Don’t work against Tinubu’s interest – Buhari’s Mentee, Oba Abdulhakeem Iyanda cautions President

Don’t work against Tinubu’s interest – Buhari’s Mentee, Oba Abdulhakeem Iyanda cautions President

An Open Letter to General Muhammadu Buhari(rtd),GCFR, President, Federal Republic of Nigeria

Dear Sir,

May this letter meet you in the sound spirit of unalloyed Nationalism and political dexterity.

Sir, I write on behalf of the Disciples of Jagaban and the Arewa Forum 2023.

My dear boss, my father and my Brother, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), this is perhaps, my first direct message to you since you were sworn-in as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces – after many sojourns we have had together, both within the service and during political activism before May 29, 2015.

Sir, I believe you will vividly remember me as one of the highly disciplined and loyal soldiers that worked directly under you as a military officer; you used to fondly call me by my first name.

Why did I address you a ‘my father’? You indeed accepted me and treated me as a member of your family; in return, I also regard you as a father. it is therefore duty-bound on me to draw your attention to things that I consider unhealthy, more so when they affect your person – your name, your interest, your integrity and your posterity – which is of paramount importance to me.

I consider this as an obligation, a duty-bound on me. This is exactly what I would have done to my father were he to be alive today, occupying a similar position and surrounded by the same circumstances.

The very reason that motivated this Open Letter, is the same reason that ultimately ignited the Collabo between you and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 2014/2015.

I wept uncontrollably in 2011 when the first attempted collaboration between you and Tinubu did not materialise. It was indeed painful. And when it eventually worked out in 2014/2015, we did not only celebrate it, we worked hard for its success, sacrificing everything within our reach.

Many of those in this group are now very active in the Disciples of Jagaban today.

Sir, it is pertinent to note that, with the coalition, millions of Nigerians worked tirelessly to close the gap between the North and the South. This gap reared its ugly head following the annulment of the June 12 presidential election in 1993 and got exacerbated during former President Goodluck Jonathan, as he frequented Israel, notable Churches and pastors across the country, wiping up religious sentiment in an attempt to return to power.

My humble self was always with you on virtually all the campaign stages from 2003, 2007, 2011 till 2015. – in the cause of the efforts to make sure you won the elections – to the extent that some of us almost lost our lives. One of your close aides, the current Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Governor Nasir El Rufai remains my witness in this regard.

And in line with the agitation of your wife, even though many of us never personally received anything as compensation for our efforts, we have remained undeterred since our primary objective has always been to bring about a united and egalitarian society. We believe that the mutual suspicion and acrimonious relationship between the North and the South must be resolved to build a united and prosperous Nigeria.

Incidentally, this effort was bolstered by Asiwaju Tinubu’s hand of cooperation to you against all odds and opposition from his kinsmen, including the Afenifere, who looked at you with suspicion and portrayed you as a tribal and religious bigot. We all saluted Tinubu for this unique and uncommon effort that Almighty God used him to perfect.

Many Southerners from your political camp worked hard to sustain the collaboration to unite Nigerians, dispelling the notion of mutual suspicion, dealing a death knell to it and bolstering the confidence of the younger generation that a truly united Nigeria is possible. We have thus come a long way and shall not forgive whoever is involved in trying to either disconnect or disunite us subsequently.

Sir, in as much as you are entitled to your interest, you must critically ponder over what disunity in this country may lead to. Except you are playing a political gimmick, we enjoin you not to openly work against Tinubu’s interest.

As a leader, your responsibility is to provide a level playing ground. Making Tinubu go through too undue stress to win the 2023 ticket is not in the interest of your integrity.

Many have contended without equivocation that your integrity is fake, saying you will eventually betray Tinubu. We have severally replied to them that the Buhari we know is a man of integrity and won’t in any way betray the trust reposed in you.

You should not only allow the most popular candidate to emerge as the APC presidential candidate, but you must also ensure you bequeath a story party that is devoid of acrimony to the nation. You have reiterated this in the past and we believe you are a man of your words.

No doubt you have eventually had your way with the choice of our new chairman of the party against all odds, despite more popular candidates, but doing so with the choice of presidential candidate may throw the party into a serious crisis.

It is crystal clear that, as I type these words, Tinubu remains the most popular candidate among those who have signified interest in stepping into your shoes. At least, if you cannot manifestly deploy your support for Tinubu, please, do not clandestinely work against his interest, no matter your reservations.

You don’t have to win all wars, particularly the one in that its consequences may be too devastating.

This is because it was Tinubu that Almighty God used to achieve your victory against Atiku and Kwankwaso at the Teslim Balogun stadium in 2014 during the heated contest for the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC). God also use Tinubu to assist your victory in the election in 2015 and 2019 after losing the three previous elections.

Consequently, we in the DOJ, irrespective of our region, tribe or religious background worked tirelessly for you with no string attached, seeking to return our lost unity, love and harmony, especially between the North and the South.

The same DOJ that diligently worked and supported you is the same group that has been working for Tinubu without discrimination.

We love and respect both of you because your togetherness has proved wrong the naysayers Just as who even predicted that APC won’t survive the first four years, they equally insisted that both of you will eventually go your separate ways in pieces, conflict and disputation. On the contrary, you have so far proved them wrong.

Please do not justify their cynicism, your togetherness has indeed reinforced our hope that unity and love across geopolitical zones are very possible.

Sir, your actions and body language towards 2023 is capable of impacting negatively on our trust in you to bring about a new Nigeria, please, let peace reign.

Remember Sir, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was the majority party in the merger that formed the APC, with more states, but because of Tinubu’s conviction in one Nigeria, he led the struggle that saw the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) producing you as the presidential candidate in 2015.

Shouldn’t we reward such sacrifice?

Tinubu and his team – Baba Bisi Akande, Adams Oshiomole, Babatunde Raji Fashola amongst others openly lent their support as you picked the APC presidential ticket in 2015 and 2019. It is the same Tinubu that is now actively working towards getting the same party ticket.

In 2019, Tinubu’s team also influenced the emergence of a cooperative and collaborative National Assembly leadership (that you are satisfied with, as against the Bukola Saraki-led turbulent NASS), which has enabled you to govern smoothly, devoid of the needless distractions of 2015-2019.

Sir, as a politician, you will agree with me that neutrality in politics may be tantamount to indirect opposition, it might be okay for you to be indifferent if Tinubu is not running, but claiming to be neutral when Tinubu desperately needs your support or to stay aloof when Tinubu is being victimised, vilified and tossed around by your loyalists or those who claim to have your ears may imply in direct opposition to the lifetime ambition of the man who stood by you like a rock.

Tinubu is the man who, with his supporters, actively and wholeheartedly supported you through thick and thin, even when people from your region were already strategising on how to succeed you while on the sickbed in London hospital.

Working against a man who gave all he had for the success of your presidential ambitions in 2015 and 2019, maybe interpreted as betrayal and could potentially lead to the loss of trust between us, your supporters.

My amiable boss, I sincerely urge you to come out openly to indicate Asiwaju as your preferred presidential candidate, just like he used to do for others.

Was Tinubu to be neutral in 2014, would you have secured the APC ticket with the likes of money bags and influential candidates like Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Atiku Abubakar?

It’s not surprising therefore that those who had worked against your presidential ambition for years simply transferred and directed their aggression against Tinubu, just as all the efforts to break the APC coalition have been targeted against him, albeit, he rebuffed them all, and continued to give his support to the occupant of the Aso rock without looking back.

Anger displayed by the EndSARS protesters and their sponsors is still fresh in our memory.

My boss, you are reputed for integrity which is rooted in the fear of Allah; and this means prioritising justice above political considerations. This is the only route to continue to enjoy the support of the Almighty which you have enjoyed so far. When integrity, truthfulness and trustworthiness speak, dirty politics have no place.

May I, therefore, advise that, at this critical period of our country, you need the cooperation of all to effectively tackle the economic and insecurity challenges manifesting as terrorism, banditry and kidnapping?

These have festered because of the insincerity of some of our party members. You’ve got to look inward.

May I remind you, Sir, that many who laboured had to put APC in power have yet to benefit or be compensated by the party so far?

You:ve got to do something fast on this. Time is running out. It:s always good to repay good with good.

On the contrary, many from the opposition party have not only benefited, but they also seem to be gradually taking over the affairs of our great party, thereby making it difficult for the party to get things right.

I hope with this message of mine, coming from a mentee and your lover, you will be properly guided as you continue to lead the party and the nation in this last lap of your tenure.

Wishing you the best in all your endeavours.

I remain loyal Sir.

Abdulhakeem Iyanda Alawuje – DOJ National Coordinator