By Abdul Jelil Adebayo, Abuja, Akure, Folorunso Ojo, Ibadan, Lagos Bureau Chief, Muyiwa olaleye, Osogbo and Sunny Adeloye, Richard Akintade
Politicians across political divides in the South-West are unanimous that the supposed stronghold by the All Progressives Congress, APC and its leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on the political zone is rapidly coming to an end.
In separate interviews with Nigerian Pilot Saturday, the politicians said the people of South-West are tired and are ready to free themselves from the tyrannical hold by the Lion of Bourdillon, Asiwaju Tinubu, who many accused of running not only the party but the affairs of the region from his house in Ikoyi, Lagos.
Many of them attributed the loss of recently conducted election in Ekiti state to Bola Tinubu, who felt he has the unique rights to pick whoever must rule in the APC-controlled state.
A few politicians said Tinubu allowed what makes influences die quick by indulging in selfish traits using his power and position to promote personal family interest, neglecting members of a team that brought him into power thereby trying to build a personal empire rather than a party empire.
Many believe that his undying quest for power and his desire to rule Nigeria at all cost has driven him to the brink of a precipice. Others also submitted that the heavy loss recorded by the All Progressives Congress, APC, at the last Governorship election in Ekiti state has thrown the ‘progressive’ camp in disarray.
The victory of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, over APC in Ekiti was so convincing that even the incumbent Governor had no option but to congratulate the PDP candidate in the election, Ayodele Fayose.
One strange question that is in the front burner of every political analyst is whether what happened in Ekiti state is an indication that the former Governor of Lagos state, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has lost its grip.
Mr. John Dara, Presidential candidate Transformation Party of Nigeria, TPN, said that the Ekiti election was a sign of direction for the South West.
“I believe that Tinubu will go down in history as a man who made tremendous impact in our politics in1999 but who could not sustain it for too long,” he said.
According to Engr Ayodeji Doherty, the Organising Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, South West, Tinubu’s fall in South West “is not new to me. Let me tell you, the PDP will take over all the South West states, even the forthcoming Osun governorship election will be won by PDP. Not only will that be, Jonathan will win the general election come 2015. We all knew how Tinubu betrayed those people that lifted him up; it is now his turn to face his own downfall.”
Dr. Doyin Okupe, the Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, attributed the loss of Ekiti to Tinubu. In his words, “Tinubu, who many refer to as the ‘Lion of Boudillon’ is a dictator, who from his Boudillon sitting room has over the past few years been dictating what happens in the South-West. The South-West is simply tired of the mayhem the Lion has imposed on them. Their actions in the Ekiti state governorship election was their own way of chasing him away from his throne.”
“There is also the issue of who becomes the next governor of Lagos State as keen followers of Lagos politics are afraid that Lagos might go the way of Ekiti if Tinubu fails to do the right thing. They are saying that except he handles the issue of who emerges the candidate of the APC right, the state may fall into PDP hands. It may also be the end of his reign as the godfather of Lagos politics,” said a source.
Dr. Sowunmi, the former Director General of Goodluck/Sambo campaign in Ogun state believes that we are witnessing the gradual demise of a very important figure in the politics of the South West Nigeria.
According to him, “there is no doubt as to the fact that Tinubu has for the past couple of years played a role in the political struggle for the South West. He fought against the power that be and refused to be defeated. Unfortunately, he made the mistake of failing to leave when the ovation was loudest and that is the greatest mistake heroes make and immediately become villains.”
Chief Dan Iwanyanwu, Chairman of Labour Party revealed that Tinubu’s sins are as much as his good deeds. He believes that his media politics has been his greatest undoing.
He said; “Politics is not practised on the pages of Newspapers or on television stations. The victory of PDP in Ekiti state has given a new dimension to Nigerian politics. Politics today is all about the grassroots and this is in direct contrast to the kind of politics the man in Boudillon plays. How else do you describe a man, whose wife and son-in-law are federal legislators and whose young daughter is the Iyaloja of Lagos? How can you call a man, who sits in his Boudillon mansion in Ikoyi and from there governs the entire South West. This is why I believe that what happened in Ekiti is just a signal that the Tinubuism era has finished.”
The immediate past governor of Oyo State, Otunba Christopher Adebayo Alao Akala, has said that he believe that Nigerians should not be surprised that the political dynasty of former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is crumbling in the South West.
Otunba Akala said the Action Congress of Nigeria ACN now APC won the election in all the states of the South West through fraudulent court judgements in 2011.
According to him; “Asiwaju installed his surrogates as governors in South West by purchasing judgement for them and in Yoruba adage’ ‘a house built with saliva shall be demolished by dews’ ‘(Ile taa fi ito month irin ni now). So they came to power through falsehood and deception and that is why today they are crumbling like a pack of cards.
“By the special Grace of God, the Peoples Democratic Party PDP will reclaim all the states in the South West from the All Progressives Congress, APC in 2015 general elections. See what is happening in Oyo State, Governor Abiola Ajimobi has ruined many peoples’ lives through his beatification programme, he demolished many shops and sent the traders out of their shops and businesses without providing alternatives for them. The same is happening in all south west states. We shall salvage the situation by 2015,” he added.
Akala noted that the era during which Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu turned himself to the District Officer, D.O, of the S/West has gone for good adding that the PDP will definitely repeat what happened in Ekiti State last week Saturday in all the S/West states next year.
Speaking on behalf of the Ondo state Peoples Democratic Party, PDP ,the state Director of the Party, Mr Ayo Fadaka said that the much touted Tinubu political empire of the South West is a fraudulent contraption that certainly will crumbed since it is weak
“The PDP remains a potent force in the South West in-spite of the recession it suffered in 2011 elections and success of the then ACN does not in any manner confer the tag Emperor on Tinubu .The people of the South West are just too enlightened to be led by the nose by just anyone,” he boasted.
The Acting Chairman of the Labour Party in Ondo State, Mr. Dele Akinyele described Senator Bola Tinubu as a focus less leader, who does not even have a dynasty in the South West in the first instance not talk of having a crumbling one.
According to him, “Senator Bola Tinubu does not have the quality of a person that has a dynasty because whoever that wants to have a dynasty and want to lead the Yoruba people must be plain in all things. Yoruba is different from any other tribe nobody can bamboozle us in the South West with any fake political gimmick.”
In his own opinion, Hon.Barr.Yemi A.P.Adetoyinbo , a legal practitioner and politician said that with the APC performance at the just concluded election in Ekiti, where the candidate of the Party Kayode Fayemi, who seems to be an intellectual guru and amiable politician, who also seems to have performed slightly above board, but for him to have been defeated with a very wide margin by a former Governor, who left office eight years ago is unprecedented in world electoral history.
“To have recorded massive votes in all the major towns especially the state capital which is the seat of power was commendable,” he said.
“Tinubu must shelve his personal aspirations, pronounced or hidden. He should democratically, conscientiously allow the party members to choose whosoever they think fit. The country needs someone, who has demonstrated skilfulness in leadership, capable of taking full responsibilities in managing the affairs of Nigeria with all its teething challenges. The country needs someone, who is not religiously biased; who is ethnically blind; who sees Nigerians as a body of the same family that wants something progressively good for the country,” he stated.
In his own submission, the Director of Media of the Labour Party, LP, governorship candidate in Ondo state, Alhaji Fatai Akinbade Campaign Organisation, Mr. Kayode Oladeji said, Tinubu was political merchant, who is using politics as a source of investment to empower its cronies and families.
Similarly, the PDP Publicity Secretary in the state, Prince Bola Ajao said the crumbling of Tinubu dynasty in the southwest was not coming as a surprise, submitting that Tinubu had not built any dynasty but that what he had done was political exploitation.
Ajao said further that it was unfortunate that there was nothing endearing in the engagement of Tinubu and his cohorts in the political dynamics of the southwest.
“They came like a flash in the pan and fizzle out in less than no time.
APC is not a solid development in the annals of the southwest.
tinubuThey are being chased away from the southwest, first in Ondo and Ekiti and they would be surprised that during August 9, 2014 governorship election in Osun, they would still fail,” he added.
Meanwhile, efforts to elicit reactions by our Correspondent from Chieftains of APC in the state proved abortive as none of them was ready to speak on the recent development over the seeming collapse of Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu’s dynasty.
Asiwaju, who many call the Governor-General of the South West did not mince words when he said, the party having achieved its initial target of conducting a successful national convention, has its eyes set on the Abuja seat of power. However, many believe that he was so concentrated on 2015 that he did not see what happened in Ekiti coming.
But Barr Morakinyo Ogele a human right activist in Akure was different in his own opinion about the seeming crumbling dynasty of Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu in the South West.
‘’To me I will not agree that the empire of Tinubu in the south west is crumbling, although Ondo has been taken over by Labour party and Ekiti by the PDP. All the same, we still have elections in Osun, Oyo, and Ogun States, it is when the results of those three state are out that one can agree that the dynasty is crumbling if the result doesn’t favour his party,’’ he said.
He recalled that the APC in South West still have majority members in the House of Representative and the Senate.