I recently stumbled on an article titled “Wanted: A ‘Tinubu’ in the South East” which caught my attention, the article was purportedly written by Mr. Onyim, a former Anambra State Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism.
Mr. Onyim talked about the struggle of Sen Bola Ahmed Tinubu (The former Governor of Lagos State and the National Leader of APC) from ground zero and his eventual optical triumph and unseating of an incumbent govt, a feat that is rare in Africa. He further enunciated on the need to galvanise support for the rise of such a leader in the South East especially Mr. Peter Obi (Former Governor of Anambra State) who he believes has stepped in the foot path of Tinubu using APGA as his machine tool just like Tinubu’s defunct AC and ACN.
With so much respect, Mr. Onyim has just thrown limelight on the right direction to tow in solving the problem of marginalisation which the South East have been crying about for more than a decade but probably not with the right dosage towards its actualisation.
Perhaps, we need to identify the quest of the South West and how Tinubu capitalised on it in actualisation of his current feat and identification of the same problem in the South East and to see who better fits in the show of solving such problem.
Two problems are just relevant to the South East, infrastructural development which has depleted since the Biafra war and power marginalisation; a quest to also rule the Nigeria nation since the North and the West have been successfully compensated in that regard.
As at the time of the rise of Tinubu, the southwest is confronted with infrastructural decay with a need for a redeemer to rescue the South West from the mess.
To prove his ability to solve this yearning, Tinubu used Lagos as a litmus test to prove to the South West and then to Nigeria that he has the right dosage to the problem. Fast forward, his boys become embraced in Osun, Ekiti, Oyo and Ogun including the legislative chambers; Ekiti however fell back to the hand of PDP after 4 years of Dr Fayemi. His boys did not fail and then the quest to deliver Nigeria from the mess of the previous administration thus where we found ourselves today. In 2011, Tinubu must have realised that he could not single handedly defeat the incumbent govt with his party which has more of a regional party outlook, thus the birth of APC. That single sacrifice in 2015 made Tinubu what he is today.
Tinubu’s marriage with the North and eventual emergence of a northerner as a flag bearer of the party was not a problem to his people, because they had already been fairly treated in that game. Aside from the fact that former President Obasanjo from the zone has ruled for eight years, Tinubu negotiated the Vice President in the favour of southwest.
South East must learn from the past. They don’t need a leader who will only guarantee them infrastructural development, they need a leader who can also negotiate favourably for them where key decisions are being made.
It took Tinubu almost eighteen years to build his current political status, must it take the East the same year to attain such political success? It may not take Governor Peter Obi less to achieve that height and that is if he get his calculations right just like Tinubu.
As admitted by the writer in his article, it took Tinubu a ‘merger’ before he could triumph and give his party a national look. If the advice of Mr. Onyim is to be followed closely, it will take Peter Obi the same thing to achieve that height and that must have been after his party -APGA hopefully coast home victoriously in the next general election which in itself is a nearly impossible task. Most of the eastern states are controlled by PDP except Anambra.
I don’t think with the long wait, the South Easterners still need to wait for that long time.
Gov. Okorocha as a man of foresight must have forseen the thought of Mr. Onyim before leaving APGA for APC during the last election. It should be remembered that Gov Rochas was also one of those who hustled for the presidential ticket of that party fast forward to 2015 election, though he was not given the ticket, but the awareness has no doubt been created. Today, he hold a very crucial position in the party and his words go along way in APC.
Ever since the death of the foremost nationalists; Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikwe , Sardauna of Sokoto and so on, Nigerian seems to be on the quest for re-emergence of new leaders and that many believe Sen Bola Ahmed Tinubu already acheived, whether the South East will succeed in producing one or not, only time will tell.