"The moment we [Africans] lost our languages was also the moment we lost our bodies, our gold, diamonds, copper, coffee, tea." - Ngugi wa Thiong'o

18 December 2014

Buhari: the unrepentant integrity activist

Just as he became the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential nominee, Muhammadu Buhari gave the task of selecting his running mate to Bola Tinubu.

Well, Tinubu quickly reminded the world that Buhari’s N/West of Nigeria has the highest number of registered voters seconded by his S/West.

And so, the presidential running mate should come from the S/West. Tinubu therefore positioned himself for the position but lost out.

But, how could a celebrated self-acclaimed APC national leader lose in such a dramatic manner? Tinubu explained that Buhari offered the VP position to him but he turned it down in the overall interest of the country. Chai! Every Nigerian should thank Tinubu for this sacrifice.

If everybody should believe Tinubu, do we also accept that Buhari really meant to offer him the VP position? Buhari, the unrepentant integrity activist laid the answers in the following statement, which he made during the presentation of his running mate, Prof Femi Osibanjo.

“…I have chosen a man of unimpeachable integrity, an excellent professional, a man of faith…, …a man of uncommon humility, a loyal, dependable and selfless patriot.”

In fact, these are some of the attributes that Tinubu has been accused of lacking. For instance, when Nuhu Ribadu was the EFCC boss, he accused Tinubu of corruption on a different dimension. Since then, question of integrity has been hanging over Tinubu’s head.

Prof Osibanjo is an excellent professional according to Buhari, but Tinubu has been accused of forging his educational certificates. Besides, Tinubu doesn't look like somebody who will be loyal to anyone.

However, Tinubu remains innocent of all these allegations since no competent court has found him guilty. But the damage has been done.

Nonetheless, why did Tinubu want to be the vice presidential candidate of APC? Tinubu has never really aspired to vie for any other position since his period as a Senator and Governor. But, it is clear that Buhari may win the 2015 presidential election, and so, would it be safe to trust Buhari with power? Tinubu doesn’t think so.

Considering the allegation of corruption hovering over Tinubu’s head, I think it will be a political naivety on his side to trust Buhari, an unrepentant anti-corruption czar. And therefore, the only option available to him is to become Buhari’s running mate. And if they win the presidential election, Tinubu will have immunity from prosecution, at least, through their Presidency.

But now that Tinubu has failed in his bid to become the vice presidential candidate of APC, what other option does he have. Perhaps we will see another midnight meeting between Tinubu and Jonathan, which Obasanjo alleged that happened when Ribadu contested the presidential election against Jonathan in 2011.