Editor’s note: Bola Tinubu, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former governor of the Lagos state, played a key role of emergence Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s President.

Many Nigerians believe that Tinubu was instrumental to the emergence of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who served as his Attorney General when he was the governor. However, the fresh details that emerged after the public presentation of Buhari’s biography showed that former governor wanted to become vice president himself.

Femi Aribisala, a scholar, international affairs expert and iconoclastic church pastor in Lagos, in his latest piece explains why Tinubu would never become a president.

Instead of investing in the future of Nigeria, the only real investment taking place now is towards the hegemonic control of the country by a small segment of the population for the foreseeable future. 

Let me re-introduce myself in case you have forgotten.  I have been an implacable critic of the politics of Bola Tinubu.  Among others, I have written articles against Tinubu entitled: “What Does Tinubu Want?” “Time to Get Rid of Tinubu’s Cronies;” “Time to Disgrace the South-West Godfather;” and “Don’t Cry for Bola Tinubu.”  I stand by every one of those articles even though the warnings I gave in them went largely ignored.

Although many Tinubu supporters don’t seem to realise this, my opposition to Tinubu was not personal.  My opposition was based on the grounds that Tinubu’s politics was shortsighted.  In that regard, my position has been proved right.  The strategic political objectives of Tinubu were unattainable and have been not been attained.

In the first place, Tinubu’s recent politics were designed to make him a key player at the national level as he has been at the regional level.  He really wanted to become the vice-president of Nigeria.  This has proved unattainable, and we warned him about that.  Most of his so-called friends at the national level are fair-weather friends.  They never really liked him and were afraid of him.  Under no circumstances would they allow him to duplicate his stranglehold on South-West politics outside the South-West.

The reality of Tinubu’s politics in Nigeria is that he can be a king-maker but will not be allowed to be king.  The best Tinubu has been able to achieve has been to nominate a vice-president who, to all intents and purposes, is not even a major power-broker in government.  As vice-president, Professor Yemi Osibajo has only succeeded in being a fall-guy; for the collapse of the naira and for the failure to date of the 2016 budget.

 In the second place, the strategic design of Tinubu’s politics was to make him a power behind the throne at the national level.  This objective has also proved to be a pie-in-the-sky.  Since becoming president, Buhari has largely ignored Tinubu’s counsels.  Not a single Tinubu nominee became a minister in the president’s cabinet.  Those who made it from the South-West were deliberately the people he did not want.

Tinubu nominees failed to make the position of Senate president or Speaker of the House of Representatives.  The APC has also failed to make Tinubu Chairman of its Board of Trustees.  To date, Tinubu has no statutory post in the party he midwifed.  The party chairman, thought to be a Tinubu man, has been bought over, so much so that Tinubu is now asking for his resignation; but to no effect.

Having used Tinubu to win the election, he has been dumped like a used rag.  It was because we anticipated this reversal of fortunes, that some of us were loud in warning Tinubu in the heady days of APC coalition-building.  It was in that context that I later wrote my article saying: “Don’t Cry for Bola Tinubu” on the grounds that he deserved what happened to him.  We warned that this would happen but he refused to listen.
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