The battle for Gbajabiamila’s seat and the enemy within

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I am not your usual columnist, but an unrepentant believer in the possibility of a new Nigeria where hopes and aspirations of all can be made manifest. I have been a keen observer of national politics and a strong advocate of power rotation since the return of democracy.

I resolved to take this position following the lessons I learnt from the aftermath of the 1993 elections and the ill-fate that befell the rightful winner of that general elections, His Excellency, Alhaji Moshood Abiola. I do not believe in marginalisation, neither do I patronise people who possess pull down attributes.
That is why I find the series of publications written against the Chief of Staff to the President, Rt Honourable Femi Gbajiabiamila and their maligning intent to be outrightly ridiculous, petty and unfortunate considering the part of the country where these articles spring from.
By this article, I beseech all and sundry, regardless of region, religion, ethnicity, and personal interest, not to allow themselves to be used to become a crack in the wall of Nation Building.
I hail from the part of the country where love reigns supreme. In my community, there is a popular saying that until you put on the costumes of a masquerade, you would not be able to know why the dancing masquerade was not able to dance to your satisfaction at the village square during the new yam festival.
The import of the foregoing is that until the accusers get to a position of authority as sensitive as the Chief of Staff to the President, and prove how not to be one, they should not be in a hurry to allow their venomous pen to be swindled by greed and selfish interest to the extent of maligning their own kinsmen of good intent through frivolous publications.
I cannot claim to have the exact knowledge of the motive behind the witch-hunt, particularly coming from the Southwestern origin, but can say with precision that the articles published are absolutely unnecessary, outrightly scandalous and a direct assault not only on the person of the Chief of Staff to the President and the reputation he has built for decades while soiling in the muddy waters of Nigerian politics; but a deliberate attempt to truncate the Presidency because it is the turn of the South.
Retrospectively, since the return of democracy in Nigeria, the nation has had almost half a dozen appointees as Chiefs of Staff to the five democratically elected Presidents, but none of these Chiefs of Staff have been bathed with negative and outrageous accusations like the present Chief of Staff.
In as much as the reason for the media attacks are not mysterious, I wish to state here that there is indeed a place for tears knowing the unfortunate but painful reality that against all odds, the prominent propagandists who have spearheaded this campaign are majorly Yorubas. This speaks volume of how southerners have become their very own nightmares.
I believe these generation of writers have the absolute right to opine on national issues, however, as long as they do, permit me to state that they lack the moral locus to malign a man who rose blamelessly from a state of oblivion to the centre stage of national politics of the most populous black nation in the world without a single stain.
Abbah Kyari, for instance, was appointed by President Buhari as Chief of Staff. The man later transformed into the most powerful politician in the country such that nothing ever happened unless it went through him. In all the power wielding that occured during his reign, not even a single northerner ever made a negative comment against him for the entire duration of time that he served. Same applied to Professor Ibrahim Gambari who came and even left without a fight from his kinsmen.
Today, the reverse is the case, the issue at hand is a proof that the southerner is his own greatest enemy. The man from the South has decided to be the reason for his own failure. He prefers his people to remain in perpetual servitude as long as it services his selfish interest than for them to be free as long as he doesn’t have a stake.
I can totally understand that the Yorubas are a unifying force for the progress and peace of the Nation, hence the close scrutiny on the Chief of Staff to the President. In spite of the criticism from close quarters, the Chief of Staff still considers all purveyors of information as partners in progress. He has shown character in a country where another will never accept a halfway measure in loyalty.
A man who fought third term agenda with all vigour, became a model for modern day legislature and controlled the budget of the lower chamber of the National Assembly without a single case of corruption should be applauded rather than ridiculed. Apart from having the capacity to resolve issues that threaten national unity amicably, the Chief of Staff became a role model for legislatures in the West African subregion through truthful and impactful representation of his constituents.
For the avoidance of doubt, it is instructive to assert that just like the President Tinubu regime, Gbajiabiamila began on an excellent and worthy foot. The right Honourable did not set out on this patriotic journey of national service to swindle national resources through whatever means possible. Rather, he came to serve with a vision to make straight all bended paths in our national life, as well as contribute his quota to nation building by helping President Tinubu and the hope regime achieve stated goals and attain expected ends.
On this note, following the ruling of the Supreme Court affirming the election of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, I wish to urge all aggrieved Nigerians to sheathe their swords and throw in their support towards the Chief of Staff so he can effectively deliver on his mandate.

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Dr Jimoh Shofolahan writes from Abuja

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