SWAGA, Tinubu and Festus Adedayo’s political necromancy


Festus Adedayo

By Seye Oladejo

Dr Festus Adedayo’s short article of Sunday, December 20, 2020, titled ‘Tinubu, Remember to Operate, Operate From The SWAGA Gang’ will make intriguing and most situations amusing reading. Even though he admits that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos Condition and one particular of the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), “has not told any one he is interested in the presidency”, Dr Adedayo goes on to adumbrate at length not just on why Tinubu is unqualified to run for Nigeria’s presidency in 2023 but why the South West really should not aid his aspiration if he decides to operate. The peg for his article is the unveiling of a group of previous Senators and Dwelling of Reps associates below the aegis of South-West Agenda ’23 (SWAGA), who last 7 days in Ibadan and Oyo, historic political entities in Yoruba land, publicly sought to mobilize guidance for Tinubu in the South-West ought to he make your mind up to operate for President in 2023. 

Fortunately, Adedayo does not suggest that this team does not have the appropriate to mobilize guidance for any prospective prospect of its choice just as the columnist has the liberty to fulminate towards them no issue how pedestrian or ridiculous his logic. Everyone common with the social media will know that there are quite a few groups that have been canvassing support for Tinubu’s predicted presidential ambition from distinctive elements of the state just as I consider other individuals are accomplishing for a variety of probable presidential aspirants. Possibly SWAGA caught Adedayo’s fancy because of the caliber of politicians associated. 

A doctorate degree holder in Political Science, Dr Adedayo engages in mental flights of extravagant, which is the luxury of the idea course to estimate the late Professor Billy Dudley.

For occasion, the columnist offers a good political scientist who in a e book on the politics of the South-West reportedly asserts that “Tinubu has a fancy for ideology but a intense commitment to power”. On the foundation of this debatable proposition, Adedayo submits that even though the wonderful sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, performed ‘ideologically-driven politics’, Tinubu is actuated by ‘power pushed politics’. But then what is the role of ideology in politics? It is to supply a philosophical framework and intellectual anchor for the fashioning out of certain policy and programmatic agenda that the politician who adheres to it thinks is in the most effective interest of the greater part of the persons in any presented political jurisdiction. But then, does any politician enjoy ideological politics just for the sake of it in what would be the equivalent of unproductive mental masturbation? Unquestionably no. 

The fervent ideologue politician who is not just taking part in game titles but is intent on viewing that his strategies advantage modern society ought to also be determined to get political electricity in purchase to obtain his goals. That is why Main Obafemi Awolowo, for occasion, fervently and uninhibitedly, sought to guide Nigeria both as Key Minister or President in buy to utilize his outstanding strategies to speed up the modernization and transformation of the region just as he had completed for Western Nigeria throughout his tenure as Premier among 1952 and 1960. And the wonderful Awo was not as politically and ideologically inflexible as Adedayo presumes in his lifelong earnest quest to lead Nigeria. Hence, in 1983, for instance, Awo’s UPN entered into a doing work agreement with a faction of the Northern political course who furnished him with his running mate, Alhaji Mohammed Kura, for the 1983 presidential election. This was as opposed to 1979 when Awo had unilaterally picked his functioning mate, Mr. Phillip Umeadi, from the East hence leaving out the overall North on the UPN’s presidential ticket. It is in truth the PDP interests that Adedayo is serving now that enjoy the politics of electricity for its possess sake and even have their bash slogan as ‘PDP! Electricity!’

Certainly with reference to Tinubu, Adedayo writes: “Politicians have began a race in advance of God to the year 2023 and they do not surface to thoughts stepping on the blood and the corpses of their brothers into that business they covet so badly…Being people, can any sprinter be positive they will see self-same 2023?” How this applies to a male whom Adedayo admits has not told any individual he is fascinated in operating for President is baffling. As I famous previously, Awo actively sought to direct Nigeria possibly as Primary Minister or President in the 1st and second republics to employ the workplace for the general public excellent. In actuality, he experienced entries in his diary affirming commonly that he would realize success in his mission of major Nigeria. If absolutely everyone were being to stick to Adedayo’s weird admonition, no a single, not even Adedayo, the skilled political necromancer, would aspire to everything due to the fact no just one can wager that he will still be on this aspect of eternity both in 2023 or even tomorrow.

Even though admitting that Tinubu has not declared any political aspiration to 2023, Adedayo mischievously insinuates that “he has embarked on some gallivanting of new to the North which some readers of Nigeria’s political barometer labeled political moves in advance of 2023”. It is regrettable that a doctorate diploma holder in Political Science below exhibits these kinds of pedestrian intellect. Tinubu was lately in Borno Point out to commiserate With Profesor Babagana Zulum, the governor of the state, and empathize with the people today of the state on the murder by insurgents of 43 rice farmers at Zabarmari Village. Does a purported and unspoken political aspiration deny him the constitutional ideal of freedom of movement? As Mr. Tunde Rahman, Tinubu’s Media Aide, has questioned, how numerous politicians even with 2023 on their minds will summon the courage to dare stop by Borno Condition or anywhere else in the North-East at this time? If we are to stretch Adedayo’s warped logic additional, can we not conjecture  that Tinubu masterminded the murder of the rice farmers so that he could have an possibility to stop by Borno Point out in pursuit of a political agenda? Was it with 2023 in brain that Tinubu was honoured with the title of Jagaban Borgu almost 20 yrs ago?

For a scholar in the analytically arduous area of Political Science, Adedayo has a penchant for telling diversionary tales that have small bearing on regardless of what topic he is interrogating. For occasion, he tells the tale of the Agbekoya Revolt of 1968-1969 and how Chief Awolowo was the only just one ready to pacify the peasant farmers where all others had failed and helped to restore peace. What has that received to do with Tinubu or the politics of 2023? Adedayo contends that Tinubu’s intervention could not place a halt to the #EndSARS protests at the Lekki Toll Plaza. For a professional in comparative politics, Adedayo embarrassingly normally takes two disparate functions – Agbekoya riots of the late 1960s and #EndSARS protests of 2020 – and goes ahead to examine oranges and apples. A single celebration took position beneath military services rule, the other in a democratic dispensation. Just one function was confined to some elements of a solitary location, Western Nigeria, the other had nationwide ramifications. Awo experienced presided about the Western Area that comprised the existing South-West states including the aged Mid-Western Area and so had a deserved larger sized than existence profile throughout the West. Tinubu was only a two –term governor of Lagos Condition and his profile in the South-West grew incrementally not only due to the fact of his achievements in Lagos but simply because even following leaving office in 2007, he was at the vanguard of profitable back all South-West states dropped to the PDP in 2003 to the progressive fold.

Indeed, so deep is Adedayo’s animus toward Tinubu that he gleefully and malevolently refers to similarities in targets of destruction of house by the Agbekoya peasants and the houses ruined in Lagos by the #EndSARS protesters. In this article is a PhD holder and law firm to boot celebrating the destruction of general public and non-public home – the intellectual as Agbero analyst? How tragic! It does not take place to Adedayo that the object of the anger of the #EndSARS protesters was the Specific Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) founded and controlled by the Federal Federal government when the houses and services targeted for destruction in Lagos belonged either to the Lagos Point out authorities or to private men and women like Tinubu. Need to that not arouse the curiosity of a genuine intellectual? The protests in Lagos were obviously hijacked and used for partisan political uses as a result of patently fake propaganda by political features whose curiosity Adedayo is serving under the veneer of superficial intellectualism. Or else how does one make clear Adedayo’s mischievous insinuation that “Tinubu owns 50 % of Lagos”? 

Ought to a columnist of Adedayo’s caliber make assertions predicated on rumors and peddle low-priced gossip as gospel fact? Is Adedayo conscious that in the run-up to the 2015 election, AIT ran a documentary titled “Lion of Bourdillon” which disseminated this variety of falsehood from Tinubu? When charged to court, the AIT sought out of court settlement and tendered an apology. This time round, the lie was that Tinubu owns the Lekki Toll Plaza and had invited soldiers to shoot at protesters because he was losing money for as very long as the highway remained closed. Tinubu has given that denied in a greatly publicized statement any fascination, involvement or ownership of the Toll Gate and asserted that his profits is unaffected maybe 1 or 100, 000 motor vehicles go by means of the gate. There has been no evidence-based mostly rebuttal of Tinubu’s self-confident claim, not even by Adedayo – scholar, law firm and journalist – who resorts to rumors somewhat than information unearthed by diligent investigation.

Adedayo contends that the Senator Dayo Adeyeye – led pro-Tinubu group, SWAGA, are not able to now credibly canvass for a South-West united entrance powering Tinubu for the 2023 presidential race when the Tinubu-led Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) thwarted the ambition of a Yoruba girl, Honourable Mulikat Akande-Adeola, to be Speaker of the Dwelling of Representatives in 2011. Rather, he argues, the ACN supported Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal from Sokoto Point out who emerged as Speaker. Certainly, these kinds of political permutations and joggling is neither abnormal nor unheard of given the ideologically fluid mother nature of our politics. The ACN emerged by means of painstaking backbreaking operate immediately after the PDP electoral blitzkrieg that swept absent the defunct Alliance for Democracy (Ad) in five of the 6 South-West states other than Lagos. Considering the fact that it did not have the numbers to make principal officers itself, a single miracles how Adedayo can fault the ACN’s exploiting fractures and fault strains within just the PDP to enrich its very own fascination and weaken the hegemonic faction in just the PDP. That is not illegitimate in politics. 

So strongly does Adedayo really feel about this Mulikat Akande-Adeola affair that he vehemently asserts that, ought to Tinubu request the presidency in 2023, it will be payback time as the Yoruba will avenge the fate that befell the lady even even though she by the way grew to become Greater part Leader of the Home of Representatives. This is amusing. The Tinubu-led tendency has had the upper hand in most elections in the South-West in all elections among 2007 and 2019 even though the PDP continues to be a sturdy aspect in the region. The difficulty of the Yoruba getting very long recollections and trying to find to spend Tinubu again in his possess coin so only exists in Adedayo’s fecund creativity. Even then, as a political analyst, did Adedayo bother to check with himself what concrete gains would have occur to Yoruba land experienced Honourable Mulikat Akande-Adeola turn into Speaker of the Property in 2011? Was Dimeji Bankole not Speaker for four a long time? What were being the gains or positive aspects for the regular Yoruba person or lady? In the identical vein, nobody should really canvass for the presidency in 2023 basically on the basis of in which he or she comes from. Competence and confirmed keep track of report of overall performance will have to be accorded precedence.

Hear to Adedayo: “As we trudge in direction of 2023, Yoruba will don’t forget these who experienced sacrificed the so-identified as Yoruba fascination on the altar of self-ambition in the previous. They amusingly view how exact men and women who bought them for 10 shekels of silver now appropriating the ethical proper to call them to queue behind them in 2023 “for the sake of Yoruba race”. Here again, the political scientist in Adedayo disappoints – appallingly. He arbitrarily asserts somewhat than display his claims logically and empirically. In what methods ended up the Yoruba bought for ten shekels of silver? Is that insinuation not alone a brazen insult on the intelligence and character of the Yoruba who are well regarded for their political sophistication and astuteness?

A central thrust of Adedayo’s piece is that Tinubu’s politics is energy-centered somewhat than ideologically focused. In his phrases, “Power below is euphemism for the close that justifies the means of that fatal French theorist, Niccolo Machiavelli”. Incidentally, Machiavelli was Italian, not French. But if Adedayo’s postulation is correct, how appear that as the lone governor standing in the South-West following the decline of the other 5 Ad South-West states in 2003, Tinubu determined to keep in opposition and was at the vanguard of clawing back all the South-West PDP ‘captured’ states to the camp of the progressives? Would it not have been much more in line with the extant political tradition for Tinubu to simply cross above to the PDP, which controlled the gravy-laden centre? How arrive that considerably before in the course of the IBB changeover programme, Tinubu spurned the chance to contest for the Senate Presidency in purchase to enrich the likelihood of the South-West winning the SDP presidential ticket? Rather, he supported the emergence of Professor Iyorchia Ayu Benue State in the North Central as Senate President. How appear that Tinubu was one of the much more than 20 signatories from Lagos of a comprehensive web site advert in the Nigerian Tribune denouncing Chief Dapo Sarumi as their leader subsequent the latter’s acceptance to be a part of the Main Earnest Shonekan-led Interim Nationwide Federal government (ING)?

Listen to Adedayo all over again: “Till currently, Tinubu is held to be the one who single-handedly dissembled Afenifere and literally ruined the Yoruba group”. What we have at function listed here is political necromancy or witchcraft, not disinterested and dispassionate political evaluation. Adedayo definitely has the mental skills to review objectively and incisively the immediate and distant brings about for the rise and drop of Afenifere. If he experienced not indulged mental laziness, Adedayo would not have arrived at the simplistic summary that Tinubu singlehandedly ‘dissembled’ Afenifere. Legitimate, the disaster that led to the diminution of Afenifere had its origin in Lagos. The principal induce was the adamant and unrelenting opposition of Chief Ganiyu Dawodu, Ad Chairman and Afenifere leader in Lagos Condition to Tinubu even soon after the latter had emerged as governor of the point out and built ceaseless efforts to pacify Dawodu who experienced openly supported Funsho Williams in the Advertisement celebration primaries.

In his riveting e book, ‘Reflections of a General public Man’, Alhaji Olatunji Hamzat, Lagos Point out transportation commissioner in the Alhaji Lateef Jakande administration, founder of the influential group, Justice Forum, as effectively as popular member of Ad and Afenifere in Lagos Condition, writes as regards the Dawodu-Tinubu rift in Lagos: “Throughout all this, the leadership of Afenifere similarly intervened in ceaseless, exhausting conferences determined to cobble some sort of compromise and workable unity. Even at this time, the Afenifere management by itself confirmed signals of partisan preference and id with Ganiyu Dawodu. Even though Main Abraham Adesanya clearly reposed in unimpeachable neutrality and progressive rallying, Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Chief Olanihun Ajayi were obviously supportive of the Dawodu group. The imbroglio in Lagos Point out would finally have an impact on the presently widening dispute at the nationwide hierarchy, rivening the nationwide front into the notorious balkanization of the yr 2000 Nationwide Convention of the Ad that witnessed two unique conventions in Abuja”. There is no house here to go into the crises that resulted in the present moribund condition of Afenifere but it is not as simplistic as portrayed by Adedayo.

Adedayo will make the specious argument that what the Yoruba need to have at this time is restructuring of Nigeria and not a President of Yoruba extraction come 2023. The truth of the matter of the issue is that there can be no restructuring without the need of a President in business who believes in restructuring and is organized to use the body weight and authority of his workplace to thrust by means of essential amendments to the structure to deepen federal exercise in Nigeria, and this in essence is what restructuring is about. It is astonishing that Adedayo assumes that a restructured Nigeria can simply just leap by way of in all probability from Planet Mars devoid of the requisite management that believes in the cause. Is Adedayo mindful that even among the the Yoruba political elite, there is no unanimity of views or concepts on what a restructured Nigeria ought to glance like? For occasion, although some advocate a return to the regional framework of the 1st Republic or a merger of ‘unviable’ states, the 2014 Nationwide Conference basically suggested the generation of more states to carry the full quantity of states to about 50! 

Chief Obafemi Awolowo sought to be President of Nigeria inthe 2nd Republic under the 1979 constitution. Referring to the 1979 structure, the good sage experienced famously pointed out that most of its provisions had been articulated in his publications significantly ‘Thoughts on the Nigerian Constitution’. Awolowo would have been an superb President and shipped on his electoral claims had he been elected President in 1979. The UPN governors performed exemplarily under this constitution in the 2nd Republic. The extant 1999 structure is a in the vicinity of total reproduction of the 1979 constitution. Nigeria can prosper underneath this constitution with a skilled, committed and visionary leadership that can summon the will to push through needed amendments that will take away the street blocks to authentic federal follow that exist in the constitution. As severe as recent nationwide issues are, this is no excuse to jettison the extant structure wholesale and embark on an sick-described restructuring journey with an unpredictable result. Adedayo speculates about Tinubu’s well being in a reckless fashion devoid of evidence. Right here, he plays God. Who tells Adedayo that he himself is in ideal and sturdy overall health or does he know the terminal date of his own tenancy on earth? 

*Oladejo is the Publicity Secretary of Lagos APC Caretaker Committee.

-Read through the short article in question by Festus Adedayo in this article