Tinubu and Osinbajo: The heat is on

The rumblings are already heating up the polity. The political theatrics are tintinnabulating. From my curious positioning thousands of miles away from Lagos, I am watching Nigeria’s upcoming 2023 presidential run unfold as it stirs up the murky waters of Nigerian politics. For now, I am watching two men. I am watching their foot-soldiers and the fabricated deafening noise swirling around the men, and around town. I am watching.

I am watching the man I call the bawling voice in the wilderness of Nigerian politics; Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The Jagaban of Borgu is a historical headhunter who has paid his dues duking it out in the minefield of Nigerian politics. A discoverer of talents and treasures. A phat phenomenon beloved by man and despised by not a few. I am watching this man who could become president of Nigeria two years from now if it is the will of God. Thus, I stand here watching.

I am also watching Yemi Osinbajo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. Osinbajo, the lawyer, the virtuous professor of law, the pastor. I am watching the vice-president who is one heartbeat from the Nigerian presidency. I am watching the man who is loyal to his boss; committed to his country, and respectful to all and looks down on none, whether rich or poor. Watch quiet and humble men; they carry some admirable intestinal fortitude. Osinbajo’s traducers call him a servile and weak errand boy for the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.). They think he should make rules against their dislikes and enforce them on a whim even if his boss thinks otherwise. But what vice president all over the world has a scintilla of power of his own except that ceded to him by his principal? None.

Osinbajo is humble to a fault but tough as a nail. A man who walked out of a smokey, crashed helicopter without a wobble, without a limp, without a bruise, and without an excuse to stay off his duties as VP even for an hour. He strutted out of the wind-torpedoed propeller helicopter as if nothing was amiss. He is a daring warrior! Let the ignoramuses who call him weak stay in the cockpit of their ignorance. Let the clueless remain cocooned in their incognizance.

Osinbajo the erudite listening ear sprang from a humble background in Lagos. Before he became the VP, for eight years he traversed the terrain of government as Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General in Lagos State. Tinubu as governor was his mentor. My friends, I am watching this possible contest between this pastor and the Jagaban.

Tinubu and Osinbajo are friends and brothers. The former is the political benefactor of the latter. Without gainsaying, and the VP will concur to this, God used Tinubu to make Osinbajo who he is in politics today. From what we are picking up on our political radar, the two might become arch-rivals as we warm-up for the tussle to succeed Buhari as president in 2023. Billboards are blinking and fliers flying everywhere. We hear chants and slogans on TV and a barrage of staccato on social media. We see a deluge of advertisements casting these two brothers in great and bright lights as worthy occupants of Aso Rock in a few years. We have heard about parleys and parties held on behalf of the aspirants. We know who is behind a scanty few while others are bankrolled facelessly. But we are yet to hear from the mouths of these men if truly they’re gearing up to run for the highest office in the land.

At the turn of specific seasons of life; at set times buried in the exclusive knowledge of Divinity, humanity experiences the birthing of certain beings who have been marked to carry out specific assignments on behalf of specific nations and people. Tinubu, like Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Aminu Kano, and a few others before him, is a man on divine assignment.

He went into the rubbles of Daura and cleaned up the herdsman’s garments of Buhari who was once an election serial-loser; built a bullish team coated with savvy salvaging spices around him, and marketed him to the same clientele that had three times in a row rejected the product. Whether Buhari was a good buy as president is a debate for another day. But he who was once called a serial loser is now president of 200 million people and the Giant of Africa because of Tinubu. Tinubu’s big-heart generosity is ingenious. Jagaban is a potter whose healing hands mould men of skill. He’s got a rare endowment for discovering talents and nurturing them to stardom. One of his precious products is the pastor who may go head-to-head with him in the party primaries.

I don’t know if Tinubu is running in 2023; there’s no single word from Jagaban that he wants to. Those who are close to Osinbajo, (a few are friends), also aren’t sure the VP wants to move to Buhari’s bigger office. What I know is that the tussle for who is crowned as President in Nigeria is for “ADULTS ONLY”; not political babies in oversized diapers. These two men are full-grown adults; they know what they want. If both run head-to-head in the party primaries, only one will be adjudged to have known time and season, the other working on the opposite lane of time. Many are waiting for a bruising and brutal headbutting between Jagaban and the Pastor Professor. They may have to wait forever because there will be no brawl between these two brothers. Nigeria’s presidential run this time around is not an ego contest with splurged cash in differing currencies. It is for the redemption of the bruised heart and battered soul of Nigeria. Against this backdrop, all we do now is to watch and then wait.

I am not only watching Tinubu and Osinbajo; I am also watching Nigerians. With whom will the people stand? I don’t know until they take a stand for the world to see. In politics, especially in Nigeria, the more you look the less you see. You can’t predict the people as much as you can’t be definitive about politicians’ moves. But I know Nigerians are sick and tired of empty promises from politicians. They are sick and tired of hunger and poverty in a land of plenty. They want thieves to stop thieving, and callous men who use public office to enrich themselves to quit the ugly business. They want good roads and a regular supply of electricity. They want an end to the generalised despair; the Kafkaesque kidnapping madness giving the government sleepless nights. They want an end to the general dispiriting news that is now part of the country’s way of life. Nigerians want relief, and they don’t care who brings it about. So, we are all watching people and events. We are watching the times. We have our eyes set like flint and watching God works on behalf of Nigeria who historically can boast only of few true leaders but plenteous bleeders.

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