The media within the week was awash with a piece of news item from former Lagos State governor and All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirant, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who vowed that he will not retire from partisan politics until he becomes the president of Nigeria.
The Tinubu story made the round the same time the Presidency was busy rebuking Northern Elders Forum (NEF) on their unguarded outburst, noting that the restive northern elders have no right to ask any ethnic group to leave Northern Nigeria.
The Dei Dei uprising in Abuja, which allegedly spread to Nyanya, and the seeming organized attack on Igbo properties in Sokoto, in the wake of the nasty Deborah Samuel incident tend to show that Ndigbo are not really welcomed again in the North. That is even in spite of the rebuke from Aso Rock.
Happenings in the country since 2015 have really shown that Nigeria has to undergo a restructuring if the about 300 major and micro-ethnic nationalities will continue to co-exist. There is so much imbalance that fuel the fire of self-determination by the dissatisfied groups. The sooner the Nigerian state yields to outcry for restructuring, the better for the country.
Tinubu however, made the vow during his campaign visit to Benue State on Tuesday ahead of the APC’s primaries, arguing that if elected, he will bring his wealth of experience to bear on the governance of the country.
“I won’t retire from politics until I am the president of Nigeria. I will bring the experience of my leadership in Lagos state as a governor to bare on my leadership style in Nigeria.’’
While Tinubu appears to be desperate for the position, he, however, insisted that he is the best man for the job said if he emerges as the Presidential candidate of the APC, he will surely win the presidential election no matter whoever emerges as the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party PDP.
“There’s no contest between me and whoever will emerge as the candidate of opposition PDP”, he stated, assuring that if and when elected as president of the country, he would run a transparent and open government.
“I guarantee you that I will run a transparent, open government. Nigeria is rich. What we need is to redirect our resources and channel them in the right direction”, he said.
Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, condemned the utterances in a statement on Tuesday, in Abuja. “We are aware of the latest statement from the so-called “Northern Elders Forum”, the statement said.
“We wish to reassure Nigerians that it remains their democratically elected leadership which takes the decisions that steer our nation – and no one else. No self-appointed and unelected group can take this right from Nigerians – no matter how much coverage they might enjoy in the media. Nigerians listen to elected leaders, not opinionated tin-gods who have no traction with any responsible group.
“It is a delusional arrogance that would lead such a group to publicly state terms and conditions for the existence of our nation. Who gave them the right to ask for the exclusion, or expulsion of any one, group or section of the country from the Federal Republic of Nigeria?
“The Nigerian government does not take guidance nor invitations from such groups – only from the Nigerian people who put governments in office. Any group can refer to themselves as “leaders”, but in Nigeria, if you have not been elected by Nigerians to a leadership role, then you are not – and the government certainly doesn’t recognise you as such.
“Like many other countries around the world, Nigeria is feeling the strain of the current period of volatility and uncertainty. Now is not the time to seek to exacerbate divisions amongst Nigerians. Rather, we call on all Nigerians to come together and work to overcome the challenges we face as one nation, one people.’’