2023 Presidency: Why Pro-Tinubu Elements Goofed On Osinbajo Betrayal Claim

2023 Presidency: Why Pro-Tinubu Elements Goofed On Osinbajo Betrayal Claim

Posted Apr 18, 2022 - 06:55PM by Gnax Oneboss 0

Since the declaration by the Vice- President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to contest the 2023 presidential election on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), supporters of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Lagos state governor have been making scathing remarks, launching the most vitriolic attacks on the number two citizen. On social media, some overzealous loyalists of the APC national leader resorted to name-calling, describing Osinbajo a betrayer, traitor, backstabber, fake pastor and so on.

Osinbajo’s offence, according to these ones was that he dared signified interest in contesting the 2023 presidency on APC platform when his former boss and benefactor, Tinubu had also indicated interest in the same position which he described as his lifelong ambition. Going further, they nicknamed Osinbajo the ‘modern day Akintola who betrayed Awolowo’ in reference to the 1962 Action Group crisis which was a result of the struggle for power between two political leaders of the Western Region and Action Group (AG), Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola.

On the day Osinbajo declared, the word ‘Judas’ also trended at number one on Twitter with many Tinubu supporters accusing the Vice-President of betrayal. The Tinubu supporters also claimed the fact that the purported betrayal was taking place barely days before Good Friday was not coincidental.

The National President, Asiwaju Women Cooperative Society of Nigeria, Toyin Badmus, in a Facebook post, described Osinbajo’s declaration as the “re-enactment of Awolowo vs Akintola in the old Western Region,” adding “The traitor always loses…. Yemi is the traitor.”

Last week, precisely on Good Friday, April 15, several posters were pasted in strategic places in some parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja with the image of the Vice- President. The poster which has Osinbajo looking away from the camera with two fingers across his cheek described him as “the Judas who betrayed his master”. It also has “Repent because JESUS is COMING” written on it.
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The posters drew the ire of many Nigerians who were initially indifferent to the political hullaballoo. Many of them, while asking Tinubu to call his supporters to order condemned the action of those behind the posters, saying it is ‘political attack taken too far’.

According to Adenike Ayo, a social media commentator, those behind the posters were doing Tinubu’s presidential ambition more harm than good.

She said

“ If they can’t respect the man, at least they should be decent enough to respect his office as the Vice- President of Nigeria. Just because he said he wanted to run for Presidency, you are describing him as Judas who betrayed Jesus. If Osinbajo is now Judas, who then is the Jesus he betrayed? For someone like me, this amounts to blackmail and rather than tarnish his image, it may even give him sympathy votes”.

Also speaking , Emma Aziken, a popular columnist wrote “In what way has Osinbajo betrayed Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who chose him to be a commissioner in his cabinet? The assertion of betrayal flows from the assertion of supporters of Tinubu that Osinbajo should not have made his bid for the presidency given the life-long ambition of the former Lagos State governor. For many, it is a moral dilemma for anyone to contest against his political benefactor”.

“This supposition flows from the lack of ideology in the political landscape. Tinubu wants to be president because it is his life ambition. So, one may ask, is Osinbajo’s life ambition to perpetually serve as a surrogate to Tinubu? This question comes to mind following the rash of opportunism as the children of many political leaders in the polity are being thrust upon the electorate by their parents”.

“Nothing wrong with that, but they are supposed to bring forth their ideological claims that qualify them for the offices they pursue. Tagging Osinbajo as a Judas or betrayer diminishes the quality of his person, his legal qualifications and capacity”.

“The demonisation of Osinbajo has interestingly caused the recall of the story of Mazi Samuel Goomsu Ikoku who contested against his father, the great Alvan Ikoku for a seat in the Eastern House of Assembly in 1957. The effrontery of the ideologically driven SG Ikoku, who was an associate of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, was manifested when he defeated his father in the election. The father did not disown him. Rather, he came out to back his son in the next election”.

“Alvan Ikoku may have been defeated by his son, but his legacy as a nationalist was not buried and today Nigeria has recognized him with the encryption of his image on the N10 note. So, if SG Ikoku could contest against his father, one can imagine the prospects of Osinbajo given the claim by Tinubu that the vice-president is not his son”.

Lending his voice to the raging issue, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, former lawmaker who represented Osun Central in the National Assembly condemned ‘simpletons’ who likened Osinbajo to Akintola and Tinubu as Awolowo.

He said 

“Now that Osinbajo has declared his interest in the Presidency, it is time to answer the simpletons drawing wrong parallels in history by comparing PYO’s putative intent (now turned declaration) to the sad parting of ways between Awolowo and Akintola. Such comparison is rooted in abject ignorance and malignant mischief. We must clear these scurrilous insinuations from catawaulers whose sole intent is to dispense vicious calumny”.

“Did Akintola and Awolowo ever compete for the same elective post? When Awolowo wanted to be Premier of Western Region, did Akintola compete against him? Later, when Awolowo wanted to become Prime Minister, did Akintola seek the same office? In any case, did Awolowo ever stipulate that only he could aspire to any elective office on the ticket of the Action Group?”

“When did it become a norm in the politics of Nigeria, particularly the Yorubas, that aspiration to any elective office is a cardinal sin? May God grant Osinbajo and Tinubu the exceptionalism to handle the nomination process with grace. Specifically, the APC must be spared the silly innuendos and slanderous snide remarks currently exuded by overzealous supporters of various aspirants”.

“Zealous support for any aspirant must not be stretched to the point of creating slanderous parallels. Tinubu is not Awolowo. Osinbajo is not Akintola. In both cases, the differences are extremely glaring. Conjuring such parallelisms serves neither the aspirants nor the APC”.

To Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, labeling Osinbajo a traitor because he wants to contest against his former boss Tinubu is anti-democratic.

His words

“That is irrelevant and anti-democratic. Getting power in democracy requires struggle. Nobody can tell me because he has assisted me in the past, maybe 20 years ago, then I cannot compete with you. Saying that is anti-democratic. In democracy, you have to exhibit your skills and show people what you have to offer”.

“Yes, Osinbajo served Tinubu years ago when he was governor but he cannot be subservient to him for life. He has to move on someday”.

“If Osinbajo can bear the brunt and withstand the rigours of contesting for the presidency, nobody should stop him. Let him go out and campaign. Let him and other aspirants, including Asiwaju come out to the field to test their popularity. The race is for the fittest, brightest and the cleverest person”.

“Nobody should beg or threaten anybody not to contest. That is not democracy. Let all qualified aspirants go out and collect the forms. Whoever the party picks, that is our candidate and we will all work for his victory”.

Sounding a note of caution to both camps, however, the Secretary General of the Yoruba Council of Elders, Dr Kunle Olajide admonished both Tinubu and Osinbajo to call their supporters to order so as not to plunge the South West into another ‘Operation Wet E’, the name given to the political crisis which engulfed the South-West in the 1960s.

Olajide said;

“It is very frightening the way things are going and nobody anticipated that. The handwriting we are seeing on the wall is not anything to be proud of and we, the elders, might have to intervene. The elders will have to come in to address the issue”.

“We don’t want another situation where the South-West will be set ablaze because of personal political ambition of anybody. We cannot afford to witness that again. We will have to call them, at least to tell them to moderate their supporters”.

“They have been friends for over 20 years. I don’t see any reason why they must suddenly become enemies and start to point guns at each other. They have been together; they have been friends and political allies for over two decades. They should not allow politics to turn them to enemies. I don’t see anything bad in the two of them pursuing their ambitions, but it must be done decently”.

“They must be able to caution their supporters because sometimes, it is the supporters that start these problems. So, they must caution their supporters and go about selling their messages to the people in a very decent manner. Also, the security agents must do their job”.

In a widely circulated interview granted to Daily Independent last year, Chief Ayo Adebanjo had also accused Tinubu of betraying Afenifere leaders, saying the man popularly called ‘Jagaban’ by his teeming supporters is already being paid back in his own coin in the APC.

“I have been saying it that Tinubu betrayed us and now in his lifetime, he is already receiving his reward. Are the APC people not paying him back? I am not saying this for the first time that Buhari is deceiving him and he is also deceiving Buhari. Let them keep deceiving themselves. He is already receiving the reward for his betrayal in his party.”

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