Why Bola Tinubu can never be Nigeria’s president

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Farooq Kperogi

I admit that it’s always ill-advised to use the word “never” when you prognosticate the outcome of a future event.

The vagaries of life can throw a wrench to the works of the most auspicious auguries. I know that. Nevertheless, I am prepared to go out on a limb and proclaim that in spite of his feverishly desperate, frenzied, backstabbing machinations, Bola Ahmed Tinubu can never be Nigeria’s president. Here’s why.

Tinubu isn’t electable in any region of Nigeria outside the Southwest, his natal region. Even in the Southwest, his political capital has suffered incalculable diminution over the years, particularly because of the growing perception in the region that he is now a mindless minion of a morally maggoty, Machiavellian and no-good northern cabal.

His callous, injudicious, not to mention misguided and evidence-free, exculpation of the alleged murderers of the daughter of Afenifere leader Reuben Fasoranti rankled many people in the region and helped seal the notion that he is now no more than a fawning, unthinking automaton for hostile political forces outside his region.

It is entirely possible that Fasoranti’s daughter wasn’t murdered by Fulani herders, but saying so without firm, foolproof evidence—and when raw passions were still inflamed—betrayed his lack of scruples and independence of thought.

That is why an increasing number of people in the Southwest now see Tinubu as an unreliable, out-of-touch, self-absorbed, power-hungry, and treacherous narcissist.

Among the electorate in the Southeast and the South-south, he is seen as one of the principal architects in the emergence of the unrelieved disaster that is Buhari whose regime has taken the humiliation and alienation of the two regions as an article of statecraft.

Tinubu also infamously sanctioned the systematic, state-sponsored, and thugs-executed disenfranchisement of Igbo voters in Lagos in 2019. His wife, Remi Tinubu, was, in fact, caught on camera lamenting that the Igbo are untrustworthy. (Her exact words were, “Igbo, we no dey trust una again!”) Most Igbos and Southern ethnic minorities would rather be dead than vote for Tinubu.

Christian ethnic minorities in the North, for whom religious identity is an important instrument of political mobilisation, deeply distrust, even resent, Tinubu and his politics.

Although Northern Nigerian Christians tend to be largely indifferent to Southern (that is, Yoruba and Edo) Muslims, they nonetheless nurse deep-seated animus toward Tinubu because of the roles he is perceived to have played in propping up the fiendish monster of depravity that the Buhari regime has become.

You would think the Muslim North, particularly the Hausaphone Muslim North, would requite Tinubu’s support for Buhari in 2015 and 2019 by supporting his presidential aspiration in 2023. That is precisely what Tinubu himself, in his blissful naivety, expects. Well, as I pointed out many times before the 2019 election, this is where Tinubu will get the biggest shock of his life.

If Tinubu were lucky to clinch the nomination of the APC (as unlikely as this is), he would need to nominate a Christian, preferably a Northern Christian, politician to “balance” his ticket since he is a Muslim—or self-identifies as a Muslim—from the South. And that’s where the problem would start for him. In the North, there is an enduring distrust of the authenticity of the Islam of Yoruba Muslims.

There is even a Hausa phrase that encapsulates this distrust: adinin Yarbawa. It literally translates as the religion, i.e., Islam of the Yoruba. But it means more than that.

It is often uttered to suggest that the Islam of Yoruba people is fickle, inauthentic, meretricious, syncretic, and untrustworthy. So, as far as most Northern Muslims are concerned, a Yoruba Muslim/Northern Christian ticket is as good as a Christian/Christian ticket.

Nigerian Tribune

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