Pa Adebanjo Again: The Off-Mark Antics Of A Tired Old Political Opportunist Against Buhari, & Osinbajo
By Adefemiwa Oluwole
Reading through the acerbic remarks against President Muhammadu Buhari and his deputy, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, by Pa Ayo Adebanjo, a chieftain of Afenifere, published by Sunday Punch evokes a feeling that time is fading fast on the old man on his knowledge of events and the strong values that these two leaders represent for Nigeria at the moment.
By his viewpoints on the government of President Buhari, Pa Adebanjo has not been good to his rating as an elderstateman normally credited with wisdom and knowledge of political history of Nigeria and as an otherwise notable leader of Afenifere.
It is understandable that Pa Adebanjo, an old horse in the struggle for Yoruba interest in national Politics is at his game again, but he should be reminded pointedly that his spurious attack on the persons of the President and his deputy at this point in time, is misdirected, jaundiced and lacking depth whichever way we dice it. For the good that both President Buhari and Professor Osinbajo hold for Nigeria since 2015 can hardly be gainsaid or so easily dismissed by the old partisan, political & ethnic operative.
If Pa Adebanjo had kept within the realms of noble conduct of public commentary, many would have welcome his views. But his forays into cash and carry political advocacy which he championed under the Jonathan administration is the stain that taints his rather reputable past and association with some of the sages of Lord.
For instance, Adebanjo sat by, watching and getting patronized by a regime that made nonsense of the Yorubas repeatedly in the 5 to 6 years of the Jonathan years! He found his voice again when more progressive Yoruba forces took the bull by the horns and delivered Nigeria from the waste and wanton national disgrace that PDP & Jonathan had brought Nigeria to. Except that PA. Adebanjo took sides with the enemies of that progressive and triumphant movement.
Having lost the election Pa Adebanjo is yet to recover, but continues to do the bidding of those who turned Yorubas and their interest into 3rd rank.
To start with, Pa Adebanjo should not forget that President Buhari assumed office in 2015, meeting a near collapsed state of governance in which case phenomenal looting by government officials rendered the economy literally prostrate, reeling into recession, almost immediately. It was worst for the same government that was left with an immediate option to fight insecurity and festering agitations for regional self-determination, within a little time.
By the omissions of the past government, Boko Haram terrorism became a major concern, taking over vast portions of the entire landscape of the north eastern zone of Nigeria, even threatening the Federal Capital Territory and adjoining states.
President Buhari, a man he has chosen to simply misunderstand, has been correcting the ills and the rots he met on ground, while Nigerians and the rest of the world are aware of the onerous tasks involve in doing just that. The integrity and sincerity of purpose brought in by the President has made him an overcomer, though to the chagrin of his opponents, most especially members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) whom he crushingly defeated almost three years back at the polls. Pa Adebanjo is one of the major supporters of that political party, noted to have driven Nigeria ruefully to the edge of a cliffhanger. Papa should be feeling rather lucky that Nigerians are not charging him for his shameful support of a decadent regime that raped our nation and bled it almost dry!
Under President Buhari, it is no longer business as usual. This painful reality makes PA. Adebanjo’s most recent wailing and vituperation very understandable. All the same, it is germane to point out to armchair and implacable critics like Pa Adebanjo that in addition to taking Nigeria out of recession, against which even the opponents groaned, the Buhari administration returned peace to the Niger Delta and the south-east, decimated Boko Haram in the north-east with terrorism brought to its knees, and took Nigeria out of economic recession and many more.
Coming closer home to Adebanjo, President Buhari has been good to the South-West contrary to claims by the septuagenarian. When compared to the last PDP regime which patronized Adebanjo and which he in turn supported, Buhari has brought out some of the best of Southwest and entrusted them with key assignments and responsibilities.
Pa Adebanjo should be mindful that the government of former President Jonathan in which he has been investing much sympathy, had thoroughly neglected the southwest. Pa Adebanjo should not have forgotten in a hurry that the protest by the south-west against brazen marginalization by the past government made the zone to embrace President Buhari whole heartedly returning in his favour overwhelming votes. Therefore, to think that the government of President Buhari has not been good to the south-west zone amounts to playing the ostrich, as available evidence points to the contrary.
The commitment of the President to south-west made the President to allot three key ministries, Power, Work And Housing in care of the former governor of Lagos State, Raji Baabatunde Fashola, in recognition of his capability and capacity to deliver. He has not been disappointing, all the same. The President also gave Southwest the Finance, Mines & Steel Devp, Communications & Health portfolios. What did Adebanjo manage to get for Southwest in his rabid support of PDP & Jonathan? Well, that is besides the personal patronage he enjoyed then?
*Adefemiwa Oluwole, a public affairs analyst wrote in from Akoka, Lagos