I have been thinking about Jagaban, Bola Ahmed Tinubu lately. I think he deserves an encomium for tipping into the expansive shoes of the sage, Obafemi Awolowo, by forging a united bunch out of disparate broomsticks. But honestly, I do not think he has the intellectual grit, ideological purpose and discipline of the late former premier of the western region.
Jagaban has single-handed pulled the south-west under his suzerainty. This is no mean feat. No politician, in the present day Nigeria, has achieved this. As a matter of fact, no politician commands passionate followership or has the same clout as he does. That is why I say he deserves an encomium. In fact, he deserves some accolades.
However, I think Jagaban also deserves a bit of cautioning. His empire has gained so much vastness, vulgarity and glamour like Babylon that he now thinks himself God. He has erected a tower “subbing” Babel, and now plays “Bruce Almighty”.
The inexorable reality is that every empire has a date with a fall. And often, like in the days of history told, empires crash after their potentates betray a fatal flaw – hubris. Why does the picture of Xerxes, in the movie “300”, come to my mind?
Anyway, Jagaban is betraying a fatal flaw now. While speaking at the palace of Oba Jimoh Olanipekun in Osogbo, Osun, he boasted, literally, that he was richer than the state; hence his interest in a particular candidate becoming governor was not to purloin the treasury. This alone is an indictment.
Yes, is Tinubu’s statement not a self-indictment? But no one is asking questions, because it is Jagaban.
Oh! And there are reports of a company, Alpha Beta; he is allegedly linked with being involved in money laundering, tax evasion and fraud. Of course, this news will not elicit mass hysteria and outrage because Jagaban is involved. The Jagaban of Borgu has a solid network in the media. And he holds the plug to President Buhari’s re-election ambition. No offence must come from the government or else he pulls it.
Also, there are rumours that he is angling to deracinate a governor he picked, baptised and anointed in 2015. Good. That is not my business really, because politics is governed by interest. Selfish interest, I mean. But to what end?
I believe Jagaban looks himself in the mirror every morning and says with a smirk on his face, “I am the most powerful man in Nigeria”. Yes, you are. But the strength of a powerful man is also his weakness.
Fredrick Nwabufo is a media personality.