By Remi Oyeyemi
OSINBAJO AND THE QUAGMIRE OF POWER STRUGGLE
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is in a serious quagmire. But unfortunately, he is oblivious to and of it. Even, if he is not, he has no tools to help himself. His fish, it seems, has no water on its back.
The on-going war in Abuja for power is emblematic of the nature and character of the Nigerian State that, hopefully would lead to the Nunc Dimittis of a tragedy called a country. As events continue to unfold, those still acting like Ostriches, shouting ONE NIGERIA, would have some education and have theirs eyes opened.
For those theorists who see this from the prism of class war dialectics alone, they are about to be educated about the dynamics of a modern feudalism that hold others in bondage and subjugation. They are about to be tutored about a refined, retooled and modernised apartheid system. They are about to be schooled about the real meanings of second and third class citizenship in a contraption euphemized as a country.
The Attorney General of the Federation Mr. Abubakar Malami has just warned the Vice President that he (the Vice President) couldn’t speak for the presidency and that the Vice President is “on his own.” This came up after the Vice President returned “fire for fire” to the National Assembly seeking to remove him.
The import of the warning given by Malami to Vice President Osinbajo is that in the Executive Arm of the Government in Aso Rock, the Vice President has no support. It means he is just being tolerated. It means he is an outsider in a government he leads. It means he is just a decoration. It means he is just a toothless bulldog, if he could be called a bulldog at all.
If you doubt this, ask, how many other members of the Cabinet has come out to support the Vice President publicly? How many of them has come out to call Malami to order? Certainly, they are not all deaf and blind. But because they all know where power truly resides they have kept mum waiting for Osinbajo to be roasted. Yes, they know that power does not reside with Osinbajo and they don’t care if Osinbajo is hanged.
Not only that, under Osinbajo’s nose, even ordinary Garba Shehu describes VP Osinbajo utterances as “unofficial” and “personal” view of his. He suggested that any opinion expressed by Osinbajo is nothing but his own and not representative of the Government or the Presidency in which he is the so called Acting President. Even, as a so called “Coordinator”, such a disgrace should not be meted out to the Pastor.
The hapless Vice President seems to just carry on as if nothing is amiss. He is canvassing for a ONE NIGERIA where he is already a second class citizen in power. His case is akin to that of a slave begging and pleading for the recalibration, reinforcement and reconsolidation of the vestiges and veneers of his enslavement and subjugation. A case of an unthinking happy slave. Americans call his likes “house slave.”
Yes, he is in power but does not have the balls to exercise the power. He dares not. He is so powerless that an ordinary spokesperson can call his bluff. He has no wherewithal to exercise any power. He heads a cabinet to which he cannot give instruction. He heads a cabinet in which he is treated with disdain and open disrespect as well as disregard. As they twit, taunt and toss him around, he twitches and twirls like a fish in the throes of dehydration.
Osinbajo heads a government in which he cannot get anything done. He heads a government in which his words are mere cacophony; meaningless, worthless and useless. He enjoys no one’s confidence in the leadership. He is a lone, rudderless, tired and ridiculed wolf surrounded by anxious and rapacious tigers in competition to enthusiastically devour him.
This obviously is sensed by the Senate led by Bukola Saraki who has never hidden his contempt for the Vice President he once referred to as “ordinary commissioner.” Saraki never had any respect for Osinbajo. He loathes him intensely and with unfathomable severity. He sees Osinbajo as the “ajélè” of Bola Tinubu, with whom he is in rivalry. He is determined to bring him down at the right moment. Whether Saraki would succeed in this or not, time would tell.
Let us put my dislike for Saraki aside and all his vices hanged aside for a moment so that the reality be examined honestly. Saraki is truly in charge of the Senate. His support is solid. His men are united, savvy, and combative. They are committed to each other. His men believe in him and he believes in them. He protects them. They protect him. Loyalty to Saraki cuts across party lines in the Senate. He is as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar.
In the wings for Senator Saraki is the Lower House under the leadership of Yakubu Dogara. Solid, united, determined and consistent in their opposition to any move by Tinubuists. And they have demonstrated without any scintilla of doubt that they would not tolerate any kind of infantile radicalism. They are waiting for an auspicious moment to oust Osinbajo. This is in addition to some silent power elites in the North, especially among the Hausa Fulani whose political wisdom begin with fear of Tinubu, who because of his own morbid ambition, made himself a dispensable tool of enslavement and subjugation of his Yoruba people.
Some of us may not like this because we loathe Saraki, but this is the reality. The Buharideens and the Buharists in Yoruba land may not like this but this is the truth. The Jagabbanians or Tinubuists may hate this but this is a fact. The APC faithfuls and party hacks in Southwest may detest this but it is the reality. Saraki is in control of that Senate. The earlier they realise this, the better for them so they can figure out their next move.
Vice President Osinbajo himself seems not to be aware. Or if he is aware, he does not care. And if he cares, he has no tools to fight for himself. He has limited or no support. His supporters are in minority. His supporters, when they overstep their allotted boundaries, they get suspended at will and nothing has happened. Or would happen.
Meanwhile, the so called “Cabal”, from whence originated the idea of a “Coordinator” are silently waiting for the right moment to oust the unwary, naive, smart but non-analytical Vice President. He has been suspected and hated from Day One when he was locked out of the security meeting about a country of which he was the Vice President and now the Acting President.
Osinbajo refused to pay attention. He refused to heed warnings then as he is refusing now. He is acting like his mentor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and allowing morbid ambition to drive his thinking, his planning, his responses and his approach. He is not thinking about the fate that might befall Yoruba Nation when these falling chips land. He wants to be in power at all costs, even when he is deemed not good enough as a messenger by the INHERITORS of the Nigerian power. He refuses to see the handwriting on the wall. He is not able to fathom that he is fussing over the corpse of a dead country.
Applying the Marxian dialectics to the Nigerian tragedy as an analytic tool is a great misapplication to an enormously misunderstood situation. The subsisting struggle in Nigeria today is not about the rich and the poor or between the haves and the have-nots. Rather, it is about the contest of applied philosophical world view.
It is about those who treasure the reverence and desirability for human dignity for all and those who do not. It is about those who believe in equality of man as a creature and those who do not. It is about those who believe in equitable justice for all and those who do not. It is about those who believe in human family, not cronyism, and those who do not. It is about those who believe that human lives have more value than those of cows and those who do not.
There is a culture that lays not undue emphasis on materialism and the one that does. There is a culture which ensures your dignity, your self and personal respect even when you are poor and the one that does not. There is a culture that takes accountability seriously and the one that does not. This is the crux of the matter. This is the kernel of the issue. This is the heart of the contest. This is the why of the struggle. This is the theme of the clarion call.
For the honest, sincere but naive purveyors of UNITY of Nigeria in the hills and valleys of Yoruba Nation; for the untutored die hard believers in ONE NIGERIA swimming in the streams and rivers of Oòduà land; for the misguided and miseducated latter day Nigerian nationalists acting out Henry Kissinger’s concept of “patriotism” as being “the last refuge of scoundrels” among the sons and daughters of Oòduà land, it is time to wake up and smell the coffee.
It is time to think beyond politics and unite in action and purpose for our people, our future, our freedom and our independence. This is more serious and important than the ephemeral politics of APC, PDP, Labour, KOWA, CPC, AC, ADM, PDM or whatever. We are first and foremost Yoruba before anything else. This is about the survival of our race. This is about our survival and dignity as a people. This is about our pride as inheritors of great culture and traditions. This is about us as a people with proud History.
It is time to stop planting corn on the rock. It is time to stop chasing shadows. It is time to stop chasing power that could not be used or benefit our people. It is time to wise up and free yourselves mentally. It is time to think of our past and put our future in perspective. It is time to think of our children and the next generation. It is time to be free. It is time to go home to Oòduà Nation. The Yoruba do not belong in Nigeria. We belong to our own Nation.
“In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility – I welcome it.”
– John F. Kennedy, in his Inaugural Address January 20, 1961