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OPINION: Tinubu, Let Ambode Go In Peace! By Olawale Olaleye


OPINION: Tinubu, Let Ambode Go In Peace! By Olawale Olaleye

One of the interesting Yoruba folk tales, which teaches profound lessons, is that of the Tortoise and its father-in-law. The one profound lesson intrinsic in the story is the imperative of embracing moderation in all our undertakings as humans, no matter the circumstance.

Therefore, when Yoruba say, “Alo’n t’ahun, abo’n t’ano e”, meaning ‘to the Tortoise is the initial scolding and the later upbraiding, its in-law’s, what they are saying in essence is that everyone must know when to pull the brakes else you’d draw needless flaks for what you had been earlier commended.

Briefly, let me first retell the story.

The Tortoise had a very rich farmer father-in-law, who had a big barn for yams. Notorious for mischiefs, the tortoise was fond of going to the barn to steal yams and had been doing this for a very long time. But one unlucky morning, he was caught by the father-in-law, who out of anger, tied him up and left him by the roadside for everyone to see.

As people left for the market and farm that morning, they found the tortoise tied up and as they asked, he confessed his sins. They scolded him immediately, because they thought he deserved the punishment. Practically everyone who saw him that morning supported the punishment meted out to him, in addition to the scolding.

However, by evening when everyone was returning home, they still found the tortoise where he was tied up and badly beaten by the different inclement weather changes. At this point, they thought it was too much and switched immediately.

They admitted he was wrong but also noted that the father-in-law had not acted with moderation, because tying him up all day was too much for stealing to feed. The heat was immediately turned on the in-law and through increased anger, the tortoise took glory for its misbehavior.

It is unlikely that any Lagos governor would ever go through the kind of humiliation that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode was subjected in the bid to stop his re-election in the last few weeks. What had started like mere rumour soon became a crisis in the hands of the state and its actors and today, Ambode is the first governor of the state to serve for just a term of four years.

Although he tried to fight it, it appeared the forces against him were way too many than those that wanted him to stay back and that automatically stopped his re-election adventure midway.

Governor Ambode and Jide Sanwo-Olu

Unfortunately, despite being through such overwhelming humiliation and disrespect, those who made him seem not done destroying him.

The impeachment plan which they long kept in the offing is about to be activated. They seem not satisfied that he is out of the equation already; that he tried to fight at all is considered too much an affront and so, the state might engage another phase of crisis in a bit.

Perhaps, by now, my diligent followers can attest to the fact that I don’t run my mouth here, even if discussing issues on a lighter note. Just yesterday, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was said to have mentioned it somewhere to some people, insisting there was no going back on Ambode’s removal from office. He wants to finish him off.

Now, there are many stories being sold around to justify this and one of them is that they do not entirely trust his intention. They claim the fact that he is laughing and smiling with everyone does not mean he hasn’t any sinister plan to play the spoiler. Therefore, in pre-empting him, they want to make the move first and not wait for yet another round of drama of face-off with him especially, that he is said to be speaking to the PDP.

There is also the creepy intention to deny him the opportunity of enjoying the privileges that accrue to a former governor of the state. This is because once he is impeached; he loses everything and goes home empty-handed. But like the Yoruba would say, “If you’ve asked a thief to run and he did; you also asked him to drop whatever he stole and did, what more did you want from him?”.

It is bad enough that we focused extremely on Ambode’s excesses and other alleged misbehaviours but left out the fact that all he did was instigated by one man: Tinubu. For everyone whose calls he did not answer, Tinubu asked him not to. Ask around and you’d be shocked what it was, although he was not JUST too in carrying out such orders against perceived or real enemies.

For every Certificate of Occupancy he “refoked” (like Tinubu would pronounce it), it was an order from the top. Sadly for him, Ambode carried out instructions without discretion and when he landed in crisis, Oga at the top washed his hands clean like Pontius Pilate.

For all the programmes he shelved, the contracts he cancelled, the people he sacked – over 90 per cent of them were direct orders. But he failed to realize he would answer or defend those actions. He thought Oga would stand for him when the chips are down. But, hey, that was cheap thinking: Oga sacrificed him and the rest has become history, naturally.

Yes, we can argue that the buck stops at Ambode’s table and that even if he was asked to do those things he should have been more careful and deployed the best of emotional intelligence to play in the management of those situations.

Regardless, however, Tinubu was the piper, who dictated the tune of his misfortune and had watched him fall flat, almost gloating at his adversity afterwards.

Tinubu should not take this continuing abuse of privilege and position beyond the displeasing point that it is now. In fact, if he was smart, the time to start working on his exit plan is now.

Acting like some lay-about old bully on the political arena is not a position that would tarry endlessly. And if at all he is thinking a day would come when he would be no more, he should start acting like one, who desires that his name lingers much longer after he had gone.

The lawmakers in the state too must act responsibly. They must prove that they know the implications of this move, not just on the office of the governor but also on the legislature, except of course, they are truly rubber stamp. They must know that posterity is taking notes of every of their contributions – negative or positive – to the overall development of the state and must therefore choose where to be.

Ambode has lost his re-election ticket and has agreed to go. He has given a concession speech and promised to work with their candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. They should slow down and remember that the same office that Sanwo-Olu seeks now must not be demystified in the manner they are going about it.

Let Ambode be and go in peace, except the talk about his planned defection to the PDP is true and established. But it must first be seen to be so and affirmed as true. He has just a few months away, so, Asiwaju should halt this overkill.


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