By Bala Ibrahim.
It is no longer news that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been confirmed as the 16th and legitimate president of Nigeria, pursuant to the popular election he won under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, on February 25th, which led to his inauguration on the 29th of May 2023. Since then, President Tinubu has hit the ground running in search of solutions to Nigeria’s myriads of problems. As I write this article, the President is in far away New Delhi, India, attending the G-20 Summit, where he succeeded in getting some investment pledges for Nigeria, amounting to nearly 15bn U.S. dollars.
Last Wednesday, while the President was away in India, the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, PEPT, delivered judgment on the consolidated petitions filed by the defeated Presidential candidate of the Labor Party, LP, Peter Obi and his defeated partner from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, challenging the victory of Tinubu. In a unanimous decision, the PEPT dismissed the consolidated petitions of the defeated candidates and held that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu won the election squarely and fairly, and consequently declared him as validly elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Although both Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar have rejected the judgments and have indicated interest in going to the Supreme Court of Nigeria, this article would pay attention mainly to the tantrums of Atiku Abubakar, Nigeria’s former Vice President and the holder of the prestigious title of the Waziri of Adamawa. Yes, tantrums, or the emotional outbursts that came out of the mouth of Waziri Atiku Abubakar, while addressing the press on the outcome of the judicial pronouncement.
Ordinarily, I would not bother responding to Atiku’s anger with an article like this, because he is a celebrated looser in Nigeria’s presidential elections, but because he spoke with an uncontrolled expression of a childish frustration, I felt compulsorily compelled, to talk to him about the importance of benevolent behavior, as it affects a statesman and a prince, who is expected to act with good taste and propriety. According to the nobility, the Waziri is the second in command in the Hausa royal system arrangement. He is the right hand man of the Emir. As such, any man in such position, must not be flippant with words, especially words like war.
Atiku said and I quote, “I urge all my supporters to remain steadfast. I urge them to take solace in an immortal lesson I learned from my leader and mentor, the late Shehu Yar’Adua, that losing a battle is less important than losing the war. We might have lost a battle yesterday, but the war is well ahead of us”. Shehu Yar’Adua was a soldier, a decorated General. He was trained for war, but Waziri Atiku was trained as a Customs officer, whose drive is to ensure the payment of tariffs.
Atiku’s anger was further glazed with words from one of his aides, Paul Ibe, who said the Waziri would not validate any electoral banditry. Electoral banditry, after warning of a war ahead? This to me is unstatesmanlike and unbefitting the status of a prince, that is wearing the robe of the Waziri, which in the monarchy, is fit to be a king or royal regal.
In his address, Atiku had boasted of being a veteran in legal battles, but I doubt if he had any experience in war. “Indeed, I am no stranger to legal battles, and I can say that I have a fair idea of how the court system works. All through my career as a politician, I have been a fighter, and I must say that I have found the judiciary as a worthy pillar to rest on in the pursuit of justice”. Truly Tinubu had beaten Atiku in the ballot battle and I can assure the Waziri that given the facts before the court, the lawyers are only wooing the Waziri for worsting at the supreme court, whenever he goes to war with the Asiwaju.
Atiku’s lawyers may have reasons to confuse him into going on appeal, but from the comments of many among the learned, it would be difficult to fault the judgement, which is why I think, he was beaten at the battle and being wooed to be worsted at the war.