Tinubu, Madmen, And Politics In Nigeria

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By William Ikhianosimhe Orbih.


I am not saying that the much-revered Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has gone mad. Rather, I am saying that the recent happenings in Nigeria with him at the center remind me of Ola Rotimi’s play; OUR HUSBAND HAS GONE MADE AGAIN. Simply put, one of the central messages of Rotimi’s 1977 comedy is that politics in much of Africa (and the US too) is a game only mad people can play.

Actually, the madder you are, the greater your chances of winning, even though this did not apply in the case of Lekoja-Brown, the serial polygamist, ex-military-turned politician, and central character of Rotimi’s play.

I know OUR HUSBAND HAS GONE MAD AGAIN almost at the tip of my finger because I once auditioned for it. Unfortunately, I did not get a role in it. However, I got a role as one of the WIVES in Tracie Chima Utoh’s OUR WIVES HAVE GONE MADE AGAIN—picture and story for another day.

It is not only Tinubu that reminds me of this play. Virtually every Nigerian politician does, especially when an election is in focus. Nigeria’s next general election is in 2023, and politicians are already beginning to dance naked in public view.

Soon, we shall see a Dino Malaye hawking. We shall also see Adams Oshiomhole and Governor Godwin Obaseki munching corn in public. We shall see Ayade shedding crocodile tears in public. We shall see elites telling us their emotional ghetto stories of growing up and going to school without shoes.

We are already seeing an FFK speaking from both sides of his mouth. As usual, he is ready to play the pipe according to the dictates of his highest bidder. He rolls with whoever bankrolls him. Of course, he is not alone. We shall soon see looters metamorphose into philanthropists, promising the impossible for just a single ballot paper.

We shall soon see desperados ready to slaughter people in their hundreds just for a seat in parliament. We shall soon see madmen and women come to town in campaign trains, dancing to JERUSALEMA.

Suddenly the unapproachable shall become approachable; mighty men shall fall on their knees begging for votes from the poor. One short professor and legal luminary will be all over the place, personally distributing Trader’s Money.

Now back to the great Jagaban. Tinubu, more than any other politician right now, epitomizes this “madness.” I am not talking about his many recent gaffes, such as suggesting the federal government’s need to recruit 50 million youths into the Nigerian army. No one is above mistakes. Besides, and one of his aides has taken the ridiculous suggestion back.

I am not even talking about the fact that his age has continued to fluctuate, and we are now not sure if he is either 69 or 79. Well, we were also not so sure whether Taiye Taiwo was 19 or 39 when he played in the U20 FIFA World Cup in 1999. Yet, we cheered him on and celebrated him when he emerged as the Tournament’s third best, behind Messi and our own Mikel.

In other words, Tinubu will not be the first Nigerian to tamper with his age. Neither will be the last. Slay queens do it on their birthdays every year. Many Nigerians officially use their “football” age in contrast to their real age. The saying: “age is a thing of the mind” is so literally true in Nigeria; it is certainly not right to crucify Tinubu for simply being a true Nigerian.

Rather, I am talking about how the almighty JAGABAN has become a bootlicker. The man who, as governor of Lagos, famously stood up to President Obasanjo is now desperately warming up to arguably the most uninspiring First Lady in Nigeria’s 61 years history.

He also recently commended Governor Ganduje for his anti-corruption drive. While I am not saying that Ganduje is corrupt, I am convinced that either Tinubu did not see the famous Gandollar video or he does not know that much of politics has to do with optics.

Finally, those who think Tinubu has an interest in the presidency come 2023 may be right, even though Tinubu himself has not come out to declare his interest. I will, however, respectfully urge him to stop dancing and start speaking. Let him begin speaking to young Nigerians, explaining to them why he thinks himself the most suitable to lead Nigeria at this critical period.

Of course, no amount of his speaking will be able to impress me. He might, however, be able to impress enough Nigerians to guarantee him victory at the forthcoming polls. This is me hoping that politics in Nigeria is still a game of number despite the fact that its major players are mostly madmen and women. If only the ordinary and sane can learn to resist being swayed by the madness of the elite.



Disclaimer: “The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of  William Ikhianosimhe Orbih and do not necessarily reflect those of The World Satellite. The World Satellite will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.”


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