning to the hijackers of power in Nigeria. To all the presidential aspirants in the last presidential elections of February 25th, 2023 in Nigeria, this is a clarion call to come together and salvage the country. It does not matter how much effort the Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration is putting into blindfolding the vulnerable Nigerians from seeing the truth and distracting Nigerians, especially the youths from looking at their colorful future, which begins now, if the evil that has been perpetrated by the singular act of hijacking power is allowed to slide, the precedent that will be set will linger for decades to come and will be difficult, if not impossible to obliterate. This call is a call for statesmanship and a stitch in time saves nine.
“When one door shuts, another opens, he that will struggle with the world and bear up and adversity, ought still to resolve not to be discouraged, for resolution is the mother of fortitude and not only necessary to our support but very much conducive to our deliverance” (Samuel Palmer)
The destiny of Nigeria should not be allowed to be truncated and stopping the enemies of progress and stability is a cheap possibility, for where there is a will, there is a way. God bless Nigeria.
By: Samuel Tunji Adeyanju