Hauwa Gambo: Bola Ahmed Tinubu, you have a message (YNaija FrontPage)

In the South-West which it dominates, the ACN has ambled along with juvenile irredentism (Rauf Aregbesola, Osun) arrogant elitism (Babatunde Fashola, Lagos), oblivious inaction (Ibikunle Amosun, Ogun), wanton profligacy (Abiola Ajimobi, Oyo); redeemed only by flashes of brilliance (Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti).

One of the distinct tragedies of our politics is that a succession of leaders has honed to an art the mind-boggling inability to learn from those before them.

The result of this is immediately apparent: a vastly variable set of leaders, but the very same set of values and, of course, consequences. We have been led by sometimes accomplished, sometimes idiotic men – but the effect has been the same; Nigeria continues to decline.

This ongoing tragedy was on vivid display last week as a posse of Action Congress of Nigeria chiefs descended on Ondo and proceeded to indulge in the kind of verbal seppuku one should only find in a slum beer parlor. Including dangerous ‘confessions’ by its national leader Bola Ahmed Tinubu, that he gave millions of pounds to Olusegun Mimiko, the party projected a loud and wild confidence that it would “crush” its rival.

Of course, pride comes before a fall. By the time the dust from their brooms settled, the ACN had lost the elections so badly that even the PDP got more votes without investing as much time, money and hot air. Mimiko, under the Labour Party, got 260, 199 votes. The People’s Democratic Party candidate, Olusola Oke, got 155,961 votes. Rotimi Akeredolu was left with a measly 143,512 votes.

It was almost impossible not to draw parallels with the PDP’s fatal misadventure in Edo barely months ago – where President Goodluck Jonathan led a boisterous, clownish parade declaring premature victory in a state which any analyst worth her salt knew the PDP was going to lose.

In that same vein, the ACN sort to supplant the humble mobilisation of votes and winning of hearts that is at the heart of democracy with a vacuous chest-thumping that undoubtedly got on the nerves of the electorate, and repelled observers across the country.

The ACN has sadly become a punch line. It came into our political space with plenty of promise, signalled by its broom party symbol, which indicated it was ready to sweep away the uglier tendencies of politics and policy in Nigeria. Instead, over the past few years, and with intensity over the last couple of months, it has slowly but steadily transmuted from hero to bête noire.

The insurgent party has become unrecognisable; the very demonstration of that which, without irony, it rails against. Even its promise of Awolowo’s lusty developmental vision has largely been a mirage.  In the South-West which it dominates, it has ambled along with juvenile irredentism (Rauf Aregbesola, Osun) arrogant elitism (Babatunde Fashola, Lagos), oblivious inaction (Ibikunle Amosun, Ogun), wanton profligacy (Abiola Ajimobi, Oyo); redeemed only by flashes of brilliance (Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti).

It has abandoned any pretense at modesty to expand its base and deepen its achievements, a path that many would have expected, not because of any inherent decency, but in the strategic realisation that hubris is the tragic flaw that has destroyed the PDP and made it incapable of transforming Nigeria.

As a student of Nigerian history, I cannot pretend to be shocked at this turn of events, but it has not lessened my disappointment. Which is why I join the popular celebration of the defeat or the ACN and Tinubu, in Ondo State on Sunday.

As surely as the sun rises in the east, the party deserved that humiliation, and as Nigerians ponder the absence of a credible alternative in our politics at the moment, the moral of this story is quite simple really: the broom is no cleaner than the umbrella.

In fact, when push comes to shove, they are, both, two fingers of one giant leprous hand. Let the buyer beware.



Comments (9)

  1. Even if any political party would drive us to the promise land NOT ACN

  2. Rejoinder: Bola Tinubu, You have a Message

    I have known the writer to be very prolific, and have always showcased this through her dexterous style of writing- thumbs!

    However, I’m largely disappointed at how you handled this piece. I’m surprised at how difficult it is for you to distinguish between a strong character and a vibrant entity. This clearly exhibits your very shallow knowledge of what a political party should represent and how they operate.

    First, your write up shows how much of a pessimist you are. It shows how laidback you are toward contributing to transforming the political landscape in this country eventhough you claim to be very knowledgeable.

    Second, the title of your write up clearly lacks logical connection with the body of your message in that your inability to clearly state whether you had problems with the personality of Ashiwaju Bola A. Tinubu, state governors of the ACN or the party itself. I was very quick and excited to read your piece but was disconsolate to realize it fell short of what I expected from you. The fact is, there’s much to gain when you crystallize problems with intention of driving at a point. Yours’ is however a reversed case, because you have shown to many individuals like myself, who looked up to your capabilities and prowess at changing the socio-political milieu of this country, that being a prolific writer doesn’t make a transformational leader.

    Third, I acknowledge the fact that during the course of several campaign rallies for the just concluded guber-election in Ondo state, inciting, unfriendly, vulgar, and obnoxious statements were made by individuals of repute and caliber. Please note that this act cuts across board. Leaders of the various political parties slandered and defamed their personalities for cheap political gains. It’s left for our generation to decide on whether or not to adopt a more civil approach in politicking.

    Fourth, what happened in Ondo state clearly shows that democracy has come to stay in Nigeria. Nigerians are more aware, engaged and committed towards sustaining virtues of democracy, which is very laudable. For me, the outcome of the poll in Ondo is indeed the ‘beauty of democracy’. Democracy is more about an open-ended approach to development, good governance; higher living standards et al. political parties are vehicles to specific destinations, its left for people to decide what vehicle they desire.

    Fifth, yes indeed, the ACN came in with so much vibes and many hoping that the party would drive us to our desired destination. Well, it’s apt for me to state that even though we ain’t there yet, the party hasn’t fallen below expectations. As a matter of fact, considering the political terrain in Nigeria and the arch dominance and rivalry of a party like the PDP, the ACN has done fairly well. There’s no perfect system anywhere in the world; the ACN is well aware of her fundamental challenges and working toward correcting them.

    Sixth, I unequivocally and clearly condemn your statement “…as Nigerians ponder the absence of a credible alternative in our politics at the moment” – very laughable! This clearly shows you are not engaged, yet you are very quick to condemn. Dear Hauwa Gambo there are over thirty (30) political parties in Nigeria; yet you say absence of a credible alt? My very candid advice for you is identify yourself with one of these and contribute to developing our country by deploying your God given talents and other resources available to you.

    Finally, please whittle down on your Nihilistic approach and be more objective in your writings.

  3. This is a personal opinion about Asiwaju Akanbi Tinubu and ACN. It is not a true reflection of the party and its ideology. Although CAN got wrong by fielding a very weak candidate and Asiwaju imposing him on the party. The progressive minded people are solidly behind CAN!

  4. You literally took the words out of my mouth. I kind of enjoyed the silence that emanated from them after they were humbled. The gall of them!

  5. Oh my goodness, you captured a vivid picture of exactly what I had in mind. Telling it like it is. Tinubu behaved so much like an "unruly child" on the day of Campaign, it sure pissed me off. Honestly, I wasn't surprised at the outcome of the election result.

  6. Hmm,… Deep thinking. Welcome to the Frontage once again

  7. Hauwa, my Hauwa. Kai, you are blessed!

  8. Dang! You hit that nail so hard on the head!

  9. Even their plans for expansion are suspect. Tinubu is so obsessed with becoming the New Awo that he's not concerned with any election outside the old Western Region. I still haven't forgiven the national HQ of ACN for how they cared less about the Adamawa governorship elections this February, despite their candidate giving the PDP incumbent a run for his white beards

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