By Dapo Thomas
Let me just raise two issues on most of the stories being circulated in the social media against Tinubu.
One, why do these stories always come up during election time? Some of these stories came up between 1999 and 2007 when the man was the governor of Lagos State. But nothing was established against him in both the local and international inquisitions carried out by numerous agencies and the (federal) government of Obasanjo. Many claimed it was because of the immunity given to governors and the President. No qualms.
The man’s tenure ended 15 years ago. Between 2007 and now, not a single case was filed against the man, home and abroad. Now, it is election time, the stories are back again. Why? What is the motive behind this resurgence? Where were the stories between 2007 and 2021? I see this resurgence as a calculated effort to confuse, hoodwink, destabilize the electorate in the 2023 election. No qualms. All is fair in war.
My only problem is that some of those reading the stories will now be asking you for your response. Response to what? Response to tissues of lies well packaged with sophisticated sophism and fanimorous data of conjectural production and spatial character. I think 15 years is sufficient for anyone with no ulterior motive to take the man to court and seek a restraining order forbidding him from holding any elective office based on these heaps of “evidence”. But what happened? Nobody went to court.
We have a very good example in the January 6 sitting/trial going on now in the US. Even when the evidence they had at the beginning of the sitting was not overwhelming, the Congress still decided to go ahead with the trial. They knew that Trump had indicated his interest to contest the next election in 2024. They did not wait until 2023 or 2024 to commence the trial. Why? Because they were convinced of his complicity and engineering factor in the Capitol Insurrection.
So, if the people who are spreading these accusations against Tinubu knew they had credible and incriminating evidence like this against him, why not approach a court or an advocacy group since 2007 to prosecute him for possible conviction.? I am sure, some will be saying he will bribe his way out. Okay, that takes me to the second issue.
Most of the crimes allegedly committed by Tinubu took place in the US. Some of the crimes flying around against him include money laundering, cocaine trafficking, certificate forgery etc. We have all been hailing the kind of justice system they have abroad. Most of us have always been saying “this is not possible in America. They would have arrested him.”
“If he does that in America, the FBI and CIA would have dealt with him. Does he think this is Nigeria.?” “The kinds of rubbish they do here, they can’t try it in America.” And so on and so forth. Now, some of these crimes were committed so many years back, yet Tinubu is still standing. He contested for a Senatorial seat in 1992 and he won. He fled to US when Abacha was looking for him. He was shuttling between the US and UK directing and financing the NADECO activities, foraging the rough and harsh terrains and climate of Europe and the Americas to superintend the logistics and mobilization of the “field Marshalls” of the NADECO operations. He was spending money.
He was expending energy, he was risking his life and his health in order to establish democracy in Nigeria.
When it was time to partake in the fruit of his labour, he came back home, contested for the governorship seat of Lagos which he won on two occasions. And the rest is history. I have given this brief history just to show that the person called Bola Tinubu is a human being who has been moving up and down the surface of the earth without being arrested or hounded for any offence in any part of the world. So, if all these allegations are genuine, how come there has been no single indictment or conviction of the man by any court or any country in any part of the world? How come he has never been arrested in any country or even forbidden from entering any country?
I am appealing to us to use our discretion wisely before we involve ourselves in matters that are of suspect motif.