His name is now as household as the “report of fashion in proud Italy”. He is a leader of leaders; and a true leader at that; because he commands not from the rear, but he braces, with his chest the heat and the chill of all battles. He is the veritable “Knight of the Garter” of our contemporary politics; “valiant and virtuous, full of haughty courage, such as is grown to credit by the wars; not fearing death nor shrinking from distress, but always resolute in most extremes”. Time has proved that where “your ‘good’ word cannot advantage him, your slander never can en-damage him”.
He is petit and unassuming; as ‘modest as the dove’; as ‘temperate as the morning’; “for patience, he will prove a second Grissel”; his words are “bonds and his oaths are oracles”; his ‘truth’ is as the ‘truth’ of Martin Luther; it is ‘Marching on’; his code of battle as mosaic as Malcolm X’s: to “Forerun woe with woe”. His is “courage mounted with occasion”; and although he is not the war-mongering muckraker, yet he is one ready always “to parley or to war” -as the occasion demands. That is the stuff that ‘courage’ is made of: namely that although great men should not be “mutinous in peace”, yet when the occasion demands they should be no less “bold at war”.
He did once assert that the ruling political dynasty was a deeply rooted evil-iroko tree; hard put to uproot except it is axed ‘limbs’, ‘trunk’ and ‘torso’! And now he has proved to us that every ‘obstacle’ has odds to which it must yield; and that “many strokes, though with a little axe will hew down and fall the hardest timbered-oak”. Little did we know he was a prophet of his own time; – a voice in the wilderness of our troubled democracy, prophesizing the looming fall of a ‘behemoth’.
He is Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Asiwaju and the Jagaban; once ‘Leader of the Opposition’; now the great ‘masquerade’ himself daring to be opposed –if any the courage have! “The blood stirs more” they say “to rouse a lion than to start a hare”; but who dares to rouse a lion must have more than a mortal’s measure of blood! Tinubu is the Hannibal of our time; the scourge of the ruling political dynasty –now in its inevitable throes of death. For device and tactic, he has proved another Hercules; for “grim aspect” and for knitted brow in moments of battle, he is the Hector of our age. Thus Tinubu is Hannibal, Hercules and Hector all in one!
It is said that “When ‘Fortune’ means to men most good, ’She’ looks upon them with a threatening eye”. Tinubu did not, yesterday, walk the paved or gilded roads to the hill station of today’s renown; he has braved the dry and dusty weathers of Fortune’s threatening stare; and in reward of which both “Nature and Fortune have now joined to make him great”. He is now the “theme of Honor’s tongue, Sweet Fortune’s minion and her pride”; but more than else he is today, “among the groove of his rank, the straightest plant”.
“Small curs” they say, “are not regarded when they grin; but great men tremble when the lion roars”. They are right Tinubu, you are truly a Lion in a rare den that is uniquely yours; but they are dead wrong, you are not ‘The Lion of Boudilon’; that is a den too small for a Lion with your kind of Mane! The Asiwaju is more suited to ‘The Lord of the Nigerian Manor’ –that is a befitting ‘den’ truly your size.
“Strong reasons make strong actions”; or so the Great Shakespeare would say. Once a troubled nation we did stand as “upon a rock environed by a wilderness of sea”, waiting for the surge of the ocean’s tempests to make of us a sumptuous meal; but just when we were hovering around the precipice, when it seemed almost as “far from help as Limbo is from bliss”, just then Tinubu, in a league of amity with our nation’s greats, alighted right in the firmament of our political woes”; for the inevitable to happen, -a battle long foretold between the army of ‘good’ and the forces of ‘evil’; between ‘change’ to a libertarian today and tomorrow and ‘continuity’ of the impunity and arbitrariness of old.
Let the annals of our history bear witness, that in that battle the Jagaban “stirred as the time”, you were “fire for fire”, you “threatened the threatner and you outfaced the brow of bragging horror; you put the dauntless spirit of resolution; you glistened like the god of war when he intendeth to become the ‘field’!
And behold, when the jagged fields of battle are emptied; they attest to the deeds of great men: “blood hath bought blood; blows have answered blows; strength matched with strength; and power confronteth power. And the Jagaban, being last on the field, has become the Lord of it!
Many had “cowardly fled” the battle ground, “not having struck one strike” at all; but you said to the enemy loud and clear: “A crown or else a glorious tomb; a scepter or an earthly sepulcher”. It was that courage of conviction; that steadfastness in the face of danger that stands you, today above all mortals. And now your sacrifice has become a prologue to a beautiful symphony of liberation. Happily a ‘crown’ it will be and not a ‘glorious tomb’; a ‘scepter’ you will have and never an ‘earthly sepulcher’.
In sixteen years, it had been ‘nay, nay, nay; they would ‘not let my people go’; yet in just one moment of electoral ‘truth’ -right at the twilight of the month of March, they sang, perforce, another tune: ‘aye, aye’ they said in shame! And the Commander-In-Chief said: ‘I yield, I yield, I yield’; “Oh wonderful when the Devil tells the truth”, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!
The Progressives will now sit on the throne of our own democracy, a feat purchased with the illiberal blood of anti-development reactionaries; the evil Party “that was wont to conquer others” but which hath now made “a shameful conquest of itself”. And behold Asiwaju, the ‘David’ with the crooked sling. He plucked the eye of vaunted pride; leaving almighty Goliath a giant heap of human debris aground. ‘Might’ which was once ‘right’, now gives way to ‘right’ which now is ‘might’.
All thanks to the Jagaban!