For me, it is simply impossible not to like Dele Momodu – gregarious, sartorial and derring-do. Dele has carved a niche for himself, not only here in Nigeria but all over the West African sub region, if not all over the world. That he is an alumnus of the University of Ife, aka Great Ife, my Alma Mata, raises my admiration for him a notch higher.  Very much unlike me, I got to know anything about  his critique of the APC Presidential candidate’s manifesto through a third party, a good friend of mine who, not only I, but many, have dubbed the ‘opposite person’ because of his propensity never to see anything good in another person. What first struck me in his chat from which I learnt of Dele’s critique of Tinubu’s ‘Hope Renewed’ by which he (Dele) exemplified that man who “conspires against Oke, arming himself with hoes and diggers to pull it down, but who Ifa says “will, forever, merely rub his mouth against the ground while Oke remains unmovable, except Eji Ogbe ceases to be the King of Ifa”, was his effusive praise of the critique. As a graduate of Yoruba, nobody can understand my reference to Ifa more than Dele.

But I had no doubt, whatever, that neither Dele, nor the man celebrating him, epitomizing the saying that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, could have read the 80- page compendium before trying to thrash it or praise the effort. The attempt has enjoyed more than enough rebuttal so we need not delay ourselves with that. After all, Dele has a job to do as the Director of Strategic communications for the Atiku Campaign organization. That post, I must say is, however, a far cry from the SANI SA’IDU BABA one – man lobby for Momodu to be made Atiku’s running mate. In case you missed that, here’s an extract from his letter of 12 June, 2022 to Nigerian:”To ensure Atiku wins the presidency in 2023, the crucial decision regarding the choice of his running mate must be taken to serve as icing on the cake of victory.This means in essence that a credible, reliable and competent candidate must be chosen as the running mate to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. The person must, outside of his status as a credible, reliable, and competent person, also be loyal, selfless, of proven character and above all, a person who can help to secure national assets and also sustain a robust relationship with local communities where these critical national assets are situated; a person with unrestricted access to anywhere and at any time to interface with host communities, the same way Chief Dele Momodu attracted attention during his visit to Kaduna to discuss security issues with Sheikh Gumi, and his tours to many communities and markets in Maiduguri, Borno state, and many other parts of the country even when there exist records of serious attacks and abductions …”

Momodu absolutely deserves the plaudits, even more, and Atiku Abubakar (the former VP has personally foresworn Alhaji) could not have chosen any better than Dele as his strategic spokesperson. Dele is already working, the reason he was on Channel’s television POLITICS TODAY this past week, which outing is the leitmotif for this article because he made some statements which he couldn’t have if  he were of  my generation at the University of Ife, Ile, and had the opportunity of attending Father Farmer’s Logic classes. This is because, with Farther Farmer, you dare not rush to conclusion in an argument (syllogism), without allowing it to flow from the premises. This article will, therefore, be dealing with the illogic of Momodu’s reasons for concluding that Atiku will win the 2023 presidential election. Let me say from the onset though, that I do not begrudge Dele for wishing victory for the PDP candidate because, in the words of the selfsame Saidu Baba: “while Atiku’s victory at the 2022 primaries is his second successive attempt under the PDP, it also marked his fifth – quite a handful you’d say – shot at the presidency. He has made other unsuccessful bids for the office under both the PDP and APC”. And this will most probably be his last.

But even that should not give Dele the liberty to stand logic on the head as he did during his appearance on that television programme.

His first assumption was in his saying, quite magisterially, that when you have two strong presidential candidates, as in Tinubu and Obi, from the South, they will both lose to a Northern candidate. This is absolutely conjectural, but I know where Dele is coming from and I will come to that presently. In the meantime, this is the stuff they must have been feeding the PDP candidate with which, in turn, must be why he egregiously mishandled the Wike issue which is so simple, we Ekitis would merely have described it as “ogede o toun ti nwon l’ada be’, meaning that you do not go sharpening a cutlass because you want to cut a plantain trunk. Linked to this is the other fallacy which I have heard them say. It is to the effect that because the Oyo state governor, Seyi Makinde, is contesting, he cannot oppose Atiku to the end, even if on principle, indicating that for them, fairness and equity amounts to nothing. Happily, former Ondo state governor, Olusegun Mimiko, has just proved that one can stick to principles, come rain, come shine. Apparently, for some people, it is like the North equates to Nigeria. I think such persons deserve a learning curve.

Now back to why Momodu must have committed his first gaffe.

Parliamentary elections were held in Nigeria on 12 December 1959 and from it emerged Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, a Northern candidate, who contested against the powerful duo of Dr Nnamdi Azikwe and Chief Obafemi Awolowo, as Nigeria’s first Prime Minister. However, Momodu would have committed a great error if the above is the sole reason for his conclusion as the result of the election would not bear him out. In fact, the two major Southern parties, namely, the NCNC and the AG, beat NPC, the Northern party, to the third place and only British magic, or dubiety, with Zik, unexplainably shortchanging his own NCNC by agreeing to be named an almost meaningless president of Nigeria, gifted Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa the Prime Minister ship.

The result of the 1959 Parliamentary election was as follows, and an NCNC/AG alliance, would have thoroughly bested NPC’s 148 seats, even after allying with 5 other parties – the Mabolaje Grand Alliance, Igala Union, Igbira Tribal Union, Niger Delta Congress , and affiliated independents.

National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons 2,594,577  34.01 per cent. Action Group 1,992,364   26.12  73. Northern People’s Congress  1,922,179  25.20.

Therefore, that conjecture, or is it conclusion, falls flat.

His other reason why ‘Atiku’s time has come’, is even more befuddling.

Let’s paraphrase him: if the North decides to adopt Atiku as its candidate – probably because he went to the Kaduna Arewa interface, ridiculously playing the ethnic card – ‘the North does not need a Yoruba or Igbo candidate paradigm’ – then Atiku has won. This coming from Dele Momodu was a great surprise. Indeed, he made the claim a little more outlandish when he opined that once Atiku is so adopted, a solid presidential candidate like Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso will, pronto, collapse his own presidential ambition. And on what firm ground was he erecting that, other than that some Northern hegemons succeeded in browbeating the Sokoto state governor, Aminu Tambuwal, out of the race at the 11th hour? But  even then let us agree, without conceding, that he is right, will that equate to a monolithic North in the year of our Lord, two thousand and twenty two, with several cases of  unresolved murders, kidnappings and ancestral lands being serially taken over with the help of the Almighty AK47? Are some people undeclared slaves in their own country?

These are just two examples of the untruths with which the PDP candidate is being fed that so cocksure have they become, that one of them, the most disloyal politician of the modern era in Nigeria, could wager that Nigeria will break up if Atiku did not win. That is precisely how they lay the foundation for post-election mayhem, despite the fact that not many serious Nigerians can see their candidate’s path to victory. They should have listened to Alhaji Buba Galadima of  the NNPP on Channels tv Politics Today, this past week. Come to think of it, apart from wrongly believing that he could erect Nigerian unity on conjugal proclivities, what and, indeed what, is Atiku remembered for as his contribution to Nigeria in his 8 years as Vice President? Interested persons should please grab a copy of Obasanjo’s book, MY WATCH to educate themselves on Obasanjo government’s Privatisation programme.

The time has also come, that if of a truth Atiku is a unifier, he should now do all of us a favour by demonstrating it at home in his hemorrhaging Peoples Democratic Party, so that Nigerians can see honour begin from home. The candidate should also point to agencies whose establishment he inspired, and are today still relevant to Nigerians, just as he should give us the names of just 10 persons he mentored, who are currently, meaningfully contributing to Nigeria’s development, in any sphere, whatever.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Kaaynan’s editorial stance.


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