Lion of Bourdillon

Nigeria: Machine politics trump policy as APC picks Tinubu

By Patrick Smith

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Posted on June 8, 2022 11:34

Bola Tinubu on 2 June 2022 (facebook/Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu)
Bola Tinubu on 2 June 2022 (facebook/Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu)

By six o’clock this morning, Bola Tinubu’s newspaper ‘The Nation’ was confidently predicting that he would clinch the presidential nomination of the ruling All Progressives’ Congress (APC), winning over as many as 1,800 of the 2,322 accredited delegates in the primary elections. And ‘This Day’ newspaper, owned by fellow media baron Nduka Obaigbena, concurred.

Tinubu’s victory at the APC convention sets up a presidential election race with Atiku Abubakar, of the opposition People’s Democratic Party. Tinubu has already pronounced Abubakar, who won the PDP nomination at its convention on 28-29 May, a ‘worthy opponent’.

Others call them ‘two sides of the same coin’. Both men are in their 70s, having nurtured their political networks over the last three decades and are battling multiple ailments. Both claim, with varying degrees of veracity, to have played key roles in the struggle against military rule.

They have latched onto historic political movements in their regions. Tinubu jumped on to the powerful tradition founded by independence leader Obafemi Awolowo, which has laid the basis for the pro-democracy campaigns against successive military juntas.

Abubakar cut his teeth as an organiser for General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, who after quitting the

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