Tinubu Can’t Even Spend His Own Money


Some are determined to make an enterprise out of deciding for Alhaji Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Jagaban Borgu, how to live. Their eyes are trained on how he spends his money. How far do they intend to go? When will they stop?

They invest their lives in scrutinising every Tinubu deed. Their bias is obvious. Why would anyone subject a private citizen to probes? What do they have against a man who has not held public office for 14 years?

A man cannot spend his hard-earned money as he pleases if he is Tinubu. I read published lengthy lists of where Jagaban Borgu should have spent N50 million he donated to the victims of a fire incident at the Katsina Central Market. How could the donation have been a crime except that observers knew where Tinubu should have spent the money?

Must everything be reduced to politics, denying it significance? Yes, the significance this time is the effort to be in the good books of the North, his accusers said, noting the importance of Katsina, as Tinubu ploughs to 2023. Is it a crime to plan?

Jagaban Borgu has challenged his accusers to tender any indication that he had made money improperly. He was not a contractor; he countered those who made a meal of bullion vans driving into his expansive Ikoyi home in Lagos on the eve of the 2019 elections. Without a shred of evidence, they alleged a crime. Their fertile imaginations mention electoral malpractices or money laundering. They were content with mere allegations.

Would his accusers say they have not read about private banking? Have they not seen television messages about banking being brought to our door steps? Jagaban silenced them with a miniature lecture on his right to fetch his money however he wanted it. If laws were broken, nobody has looked into the matter.

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One of the dangers of perception is that our judgments are limited by the expanses of our experiences. Since our tiny jeans pockets can contain all the money in our bank accounts, we think the same would apply to Jagaban Borgu. Could it help if you see that jeans pocket as the equivalent of a bullion van?

Jagaban Borgu has always been rich. He has pedigree. His career in an oil company is the more visible part of how he made his money. He has been a businessman for decades. I am not among those who count politics as business. Politics is service. Its vicarious rewards are too contentious to be managed in this space.

Asiwaju is bold, daring, out-spoken, picks his issues, and waltzes through our politics with unnecessary aptitude considering how uninspiring, undemanding the political sphere is. He is counted as astute, cultured, smart, intelligent, savoir, a goal getter who trails his ambitions for years, dispensing patronage to court goodwill. He is readily mentioned as a good example of how to build a political family.

He is not ready to be mired in the crises in the South West. He did not speak for a long time. His long, personally signed statement on herdsmen disruptions (that is not what he called it) in the South West was torn to shreds even by those who did not seem to have read it. They would not allow him the right to be heard.

Will they also kick against his chairmanship of 11th Annual Arewa House Lecture which holds at the Arewa House Banquet Hall, Kaduna 27 March 2021?

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A political juggernaut could be an apt description of the man who people love and hate, possibly in similar measures. He gets close. He is proud of his achievements which he prefers to call sacrifice in the course of service to the people.

As I read all the complaints against Tinubu, none of which provided solutions to the myriads of our challenges – rampaging herdsmen, kidnapping, robberies, indeterminate price of fuel, food scarcity, Covid-19, governments that focused on next elections, continued abuse of children, flagging efforts of Northern Elders Forum to wake up the President, waste of billions of dollars on refurbishment of refineries, the return of the First Lady from abroad, it would seem for her son’s wedding – I happened on President Muhammadu Buhari’s latest comment on leadership.

President Buhari in congratulating new Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan, the country’s first ever female president, urged President Suluhu “to unite the nation and lead the country in a good direction”, according to a statement by presidential media aide, Garba Shehu.

“The President expressed his desire to work with the new Tanzanian President to advance issues of common African and global interests.”

Various versions of the story flooded the media. The one that held my interest had a picture of our President wagging a finger at a picture of President Hassan as if warning her of the dire consequences of misleading Tanzania. While mourning Tanzanians may still chuckle at the comments, Nigerians were aghast.

Away from the comic value of President Buhari considering unity and leadership of a country important, was he suggesting that President Hassan should follow his examples?

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It is confusing to understand a Nigeria its President is enthusiastic “to work with the new Tanzanian President to advance issues of common African and global interests” when swathes of his native Katsina and other parts of Nigeria are in the firm control of bandits.

Time is running out on the President and Tinubu to realise that all politics is local. Ordinary Nigerians already know this.

.Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues

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