Tinubu should make haste slowly

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Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had a strategic plan of action when he set forth for the race. He had a complete picture of the total journey from the point of conception. He has been working on this ambition over time. And he has come to believe that this is the time. That was what he actually meant when he declared that it was his turn. He meant that it is either now or never. He did not want anything to stand between him and his long-standing ambition. That was why he blurted out when President Muhammadu Buhari was toying with the idea of adopting a presidential candidate for the APC. The President was nursing that plan at the time Tinubu had made all his plans. Tinubu would have none of that.
To ensure that his party’s presidential ticket was his for the asking, he purchased a number of presidential aspirants and lined them up as a decoy on the day of the primary election. Before then, Nigerians had been amazed at the near effortless ease with which a horde of aspirants afforded the runaway fee of N100 million for expression of interest and nomination forms. Little did they know that a good many of the aspirants were Tinubu’s surrogates. The APC national convention was well underway before the veil began to fall off people’s eyes. The outcome of the primary simply showed that whereas Tinubu had a complete plan of action on how to win the APC presidential primary, many other presidential aspirants within the APC family relied more on presidential endorsements than on their actual worth. Tinubu planned to win and he achieved that through uncommon dexterity. It was the morning after that other aspirants who were not his paid agents realized that they were merely floating on the surface of reality.
Having won the primary election decisively, Tinubu was almost certain that he had arrived his Damascus. Since the APC was the ruling party, he felt that holding the party’s presidential ticket was as good as winning the actual election. This was the confidence and assurance with which he set sail.
Ironically, however, that victory at the Eagle Square seems to have marked the end of Tinubu’s success in his quest for the presidency. At the point he emerged victorious at the polls, the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had already produced Atiku Abubakar as its candidate. On emergence, therefore, Tinubu knew who he was going to square up with at the polls. Atiku, a former Vice-President, has been around. He is not new to the presidential race. His strengths and weaknesses can be gauged even off-handedly. Tinubu knows that Atiku is not a pushover. But what Tinubu thought he needed was the deployment of more dexterity and uncommon tactics in the race for the presidency. Tinubu believed that he could outsmart and outrun Atiku, if he approached the contest a little more differently from what we are used to.
However, while Tinubu was still working in his strategy room, something called Peter Obi happened on the scene. It was never factored into the original equation. It was never part of an existing or known order that Tinubu had planned to surmount and supplant. Peter Obi was just like an intrusion. Something never expected.
Because Nigerians are too accustomed to the old order to imagine that anything new could disrupt it, many, including Tinubu and his henchmen, were quick to dismiss Obi as a joke. Just a mere footnote. But that impression did not hold water. No sooner had he emerged as the presidential standard-bearer of the Labour Party than he began to make waves. The mass movement that his candidature has become has remained unstoppable. This has presented Tinubu with a brand new headache. The race he thought he would run almost seamlessly has become complex. The Peter Obi phenomenon has compounded matters for Tinubu. The frenzy that this has injected into the campaigns has put Tinubu and his team into panic mode. The result is the myriad of avoidable errors that the Tinubu campaign is saddled with. His campaign, it would seem, is gravitating towards a blind alley.
As I pointed out earlier, Tinubu’s finest day so far remains the day he emerged as the presidential candidate of his party. After that, he has had to tumble into one controversy or another. Tinubu’s descent into ignominy began with his willful pollution of his presidential ticket. In a desperate bid to get the attention of those whom he thought would win the presidency for him, Tinubu allowed himself to be cajoled into believing that it would not matter if he paired up with his fellow Muslim. He took the poisonous pill. His campaign has been in the throes of a dilemma ever since.
In the bid to make up for the faux pas that was the ill-advised decision on same-faith ticket, Tinubu has taken to the untoward. In order to deodorize the dog shit called Muslim-Muslim ticket, Tinubu and his gang ended up muddling the situation the more. This they did when they dressed artisans in clerical garments and passed them off as bishops who had come to endorse the choice of another Muslim, Kashim Shettima, to pair up with Tinubu. The indiscretion has since boomeranged.
While anger was boiling over on this matter, especially among northern Christians, Tinubu and his band of campaigners took another misdirected step, which they thought could boost his acceptability as a possible President of the country. This time he went for Nollywood stars and sought their endorsement. Those of them who were up for grabs were handsomely paid to secure the endorsement. Again this did not work as the well-rated among them looked away with disgust. They roundly rejected the Greek gift. I wonder why Tinubu and his handlers thought that such a move was worth the while. This was another drawback to Tinubu’s presidential bid.
As noted earlier, Peter Obi’s unexpected wave on the 2023 presidential race as been a source of grave concern to Tinubu and his gang. In the bid to deal with the development, Tinubu’s supporters have abandoned the important task of cleansing their candidate of his load of baggage and have chosen, instead, to make Peter Obi the focus of their campaign. They have come to see Obi as the real headache that could send Tinubu packing if he (Obi) is not cut to size. They feel that you cannot sell Tinubu’s candidature without discrediting Peter Obi. Someone needs to tell Tinubu and his handlers that campaign of denigration is a sign of weakness on the part of the aggressor. Ultimately, Tinubu needs to make haste slowly in order to salvage whatever is left of his wobbly campaign.
The post Tinubu should make haste slowly appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.


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