The then Rivers State governor, Dr. Peter Odili was aspiring to succeed former president Olusegun Obasanjo. Just like Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is gathering momentum now, Dr. Odili made other aspirants look small. He was everywhere, and the welcoming that he was receiving in his tours were presidential.
Just like President Muhammadu Buhari is silent now, chief Olusegun Obasanjo was silenced. And his silence was mistaken by many for an endorsement or harmless indifference.
When Odili visited Kastina, the home state of Umar Musa Yaradua, the Kastina State House of Assembly gathered to welcome and endorse him. Umar Musa Yaradua, the then governor of Kastina State was not in anyway an opponent to Dr. Odili.
At the approach of the People Democratic Party PDP presidential primary election, President Obasanjo called the PDP governors and endorsed Umar Musa Yaradua. He had earlier used the Nuhu Ribadu led Economic and Financial Crime Commission EFCC to indict Governor Peter Odili.
Shocked to his bone and marrow, governor Odili waited to be compensated with the vice presidential slot but Chief Olusegun chose Goodluck Jonathan in his stead. The whole scenario left Governor Odili weak and paralyzed politically. Not only that, it marked the beginning of his end as a politician.
Critical analysis suggest that the case of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu now is somewhat similar to that of Peter Odili then. However, there are some differences.
First, Asiwaju Tinubu is a smart and experienced politician than then Dr. Peter Odili. Moreover he has Dr. Odili’s travails to learn from. Dr. Odili for example was unable to decode Obasanjo’s silence, he couldn’t sense danger until when it was too late. Asiwaju Tinubu should be aware that Buhari’s danger may spell danger and prepare accordingly.
Secondly, President Buhari is not President Obasanjo. President Obasanjo is politically smarter and more callous than President Buhari.