As Femi Falana (SAN) and Kunle Ajibade marked their 60th birthdays this month, APC godfather and former Governor of Lagos, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,
After extolling their virtues and singing their praises, Tinubu asked Falana and Ajibade to join the APC.
Falana is a renowned human rights lawyer and activist. Ajibade is a veteran journalist and author.
“There is no doubt that both Falana and Ajibade had impacted on Nigeria and Nigerians in the most profound ways”, Tinubu wrote.
“We thank them for their struggles and we thank them for their sacrifices but we are not yet in the Promised Land.
“We enjoin the duo not to rest on their oars but join hands with us in the All Progressives Congress, led by to make Nigeria a better place,’’ Tinubu added.
It was a well timed charm offensive from Tinubu; a man who is now regarded in several circles as one of the greatest political strategists and deft political player of his era.
Tinubu isn’t known for his flippancy and wouldn’t say anything or cause a press statement to be issued in his name just for the sake of it. You have to say he is wooing Falana for a reason. It is the way Tinubu works.
Falana narrowly missed out on the Buhari cabinet in November of 2015. He was supposed to be Buhari’s Attorney General. That position was handed to Abubakar Malami instead.
At the time of writing, Malami has scored enough own goals to see him being replaced in the event of a cabinet reshuffle or should Buhari nail another term on the job.
There are sufficient press reports detailing how Malami is enabling corruption in the Buhari administration; with his romance with fugitive and alleged pension thiefAbdulrasheed Maina and his public stance on the Malabu oil fraud, being thrown in as instances.
Aso Rock insiders often say if there is a cabinet reshuffle today, Malami would be first name on the list of those to be axed. With each passing day, Malami’s job as the nation’s Attorney General looks increasingly shaky and under threat.
Falana hasn't shied away from criticizing the Buhari administration and handing out plaudits to Aso Rock when they do get it right.
Falana is also from the Southwest—Tinubu’s primary constituency. Should Buhari ask Tinubu for recommendations in the next cabinet, you have a feeling Falana would get a ringing endorsement from the Jagaban of Bourdillon.
This week’s APC invitation from Tinubu to Falana is therefore a clear case of no smoke without fire. It didn’t emanate from nowhere if you read carefully between the lines. Falana has to be a member of the APC to stand a good chance of making it into Buhari's next cabinet.
Again, Tinubu appears to have it all figured out.