Life is like a chess game because man is fearful and vainglorious.
A chess game could last for hours with total silence till you hear check and ultimately checkmate. One of the reasons silence pervades the chess game is because the players ‘expectedly’ know the rules of the game and so need no tutor while the game is on; what the players need to do is move their pieces accordingly, whether in offence, counter offence or mystery. The other reason is because the game requires focus and careful preemptive intelligent strategies which will not function well in a noisy setting.
The pieces in a chess game include: Pawns (the common soldiers who man the frontline) and then, behind we have the Castle, Bishop, Knight, Queen and the King. Though chess players have different pieces which are dear to them depending on their individual style or philosophy of play, yet they all know that the Knight and Queen are special in the game; one is a slimy assassin and the other a beautiful carefree traverser.
Except for love and pure unstringed human fellowships life is a chess game, let alone politics.
Tinubu was at it again last week, in his usual style he sent out a clear and yet cryptic message to the public regarding his presidential ambition. Tinubu who was on a consultation visit to the Olubadan-Designate, Lekan Balogun, in Ibadan had said ‘I am ready to get dirty. No intimidation, no blackmail, no sort of insult will get me angry to the extent that I will say no more, I don’t want again.’
Remember we spoke weeks ago about Tinubu’s subtle daring character (https://www.thenews-chronicle.com/unread-letters-from-tinubus-bullion-vans/), he calls bluffs and damns the consequences without generating storms, though this time he raised little dust. Should he be blamed for talking? May be no. Someone campaigning for an elective post such as the presidency should talk very well, if possible scream; in ceaseless campaigns, manifesto and the like.
All that is required is that such a person should be careful lest he or she shoots himself or herself in the foot through unguarded comments and actions. But Tinubu is not new to the game; he knows what he is doing, very few politicians can say or do what he does without facing the music.
Who was he referring to, his potential voters? No, he was actually sending a message to some hidden powerful elements who he feels are all out to distract and stop him from achieving his presidential ambition. This will not be unrelated to the smear campaigns on his person online; whether for his age, health challenge and financial integrity.
Whoever Tinubu’s message was directed at, all we can say is be careful, for this knightly jagaban who seeks to be king might have nothing to lose, not even an arsenal of finance or people, nor a kingdom not yet his.
Leaders are permitted to think whatever they want just like any human should, but information/communication anywhere in the world today is no longer in the sole control of the powers that be as in time past, even state-sponsored propaganda is not certain of achieving its aim; just one word can either make you a hero or a villain without spending a dime, you may never accurately predict our a connected world will take it.
After considering thoughts and words, the next and ultimate determinant of events will be ACTIONS. It is said that actions speak louder than voice – this is incontestable.
This brings us to the ‘only’ world news right now. Weeks ago the United States began to sound the alarm regarding the build-up of up to a 100,000 Russian army at its border with Ukraine and consequently an imminent attack on Ukraine, soon it became a song in the media and on the lips of other western nation leaders. In fact, the Republicans accused the Democrats of war mongering.
The reason for the build-up of Russian forces could not be clearly deciphered even with the answers thrown around through the global media. One reason that kept propping up was the suggestion that Russia is not happy with Ukraine’s intent to join NATO as such move meant that Russia’s regional influence will be under threat in the case of confrontations with any NATO country.
What followed was a forward and backward game by all parties involved, with Putin the main player saying very little all this while. The shuttle diplomacy of the French president Emmanuel Macron and later the German chancellor Olaf Scholz to Russia where they had long discussions with Putin had raised hopes of averting any physical confrontation between Russia and its neighbor Ukraine.
Alas, Putin’s mind was made up; ACTION, Russia invades Ukraine – some would say – unprovoked. He damns the world and the sanctions, walking round the chessboard like a queen who is not restricted by any rule of engagement, signaling checkmate – at any cost – nothing will stop him; not the blood of children, the aged and civilians, not putting the world on edge, till the players and watchers let the king on the other side down; game over.