The presidential election is only a couple of weeks away. All the political parties are gearing up for the crunch time. Politicians, especially the top three presidential candidates, are all sweating it out right now, crossing their ‘t’s and dotting their ‘i’s. It’s looking good for some while it’s not looking so good for others. For Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, out of the three top presidentoial candidates, that is himself, Atiku Abubakar of the PDP and Peter Obi of the Labour Party, he, Tinubu, seemed to be coasting home to victory. He was the most visible, the most talked about of all the presidential candidates and still is. His campaign schedules have been gruelling, despite all the talk about his age and poor health. He had hit the ground running before any other presidential candidate and has really shown a strong desire to win the presidential election. His campaigns have been well orgnised, and with massive turn outs, even in several parts of the north that were thought to be strongholds of Atiku. But recent developments have changed the complexion of things. Tinubu’s chances seemed to have been dimmed by recent occurences in the country. He does not appear to hold the aces like he did not long ago. The election may no longer be a walk in the park for Asiwaju.
The recent unsavoury developments in the country have not gone down well with Nigerians. Since the beginning of the new year, most parts of the country have been plunged into darkness by incessant power outage. Most people barely get supply for two hours in a day. They have had to depend on their generators and that meant spending heavily on fuel. Before January came, Nigerians had been battling with fuel scarcity weeks leading to Christmas. From that time to now, the situation has gotten even worse. The scarcity has been gruelling to say the least. Where filling stations sell for N185 per litre, the queue is long and endless. And they cause horrendous traffic situations that keep motorists and commuters on the road for hours just to cover a 30 minute regular trip. You can only drive into a filling station and come out a few minutes if the station is selling for N330 per litre. The situation has been chaotic to say the least.
But if Nigerians thought that would be all that they have to deal with, they got another shocker. Following the CBN naira policy, stating that all the old notes would be withdrawn for the newly redesigned notes, so the CBN could tell exactly how much naira was outside its vault, it turned out that the Central Bank has not put sufficient funds out so banks could pay customers with the new notes. Deadline day approached and there was pandemonium. Most ATMs were not dispensing money because they had no new notes to dipense. Marketers, traders, were all thrown into a panic. POS operators couldn’t transact any business because it was either the network was poor or they had no money, including old notes to give to their customers. Queues were endless at the ATMs. Queues were endless in the banking halls. Yet, only very few were lucky to get a bit of the money they needed. If you needed 10k, you could only get 5k. That was the deal. So, no light, no fuel, no money to spend. Queues at the filling stations, queues at the ATM outlets. Frustrations began to grow. And the people started to turn their frustrations and anger, expectedly, towards the ruling party and everyone that is connected to it. Everyone, especially it’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
With the chaotic situation of the fuel scarcity, the constant power outages and the insufficient new notes in circulation, the people are becoming more and more disenchanted with the government and the ruling party as a whole. And Asiwaju is bearing the brunt of their frustrations and anger. People no longer believe him when he says he will turn things around in the country. They see him as a part and parcel of the government.They see him as a key component of the ruling party, APC. And rightly so too. He is the party’s presidential flag bearer. He is the one that helped Buhari become president. He is APC, he was the national leader before he became flag bearer. If the Nigerian masses will direct their anger at anybody, it would most likely be Tinubu, the man many love to hate, sometimes for no reason at all, other than the fact that he is Asiwaju, the one that is always at the forefront.
Presently, the situation is tense. It is not looking good. Many are simply waiting for February 25th to come so they can go vote out the ruling party, making sure Asiwaju’s life long dream of becoming president is quashed. It is the natural reaction. There is no way the people will give government a pat on the back for all they are going through. They will revolt. And they will do that with their votes come February 25th. With just a few weeks to the presidential election, Asiwaju is in a bad situation and he knows it. The mood in the country is tense. The Nigerian masses are not happy. They want to push APC out of government. As anyone would expect, Asiwaju knows this. He sees everythuing that’s going on. He knows where it’s coming from. And that was why he exploded at the APC campaign rally at Abeokuta almost two weeks go. While addressing the mammoth crowd, Tinubu stated: ”We will use our PVCs to take over government from them. If they like let them create fuel crisis, even if they say there is no fuel, we will trek to vote. They are full of mischief; they could say there is no fuel. They have been scheming to create fuel crisis, but forget about it. Relax, I, Asiwaju, have told you that the issue of fuel supply will be permanently addressed.
“Whoever wants to eat the honey embedded in a mountain won’t worry about the axe. Is that not so? And if you want to eat palm kernel, you would bring stone and use it to break it, then the kernel will come out.
“Let them increase the price of fuel, let them continue to hoard fuel, only them know where they have hoarded fuel, they hoarded money, they hoarded naira; we will go and vote and we will win, even if they changed the ink on naira notes. Whatever their plans, it will come to naught. We are going to win. Those in the PDP will lose.” This outburst has generated lots of reactions. Many, indeed, have agreed with Tinubu that he has made a valid point. Many others have argued that he is part and parcel of the government and so shouldn’t be complaining now that the tables appear turned against him. Another strong voice that has come out publicly to support Tinubu is Kaduna stae governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. He said that he agrees with Asiwaju that there are some elements within the presidency that do not want the party to win the coming elections. This is the reason why Asiwaju has spoken out now so that the electorates will be discerning enough to separate him from the cruel antics of the government and the agony they are putting the masses through. He knows the whole idea is to turn the people against hm and the party so that he can lose the election. But trust, Asiwaju, he is not ready to go down without a fight. He will fight tooth and nail to ensure that nothing erodes his chances of winning the coming presidential elections and becoming the next president of the federal republic of Nigeria.
According to inside sources, he has gotten his footsoldiers to embark on vigorous campaigns in their varous wards and communities, letting people understand that there is a grand plan to stop him from winning the election and installing Atiku as the next president. And that a vote for Atiku or Pter Obi is a vote for contnued hardship , insecurity, fuel scarcity and poverty. But a vote for him, Tinubu, is a vote for peace, prosperity and economic emancipation. Februiary 25 is just around the corner, it will be interesting to see how things will pan out for Asiwaju and the APC.
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