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IS BOLA AHMED TINUBU’S LEGITIMACY AS PRESIDENT-ELECTIN DOUBT?

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Against all odds and despite all the hullaballoo surrounding the February 25th, 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections in Nigeria, the most populous and populated black country in the world has successfully elected a new President-Elect in person of Bola Ahmed Tinubu also known as BAT. The election results for the four topmost and most significant contenders according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are as follows:

1. Bola Ahmed Tinubu -8,794,726-All Progressives Congress

2. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar-6,984,520-People’s Democratic Party

3. Peter Obi-6,101,533-Labour Party

4. Rabi’u Kwankwaso-1,496,687-New Nigeria Peoples Party

The victory of the All Progressives Congress has certain experiential, experimental and academic significance, to wit:

1. That the Igbo mistake of playing egocentric loners’ politics of overinflated self-worth as against politics of alignment as I admonished them in the build up to the said election persists. 

2. That if the Igbo do not change their style of politicking, they may fall from the third fiddle currently, to a fourth, with the emerging South-South political force. 

3. That a Yoruba and Hausa/Fulani politicalpermutations in their dynamics will defeat any other anytime, any day.

4. That Nigerian politics is not only played based on racial kinship and religion but also fully emersed in interest synchronization.

5. That my credibility as an astute political analyst is intact having predicted in my previous articles and the predictions having come to pass that the Presidential aspirant of the People’s Democratic Party; Alhaji Atiku Abubakar will never win the Presidential election without the “G5”, and that Peter Obi of the Labour Party, will also be defeated with the Igbo kind of politics.

The Unfolding Post-Election Drama

Immediately the results were announced by INEC, all the social media platforms were agog with all sorts of reactions to the victory of BAT, the sixth defeat of Atiku, the ‘shocking’ defeat of Peter Obi (at least to his Obidient supporters) at the poll’s overall result. A lot of unsavory comments, threats of protests, memes and posts through which citizens, observers and other actors registered their gamut of emotions were flying everywhere. It was a period when opposition parties’ supporters were intra luctus tempus ,  even though unjustifiably so, with Peter Obi himself shedding tears on national television. Some said it was to whip up sentiment. I actually believe otherwise. To my mind, the tears were genuine and uncontrollable. They weretears of someone who felt his Mandate of Heaven has been stolen. I intend to write soonest about how Peter Obi is a success by every standard of political definition in his first attempt to become the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the title “LABOUR PARTY: THE RISE OF THE THIRD FORCE.

Consequently, Peter Obi blatantly rejected the results despite having come far third. Alhaji Abubakar whom to my mind already understood the system, knew at that point little could be done outside the Courts. Even Omoyele Sowore, the Presidential flag bearer of the African Action Congress (AAC) who polled less than fifteen thousand also openly rejected the result. He further scored a political point against Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the former President of Nigeria via his twitter handle “Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has no credibility to talk about fraudulent elections. Ex-President Obasanjo organized some of the most fraudulent elections during his 8-year tenure as President of Nigeria. “He laid the foundation for the shambolic elections that have become Nigeria’s lot now!”. The Former President adopted his usual niche of letter writing to ventilate his vexation, which he addressed one President Muhammadu Buhari on why the election is a dent on his administration and why INEC should not get away with such actions.

The opposition made one big error. They had always trusted the demeanors of the President too much.When, the President approved the unthinkable cashless policy, that greatly increased the citizens’ agonizing gauntlets, opposition, took it as an indicator of the President’s disapproval of BAT’s presidential ambition. They said it was to demonetize the political space towards election. In other words, that it was targeted at BAT’s bullion Van and raw-cash already stock-piled by him for the purpose of campaign. Later, when BAT won the election, despite the policy, they started waiting for the President to speak their minds that the election was not free and fair. After a while, Mr.President addressed the nation in live broadcast that the election was free and fair and as such, BAT’s victory stands. That kind of gullibility is too sophomoric for any one who claims to be politically inclined. Body language is an agelong political tactics employed to decoy opponents. BAT’s comradery in calling for a collaborative government was blatantly rejected by both Atiku and Peter Obi who having addressed the nation, assembled a team of brilliant but never-say-die Senior Advocates of Nigeria, a move fully matched up by BAT’s team of lawyers led by Wole Olanipekun SAN. Fortunately, like his team of Lawyers, BAT isalso a friend of the courts.   

Bat’s Legitimacy

Wikipedia explains legitimacy as the right and acceptance of an authority, usually a governing law or a regime.  Political legitimacy is considered a basic condition for governing, without which a government will suffer legislative deadlock(s) and collapse.The Enlightenment-era British social philosopher John Locke (1632–1704) said that political legitimacy derives from popular explicit and implicit consent of the governed: “The argument of the [SecondTreatise is that the government is not legitimate unless it is carried on with the consent of the governed.

When the electoral commission of a nation; an independent commission for that matter, declares a candidate the winner of an election with such margin as BAT’s with over 1.8 million votes between him and his first runner up, and over 2.6 million votes between him and the second runner up, save and except that number can be proved to be invalid by proper legal means for whatever reason, that mandate should not be called illegitimate. The bonafide of such administration ought not to be successfully raised, objected to or questioned without an undertone of malice. Obi worked in the East, specially targeted Lagos and Abuja; and he cleared them. BAT worked in the North knowing fully well that it wouldn’t be so easy for his home to betray him having consolidated and raised comrades towards his ambition for over thirty years therefrom and beyond; he cleared them. Atiku consolidated his strength in the North and the West, but the influence of Kwankwaso and BAT’s comrades in the North overpowered his political strength.

Finally, if out of the over 200 million estimated Nigerian population, from which over 90 million were registered, and just a little above 21 million citizens exercised their right to vote, from which over 8 million citizens have voted for the candidate of their choice with a margin clearly far above his opponents and having satisfied the 25% of 2/3rd of 36 states and Federal Capital Territory demand of section 134 (2) of the 1999Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria(as amended), I see no reason why anyone who defies the legitimate orders of such President should not be severely dealt with. However, BAT is a typical twentieth century leader, who is patient and skillful enough to convince even his worst enemies on why he is worth his trust. In the end, our brothers will align.

Ebenezer Omotola

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