As the lobbying and skimming for the office of the Senate President in the 9th Assembly begins, the news of President Mohammadu Buhari backing a certain Senator Ahmed Lawan is one that should worry any progressive-minded individual who loves President Buhari and wants him to be successful in establishing a lasting legacy.
Perhaps those who are marketing Senator Lawan to President Buhari only mentioned the fact that he is a ranking senator with lengthy years of legislative experience. They also must certainly have reiterated his deceptive simplicity as a unique selling point. But that is as far as the good side of Lawal goes. Yet, anybody who wants to be first and among equals, especially in a volatile and combustible place like the senate with 109 members, needs a lot more to succeed.
To begin with, President Buhari is being sold a dummy with the image created of Senator Lawal as an open-minded individual who will provide the necessary legislative support in order to accelerate government programmes and policies. The truth, which has been cleverly hidden from Mr. President, is that Senator Lawal is merely a front for his masters who see him as a competent instrument to hold in case they lose favor in the sight of the President. Senator Lawal is merely contesting for the Senate President position on behalf of both Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the APC Chairman, Comrade Adam Oshiomole.
Although this is one of the best kept secrets since after the re-election of President Buhari for second term; insiders who are privy to the thinking and plans of Asiwaju Tinubu have shared this information with a number of people believed to be close to Mr. President. Whether or not the information has reached the President himself is an entirely new issue. However, for the unconditional love some of us have for PMB; I have taken it upon myself to warn the Presidency of the danger ahead of its chosen path with Lawal.
Information I have gathered from reliable sources within Asiwaju Tinubu camp indicates that Jagaban is not feeling secure since after the election. He felt that his inability to impressively deliver the South West for APC in the 2019 presidential election has significantly lowered his standing before President Buhari. He also suspects that PMB may begin to disengage from him immediately after his swearing in for second term in May. The absence of President Buhari at the yearly Bola Tinubu colloquium held yesterday, 28th March, 2019, even though the event took place in Abuja; was cited by some of Tinubu’s close political allies as a sign that Buhari is beginning to show Jagaban the red flag. To therefore prepare for what my source called ‘the imminent war’, Chief Bola Tinubu has decided to place the control of National Assembly firmly in the hands of his longtime associate, Senator Ahmed Lawan.
Already, Tinubu has secured the backing and cooperation of the party’s national chairman, Comrade Adam Oshiomole who has taken it upon himself to play the devil’s advocate around President Buhari while at the same time marketing the candidacy of Lawan to as many members of the party’s NWC as possible. The truth, which I have validated from more than three of my usually reliable sources, is that Tinubu is in alliance with Oshiomole to plant Senator Ahmed Lawan as the Senate President as a plan B option in case President Buhari begins to show Tinubu cold shoulders.
In desperation, Senator Lawan, who has been in the National Assembly since 1999, first as a member of House of Representatives and in the Senate since 2007 to date; has pledged to serve the interest of Tinubu and Oshiomole, two southerners who will not be affected by any irresponsible act that Senator Lawal may perpetrate when and if he becomes the President of the Senate. For someone like Senator Lawal who has been in the Senate for almost twenty years without any verifiable benefit to his constituency in Yobe State; pandering to the dictates of Tinubu and Oshiomole would not be a challenging thing to do. Moreover, Senator Lawal himself has told his associates that if he succeed in becoming the Senate President; then all praises and thanks should go to Asiwaju Tinubu who has committed himself to getting him (Lawan) into that office since 2015.
Indeed, the Senate President position is zoned to the North East. But of what benefit will a Senator Lawan be to the zone if he is micromanaged by southerners? Again, it is not as if Lawal’s long years in the senate have translate to deep experience; if one remembers that as Chairman of the 7th Senate Committee on public finance, all the financial atrocities that Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as CBN governor alleged under Goodluck Jonathan was traced back to the same Senator Ahmed Lawan. What would therefore be the justification for a PMB whose singular trademark is integrity to now be seen openly endorsing and canvassing for a tainted man to lead the senate. This is not something I think President Buhari can justify either to himself or his conscience.
If President Buhari is looking for a strong character to manage the senate, he needs to look beyond an enemy presently disguised as friend. If for any reason Lawal becomes the senate president, then PMB must know that he has handed over the legislative arm of government to Tinubu to control as he deem fit. If that happens, I guarantee that it is a gaffe that President Buhari would come back to regret in no distant time. I pray God opens the inner eyes of the President and his men to see beyond the dummies that is being sold to them about Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan.