A response to Dr. Akinyemi Onigbinde concerning a piece from me yesterday (Apologies to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu – http://uhurutimes.com/apologies-to-asiwaju-bola-ahmed-tinubu/) is necessary for future reasons. Let me reiterate that I stand by what I wrote concerning an error of judgment some of us made supporting Jonathan’s National CONference. But I deliberately did not write about President Olusegun Obasanjo’s initiative to amend the 1999, which the old man surreptitiously tried to turn into a Third Term arrangement in order not to kick a number of people in the butts for their warped sense of reasoning.
If Jonathan and his supporters want us to believe he meant well, but afraid that Nigeria might break up under his leadership, the president should have dusted up the Obasanjo report, which all segments of Yoruba Nation contributed to, and move for its implementation. It will be fast. It will be done long before the general elections instead of the current 419 arrangement. The only major item needed to be removed from that report remains Third Term for a sitting president.
There are at least 118 recommendations in that document, which would certainly have addressed ALL of the issues Jonathan want us to look at during his National CONference IF he does not want a genuine conference with sovereign powers. The amount of money being devoted to the current exercise, waste of precious time and manpower could be diverted to other areas of our national life to make things easier for Nigerians. Jonathan is playing games, Akinyemi and the others should note that. And I firmly believe they are no match for him in this game, where the president sets the rules and can change same in the middle of the game. He’ll only use them to legitimize his fruitless exercise.
My short response to Onigbinde on the Facebook wall of Adebayo Adeneye-Adejuwon:
Egbon Akinyemi Onigbinde,
Two things stood out in this your intervention:
1. You grudgingly agreed that Jonathan’s CONference is 419, as it will not achieve what genuine proponents of restructuring wants.
2. But you want us to go there and FIGHT it out at the CONference – on the basis of – maybe, we can seize the initiative from the Oligarchy, who Jonathan has just joined to rescue the polity from ruin.
Your Number 1 point is noted, as that is my position too.
But your Point Number 2 is a catch 22 matter as I pointed out to Alagba Adejuwon earlier. Whether the Yoruba Nation participate or not, the wheel of this CONference will roll on. Unfortunately, I do not see a Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua in the horizon, who can use his resources and limitless contacts to turn the table against Jonathan at this CONference. That is my worry. However, in principle, there is no harm in attending. At least, those representing the Yoruba should have one or two inputs, though insignificant to what we would have wanted.
However, there is a funny one in you describing Tinubu as my hero. Egbon, you know me. I don’t know how to describe a spade as a farming implement. If we agree that Jonathan deceived us. If we agree that this CONference fell short of our expectations. And there is a figure out there, who mentioned these earlier, and we shouted him down. Now that he has been proved right, it is only commonsensical that we give him due acknowledgement and accept our shortsightedness.
Our capital bet was on a principled Okurounmu standing his ground even to the point of resignation from his committee should the pressure from The Presidency become too much. That did not happen. Okurounmu implemented the 419 arrangement given him, for whatever reason. And for God’s sake, an attempt is being vigorously made to use the name of Afenifere to give this CONference a favourable image among Yorubas. That is certainly not right!
The major issue running through what you wrote is the same position we share on Tinubu, given the experiences of AD/Afenifere. For me, I sincerely hold the belief that anger against Tinubu should not blind us to perfidious behavior among our kinds along with whatever poor judgments we made. We should be honest enough to admit failure and concede brilliance to the other side where that is due.
However, if you and some others can ‘see’ something different in Senator Iyiola Omisore for him to be considered a Messiah for Osun State today despite perceptions of his involvement in the murder of the late Deputy Leader of Afenifere, Chief Bola Ige, I don’t know how a mere acknowledgment of an error of judgment on my part could turn me into hero-worshipping Tinubu.
What Akinyemi Onigbinde wrote:
“Sometimes I marvel at people’s understanding of the dynamics of change which makes many an activist to be romantic in their expectations and their perceptive of its direction.And I have read Wale Adedayo over time, and have come to the conclusion that, while he may be a good journalist, a vocation that is no more than scribbling of hurried and harried history, his understanding of history and its socio -dynamics is suspect, with due respect.
Otherwise ,he would not poo poo GEJ modalities on the proposed national conference on the ground that it fell short of Yoruba expectation, thereby eliciting an apology to BAT for bring far sighted than his critics, amongst whom he says he is numbered. The first question is, what was Wale’s expectation? Was he expecting that the modalities a sitting president, a class or group interests, would propose would be antagonistic to his class and survival interests?
By the way ,if the critics, among whom is Wale’s hero, BAT, were to draw the modalities would such modalities be antagonistic to their expressed or perceived socio-economic interests? The dynamics of history does not suggest of anyone presiding over the liquidation of his/her empire. Yet, they may end up losing the empire, but that would be on the initiative of those who will seize the limited opportunity provided for them. Hence the limited space of the national conference. Thus ,it will be a missed opportunity for anyone to say because GEJ modalities does not include surrendering to him his own fabled empire he would reject the city-centre.
Fredrick Douglas says, nothing is ever gotten without a struggle.While man may not get all what they struggled for, they will certainly have struggled for what they have. Such struggle may be physical, yet it may be moral,or both,but struggle it must be. So,Wale should realize that no slave has ever been emancipated from his bondage without struggle,just as no privileged class has ever surrendered its subsidized existence without a fight.
Hence,the class and interests GEJ represent,whether economic or ethnic will not go down without a fight. In whose interest the fight would be resolved will depend on the tenacity of those who presently feel short-changed in the Nigeria project. And BAT would not have behaved otherwise if he holds the yam and the knife. So, let not be unduly romantic.