Speaking at the 7th edition of the Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit (KADInvest 7.0), the Presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, had said that the Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, “turned a rotten situation into bad one”. Hear him:

Nigeria needs thinkers and doers. I’m openly begging Nasir El-Rufai not to run away for additional degree. There are lots of educated relics. We are not going to let you run away… Your vision, creativity and resilience in turning a rotten situation into a bad one are necessary at this critical time and that is why we are here…

The statement met mixed reactions from Nigerians who criticized the Jagaban of Borgu for saying that Governor El-Rufai “turned a rotten situation into bad one”. Many believed it was a slip of the tongue while others argued that the mental coordination of the former Governor of Lagos is in question.

The truth is, Tinubu is not an orator. But the fundamental right of freedom of expression and thought is not for only orators. Words must be understood in the context in which they are used. No one is above a slip of the tongue. Whatever the case, we will try to make meaning out of what we have heard and think about it, deeply. The reason is that the comments are coming from the lips of a presidential aspirant.

In doing this, let us be reminded that a “rotten situation” depicts an extremely bad situation. That is, a situation that is in its worst condition. “Worst” is a superlative adjective. To turn a “rotten situation” into a “bad” one must be something positive, the degree of positivity is a different issue. It’s a form of achievement. If Tinubu believes that El-Rufai “turned a rotten situation into bad one”, that is his opinion and it does not necessarily have anything to do with lack of mental coordination.

Meanwhile, considering that Tinubu had showered praises on the Governor before making the statement, one might expect that he ought to accompany the praises with something more positive. Turning a rotten situation into bad one, though a little positive, is more of moving from one level of a bad situation to another level of the same bad situation. By this, a slip may be taken to have occurred. But whether or not El-Rufai was deserving of such opinion is a different matter. The Kaduna State Governor has displayed some commendable level of transformational leadership in Kaduna notwithstanding the challenges.

On another note, we have to tolerate those who speak their mind and who are willing to tell Nigerians things as they are. This has always been what Nigerians crave for. We achieve nothing by the needless criticisms. Rather, we need to critically look at the situation.

Could it be that Tinubu is considering serving Nigerians some “breakfast” made up of rotten tomatoes and bad eggs?  This will surely not make a great meal. Nigerians are hungry for the best.

“Breakfast” is one of the common slangs among Nigerian youths today. To serve one breakfast, especially from a person of the opposite gender, means to break up a relationship with that person often unexpectedly. “Breakfast” comes with heartbreak. Is Tinubu hoping to break the hearts of Nigerians if he becomes President?

Nigerians do not desire persons who are experts in turning a rotten situation into bad one, in the context of moving from one level of a bad situation into another level of the same bad situation. Rather, Nigerians are desirous of leaders who will transform the nation and lead us on the path of prosperity and progress. We need to move from a rotten situation into a condition of freshness–fresh ideas, fresh determination and renewed vigour to save Nigeria.


Image credit: Peoples Gazette 

Stephen Azubuike
Author: Stephen Azubuike
Stephen is a lawyer with expertise in Commercial Dispute Resolution and Technology Law practice. He is a Partner at Infusion Lawyers. He has successfully argued cases from the High Courts of various jurisdictions to the Appellate Courts on behalf of financial institutions, other corporate bodies and multinationals. He has advised a number of both established and startup tech companies. He tweets @siazubuike.
Send this to a friend