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2023: Why I Will Vote for Tinubu – Dr Tilde

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Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde

 

 

On 25 February 2023, I will pick this voter’s card, walk to the polling centre and cast my vote for His Excellency, Chief Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the Jagaban Borgu. This is a firm commitment given after a history of association, honour, demographic reality, constitutional requirement, weighing pros and cons as well as the personalities of the candidate and his running mate.

Association

In 2011, I supported the presidential candidature of Nuhu Ribadu. Together we travelled and met with the Jagaba many times in Lagos. Why I pitched my tent with Ribadu then, apart from sharing many things like age, world view, personality, background, geography, etc, was the firm belief that no matter how popular is a northern candidate, he needs to crossover to the South for additional votes and geographic spread that the constitution stipulates. For Buhari to run again that year, 2011, after two previous unsuccessful attempts, would be an exercise in futility as it indeed proved to be after failure of the last minute CPC/ACN merger attempt then. The results did not tie to warrant the second round as calculated in Buhari’s quarters. In 2015 the merger was done and victory was achieved. Elections are about law and numbers. No magic.

There will hardly be any southerner better fit for the position of a partner to the North than the Jagaba today. He is our Abiola, if not better. As some of my readers rightly said, he has patronized us many times: Atiku in 2007 under AC, Ribadu in ACN (2011) and Buhari in APC (2015). This is a consistent friend in need. Honour begets reciprocity.

Victimization

Furthermore, I am aware that the Muslim identity of the Jagaba has been used to disenfranchise him politically three times. In 2011, Buhari was not keen on the merger that required Pastor Bakare to withdraw for Tinubu because he Buhari was opposed to a Muslim-Muslim ticket after receiving over a decade of bashing from the southern press over shariah.

In 2015, Tinubu was bluntly and brutally told at a caucus meeting that he cannot deputize for Buhari because he was Muslim. He swallowed that and presented Osinbajo.

For the third time, for 2023, the some people want to crucify him for picking a Muslim as deputy against all odds. He believes that the Muslim identity of his running mate will earn him the winning vote and choosing a Northern Christian that will upset the Muslims will deny him our vote.

How honorable would I look if I would I turn my back against a friend in need who earlier provided platforms for my brothers and now believe in my capacity to rescue him? What if my son will contest the Presidency tomorrow and he goes to the Southwest to ask for support? And that day will come, when a northerner will again be in need of that alliance. Let us behave wisely. 2023 is not the end of Nigeria. We must guard the honour that we are known for.

Repeat Disaster

Southern partners of the north have been changing over the years but they remain constantly relevant. The North must not return to those days of serial losses by promoting a candidate acceptable only to it. This is the situation that the Atiku ticket presents today, regrettably.

Our brother, the Wazirin Adamawa, His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has failed, against all advice, to patiently nurture the support of the South-south in 2011 after losing the ticket to the incumbent. Instead, he supported Buhari of the opposing CPC. Worse still, in 2015 he abandoned the the PDP, led 5 governors in rebellion against the southern President, claiming that it was the north’s turn, and decamped to APC to humiliate Jonathan out of power. Still after Bubari’s 8 years, in 2022, he blocked the emergence of Southeast and south-south candidates, claiming that rotation is a party matter.

Now he has gone to the south-south cup in hand and they paid him back in his own coins. This produced Peter Obi ticket and the G5; two blocks that will deny him the traditional PDP votes in the Southeast and South-south. Southwest is already effectively blocked against him by Tinubu.

The Waziri is effectively left with the North. Here, Benue, Plateau and Southern Kaduna are not likely to vote for “another Fulani”, as we heard them declare repeatedly. The votes of the Muslim North are themselves divided for and against him, not united as they were for Buhari. Borno and Yobe, will massively vote for APC. The ruling party even for kinship will also take Kwara and Kogi. Then incumbency will retain for APC the states of Kaduna, Niger, Zamfara, Gombe and possibly Katsina. Yes, Waziri will get Adamawa and Taraba and possibly Sokoto and Kebbi. Bauchi and Nasarawa are still uncertain for him. Kano belongs to Kwnkwaso, things being equal.

Then as Babachir and some anti-muslim irredentists are threatening northern Muslims of humiliation, a block vote, including Kano, in favour of the Muslim-Muslim ticket is possible. That will seal the fate of Atiku decisively.

Now, this calculus does not add up to an electoral win in any way. It is a recipe for the disasters of 2003, 2007 and 2011 to repeat themselves.

Existential Threat

Babachir’s insolence is an evil that must be disproved and defeated by both Muslims and Christians. Those who failed to earn the APC VP ticket should return and introspect on why they were not considered electorally viable enough to win it, not resort to blackmailing and threatening Muslims. That will only prove the evil that they are, which made it right for the Jagaba to reject them in the first place. Nobody can publicly say he will teach 120 million citizens a lesson and be allowed to succeed unless if those citizens are worse than donkeys. No lion can stand an army of 120 million donkeys. None.

Now Babachir’s insult has pushed even the reluctant Muslims to prove their electoral worth as they are increasingly rallying behind the Muslim-Muslim ticket. The majority well-meaning Christians should also do the same. Babachir is posing an existential threat to all northerners. If there is a Christian who will be fair to Muslims tomorrow, I and many Muslims will vote for him, as many of us did for Obasanjo and Jonathan between 1999 and 2011. But a genocidal psychopath of whatever religion does not deserve to be even a deputy local government chairman anywhere in this country. Let us leave him to grumble and crumble alone.

Same faith tickets are not new in Nigeria and they are presently practiced in all predominantly Christian States like Plateau, Benue, Edo and even in a number of Southwestern states where Muslims are predominant. Their Muslims have not threatened our national security for their selfish reasons as Babachir and his gang of rejects are doing up here. Tam.

Pros and Cons

Beyond the acquaintance, honour of reciprocity, averting past electoral disasters suffered by the North and the existential challenge of the Babachirs, the Tinubu/ Shettima ticket presents a lot of pros which my readers expressed when I asked their opinion on the my Facebook page last week. I share the views of those who are convinced of the Jagaba’s record performance in Lagos, arguably the best that the country has known of a governor since 1999, which, according to the readers, came from his courage, team work, modernity, foresight, talent hunting, etc.

For a person who also believes in efficiency, I cannot but be attracted to the Jagaba. Nigeria needs system upgrading and in some areas even disk reformatting. The Jagaba is the perfect person with the record to handle that squarely. No one better than him can pursue digital reform in commerce, taxation, education, governance, communications, etc. His pragmatism and penchant for modernity is needed to solve our security and other challenges. Who can project the success story of Lagos at the national level better than its original author—the Jagaba? None of my readers has denied him these qualities.

From among my readers who are opposed to the Tinubu Presidency are a number of cons which arise from five sources: the perceived limitations of age and the much touted fake stories of his sickness; the accusation of supporting OPC to kill Hausas in Lagos and their molestation while he was governor; the perception of tribalism, as the Igbo and Hausa too are accused of by others; his affiliation to APC and the President, seeing what the readers consider as the failure of the government in many areas in the past 8 years; and the predominantly Christian nature of his house.

Well on the first and last issues, the runner-up candidate, the Waziri, cannot completely acquit himself either. He too is old. Being over 70 he must have evidently slowed down and cannot disclaim having age associated illnesses. Above 60, one must have one or two. They both have slip tongues as President Buhari did in Germany and suffered issues of memory many times. Jos where both misnamed their parties—PDAPC and APDP—was no coincidence. Kwankwaso had it once in Kano too: NPCP. Mischief makers do not deserve our attention.

Even at 61, I have had many times that I could not recall names instantly. The brain just fails to retrieve the information from the disk as fast as when I was much younger. I had the privilege of meeting the Jagaba recently and was surprised that he negated those stories by holding me to a night conversation of one hour after a long day he had in Ebonyi. I watched him appear from his room, walked towards me straight, shook my hands and sat right beside me. There was no sign, then and not in his appearance at Chatham House and the BBC a week later, of a debilitating sickness as purported and he appears to get increasingly stronger. He is alert and he still argues his points as it better than the other candidates.

In any case, the strength of any leader is not in the class of his weight; otherwise, America would have made Tyson a President. It is in the people a leader rallies around him. To be fair to the Jagaba whose talent-hunting obsession is renowned, his Presidency as an institution will run be unhindered by his age. He cannot have our best, the Kashims, the Elrufai’s, the Ribadus, the Hadizas, the Modibbos, the Arabis, etc. and fail to perform. But if he will resort to family and friends instead of competence, then I concede that his age will become aggravating. He is not as old as Mahathir Mohammed or Joe Biden after all, not minding similar attacks from Trump during the 2020 campaigns which the latter has proven wrong.

All said about age, as Muslims, we must believe that “no soul shall die except by the will of God, a decree determined”, as He said in the Qur’an. Period. Furthermore, the constitution has foreseen that and made the necessary provisions, whether an elected President is living or dead.

The Christian component of the Waziri’s family cannot be denied and neither is he a better practicing Muslim than the Jagaba. None of them is a Sheikh or Imam, anyway. We are in the same boat.

The OPC related killings cannot be ascribed to the Jagaba just because he was the Governor of Lagos. We northerners in particular must understand that by now better than anyone. Unfortunately for the Jagaba, he was the Guinea Pig of insurrection in this dispensation. When the OPC came, we had no experience of Plateau, Boko Haram and Bandits. Is it justified for anyone now to equally accuse Governors Sheriff, Shettima, Zulum, Yari, Bello, El-rufa’i or even the President, who has all our war arsenal at his command, of being supporters or financiers or Boko Haram or Bandits? What will be our reaction—believe him or refute him? So if the late Sheikh Jafar were alive, he would have withdrawn his fatwa on the Jagaba for he would have known the hard way that Governors do not have the power of controlling high level violence. They can only cooperate with the Federal Government, which the Jagaba did and OPC was quelled though not before it left many innocents dead, as Boko Haram and bandits are doing for over a decade today.

All the major tribes accuse each other of tribalism. President Buhari is accused of preferring Hausa Muslims in appointments. The Hausa see the Yoruba as more tribal than them though. But the Jagaba has set a record to reckon here. More than any governor, he has elevated non-natives of Lagos including Hausas to levels of commissioners, helped many grow their businesses in Lagos including Dangote. Of course, as with Buhari in 1984 or Elrufai in FCT and now in Kaduna, anyone wanting to modernize cities has to encroach on the business spaces of the common man who is fond of erecting illegal structures. The Jagaba cannot modernize Lagos by magic. He has to touch such structures belonging to commoners too. But all said, I think his inclination for merit in administration will blunt his natural instinct of kinship, which we all share anyway. He may not give 3 ministries to a single Hausaman—as Buhari did to Fashola—but he will not suppress northern talent at all. His record denies that flatly.

Finally, there is nothing he can do regarding the failure of APC. He is undoubtedly its chieftain but not more. Do you want him to decamp to PDP on that count? The President and members of his cabinet should carry their cross—and so should governors, each in his own domain. The Jagaba has acknowledged the successes of the President and has promised to build on his good works. Where necessary, he will change course, surely. I am Bola Ahmed Tinubu, he told the BBC. Come again. Is the alternative—the PDP—in a better position than the APC when it comes to failure of administration?

So put generally, the pros of the Tinubu Presidency will by far outweigh its cons. Yet, there is another pillar of the ticket we must mention before we conclude this piece—the backup.

Kashim Shettima

In his choice of a running mate, the Jagaba has picked a very strategic one. Choosing Kashim earns him not only a reliable and loyal VP, but also a credible one. His Excellency, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, the former Governor of Borno State and a present senator, is not only highly competent but also carries a political aura that can shelter the entire North, coming from the prestigious Kanuri tribe and with the personal humility to listen, respect, engage and accommodate all. He is among our best. You can see him admirably reaching out to so many people and groups everyday, not taking anyone for granted. Yet, even as a future VP, former Governor and a Senator, he will go to the kettle and personally prepare coffea for his guest. That is humility personified.

The Jagaba did not look for a lackluster yes man of no firm roots. He went for a talent that is both loyal and strong enough to support the President, humble enough to follow him and honest enough to caution him. That is my friend and Kanuri master, Kashim. With the Jagaba as the President and him as the VP, I can find no safer shelter among the 2023 presidential camps.

Come with Me

These are my reasons for answering the call to support the Tinubu/Shettima ticket. And I call on every dispassionate mind to do so for the sake of unity and progress of our country. I am not only promising this cause my vote and that of my family, but I will also work hard to earn it many more, as much as my talent, body and resources can afford me in the next two months. Come with me.

May God be with us and guide us to what is best for our dear country as we vote for the next President on 25 February 2023.

Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde
Bauchi
Note: This article was first published on Dr Aliyu Tilde’s Facebook 

 

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Opinion

The Rise of Shaaban: An Unstoppable Force Taking Kano’s Political Arena By Storm

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By Daha Tijjani PhD

 

 

 

The political arena is a place where only the strongest, most resilient and most determined individuals can succeed. It is a place where only the bravest can stand, where the odds are often stacked against them and where they are constantly mocked and underestimated. But it is also a place where a true leader can rise, overcome adversity and emerge victorious, proving their doubters wrong.

(Dr) Shaaban Ibrahim Sharada is one such individual. When he first expressed his intention to run for the House of Representatives in 2019, many people laughed at him. They said he should focus on being the President’s Personal Assistant and that he was wasting his time. But Shaaban was determined. He was not one to be underestimated and proved them all wrong by winning the election.

Now, he is facing the same challenges as he gears up for another major political contest, the gubernatorial elections in 2023. The same elements who doubted him in the past are saying he should not run and should focus on being a House of Representatives member. But Shaaban is not one to be deterred. He has done his homework, is well-prepared, and is determined to prove his doubters wrong once again.

Similarly, when he joined the relatively unknown Party ADP, he was mocked too. But now the momentum and music are changing. It wouldn’t be incorrect to say that at least no voter in Kano is unaware of his candidacy. This is a feat to be celebrated, considering that this party was barely unknown in Kano State just five months ago

Shaaban is a visionary leader, unmatched in his dedication and passion for serving the people of Kano. He possesses a unique combination of local and international experiences that make him exceptionally well-equipped to lead the state towards a brighter future. With his meticulous attention to detail and unwavering commitment to excellence, Shaaban ensures that every task is completed to the highest standard. His hardworking nature and tireless effort to deliver on his mandate make him an inspiring figure.

The youth and undecided/swing voters will play a significant part in the upcoming election. So congratulations and good luck to those thinking that only their die-hard voters can make them win. The number of undecided voters greatly outweighs those. Shaaban is doing his best to win over these voters. It is evident from data from INEC that the youth constitute more than half of the voters in Nigeria, more so in Kano. For the youth, it is evident that some of the successful leaders we had in Kano and Nigeria at large were all in the same age bracket as Shaaban when they achieved what they achieved. If this antecedent is anything to go by, Shaaban can replicate their successes, given the chance.

In conclusion, the people of Kano need a determined leader who will work tirelessly to bring growth and prosperity to the state. Shaaban is the epitome of such a leader and is ready to prove his worth to the world. Any attempt to underestimate him would be at the peril of the doubters, as he is poised to give the top brass a run for their money. Don’t miss out on the chance to witness history in the making, as Shaaban, the Kano’s Game-Changer for 2023 elections takes the political arena by storm.

Daha Tijjani PhD,
Is a public commentator 

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Opinion

Naira redesign: Emefiele’s contaminated seed

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Yusuf Babangida Sulaiman

 

 

 

 

 

It is most unfortunate that pockets of protests have organically emerged across cities in Nigeria all in disagreement with the CBN’s draconian approach to the implementation of Naira Redesign and resulting Cashless Policy.

I have always thought that allowing an individual to serve 2 terms of 5 years each as Governor of Central Bank makes them a huge security risk, talk more of that someone being a leftover from the previous PDP government and a champion of numerous ill-thought policies reputed to cause difficulty.

In some parts of Nigeria today, citizens have resorted to use of CFA Francs, particularly in towns with close proximity to foreign borders. This is indeed an affront to Nigeria’s sovereignty caused by the stubborn whims of a man trapped by his own bubble of taking his pound of flesh against an honourable process that produced an honourable man to lead Nigeria. It is an assault on Nigeria’s might and stature that citizens device solutions using currencies of neighbouring countries just to improvise ways to bypass Emefiele’s watery policy. This underlines the inadequacy of preparedness and thinking that went into the policy before it was rolled out, of course because it is deliberately more emotional than implementable.

When we listen to outcries over this policy, there are numerous common positions that are expressed, ranging from lack of basic cash to undertake day to day running, to unavailability of online infrastructure to handle enormity of migrating transactions and to attitudinal lags in banking relationships.

Nigerians have had to endure transaction failures with little to no alternative means of settling bills, all because the CBN Governor has defied global best practice by insisting that the policy must rid the entire country of old Naira notes within the span of 3 months, which is possible to achieve but at the price of impoverishing people and destroying livelihoods and completely halting trade and commerce.

I will continue to insist that with every additional day that Mr Emiefele sits atop the chair as CBN Governor, the country stands a huge risk of losing its economic gains and at this point all of its gains, as citizens fail to understand how an ill-prepared policy is this intensely and quickly pushed down our throats.

There is no justification for the speed with which this policy is pursued, especially as peer review shows patterns of near exact changes in various countries with similar economic and social situation as Nigeria’s.

We are at a loss and in deep surprise as to the lack of depth and preparedness that went into the policy roll-out as all activities around easing the implementation of the policy have clearly labelled the entire exercise as an afterthought.

The staff of the CBN are posted to commercial bank branches policing the compliance with withdrawal limits of Naira alongside law enforcement agencies in a display of enormous waste of manpower.

These are the kinds of occurrences that lessen the country’s productivity and cause stunted outlook for personnel. In addition to all of this, operators of money agency services have come under severe scrutiny as their lines of business may no longer be feasible to operate under the new conditions.

We cannot play deaf to cries of the common man as well as the cries of the elite. This policy is apparently a leveller in its apportionment of inconvenience, particularly due to the short span provided for full compliance.

Governors Ganduje and El-Rufa’i have expressed their reservations as per the approach and shortage of sincerity demonstrated by the CBN, religious scholars have pleaded for a steadier and more considerate approach, traders and artisans have asked for more time as they have become cash strapped and their trade is being suffocated.

Yet the PDP and its Presidential Candidate have argued fiercely in support of such a policy out of sheer wickedness. One then wonders what informs such a position even as citizens lament, but it is not a surprise as the PDP for the first time have found a glimmer of hope in Mr Emefiele’s antics.

Finally, the Nigerian President should listen to the honest voices of those speaking boldly, as against the whispers of masked palace marauders. It is untenable that a policy of government is celebrated by no one but the opposition and driven by no one but a leftover of the opposition. In plain terms, Mr. Emefiele must not survive the fallout of this contaminated seed that he has rooted; he should pay the price of irreversible inconvenience, hardship and torture inflicted on Nigerian citizens by vacating his seat immediately.

Hon. Yusuf Babangida Sulaiman
Member, Kano State House of Assembly (2011 – Date)
Gwale Constituency

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Opinion

Naja’atu Muhammad: When the handwriting becomes clear

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Yusuf Babangida Sulaiman

 

 

 

It would take so much more than paid trips from one TV station to the other and from one campaign stage to another to undo the enigma that is Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. But for a person like Naja’atu Mohammed, once she partakes in one’s endeavour and it births success, then she snaps and builds a firebrand of emotions to try to dismantle such a story of success that she was a part of.

It happened with Malam Ibrahim Shekarau after the miraculous success of 2003, and with Buhari after the 2015 victory. This is the tendency that she has carried and a toga on which she has travelled all of the years of her diminutive politicking.

In Kano, most people take the statements of Hajiya Naja’atu with a pinch of salt as she has become the proverbial boy who cried wolf. She is reputed to say so much, with little substance, in squeaky high pitch tones and in repeated uncoordinated sequence. How she is always the sole knower of her cherry picked truths remains a mystery, because her accounts of stories are not known to ever carry credible corroboration. When a person gets indulged for so long, they being to imagine infallibility in their folly, but there comes a time when they strike the wrong sensitivity, then they feel the sting of a stark reality and get forcefully recoiled into their shell.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Ex-Oil Sector Finance Guru, Ex-National Lawmaker, Former Governor of Lagos State, Consummate National Politician and APC Presidential Candidate is a man whose political sagacity, depth and acumen have been applauded even by his archest opponents.

History cannot be re-written out of the bitterness of a dramatic persona like Hajiya Naja’atu, giving laughable stories claiming Asiwaju could not answer her question regarding his plans for the North. One can see how intensely she has pushed the narrative of her meeting Asiwaju in London with so much scorn as that is all she can show even after auditioning so much for prominence in the PCC. In hindsight, the PCC in its wisdom ensured that prominence would be gained through demonstrable capacity and substance, not via fabricated stories and a career-long history of emotional fire-spitting.

For every thousand members of the opposition that raise false concerns about the state of health of Asiwaju, there are few patriotic neutrals with genuine questions, and for the benefit of such nationalists, we restate the avowed mental and physical readiness of Asiwaju to mount the saddle of Nigeria and dare the odds by squarely facing the problems that bedevil the country.

The man is on the most daunting and exhausting campaign train across the country, religiously abiding by the schedule and maintaining an amazing capacity to lead private and public stakeholder engagement sessions. Once we see people like Naja’atu discussing “firmness of grasp of a tea cup” as issues that matter in a Presidential Contest, we are comforted by their exit from our midst.

As there is no room for such trivial discourse at a time when our mount of the country’s leadership saddle is imminent, and our need is of minds that are focused, intellectually enhanced, versatile and unconventional.

It is easy for a discerning mind to predict array of actions of a person, especially when their politics in renowned to be transactional. As the issues raised around Asiwaju’s health have become stale and with Nigerians growing even more uninterested in such hogwash, Hajia Naja’atu has faced the shrinking crowd with tales of Asiwaju inducing APC Governors to get the party’s Presidential ticket. As the aforementioned also evaporated quickly and with the crowd asking probing questions, she started to wander her fires to the direction of the legendary Mahmud Jega, whom she accused of recently acquiring a house in Abuja, after which I have wondered under what section of the law such a private citizen would be penalised.

It is obvious that the saliva in the mouth is drying up, the squeakiness is getting stiffer and the high-pitch of the tone lessens all because the impact of the attacks on Asiwaju’s person is not piercing the right holes. Even the opposition is sulking at the flop the expected fire brand has resulted in. Having granted Hajia Najaatu space on stage to perform the pre-auditioned opera, yet people see through the antics and recall same woman selling Buhari so covetously in 2003 & 2007, lambasting Buhari in 2011 while promoting the ACN, and in 2003 fiercely vilifying the Atiku that she today claims is messiah of the North.

The handwriting on the wall is absolutely clear that Asiwaju will work only with those capable of delivering value, enabling national cohesion and driving a unification agenda for Nigeria. Those whose politics is reputed to be about denigrating accomplished personalities and spitting ethnic bias whenever convenient will not gain desired prominence.

As indigenes of Kano, and ambassadors of an enormous heritage, only the best of us will lead us, speak for us and represent us in the march to deliver the most promising Nigeria of our lifetime, one to be led by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Jagaban Borgu.

Hon. Yusuf Babangida Sulaiman,
Member, Kano State House of Assembly (2011-Date)
Gwale Constituency

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