Tinubu’s candidate, Olusegun Abraham lost to Rotimi Akeredolu in the polls which held on Saturday, September 3, 2016.
Tinubu’s supposed candidate, Olusegun Abraham lost to former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Rotimi Akeredolu in the polls which held on Saturday, September 3, 2016.
Abraham, who won 635 votes to Akeredolu’s 669, immediately accepted defeat and congratulated the former NBA President on his victory.
“I congratulate Rotimi Akeredolu who emerged with 669 votes at the primary election of our great party, the APC, in Ondo state. I will not turn my back on my loving people of Ondo. I will continue to contribute my quota to the development of our state in any way God directs,” Abraham wrote via a statement issued on Sunday, September 4.
Prior to Abraham’s loss, an APC group in Ondo, the APC Muslim Council supposedly rejected him in defiance of Tinubu’s endorsement. This curious development has led many to suggest that Tinubu’s political might is on the decline.
“Yes indeed Akeredolu has won a deserved victory in the APC primaries in Ondo state. I salute the SAN’s courage and sagacity and I actually wish him well,” former presidential aide, Doyin Okupe wrote.
“However, media wise, the juicy news seems to be that “Akeredolu defeats Tinubu’s candidate…. With seeming diminishing influence of Tinubu in the South-West APC, and absolute lack of credible leadership in South-West PDP, our politics in the South-West may soon be described by that popular adage “ko si olori ni aganyin, gbogbo nwon ni o nru ikoko ewa” meaning, because there is no leader in the Aganyin community (beans porridge sellers) all of them (young &old) carry the beans pot on their heads to sell!!!” Okupe added.
A similar sentiment had earlier been expressed by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Bode George, who said that Tinubu had been ‘politically circumcised’ after Bukola Saraki emerged Senate President in June 2015, despite being expressly excluded from contesting by the APC (read Tinubu).
“To me, it shows that our democracy is still evolving. Like the saying goes, rolling stones gather no moss and the way Asiwaju Bola Tinubu plays his politics is very primitive and dictatorial. Nigeria has moved away from the politics of the 1960s…They brought their own concept to play at the national level and I am happy that they were given a political circumcision,” George said.
However, those who use the Ondo situation as a basis to insinuate that Tinubu is losing power have only forgotten what a master strategist the APC leader is.
Tinubu’s endorsement of Abraham caused crisis in the Ondo APC and led to the release of a critical letter by another aspirant, Tunji Abayomi. Abayomi accused Tinubu of causing trouble in the party and reminded him of how a previous endorsement of Akeredolu resulted in defeat.
The APC leader replied Abayomi’s letter and effectively put him in his place in a mature and intelligent way, but an accusation had been made and there was no way Tinubu would’ve been naïve enough to play into his accuser’s hands by allowing Abraham win.
It’s a well-known fact that political leaders push candidates forward as favourites to win elections, but no true political giant would allow himself to be put in the box of a biased umpire, especially when there’s evidence to support that position.
Tinubu is way too intelligent, way too self-aware, and way too politically astute to be caught unabashedly playing the role of a godfather. The magic is in the public perception that he is in charge, not in him acting the dictator script.
Therefore, I beg to differ with those saying that Abraham’s loss in Ondo shows that Tinubu is losing power, rather I submit that his defeat shows that Tinubu is able to turn the tide of events just in time to maintain his reputation as a political giant.
Tinubu is always ten steps ahead, and that, is why he’s called the “Jagaban”.