If I were Tinubu, By Inuwa Bwala


Since his emergence as the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has enjoyed the services of so many Advisers, on what should form the criteria of his choice of a runningmate.

Some told him that being old fashioned and lacking knowledge of contemporary trends in governance and International Relations: Knowing that he is frail and his health could fail him at a very critical stage of his stewardship; he should go for a younger, healthier and more intellectually vibrant person, who is vast in international Relations and economy, as running mate.

Others said, that being an APC man: a party with large followers in the North and as a Southwesterner and a Muslim from a Christian dominated zone: Tinubu should pick a Northerner, possibly a Christian to run with him.

To some, given that we are in a season of backstabbing, blackmail and betrayals by political associates, he should rather (appoint) a staunch loyalist, who stall bet his life for his sake.

Also the fact that he has very strong challengers amongst those seeking to be president from other parties: at a time his own party the APC, is facing internal wranglings, defections or threats of defection and disaffection: Tinubu should nominate a unifier, with proven record of mobilizing support in trying times as this, to be his running mate.

Coupled with the kind of propaganda and mudslinging, which threatens to cast doubt over his credentials and the attendant ethnicization of politics, he should pick a non-Hausa person: even in the face of Hausa/Fulani domination of the political space.

The last, and seemingly the one that seems to catch his fancy is the one which suggests he should pick a Muslim Northerner, preferably from the North East: which has the position zoned to it.

These and many others have been the general theorization being bandied before Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, at this seeming labyrinthine time.
Perhaps, the overbearing interests and calculations that accompany each suggestion led to the nomination of what has been termed “placeholder”, whatever that means,. The choice of Masari, a hitherto obscure personality in national politics as the fall guy makes it even more intriguing as it is strange a lexicon in Nigerian politics.

The Independent National Electoral Commission described it as an abberation to the law known laws.

With the available window left for Tinubu, to substitute Masari with another person, it means there is still room to take a second look at all the suggestions and make a choice that can sell better and who has capacity to effectively deputize for him.

In my opinion, the totality of these suggestions point to a Muslim/Muslim choice. So many people, especially Christians view this option as an anathema, capable of jeopardizing the established tradition of joint faith candidature for past Presidential tickets. As against the issue of competence and capability, this issue seems to have taken the center stage, and as a Christian, I tended to disposed to a Muslim/Christian ticket.
Given that political calculations differ with the issue of religious doctrines, I have come to realize that a Muslim/Christine ticket may appeal to our sentiments, but may not be politically expedient, in a game in which Christians have chosen to play the backbenchers.

Before now, Christians regarded politics as a game fit for the spiritually unclean, and the unlearned. The realities of contemporary politics seem to have opened their eyes now to the effect that it may not be the anathema they thought.

Be that as it may, I feel the brightest option left for Bola Ahmed Tinubu is to go for a Muslim Northerner, with record of good political outing and who poses little or no threat to the faith of others. After all, even with a Muslim/Ticket, the laws of the land recognizes Nigeria as a secular state: and not even such a ticket can alter that fact.

In choosing whom to pick, I recommend Senator Kashim Shettima, who seems to have met all the criteria contained in the diverse suggestions, except: being a Muslim.

My last check reveals that, even Bola Ahmed Tinubu is disposed to Shettima, having tested him on all requisite credentials.

Should that permutation fail, Boss Mustapha; the Secretary to the Federal Government, SGF, fits into my estimation; having met all requirements, except one: being a Christian.

A Tinubu-Shettima Ticket is both sellable and leaves no room for betrayals, just as a Tinubu -Mustapha ticket; creating room for continuity.