Those who do not wish the Yoruba well are in the vanguard of those goading our sitting vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to throw his hat into the presidential ring. It is not out of love for the genteel law professor. I bet it is simply to draw him out to square up to his one-time boss when he was state commissioner and his political boss by any standard, so that the two Yoruba gladiators can fight themselves to the finish and fluff another bright chance of the Yoruba. The lure is great, and it behoves every right thinking Yoruba person to dissuade the vice president from toeing that line.
I can also sniff that some people of Yoruba extraction who dislike Osinbajo as much as they detest Tinubu are showing preference for an Igbo presidency, not necessarily out of genuine love for our Southeast brethren but because they must exhibit that flaw in Yoruba character that “I don’t care who gets it, provided it is not Tinubu or Osinbajo”. People with such mindset most times regret their actions after the deed is done.
Tinubu is being accused of all manner of sins, as if sin is designed for saints. But then, what offences are being ascribed to Osinbajo that neither of them is fit to be President. Methinks the words of my people that “inunibini ko kan aimowa hu” comes in handy here. There is nothing you can ever do to please bad-belle people!
As sitting vice president, Osinbajo is perfectly entitled to formally sit on the presidential chair on which he had earlier been privileged to sit in interim capacity whenever his current boss was away. But as things stand today, Tinubu is considered by many as the best and the most ideal candidate among the Yoruba eyeing that position. Some others covet the position as well but are for now coy about coming out openly to declare their intention. Do they belong in the ranks of those waiting to be pushed into the ring?
I personally detest the idea of unwilling candidates because the very idea can be correctly interpreted to either mean being ill-equipped for the job or a sign of negativity which is the stuff of which spoil-sports are made. Conversely, I admire those who have prepared themselves sufficiently for the top job and have become passionate about it; a classic example being Alhaji Lateef Jakande who equipped himself for the Lagos governorship before he made a go for it in 1978. The result is his unprecedented, landmark achievements in a short space of four years and three months. Those achievements were no mere fluke or flash in the pan, as he moved on to the federal level as minister of works and dazzled doubting Thomases with his housing scheme achievements in Abuja under just two years before he dropped out of the cabinet.
Tinubu followed in Jakande’s footsteps with the radicalisation of governance under his watch when he became Lagos State governor in 1999 and steadied the economic growth of the state for eight years. He bequeathed a template to the state which his successors have found impossible to abandon because in that template is the winning formula for progress, for which the state has justifiably earned the epitaph of “Centre of Excellence”. If the man Tinubu says the presidential project is his life-long ambition and there’s evidence that he can walk his talk, why deny him the opportunity to prove his mettle, especially from his homestead?
I cannot but be fascinated with the profound wisdom in Yoruba philosophy and idioms. Take this: Ehinkule l’ota wa, inu ile l’aseni ngbe. Why is it unceasingly becoming the second nature of the Yoruba to sharpen the pull-down machete with which they destroy their own?
“Ebe la nbe osika, ko tun ilu re se”; again another wise saying of the Yoruba. Isn’t it time for our foremost traditional rulers to come together and jaw-jaw with all their children with presidential ambition towards the end of getting them agree on presenting a solid, winnable candidate among these aspirants – the one we know ready as well as those still lurking in the shadows.
You may want to ask where will I cast my lot if asked? My answer will come musically from one of our best ever music icons, Sikiru Ayinde Barrister: “E ma f’ori aja we t’olola iju; won jo’ra won, sugbon iyato wa nibe o”, meaning the kitten’s head and that of the lion may look similar, but there’s a world of difference between the two. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu fits the bill best, all things considered!