Oluremi Tinubu’s ‘Pseudo Analysis’: Crack in APC? By Moses Okpogode

Oluremi Tinubu’s ‘Pseudo Analysis’: Crack in APC? By Moses Okpogode
February 01 19:24 2016

It was almost a dissenting tone against the All Progressive Congress and its campaign of change on the floor of the Senate on Thursday, January 28. It came as a shock, a rude awakening if you like, not because of the message but the bearer of the message. A voice so at odds with the ‘change’ mantra we’ve come to associate with President Muhhamadu Buhari and the APC that it has been been described in some political circle as rebellious. But the message was loud, clear and simple. Things aren’t going according to script in the inner caucus and someone has finally decided to tell Nigerians what we, in fact, know and suspect given how a certainLion of Bourdillion has been relegated to the backwaters in the affairs of state by his beneficiary . Senator Oluremi Tinubu, the wife of the famed Jagaban, has now given us a clue regarding the internal contradictions in the disaster- prone behemoth called APC.

What were her observations? She went vocal on no other subjects but those tied to the contentious 2016 budget proposal. The budget that never went missing but which had  its details revised at ungodly hours. A budget with a lot of unbelievably outrageous provisions. A budget proposal that is capable of bringing nothing but negative change to the lives of Nigerians. The same appropriation bill that was leisurely prepared and which has been going back and forth between the Presidency and National Assembly like a ball in  the Tennis court.  Senator Tinubu veered into that controversial issue that no one else would want to be caught in between. In carrying out her assignment, she did not only prove to be a diligent  messenger, she also delivered a timely and brilliant message.   

Coincidentally or unfortunately for the senator and the rest of us, the Chief Propagandist of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Lai Mohammed was on the same day taking anyone who had had the gut to disagree with the present administration to the cleaners as if the rest of us are just supposed to fold our arms, accept our fate that they are the Lords of the Manor and adopt Late Bola Ige’ssiddonlook  approach as they move the country closer and closer to Somalia. At the well- publicized communion with  media houses in Abuja, Mohammed  told them that pseudo analysts (like Senator Tinubu I guess) and some hack writers were on the prowl. Informing them that the ilk of the senator who disagree, criticize or condemn some of  the current administrations policies have been paid to disfigure the perfectly captured appropriation bill.

But I can relate with Senator Tinubu. She was venting out the frustrations that comes with being dumped especially having helped Buhari win the presidency that has eluded him for so long. She may not be acting or playing the script of anybody but those of the real change agents and of how transitions should look like. How the socio-politico economic metamorphosis should really be, real change. What they should admit, abhor and the elements that it should excommunicate from its tracts. She may be issuing a well-timed warning against the antics of uncontrollable and obsessive liars who can’t differentiate between  propaganda and public enlightenment and re-education.As President Buhari’s administration progresses, there is need to accommodate and endear the spirit of listening, especially to all discerning voices for or against various steps of government programs to form balances. The dissenting, the critical and those in the king’s pantaloon of old and today’s noise makers. Recognizing the fact that from the clime where we copied democracy and other conventions, being a member of a party does not translate to subjugation of individual freedom of expression and rights to be heard on personal opinions or even disagreements against a party position or government policies. And also, it does not necessarily translate to animosity or enmity and consequent annihilation of members who share a contrary opinion or stance of the party on particular issues.

The same treatment should also play out in the case of the individuals who are non partisan or partisan. They don’t need to be knocked off the bridges of life because of their position for or against the government of the day at any given time. It is unpopular to accuse, intimidate and threaten those who hold opposing views against a government by a supposedly information manager. The pronouncement and actions of such people hired by the government are  held as laws by law enforcement agents to detain all opposition voices with impunity just because they dare to speak their minds as a result of their  observations.

The continued detention of a Kaduna State University (KASU) lecturer over his opinion on Facebook confirms a dictatorial tendency against rights of expressions as embedded in the Nigerian constitution. It’s a denigration on the supremacy of the constitution as it applies to the government and the individual. The many other cases left unreported could work against the image of this government as it continues the draconian suppression of contrary opinion and views of individuals and groups.

The contradiction is that each time these incidents occur, the leader is kept in the dark not really knowing the true picture of what’s being portrayed out there no matter how much he tries to X-ray the situations. Quick and effectual results have actually come from such criticisms though. Just while I was still on this piece the President in far away Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, pledged to swiftly disburse funds for projects that are associated with the development of women and in giving and paying much attention to the women ministry. That is the power of constructive criticism. Senator Oluremi spoke and she was heard by the President but if she had not considered it a worthy observation there wouldn’t have been any mention of such from the executive arm of the government. President Buhari did not also call her names but accepted that there was an anomaly in that direction

Day in day out political aides paint terrible pictures about leaders, rewriting their interests and concerns towards the growth of the nation as against their personal interests that is geared towards self aggrandizement through self services. Former President Goodluck Jonathan was often mocked as clueless and was described recently as an “ineffectual buffoon” by the Economist magazine.  Ninety nine  percent the reasons why he earned these names were due to the actions and inactions of his aides. Late former Head of State, Gen Sani Abacha was shielded  from the people he was leading by his aides who created a scary environment around a man who is reputed to have meant well. In the same vein, late former President Umar Yar’Adua  impressed Nigerians a lot with his modesty and clear- headedness  despite suffering a terminal illness. We all can recall how a cabal took advantage of his situation and seize the machinery of government for selfish ends. In the final analysis, the leader is responsible for everyone working for his administration. The buck stops at his desk.

Such should not be the case in the instance of this administration of change. This government should move away  from the past and chart a new course for the nation.

Months after the presidential election was won and lost and a new government installed the name calling has continued with people still turned against themselves and the fault  lines of the nation under pressure. Some agencies of government and their operatives have arrogated to themselves the power to determine government’s enemies and decide appropriate punishment for them.   Democracy allows the practice of human rights, upholding  the principles of rule of law and not holding people captive or denying them certain privileges and rights  because they speak their minds or informally advise  government against any of its policies that may be unpopular.If the president had held staff of the Department of State Services (DSS)  in contempt over their alleged role during the build up to last year’s presidential elections, it’s time to leave all that in the past. That is what governance is all about. It’s about re- assessments, stocktaking, accommodation, equity and not intimidation, partiality, and sometimes, eye service .