By Dele Momodu
Call it what you will, what happened at Chatham House London yesterday was a complete charade… The Bola Tinubu handlers fumbled, and bungled it big time… They showcased him like a packaged invalid. It would have been better to present him as a brilliant politician and administrator, warts and all, who’s capable of independent thoughts. No man is perfect. His gaffes would have been more pardonable and acceptable… He was expected to sell his own vision and mission…
But what we saw yesterday was a theatre of the absurd. It brought back memories of our great President Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua and how he mysteriously disappeared from radar and some of his aides governed by proxy. I was one of those who led the Enough-is-Enough protest against the Yar’Adua cabal in Abuja in 2010. What was unacceptable then is even more unacceptable now with benefits of hindsight. Our country should be placed above friendship.
Truth is the problem of Nigeria is often aggravated by the voluptuous ambitions of some acolytes who wish to remain eternally relevant in the corridors of power at the expense of the long-suffering nation.
All those around Tinubu yesterday knew the bitter truth but chose to fool Nigerians. One of them was heard in a viral video telling Tinubu to dance to the popular song Buga by Kizz Daniel because “that’s what the youths want to see…” and lo and behold Tinubu instantly transfigured into an accomplished choreographer…
Very sad, and unfortunate, that whenever we think Nigeria can never sink deeper into the abyss, something occurs that jolts us out of such assumptions and complacency… I was with Muhammadu Buhari the day he visited Chatham House seven years ago. He was solid and charismatic. He needed no one to prompt him. He answered questions eloquently and intelligently to the best of his abilities. That’s what Tinubu was expected to accomplish yesterday. What he did instead was like inviting helpers to sit a JAMB exam. It is horrifying to watch some respected intellectuals like Nasir El Rufai and Kayode Fayemi as they struggled to window dress Tinubu on a much hallowed global stage.
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