Icheoku says the statement made with this very vice presidential candidate's selection is that all the APC governors, including Rivers State's Rotimi Amaechi, were not good enough for a raise? A vote of no confidence was practically assed on them by their godfather and chief benefactor, Ahmed Bola Tinubu; otherwise why did he not promote one of them to the higher office of APC vice presidential candidate? It appears Bola Tinubu scored all of them very lowly, a testimonial that none of them performed creditably well in his judgment and therefore did not merit or deserve a promotion. What a snub of no mean proportion this Osibanjo's selection is, that an erstwhile commissioner was promoted over and above the governor he previously served under, to now become the party's vice presidential candidate. Icheoku says the only possible explanation for this political insolence on these APC governors is that Bola Tinubu does not want any of them including Lagos State Govenor Fashola to climb past him in Nigeria political ladder. Some school of thought has it too that Bola Tinubu began planning Fashola political stalling when he induced him to deport those Igbo Nigerians from their Lagos home and thereby successfully alienated Fashola from the Igbo nation as a pariah.
The other fact of consequence with this vice presidential candidate's selection is that it once again shows that Bola Tinubu does not care or give a hoot about what anybody says about his intimidating and overbearing domination of the APC. Icheoku says because of this, the man Bola Tinubu does not hide his political agenda or intention from any APC member and usually, publicly, declares his support or interest accordingly and ahead of time. ABT is also a man of resolute fidelity who does not abandon his anointed candidates midway, but successfully sees them to the finish line. He has this sort of 'stop me if you dare and can' scorch-earth audacity. Icheoku says with this Bola Tinubu's successful manipulation of all the APC nominations, if by dint of luck and handwork, the APC pulls off a victory in 2015, Nigerians would for the first time see a trinity of leadership with Bola Tinubu becoming part of the presidency as a defacto president and vice president combined and pulling the strings behind the curtains. Bola Tinubu would become so powerful that Umaru Dikko's Shagari era would be a too long ago child's play power-grab. But hey, the APC have to first win the election before he can assert himself and authority and however he chooses.
The question many analytical observers are actually asking is whether this time, Muhammadu Buhari would reap any electoral mileage out of the chosen Yemi Osibanjo? That Osinbajo is a born-again pentecostal christian, we know and likewise Buhari's former Tunde Bakare? That Osibanjo is a lawyer, we know and likewise Tunde Bakare? That Osinbajo is a Yoruba Southwestern Nigerian, we know and likewise is Tunde Bakare? So what changed now to make this latest Muhammadu Buhari's running mate any different and such that would positively affect the fortunes of Muhammadu Buhari this time around? Icheoku says the problem seems to be with the head of the ticket and not who the tail is; and it probably would not make any difference had Buhari choose even Baba Iyabo or the CAN president Oritsejafor. It is not who Buhari chooses that is the matter but what Buhari means and represents to millions of Nigerians, especially the discerning ones among them. Buhari offended Nigerians' sensibilities and should admit that he ered and make amends for it by first accepting responsibility and asking for forgiveness.
Honestly speaking, Icheoku believes that Muhammadu Buhari is politically damaged in Nigeria and baring a miracle this his latest attempt at the presidency will also meet the proverbial hard rock. Buhari made Nigerians mad, have not apologized for his intransigent misbehavior and for this Nigerians are still bearing him a lot of ill will. If Icheoku were advising Buhari, we will urge him to goo on a national television, prime-time, and apologize to Nigerians for his highhandedness during his first coming. It will be as simple as "For those who feel offended that because of my youth, I overreached during my military days, I apologize. It was not deliberate meanness but i thought i was doing the best i can under the circumstance to right some perceived national wrongs." Please forgive and forget and lets build our nation together. Icheoku believes that such humbling would elicit commendation from Nigerians and they will be prepared to forgive and forget and to move on. But a continually self-effacing Buhari, pretending that Nigerians were not offended with his first time around, would be mistaken at the rejection which awaits him in 2015.
But absent of this mea culpa, it does not matter that Buhari accepted a Bola TInubu's surrogate as vice presidential candidate this time as Osinbanjo would not affect his fortunes. Just like Buhari's other former running mates during his three previous presidential runs, Osibanjo is but a local politician with no national name recognition and does not bring any value-added to the ticket. Moreso Osibanjo is too petite, lacks gravitas and does not exude a leader's confidence or inspiration. Osibanjo also has no proven track record of administrative and political accomplishments; and equally lacks knowledge of the broader Nigeria polity to be an effective vice president of Nigeria. Icheoku says Osibanjo does not inspire many Nigerians as should a desirable leader, which many Nigerians crave for and desire to rather have. Yemi Osibanjo is seemingly too debonair and lacks the street-smartness atypical of many a Nigerian politician and might not ably withstand the brawl and bawdily of Nigerian electioneering politics? Nigeria is not there yet with playing refined gentleman politics of ideas by qualified individuals because the overbearing control of gritty and grimy godfathers, who are still picking and choosing whomever they please and placing them into offices like Bola Tinubu did with the present Yemi Osibanjo.
Icheoku makes bold to project that Yemi Osibanjo would end up like the other pastor/lawyer vice presidential candidate, Tunde Bakare; who could not win or drag needed supporters from the Yoruba Southwest across the line for his then ticket with Buhari. Conversely, Icheoku would be very reluctant to dismiss this Osibanjo out-rightly as a political nitwit, because having accomplished so much in his chosen legal profession, he may be one die hard political operative. For him to have successfully convinced his mentor and benefactor in chief, Bola Tinubu, to anoint him as the APC vice presidential candidate in a field that was saturated by so many wanna-bees, shows that he has something up his sleeve. The other exception however is that no one is privy to the deal he reached with his said benefactor including to probably temporarily hold the office at his pleasure. Icheoku says is it possible that Yemi Osibanjo reached an agreement with Bola Tinubu that he will later make way, either by resignation or through impeachment, in order for Buhari to appoint Tinubu as his replacement vice president. Is it possible that Yemi Osinbanjo already executed a post-dated letter of resignation which will be used to force him out in the event he later changed his mind?
But whatever happens and assuming APC manages to ease out PDP from office, the office of the vice president is not after all that a big deal. As Olusegun Obasanjo proved to Nigeria with his humiliation of then vice president Abubakar Atiku, a vice president is but a glorified clerk in Aso Rock? Any mad president such as Obasanjo, could so frustrate his vice president that such vice president, if he had what it takes, would simply resign to retain his sanity and maintain his dignity. Atiku did not so do, but whether Osinbanjo would, the jury is still out and would remain out until providence deals it's hand. Icheoku in essence is saying that a vice president could only have as much power and influence as the president wants him to have or benevolently confers on him. Ditto, State deputy governors, who are just wallowing in name only and which forced the deputy governor of Kebbi State to resign just recently because of redundancy.
So given that Obasanjo did it to Atiku; Yar'Adua did it to Jonathan and Jonathan could but is not yet doing it to Namadi, what stops Buhari from consigning Osibanjo to the kitchen or even locking him away in a closet in Aso Rock, afterall Yemi's very petite stature would conveniently fit into such confined spaces? Nigerians especially those who found home in the APC are taking for granted the fact that Jonathan has been very magnanimous in empowering his vice president Namadi. But that does not in any way show that a vice president has suddenly become a powerful position or commands so much influence that it should begin to matter who is in occupation therein. Therefore whether Yemi Osibanjo or Bola Tinubu wearing the mask of Yemi, it does not matter because no one knows what the unpredictable Hausa/Fulani has up their sleeve? What if they are merely playing dumb all along, just tagging along with all Bola Tinubu's dictates simply to get their power back? What if after they become mission accomplished and they decided to kick away the ladder of Tinubu that helped them scale over the fence of Jonathan? Icheoku asks what would be the remedy in the event Miyetti Allah and their alter-ego, Buhari, decided later to lock out both Bola Tinubu and his Yemi Osibanjo from power. But who knows and Icheoku does not have any clue whatsoever nor an insider knowledge either.
Finally, Icheoku would like to end this piece by once again reiterating the indelible place history has now placed Bola Tinubu in Nigerian politics. With the Yemi Osibanjo selection now firmly tucked in under his arm, Ahmed Bola Tinubu has fully confirmed his absolute and total and complete control of a major political party in Nigeria. Icheoku says now that ABT has cemented his majority shareholding and near full ownership status of the APC, from Icheoku to Asuiwaju, congratulations; all the best. Icheoku says congratulations also to APC, Buhari, Osibanjo as well as other members of the party that are working tirelessly and assiduously to give Nigerians a viable opposition party alternative. It is a new day and indeed a good day that finally there is a viable party to challenge the PDP for the hearts and minds of Nigerians and provide them with an option if desired. Once again, to the man behind all the powers of APC, the spirit that breathes life into APC, the oracle of APC, the deity of APC who bequeaths anyone he chooses with political offices in APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, Icheoku says respect. February 14 2015 is a Valentine's day and a day of reckoning, when Nigerians will be persuaded to fall in love with either Jonathan/Namadi or Buhari/Tinubu by proxy of Osibanjo. Until then, Icheoku 'dey laugh ooo' in anticipation; salutes all and says may the electioneering campaign fireworks now go into full gear and full throttled.