Former interim chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande, dropped a bomb on Monday, when he issued a statement alleging that some people close to the country’s power hub, Aso Rock, are “playing politics with the health of the president.”
Chief Akande warned that those who wish to harvest political gains out of the health of Mr. President are mistaken. “This is not 1993,” he fumed.
The question begging for answer from Chief Akande’s vituperations is, who are the people playing politics with the president’s health and is the president’s health condition really as bad as he tried to impress? We know that just on Tuesday, President Buhari was in the office as early as 8:00 am and had an hour long meeting with the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru. He also attended to the nation’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
The wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari also issued a statement, Tuesday, telling Nigerians that her husband’s health condition is not as serious as being exaggerated by mischief makers.
Therefore, why did the former APC Chairman, a party elder and one of few stakeholders that are very close to the president, make such a big issue about the president’s health? The answer is not farfetched, if we look at where the chief is coming from. Like most politicians from the southwest, Chief Akande joined the APC as a product of one of the defunct legacy parties – ACN led by party leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
It is therefore safe to conclude that Chief Akande was speaking on behalf of the Jagaba who, unfortunately seems to be jostling to take over power, even when President Buhari, is still well enough to discharge his functions. That the president missed Friday prayers and FEC meeting does not translate to incapacity.
Equating the current situation in the Villa to the annulment of the June 12, 1993 elections is to say the least, rolling out political war drums. If we recall, the nullification of that election in which late Chief MKO Abiola was presumed the winner, drowned the IBB regime and brought in an interim government led by Chief Earnest Shonekan which, lasted only few months before General Sani Abacha took over.
If Chief Akande is doing a hatchet job for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, then they are both making a big mistake. Nobody can constitute an interim government when the incumbent president has neither resigned nor is incapacitated. It is most unfortunate that the two senior stake holders of the party and their co-travelers would contemplate such a disgusting thought of doom against the president who virtually handed over power to the Asiwaju from day one. All you need is to reflect on federal appointments made so far, and that is in addition to the position of Vice President, who are those ministers that man the powerful and “juicy” ministries? Of course, they are Tinubu’s associates.
Tinubu’s desperation for power did not start today. It could be traced back to the APC pre-merger talks. He courted virtually all the major stakeholders of the party and was able to pin President Buhari to choose him as his running mate, until when as he admitted in the book ‘The Run of Play,’ authored by Segun Adeniyi, that Senate President Bukola Saraki and Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufa’i put spanner in his wheel. It is also not a secret that the major problem between the executive and the National Assembly can be traced to Tinubu’s machinations.
Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been, since May 29, 2015 and continues to be President Buhari’s political Albatross. But he is not alone. The cabal in the Villa, headed by the president’s all-powerful nephew, Mamman Daura is also a cog in the president’s wheel of progress. They contributed little to the winning of the APC at the general polls, but have become the major beneficiaries of the Buhari presidency.
They misled the president into believing that he can go it alone; that he won the election not because of the coalition and contributions of other stakeholders, but by the sheer popularity of the President (SAK). Those who invested their time and money to nurture the APC in their respective states and constituencies have been jettisoned by the president for the cabal. In fact, at one time, he told APC Governors that he will not honour their request for appointments, and he didn’t.
It does not therefore come as a surprise now that when he is in need of political support, the APC governors and other senior stakeholders are busy meeting and consulting on life after “an ailing Buhari.” Like Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, they are also scheming on how to benefit from the president’s poor health condition. The old hawks that dominated the affairs of this country for over three decades – Obasanjo, IBB and Abubakar reportedly met on Monday in Minna to discuss the president’s health situation.
President Buhari himself does not help matters by running his government at snail speed. It takes forever, for a simple action to be taken or appointments made. He gives the impression that he is not capable of leading, and in today’s world, action speaks louder than words. He should be seen more and act more. Majority of Nigerians are still with him and know that illness does not kill; it is only those whose time is up that return to their lord from just a simple headache.
– Tambari wrote in from Kaduna and can be contacted at 43 Takai Street, Kaduna.