That Tinubu is a political field marshal of our era is an incontrovertible fact, that he knows how to play the game very well, so much that one would think he authored the famous book 48 laws of power is an understatement, that he enjoys all that come with fame, power and influence is to say the least. He is so much favoured that the phrase in George Orwell Animal Farm “some animals are more equal than the other” captures his life of affluence, power and influence! He savours the moment with all cautions in principle and practice, in fairness to him he is our generalissimo in politics, an Aare Ona Kakanfo of politics in Yoruba parlance, but he forgot a vital natural cause: power, like its possessor, is transient, it is usually for a while no matter how long it stays or how determined you strive to retain it.Like the two legendary Yoruba warriors; Aare Kunrunmi of Ijaye and Onikoyi of Ikoyi ile who failed to foresee when to withdraw to their shell, and when to allow emerging warriors to hold sway! Kurunmi is arguably the most dreaded and powerful Aare ona Kakanfo in Yoruba history, he was so feared that no person born of a woman dared to challenge his authority, so much that the popular proverb “ Aare npe o, o un d’ifa, b’ifa ba fore, b’aare o ba fore nko” meaning Kunrunmi sent for you and you are consulting divination, what if oracle foresee positivity and Kunrunmi eventually acts otherwise. That was the extent of his power and influence then, everything was working for him through all means: physical, metaphysical, spiritual, terrestrial, celestial and supernatural. He equally enjoyed the loyalty of regimented warriors from all his lieutenants across Yorubaland!Where did he go wrong? At a time in Ibadanland, many rising and emerging warriors began to hold sway by days during the reign of Iba Oluyole and Balogun Ibikunle, prominents among them were Bashorun Ogunmola and the three Elepos, unlike Ogunmola who has penchant for rewarding bravery and usually promote and support emerging warlords (We all remember the story of Bashorun Ogunmola and Bioran in J.F Odunjo’s Alawiye) Kunrunmi detests rivalry and he is megalomaniac in nature, like most world powers, he crushes his known enemies down to the root, he never leaves chances in his onslaughts to his perceived enemies, rivals and seeming contenders, he ended the glorious and brighter chances of the three Elepos in a deliberately arranged set-up when he sensed their rising prowess in military competence and metaphysical potency which represent arsenal of military weaponry then.It was in his effort to quench the rising flame of Ogunmola or his total extermination that he lost both his town (Ijaye) and life while the power goes with him! And just as Amosun was seemed to have been killed politically by the outcome of the just concluded gubernatorial election, Ogunmola was once defeated and captured alive by Kunrunmi in a battlefield, he was taken home as slave, condemned to death, tied to a stake and being fed with ashes, while awaiting his decapitation. Fate however smiled on him and he gained freedom miraculously to stage a comeback that dethroned Kurunmi, erased his dynasty and projected his town to near ruination. Tinubu should learn from this, he should know how and when to redress.The legendary Onikoyi is the most talk about warrior in Yoruba history, his only known job is war, he was so famous on the job that his name is synonymous with war and it clearly reflects in his ancestral panegyric like “Eso Ikoyi kii gbofa lehin, iwaju ni baba won fin gbota” meaning Ikoyi descendant doesn’t dodge arrow or gunshot in warfront but confront all forms of weaponry with effrontery. This eulogy explains how powerful Onikoyi was during his time! During his reign, he was feared by all for his mystical power and prowess at war front, like Aare Kunrunmi, he was also blunt and brutal, detest rivalry and very tyrannical! Above all, they were both expansionist! They wage war against their neighbors conquered and colonized them, and wherever they conquered, they plant their emissaries (Ajele) there through who the colony would be controlled and their resources annexed. During Onikoyi’s reign, there emerged a rising warrior called Aragberi, he fought and won many wars for Alaafin of Oyo, which made Alaafin seconded him to Ikoyi and also honored him in the presence of Onikoyi, this didn’t go down well with Onikoyi, he became insecure and felt threatened by Aragberi’s rising popularity and Alaafin’s seeming love for him, he planted his fall through many means until it boomeranged and the latter eventually ended his reign in an epic battle, the incident resulted to Onikoyi turning to bush rat (Okete). This informs why the descendants of Onikoyi don’t eat rat (Okete) till date. We need to also understand that another important factor of their fallibility is the role Alaafin played in the two debacles!The story of the two warriors above and their pitiful end may be a similitude of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu political travail in South West nay Nigeria if he doesn’t tread softly, like the two legendary warriors, he has been holding sway all these while without any challenger, and where any reared, he crushed them, many examples abound! Suddenly, new gladiators began to emerge in Obanikoro, Muiz Banire, Fashola, Amosun, Okorocha, Akeredolu and Fayemi’ as it happened during the legendary warriors, Tinubu detests rivalry! He doesn’t want to be outshined, hence, he began plot to scheme out the emerging gladiators, Amosun became furious, he couldn’t comprehend while Tinubu through Oshinbajo in connivance with Osoba would want to extend his political invasion to Ogun State, Tinubu started by using Senator Solomon Olanrewaju aka YAYI as litmus-test in Ogun State, Amosun repelled him with utmost disdain and the dude was sent back to Lagos where he was a serving senator and luckily for him, he got re-elected.Tinubu never stop! Then came the grand plan against Amosun on Ogun primaries, there was an allegation that Amosun singlehandedly picked all the aspirants without any party leaders input, what a dead end move! No sane person would believe that because it is politically impossible.
Even almighty Tinubu cannot do that in Lagos and succeed. It was on premise of this that the primaries that were conducted were nullified and the quartets of Tinubu, Oshinbajo, Osoba and Oshiomole came with concocted list purportedly written at a particular hotel in Lagos. Amosun kicked, majority of APC members in Ogun state kicked, the presidency intervened and the subjective resolution was the beast of a nomenclature “PARTY SUPREMACY”. The rest is now history! Ogun APC and indeed the good people of Ogun spoke loud and clear that PEOPLE not the PARTY is supreme. The generalissimo had his way any way, party supremacy prevailed! Eventually Amosun and his supporters were defeated. The glad-tiding however is that Amosun proved to be so strong to be decimated, so loved to be discredited or maligned and so courageous to be intimidated.As a warrior, Tinubu ought to know when to redress, who to crush at a particular time and virgin territory to invade if necessary. He failed to redress after Ondo and Ekiti experience (Those who know know), he underrated Amosun as lightweight in politics, he therefore prepared and determined to decimate him! He also thought that perhaps like Lagos, every state is “No man’s land” Forgetting that even during the reigns of the legendary warriors, there was a particular town that was forbidden for any Yoruba Army to invade. (Check Alaafin Aole and Aare Afonja reign for clarification). Oyo State was able to proof that point in the just concluded guber elections. Tinubu’s last minute involvement in Oyo APC’s scheming contributed to if not the major cause of APC’s defeat in Oyo, regardless of Governor Ajimobi misdemeanor’s rhetoric! The Mogajis declaration on Tinubu’s adventure to Ogbomoso is a pointer. He needs to watch his back. On his proclivity to put down a rising gladiator, Tinubu personally and singlehandedly wanted to end Fashola political career, but for Fashola brilliancy, goodwill and intervention of stakeholders and most importantly Mr. President’s insistence. The scenario gave birth to the trending phrase then “May our loyalty not be tested” That was after he didn’t allow him to choose his successor, the liberty he (Tinubu) freely enjoyed without hindrance during his time, despite many favourable contenders from AD then! Muiz Banire also met brick wall planted by Tinubu on his way to become the head of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). But for the insistence of Mr. President. His insecurity and fear over Fashola’s popularity at a time was an open secret for discerning mind and followers of Lagos politics, no thanks to unsolicited jokes of some popular stand-up comedians and programme anchors: Baba Suwe and Hj. Abdur-Rasaq Gawat of blessed memory in particular who came up with the slogan ‘Eko Fashola” an expression usually used to establish the fact of better Lagos during Fashola than his predecessor. Tinubu didn’t like this, he applied one of the 48 Laws of power! Those who know know. Discerning minds are also worried why all the best brains among Tinubu’s political students always have issues with him, starting from Musiliu Obanikoro, Muiz Banire, Babatunde Raji Fashola, Rotimi Akeredolu, Akinwunmi Ambode and now Ibikunle Amosun.Tinubu needed to be reminded historically some leaders especially expansionists who failed to realise when to redress, who to wrestle and territory to invade with this glimpse of local chronicle:Chief Awolowo tried same in Ibadan in the first republic against Adegoke Adelabu (Penkelemesi) but failed and disgraced. Adelabu was decimated though! Chief Obasanjo attempted to subjugate President Buhari in the just concluded presidential elections but failed and disgraced!Dr. Bukola Saraki against President Buhari in Kwara State is another recent experience, Saraki not only failed and disgraced, but also humiliated! With the grand conspiracy, Tinubu won the last bout, but Amosun has made a statement, a statement too loud to feign deafness, too salient to jettison, too fundamental to ignore and too devastating to cover-up. And what is that statement? Party Supremacy must be subjected to Justice and fair play! Tinubu retains his generalissimo status though and Amosun attains his gladiator status. Tinubu should begin to play Ogunmola and not Kurunmi, he should apply more of carrot than stick, have listening hear and be ready to let go when necessary. For the emerging gladiators, Amosun, Fashola, Aregbesola etc, so many lessons for you to learn; beyond the wisdom and tactics you garner from variegated political books you have savoured and tutelage from your political godfather, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, you need to also take note of the situation around you and know when to redress, who to tackle and where to invade for expansion if situation demands; most importantly, know when to handover when new champions emerge! As for my people in Ogun State, you have spoken with your vote and I pray the reign of Prince Dapo Abiodun be peaceful and beneficial to all and sundry, however, Amosun is right after all with his religious-like aphorism cum slogan “Eyi owu awi, toluwa lase”Congratulations to my Governor-Elect, Prince Dapo AbiodunCongratulations to my Senator-Elect, Senator Ikleel Ibikunle AmosunCongratulations to the good people of Ogun State.
Ismail Ayinla is an Abeokuta born public affairs analyst and writes from Ibadan