By Agbonsuremi Augustine Okhiria
Those who are rejoicing that Bola Ahmed Tinubu is on the ground are jokers. BAT is not, and will not fall to the ground. He has not fallen. Many of those rejoicing today have not done a quarter of political mobilization and grooming embarked upon by Tinubu before and after the return of democracy. In 1998, just before the return to civil rule, I met BAT in Ikeja and I asked him why he ran away from Nigeria when Abacha was on the loose.
He gave me the details of his activities abroad and I was later to confirm from Kayode Fayemi and Pa Anthony Enahoro of blessed memory.
Most of today’s active beneficiaries of the long and tortuous road to 1999 don’t know how the battles were fought at home and abroad. They only read about Epetedo declaration.
They will not understand why some us who saw the events became activists and why we are angry over what has become of the democracy we risked our lives for in doing our reporting and analysis.
The huge disappointment for me is not that our dreams faded into this absurdity called democracy but that politicians like BAT have participated in the derailment, pursuing their personal gains than the entrenchment of the ideals for which so many comrades were jailed or killed.
Prince Ademola Adeniji Adele of blessed memory who spent 18 months in kaduna prison and a host of others couldn’t have suffered just for this kind of democracy.
No matter how you look at the current events and whatever impressions you may have about Bola Ahmed Tinubu, he and a few others who were in the trenches during the fight against the military are the same people who will fight to mobilize against the current hijackers who are completely carefree about Nigeria.
Tinubu needs the current lessons to drop the current jackets of pleasure to dress up in the old dress. He can still get back to himself and employ the huge resources at his disposal to rescue Nigeria. Is he a fit and proper person to do this? I will say yes. He joined forces to do it before and he can do it again.
The Tinubu I know can’t continue to eat and dine with those who don’t understand the meaning of democracy. He can’t continue to pretend he doesn’t understand that there has been a derailment. His current travails can serve as the catalyst for self discovery. He has not fallen.
Agbonsuremi Augustine Okhiria is Executive Director, Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development (PRIMORG)