Our attention has been drawn to a partisan advertorial in the 21st March edition of Daily Trust. This advertorial, placed by a shadowy organization calling itself the Sokoto State Coalition of PDP Supporters, bears the logo of PDP National Youth League and is signed by one Engr. Haruna Usman Shagari. Titled “Inconclusive Gubernatorial Election: Sokoto People Warn Tinubu, Oshiomole, Yari, Bagudu and others”, the advert makes baseless allegations against Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomole, Chairman of APC, Senator Adamu Aliero and Zamfara Governor Abdul’Aziz Yari. It falsely alleges that Asiwaju along with the others met the INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu in order to influence the Sokoto State gubernatorial rerun election in favour of APC.
These allegations by a contrived PDP organ are desperate untruths without a basis in fact. But they are entirely in line with the delusional reactions of PDP to their devastating loss in the presidential elections. The entire PDP hierarchy have been scared and jumping at their own shadows since the election. They have been seeing phantom conspiracies and imaginary gatherings that make us wonder whether they remain connected to reality. Most recently, they alleged that Asiwaju was physically in Kano to manipulate elections there. They backed up this fraudulent allegation with photographs of Asiwaju and the Kano Governor taken last year in Lagos. For so long and so often they cannot even get right the whereabouts of one man. That they can’t even tell the truth about the location of a single person shows that they are incompetent to manage the complex affairs of an entire state.
It is a matter of public record that Asiwaju has always been at the forefront of the struggle for electoral reform, a struggle that culminated in the establishment of the Uwais Commission by late President Umaru Yar’adua. A prominent member of that panel, Prof Attahiru Jega later became the INEC Chairman and was able to implement the far-reaching reforms that have enabled us to have the free and fair elections that we witnessed in 2015 and now in 2019. If Asiwaju was such a prominent supporter of electoral reforms, why would he now be among those trying to subvert democracy? Asiwaju’s only tools for influencing elections are his moral authority, his skills as a veteran politician, and his dedication to campaigning and mobilizing his own party members.
With respect to Sokoto, former Governor Wamakko is a popular figure and leader who has the respect of the people if the state. It is also clear that the APC candidate is more qualified and more committed to the welfare of the people than his PDP opponent. By his panicked responses, Governor Tambuwal has shown his sheer desperation. He is a drowning man clinging to the limp of a tree. Having been tricked into joining the PDP only to be outsmarted by Atiku for the PDP presidential nomination, Tambuwal fears that his political career is crumbling. If he loses this election, he has lost everything. Thus there is no untruth he will not tell and no tactic too extreme in order to hold on to his seat.
However, he should be not use Asiwaju’s name to defraud the people or as a way to gain sympathy. Instead, Tambuwal should face the consequences of his own actions. It is Tambuwal, not Asiwaju, who has caused his own predicament. Try how he may to blame Asiwaju, the people know that Tambuwal has sacrificed their interests to advance his own. He can try whatever propaganda and untruths he wants, but in the end, the people will render the verdict that his selfish and unproductive record deserves.