I remember few years back when a prominent American citizen was speaking to a graduating class of engineering students from a particular university in the United States . I remember that he told them that: “Even at the pinnacle of your career your task is not done yet because new challenges will always await you as citizen Engineers”.
At 61, encomiums will be pouring in for our own Bola Ahmed Tinubu from all nooks and crannies of Nigeria and abroad. His millions of associates, friends, well-wishers, his foot soldiers, and hangers on will be fighting for spaces on the pages of newspapers, magazines, TV stations and radio stations to celebrate their leader. His achievements will be posted on every wall for the world to see. Parties will be organized by his great followers in some areas to get attention. Colloquium and public lectures will be put in place by his admirers in honour of BAT. Street drummers and dancers will not want to be left out in the big show for Asiwaju. Singers will not want their voices to be left out. What of writers and newspaper columnists? Ah! Ah!! A million words will be printed on the pages of our print and electronic media, including this one.
Conversely, his adversaries, especially those whose political fortunes have nose dived as Asiwaju’s rose, will sneer and offer uncomplimentary tributes. Those that fear his rising political profile, those that are so woven to the present decadent order will hiss and jeer. These are normal flip sides to a life like Asiwaju’s and conforms to the life of a great man.
However, in the midst of these huge celebrations which are not only imperative but necessary, I want to chart another form of celebration as I want to challenge the leader, Asiwaju BAT that the task to reclaim Nigeria’s stolen future still awaits him as a ‘Citizen Engineer’. Asiwaju has received laurels both in Nigeria and abroad. He has been celebrated here and abroad. He has shown leadership even when rocked in the cradle of difficulties and pillowed pains and hardships.
He has shown remarkable and tremendous courage and perseverance in the midst of persecution. Asiwaju has shown huge capacity to lead even in the face of challenges. In his drive to make things happen Asiwaju BAT has dared to drill the deepest well in Nigeria. Through dint of hard work Asiwaju has restored leadership and glory in the South West and Edo State, Nigeria. I can go on and on!
But all these ground breaking achievements will be nothing if Nigeria goes under. In near 16 years PDP has systematically grounded Nigerian, bringing to ruins a promising country that needs to show the way forward for Africa. In our own very eyes this useless party and its forty thieves have squandered our future, our children’s future and even our grand children’s future if I wanted to be strict. PDP has purloined off Nigerian resources and future to respective coded accounts while Nigerians continue a life of pain and misery. A country blessed with a vast preponderance of human and material resources is lying prostrate because our good men had done nothing. A nation perishes when good men do nothing!
At 61 Asiwaju BAT must be in battle gear now, he must wear the armour now and the five stars General must lead his troops to war to reclaim Nigeria. Using the most successful South West and Edo State as a platform for lessons in good leadership, Asiwaju should reach out to other Nigerians from the East and the North to provide leadership the country needs urgently now. There are thousands of incontrovertible compelling reasons to show the emptiness, lack of seriousness, incapacitation, unpreparedness and unreasonableness of the ruling party to drive progress in this country and we keep quiet to our peril. Wise men suffer the rules of idiots if they do nothing!
Asiwaju should throw his doors wide open for Nigerians who desire change to come in. Asiwaju should use his long undefeatable and unstoppable legs to go to them if they fail to come. Asiwaju should use his golden voice to beckon on them to join the human race. Asiwaju should use his hands that are more than handy to drive the great handshake across Nigeria in order to stop the drift in the land.
PDP and its corrupt leaders will not go down without a fight but it must go down for Nigeria to go up. In the past they talked about do or die elections and got away with it and now one of their own, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur says 2015 elections is war for PDP. The leadership of PDP is jittery, desperate and terribly disturbed. Today the fear of losing power in 2015 is the beginning of wisdom for PDP. From body language, utterances, actions and deeds, PDP is prepared to destroy Nigeria than losing power in 2015. They are even prepared to hand over to military than handing over power to APC and this is the real danger. A school of thought is suggesting that the upsurge in Boko Haram insurgence in recent times is part of the written script to create confusion sufficient enough to prove that it will be dangerous to hold elections. This will lead to the postponement of elections and PDP will remain in power because there cannot be a vacuum.
With his international connections, Asiwaju should reach out to the international community and seek help. With brazen deep pockets, oil wells, and contractors with stolen money, to unseat PDP will be no tea party. Asiwaju must lead the onslaught against these people. None but honest and wise men must rule under this roof henceforth. This is duty Asiwaju owes us @ 61.
Happy Birthday Asiwaju of Lagos, Aare of Ile-Oluji kingdom, Aare Ago of Abeokuta kingdom, Omenife of Awka, Eze Obaludike Egwu of Oko, Jagaban Borgu etc.
Joe Igbokwe is the Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria in Lagos State.