President Tinubu: Once God says/writes it

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

By Fred Chukwuelobe, fnipr

I am not sure what best title to give this piece. I had two titles, and I have decided to merge them. Firstly, Tinubu – Odera, and Tinubu – A Disputed Politician, A Disputed Life, A Disputed Presidency.

Let us begin with Odera because it is not an English word and may not be understood by everybody. It is an Igbo name that literally translates to “Once God says/writes it”. It speaks about destiny that cannot be changed.
It may offend some people, but I do not know how best to describe Tinubu’s ascendancy to the nation’s highest office despite the disputations about who he really is. His name is in dispute. And so are his age, education, and the source of wealth, health, and parentage.

He began his presidential campaign by choosing a catchphrase that was braggadocious, a sort of ‘I don’t give a damn’ phrase, “emi lokan” (Yoruba for “it is my turn”). He won the nomination despite many people vowing President Muhammadu Buhari, and the ASO ROCK cabal didn’t want him. He chose a fellow Muslim as a running mate in a country where religious secularism was respected. He refused to attend many functions where he would have faced questions from voters. He didn’t attend presidential debates, preferring to read a prepared speech at Chatham House, London, and assigning questions to those accompanying him.

Everybody thought the meaningless and wasteful currency swap and the scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as fuel, was targeted at him.
In the end, it is debatable if many voters chose him as their preferred candidate; he lost his strongest base, Lagos; he couldn’t add “and the FCT” to his tally. Yet, he was declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), a declaration that is now subject to a litigation. We await the pronouncement of the courts.

Today, he has been sworn in as president and commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Welcome to a disputed presidency led by a disputed politician whom it was written for.
Was it written by God?
Odera, “once God writes it, it will surely come to pass”. Did God write it for him? How come everything about him was disputed and pointed towards ‘a political doom’, and he was declared the winner of a disputed election?

He worked towards it. Yes, he did. He strategized, built networks of political like minds, bidded his time, did everything humanly possible to grab it through hook and crook, if you do not mind, and he has grabbed it, at least for now.

I don’t know if God approved of every stage of his planning, execution, and being declared winner. Some people say that God chooses leaders. I disagree. If that is true, then God is ‘wicked’, because only a wicked God would have chosen Buhari to govern Nigeria and leave it in the most polarized state possible. I think what happens is that God decides your destiny, and no matter what you do, you will fulfil it and answer to Him in judgment. I think so. I may be wrong.

But it is written for Buhari and now for Tinubu, if Odera is truly so. Otherwise, how on earth can a politician like him ascend to the nation’s highest office with the bag of disputes he has. The only thing not in dispute is “Odera” – Once it’s written, it will surely come to pass. Despite beliefs in many quarters that Buhari will not hand over to him, despite his choice of same faith ticket, despite everything.

It happened to me in my active journalism days. We had a bunch of supervisors who rejoiced at the downfall of their juniors. Their envy and pettiness knew no bounds They used their powers to ensure that the brightest reporters did not rise. Once you are adjudged to be ‘a good reporter in a lucrative beat’, they would pull you down. What they didn’t know was that they were pulling down the newspaper. And down it went. I was a victim. I was pulled down, deployed to the desk with an amorphous title, Assistant News Editor/Re-write Specialist. Oke afa n’egbu nwa nkita (a big name that kills a dog). From that desk, my journey to fulfil my destiny began, and I am better for it today. “Odera, o de go”.

This brings me to the issue of religion in our politics. We had always insisted on religious balancing between the North and the South; between the two major faiths – Christianity and Islam. A Buhari/Idiagbon military junta ran the same faith ticket with military fiat. An MKO Abiola/Babagana Kingibe tried it on the June 12, 1983 election, which was annulled by the IBB junta despite being free and fair. Then we said we were more concerned with getting rid of the “khaki boys” to pay attention to the issue of religious secularism. In Tinubu’s case, none of these was at play. But political consideration was at play. He dared do it. And he succeeded. Weak and Divided Christians couldn’t offer any strong resistance. In fact, a Christian was DG of the ticket. Some revered men of God kept mute about it only to now mutter their usual tongue-in-cheek pulpit gibberish of how God will use Tinubu to repair Nigeria. They didn’t want to ruffle feathers. They were concerned with the money they make and the influence they wield, and Tinubu is one of their biggest patrons, and the now First Lady, Oluremi, is one of them.

Many people were more interested in tribal and ethnic considerations than religious consideration. For once, it was obvious that politics for many is more about tribe than religious. So, Tinubu was unstoppable. I said so many times. My clairvoyance was topnotch. Yes, it was.

Now, he has lifted the wool pulled over our eyes that religion plays a key role in our political trajectory; it does not. Tribe does.

Nobody will pay attention to religious balancing anymore. Don’t kid yourselves. Tinubu has demystified that. Christians sealed it with their weakness and lust for money and fame. The Christian House is divided, and a house divided against itself never stands.

Today, against all the beliefs, permutations, and prayers against Tinubu being our president, he has been sworn in. Odera, o dego. (Once it is written, it will come to pass). Forget about the legal challenges to his electoral declaration by INEC. It will serve to enrich our jurisprudence. After that, then what? The Ahmed Lawan, Godswill Akpabio, PDP challenge of double nomination are clear signs. I have no hope.

Get ready for a Tinubu presidency because it was written, and once it is written, nothing will erase it, except death. Every other thing will fall in pleasant places. It favoured Tinubu. He worked towards it. How he did it may be debatable, but he succeeded. What I don’t know is if God approved the paths he traversed to achieve his life ambition. But I know that once it is written, it is written.

Welcome to the Tinubu presidency.