Can Tinubu Tame The Fifth Columnists?, By Tunde Abatan

Can Tinubu Tame The Fifth Columnists?, By Tunde Abatan
Barely one year before the 1993 general elections, an amorphous body, which later turned out to be the vehicle for truncating the June 12, 1993, general election, the Association for Better Nigeria, ABN, surfaced.
This writer who was a political correspondent then with the Punch newspapers did a story on it.
And from then, its role came into public scrutiny.
The ABN advertised for membership via a notice in front of the office asking Nigerians to enroll.
The rest is now history as the body became the vehicle through which the late maverick gun runner,double agent and politician-Francis Arthur Nzeribe, and his cohorts in and out of the Babangida military junta, truncated the wishes of Nigerians as expressed on June 12 1993.
But unknown to many Nigerians, ABN has the surreptitious backing of a strong cabal and former military President Ibrahim Babangida.
Babangida with his ‘evil genuis’ character used both Nzeribe,the man notorious for selling arms to unpopular governments in Africa in the early part of the 50-60s, especially in the late Dr Kwame Nkrumas topple in Ghana,  as an instrument by Babangida to transmit his military presidency to life President.
 Though he failed,yet he had through Nzeribe and fifth columnists in his government, truncated Nigerias democratic wish after eight years of unending transition programme.
In the wake of the annulment of June 12 election,ABN has prepared the ground by using Basey Ikpeme,a pliant high court judge to declare the election illegal and gave room for the ‘maradona and evil genuis’ in Babangida to annul the election.
Again the rest is history.
Curiously enough,Babangida was Abiolas friend and confidant.
Though Abiola had thought getting IBB to use the sacred book-the holy Koran, to swear of his intention to leave office in 1993 was enough assurance for him to invest his money and time in the election,unfolding events later proved him wrong.
Today, thirty years after the annulment and the attendant political crisis and stability, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,the national leader and presidential candidate of the ruling, All People’s Congress,APC,is in the eye of another storm.
 The storm is threatening to undermine him in spite of having used his political and financial muscle to build  bridges across the country to berth the APC which became the platform for Buhari to realise his ambition to become a civilian ruler of Nigeria like former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
While Obasanjo was used by the retired military constituency to return the country to civilian rule,Tinubu used his political bridges and contact in the North and South West to bring Buhari to power after three failed attempts.
Ironically, Tinubu, whose national leadership office is nowhere recognised in APC constitution ,is also becoming a victim of fifth columnist behind the Buharis throne to cut him to sizes to satisfy their personal and hegemonic interests of who becomes the next President.
 This time, the ruling party is being undermined by  powerful forces who obviously had more power than the APC hierarchy to surreptitiously undermine Tinubu.
As it happened during the Babangida transition  era where a shadowy government behind the throne undermines institutions and the electoral process,the cabal which hijacked the ruling All People’s Congress,APC from inception in 2015 and which action delayed the formation of Buharis cabinet, now appears stronger than ever as it  has also hijacked the party apparatus.
To say that the plotting  for present scenario  started shortly after the failed adoption of Senate President,Ahmed Lawan by the cabal in the party and the presidency after the party primaries last August is an understatement.
 Indeed but for deft political manouvering by Tinubu which produced the Emi lokan’ mantra in Abeokuta,the Ogun state capital,the story would have been different.
Though, his actions  has the tendency to be misinterpreted as purely personal,the furore generated by the statement which former President Olusegun Obasanjo described as adding to Nigerias political lexicon like Babangida annulment cliche,change the calculation across board.
While Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Rotimi Amaechi  who would’ve become the beneficiary became the sacrificial lamb, yet the cabal has work on other alternatives since then.
The introduction less than three months ago of the project to redesign new naira notes by Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, without members of the Federal executive even the finance minister not having any prior knowledge threw spanners into the Tinubu works.
 It was a spanner because no reasonable government desirous of winning an election would introduce such far reaching project with dire consequences on the citizenry at the twilight of it’s tenure.
Yes,it is true that the late sage Obafemi Awolowo did same during the height of the Nigeria Biafra war in 1967 for the laters currency to lose value,yet it was done by a nation in dire emergency to quell a rebellion by a component part of it  not against it’s citizenry .
 Besides,it was a military government out to quell a civil war.
By implication, Emefieles motive( and those pulling the strings behind it)  is quite apparent, are targeted at certain wealthy citizens who President Buhari himself said,”had stored money to deploy to influence voters during election.”
Buharis statement would’ve been taken with all seriousness had Emefiele- still in the eye of an alleged “terrorist financing”, misconduct,had not himself shown obvious interest to participate in the presidential primaries of APC.
 This is the first of such by a sitting CBN governor.
Who are those behind the currency replacement scheme?.
To add insult to injury,the regime through it’s newly incorporated Nigeria National Petroleum Company,NNPC, has also instigated ‘dissapearance’of fuel from the market via a gradual scheme to withdraw subsidy few months to election.
Had it be done with fuel available with the tip of the finger at filling stations, the furore would have been less but instead it resulted in normal artificial scarcity with untold hardship on the citizenry.
Can a serious government keen on winning election ever contemplate this?.
A senior citizen who chose to remain anonymous describes the  scenario thus,” Nigerians are sub-divided into as many political party presidential interests as we now have.
 Also there are other interests routing for no party at all
Among them are those who want Nigeria split with no control over the consequences whereas there are also those who would not like the elections to hold at all.
 In all these divisions of interests, those who do not want elections are the rich & knowledgeable  elites. From time to time, they have the sufficient influence and capacity to create high tensions. May God’s wish prevail.”
Given by an insider in the inner workings of government and party politics ,the above analysis is a pointer to the inner scheemings and dangers to democracy being plotted by various interests struggling for the soul of Nigeria.
From Sokoto to Abeokuta,Calabar,Ekiti and Kano,the pains are evident all over.
Should a government contemplate this in the absence of an ulterior motive.
Indeed, three weeks ago, the Independent National Electoral Commission Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu warned of threats to next months election by spate of violence.
Apparently embarrassed, the presidency assured Nigerians that the election will hold despite INECs fears.
It is not impossible that Yakubus statement was to test the waters and gauge the mood of an exhausted citizenry.
But not to take anything for granted, Bola Tinubu,the APC candidate who has criss crossed Nigeria in the past two months selling himself,dared the hawks in the presidency and again choose Abeokuta,where he had raised the curtain four months ago, to confirm the fears and exposed the schemings.
This time,his dart was thrown at the Presidency..his choice of words were as damning as the strength of the tumultuous crowd.
 Tinubus accusation of schemings by forces to undermine the election was indeed a tonic which the opposition led by Abubakar Atikus People’s Democratic Party,PDP which has gone to sleep needed.
On the other hand,if Tinubus dart to fifth columnists within is true,then Atiku may appear to be the beneficiary of APC men fighting to undermine it’s partys candidate and favour the North to prevent power shift for selfish reasons.
It is also not far from calculation that henchmen in the NNPC who are mostly Buharis Moslem brethren from the North are also working in cahoot with Emefieles CBN to  make the electorate angry against APC.
The beneficiary of course is not democracy but established Fifth columnists who feared their position and influence may be lost in a Tinubu Presidency determined to shake up the oil industry and  do away with it’s internally built parasites.
As Babangida declared to the late Professor Omo Omoruyi, his close associate and special adviser on politics that fear of the military cabal in his presidency  to kill him and Abiola made him to annul the June 12 election, is probably the same fear now being ostensibly nurtured  by  Buhari.
His volte face amidst anger of citizens on the hardship occasioned by I’ll adviced policies  in the twilight of his regime is quite apparent.
Are the Aso rock cabals, still suffering from the wounds of Tinubus emergence in presidential  primary ,determined to cripple vital institutions like CBN and NNPC to have their way?.
Are they determined that it takes only the disruption of institution of state which could guarantee Buharis vow to leave a legacy of free election in the country?
Is it not apparent that the fifth columnists care for themselves alone not minding the loses the party may suffer by a defeat.
Perhaps,Tinubus determination to take the gauntlet and confront the fifth columnist is apparent in his yeoman sacrifices which berthed the party put together by him without the fifth columnists who have pushed him and other stakeholders aside from the scheme of things since Buharis ascendancy in 2015.
Could his desire to go for broke now not minding an apparent gang up by fifth columnist and Aso rock cabals who have penetrated the vital institutions over the years not an open declaration of war?.
Are the well meaning stake holders and Northern governors in the party supporting his bold moves ready to stake all and not leave him in the cold when the chips are down?.
It is apparent,the Asiwaju of Lagos is prepared to fight the fifth columnists till victory is won considering his depth of strategy and vision which made him to prevail against Obasanjo during the dark days as Lagos governor when the later almost grounded the now fourth largest economy in Africa.
Time will tell.!


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