A Lagos-based lawyer and activist, Mr. Fred Agbaje, has said that the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is no longer relevant in the South-West politics. He said if Tinubu were still relevant to the people of the region, APC would not have lost the Ekiti State governorship election to the opposition.
Agbaje said the era of taking voters for granted and imposing candidates on them had gone and that if care was not taken, the APC would also lose to the opposition in its controlled states in the region. In an interview with our correspondent on Thursday, the legal practitioner said, “With the revelation coming from the South-West, the people are saying they are tired of one man dictating the affairs of an entire region.
“People are not fooled anymore in this part of the country. They are no longer blind. Tinubu is like an iroko tree which cannot make a forest. People can no longer accept one person dictating the political and economic fortunes of this region. Nigerians need genuine leaders who place the interests of the people above their personal aggrandisement, especially in the aspect of parties imposing candidates on the electorate.”
Agbaje added that the Ekiti election also proved that the power of incumbency was no longer an issue to be reckoned with in Nigerian politics.
He said, “This also shows that the President could not be sure of re-election in 2015 if he does not meet up with people’s expectations. Incumbency is nothing when the people’s will is strong.”
But Tinubu’s spokesperson, Sunday Dare, said it was not possible that the loss of Ekiti State governorship election to the Peoples Democratic Party could decide the political relevance of the APC chieftain.
“It is illogical,” he said.
Dare said the APC leader became a champion when the PDP lost governorship seats in five states to it, adding that the loss of one state meant nothing to the party.
He said, “Do not forget that this is a democratic dispensation; the will of the people must be respected. Tinubu has repeatedly said that as long as elections are free and fair, there is no need to fight.”
Dare, however, said President Goodluck Jonathan and the Independent National Electoral Commission had questions to answer over the Ekiti State governorship election held two weeks ago.
He said, “There are still many issues arising from the Ekiti State election. Why did the President victimise the opposition leaders? What role did INEC play in the election that gave a win to PDP? These and many other questions need to be answered before we can say APC lost in Ekiti.”
Likewise, the spokesperson for the All Progressives Congress, Lai Mohammed, also said the loss of Ekiti to PDP had no scientific background to prove that Tinubu had become an irrelevant politician in the South-West.
He said, “When elections like this come, many political scientists arise and say lots of things that are irrelevant. It is not true that Tinubu is no longer relevant. Ekiti election had nothing to do with him.”