The Shoes Tinubu Wants So Badly
By Femi Adeoti
Help! Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is in dire need. The need is huge and enormous at the same time. He’s everywhere in search of the need.
It is a tall dream, as it were. But for him, that is the ultimate. He never sees it as wishful thinking. The reason he throws his heart into the hunt. And there’s no stopping him.
His desire is insatiable for now. He wants President Muhammadu Buhari’s pair of shoes badly. It’s urgent too. He needs to run with it to the Villa.
Yes, Asiwaju is leader, All Progressives Congress (APC). He is also striving to pick the party’s presidential ticket. He wants to use that platform to get a shoot at the presidency.
Now, you see why delay can be monumentally dangerous. He can’t risk waiting anymore. He has to speed up. This is a desperate situation.
So? Where then can we find one for him? Certainly, not in Aso Rock. Why? Buhari is never in a hurry to release his. Not even to Tinubu.
Perhaps, out of frustration and disappointment, Tinubu was compelled to cry out. And he did it loud and clear. He was audible enough for those who cared to hear.
He had credible witnesses to his credit. His principal witness happened to be the Alake and paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo.
Tinubu was in the Alake’s Palace in Abeokuta, Ogun State. Dateline: Saturday, February 12, 2022. It was in continuation of his presidential bid consultations.
In the process, he gave his royal host a piece of his mind. He dreaded stepping on toes, specifically, Buhari’s. He would not dare that.
Instead, he opted for the lesser risk: He told Buhari he wanted his shoes, not toes. He is actually thirsty to step into the shoes faster than Buhari could imagine. Why did he do this?
A report explained it this way: “Tinubu said he did not want his ambition to create bad blood between himself and Buhari. He did not want to offend the President by pulling the carpet from his feet.” Yet, he wants the presidency shoes so urgently.
That is the absurd way ambition drives these politicians. They move back and forth, in seeming aimlessness. Theirs is: the means justifies the end. And not the other normal way round!
They opt for the ridiculous. In pursuit of their aspiration, they do the unthinkable. They are ruthless, merciless, cold-hearted and callous.
The reason they place their inordinate intent over and above our collective interests and desires. They could comfortably ignore our security challenges. And they would think nothing is wrong with that.
They only aspire to rule and ruin us, never to lead us. They are selfish in every sense of it. That’s not debatable. It’s given.
Dr Abubakar Alkali aptly fills the glaring gap here. He literally took the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, security agencies and network providers to the cleaners. He was convinced the ministry and security operatives were more culpable.
He has his serious reasons. He insisted that these authorities help in festering terrorism, banditry and kidnapping. He has damning posers for them.
His piece was picked from a social platform. It is reproduced below:
“Nigeria is the only country in the world where bandits, kidnappers use mobile phones to negotiate ransom payment and they are not tracked.
“The concern of the Federal Ministry of Communications is to create a so-called National Data Protection Board (NDPB) but not to establish a digital system that will track, digitally demobilise and work with the security agencies to arrest bandits who use mobile phones to negotiate payment of ransom.
“It beggars belief as to how a kidnapper will abduct his victim at gunpoint, take them into the forest and use a mobile phone for six months or more to negotiate ransom payment, yet our communications authorities cannot track these criminals using communications technology.
“What is the Ministry of Communications using its huge budget for? The alarming rate at which mobile phones are used feely by kidnappers in our dear country calls for concern.
“No serious nation on earth will allow kidnapers use mobile phones to negotiate ransom payment.
“The free use of mobile phones by kidnappers becomes more worrisome when juxtaposed with the fact that these kidnappers have not taken their victims to space, another planet or another country.
“They keep their hostages in Nigeria but our communications authorities cannot establish a digital system that would digitally demobilise any phone calls for ransom payment, track these calls and work with the security agencies to apprehend these criminals and bring them to justice.
“Sometime last year, in Niamey, Niger Republic, a boy was kidnapped but the authorities stepped up efforts and used information and communications technology (ICT) to track the calls.
“They were able to trace the mobile phone number to a lady in whose name the SIM card was registered. The lady eventually took them to where the boy was kept in captivity and the security agencies were able to rescue him. If Niger Republic can track calls by kidnappers, why can’t Nigeria?
“The so-called SIM-NIN registration has not taken over two years without results. If the policy is working as claimed by the Ministry of Communications, why can’t they trace SIM cards to the registered user and identify any kidnapper whenever he makes any calls for ransom negotiation?
“What Nigerians were told when the SIM-NIN registration policy was introduced more than two years ago by the ministry of communications and so-called digital economy was that ‘it will stop kidnapping and check insecurity.’
“But figures today have proven beyond any iota of doubt that the SIM-NIN policy has failed to stop the use of mobile phones by kidnappers during ransom negotiations. The next gambit was 5G. The ministry of communications is now saying that 5G (which Nigeria currently doesn’t have the capacity to deploy) will stop insecurity.
“Haba! Enough of these games!
“Bandits continue to kidnap and kill innocent citizens, using mobile phones to negotiate ransom payment unabated. If the kidnapper is denied the use of a mobile phone to negotiate ransom payment, 100 per cent of the problem is solved.
“Why can’t the ministry of communications block all unregistered SIM cards?
“Anyone can buy as many SIM cards as they want on the streets of Nigeria at the ease with which they buy pure water. Why this high-level insensitivity even when innocent people are being killed?
“Why can’t the Ministry of Communications conduct a proper biometric registration of all subscribers such that any SIM card used to perpetuate kidnapping can be traced to the registered user?
“The answer, as usual, will be a prolonged silence.”
Our aspirants would want to feign short-sightedness to this reality. That is their parochial point of view.
For us, this calls for great concern. That’s the huge difference.