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Interrogating Tinubu’s Supposed Gaffes – Jesutega Onokpasa



Oftentimes, the way news is reported in this country just leaves way too much to be desired.

And this is even quite apart from the totally putrid balderdash often on offer on social media.

While there are a great many cerebral, professional, and, altogether admirable journalists, bloggers and the like, striving to bring us truthful and reliable information, there are those claiming to be their colleagues – whom quite often they are constrained to work with – who only seem capable of magnifying the most meaningless issues and asking the most infantile questions, while fixating on the most irrelevant developments or, otherwise miserably exposing themselves as halfbaked graduates who somehow found themselves writing articles, anchoring talk shows or pretending to be current affairs analysts.

In a quite cheap attempt at taking a dig at the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Arise Tv’s Ngozi Alaegbu once made a most unprofessional comment to Bayo Onanuga that “not all of us have bullion vans coming to our houses” or something of the sort.

If she hadn’t been satisfied to feel like some superstar simply by lazing around the studio waiting for her intellectual superiors to show up so she might ask them the blandest of questions, she would had actually gone out there like a proper journalist, done the hard work of real news gathering, and, returned to the newsroom with the realisation that transporting cash in bullion vans is actually global best practice, rather than in “Ghana-must-go” bags like Obasanjo while lobbying for third term, Atiku Abubarkar while trying to bribe people to deny Obasanjo a second term ticket, or, indeed in the trunk of your car like Peter Obi’s driver!

She might also had discovered that the money was meant for the payment of party agents and other entirely legitimate party expenses and wouldn’t have ended up goofing on satellite television while feeling rather coy about it.

In the course of his electorally meaningless endorsement of his fellow Anambrarian, Peter Obi, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, ever the black sheep of the family who hates his supposed Yoruba brothers to the most dreadful degree, and is always plotting to bring them to harm, tried to make a mountain out of the so-called “emilokan” phrase, in a pitiably impotent bid to undercut Bola Tinubu.

I actually made a decision to actively begin supporting Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu during the course of making the speech that included that particular phrase.

For some reason, the Christian in me was stirred up to stand with a fellowman who was merely stating the facts of a most infernal betrayal and grotesque injustice being perpetrated against him.

When the usual miscreants went to town with the comment hoping to make unavailable mileage on it, it had occured to me what I would have said to a bunch of my fellow tribesmen back home in the Niger Delta, while speaking to them in our native tongue, about something I could win easily and in a most democratic manner which was nevertheless about being denied me vide the most decidedly undemocratic subterfuge!

Would I then had told them – my own people, for that matter – that it is not our turn and certainly not my turn either?

Why, then, the bloody hell had I gathered them there in the first place?

To dispirit and demoralise them into capitulation, or, to instill confidence and mobilise them into action in support of my lawful and altogether legitimate ambition?

Bola Tinubu was addressing a bunch of APC members and was speaking strictly within the context of the party, its history, electoral trajectory and the contributions its various legacy branches had made to the party’s success in 2015 and again in 2019.

He was reminding his party men and women, in his native region and political home base, about what, under his leadership, they had contributed to the triumph of the party and why it ought to be payback time for all their efforts from their partners within the party.

He was speaking within the context of intraparty affairs, just a few days to party primaries and merely rallying the troops to the cause.

This is the mere side comment at an internal party event that an army of secessionist idiots and inarticulate mischief makers have kept trumpeting without any impact on the wider electorate that truly matters.

At an event in Kaduna, Bola Tinubu once utilised a figurative expression regarding the topic of climate change, and more particularly, the cost of transitioning to cleaner energies for developing economies, only for his traducers to storm out, guns blazing, as if they’d never been to school, their entire lives!

Tinubu is a Muslim minority head of a Christian majority household and being the quintessential cosmopolitan Yoruba he is, was merely rendering his perspective vide a metaphor absolutely anyone could end up easily comprehending.

He was only pointing out the global conundrum of convincing poorer countries to abandon dirty fuels and transition to the relatively more expensive renewable energy sources that are ultimately better for the entire world if the richer countries, which polluted the planet, in the first place, are not even willing to pay for that desperately required transition!

Yet, this expression, indeed one that playwrights, essayists and poets, would be quite proud of if they were the ones that had come up with it, is what certain people still shamefully sought to impugn their incoming President over.

Bola Tinubu went to Abakaliki and deployed yet another figure of speech comparing the huge investment required for setting up numerous power plants to the relatively much lower cost of supplying gas to these plants and subsequently evacuating electricity therefrom to power the factories, workshops, markets, offices, schools and homes of Nigerians.

He was only justifiably lampooning the Obasanjo/Atiku PDP administration for not only stealing and otherwise squandering the 16 billion dollars they claimed to have spent on their Independent Power Project, IPP, scam, but being so daft as not to have made the figuratively much lower provision for the cost of a roasted corn that would have fueled the plants while also linking them to the national grid.

Then the usual sawdust-headed crowd of naysayers and personality cult adherents, apparently all a bunch of halfbaked graduates and examination malpractice beneficiaries, went open season on something anyone with even the most rudimentary exposure to literature and literary studies would had instantly appreciated!

They say Bola Tinubu is not healthy but he is still hale and hearty, campaigning far more vigorously than absolutely any other presidential candidate, if not absolutely any candidate running for absolutely any post, nationwide, for that matter!

Some people even said they saw Bola Tinubu’s hands shaking.

I wonder if there’s any human being in the entire world, regardless of age, whose hands have never shaked at any point in time, usually to their surprise, and quite often, alarm, as well!

I personally believe that having travelled farther and wider than any other aspirant, crisscrossing our entire country, during the primaries, Tinubu, unbeknownst to him, must have caught malaria as is to be expected in a malaria endemic country as ours.

I am most certainly not going to try to find out from him whether he had malaria or not while campaigning for the ticket of our party.

That is his privacy, even as much as my privacy is mine, something pathological busybodies claiming to be stakeholders and analysts, seem not to have been properly brought up enough by their parents to respect.

In any case, Bola Tinubu, just a few days back, went on pilgrimage and completed an ordeal of physical exertion that is quite challenging to absolutely any pilgrim regardless of age.

We would all do well to be very careful as we move through life.

In my experience, at least, more often than not, those who write off their fellowmen on account of health end up dying before those they wrote off.

Bola Tinubu is well and alive and God will preserve him against the diabolical wishes, infernal expectations and demonic predictions of his envious enemies.

My candidate is Bola Tinubu and he is Nigeria’s poster child of good governance.

He has always set the pace that others found so highly recommended and irresistible that they ended up compelled to follow.

He has done it before, has kept doing it, and, will most certainly do it again.

Let the haters keep venting their spleen and choking on their own bile.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the next President of Nigeria, therefore will be their President as much as mine, whether they like it or not!

Onokpasa, a lawyer and member, All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential Campaign Council, writes from Warri.

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