The Ballad of Bourdillon
By Sam Omatseye
They say he is sick. Yet he is the one showing a dynamo of energy. He had a surgery, nothing new in any man’s life. Some worry, and that is legitimate. We have had persons in the top chair who did not show capacity of action because of poor physical being.
But Asiwaju Bola Tinubu threw the challenge last week. He said people say he is not well, but he undertook the long walk in Mecca during the hajj.
He is the one conquering miles in the country, from palaces to big hall podiums to government houses, from Abuja to Oyo, to Gombe to Kaduna, to Abeokuta to Niger. He once took a drive from Sokoto to Zamfara at night. He is the one hopping in and out of planes, in and out of cars, in and out of halls, glad-handing, hugging, meeting till late at night. Where are the others? What is their itinerary?
So, he challenges his critics, where is their health certificate? He is not like the others who are cell phone candidates, ensconced in Abuja or their villages waiting to be announced the anointed ones.
They are the baboons waiting for the boon. But the people will say babu to such opportunism. It is the Nigerian disease of reaping where no one sows. The same thing that made President Buhari to say, at the party convention, that no candidate should be imposed. It is the impunity of indolence, what my teacher at Ife, Prof. G.G. Darah called the “Agbero bourgeoisie” who get paid for passengers they did not get.
Asiwaju is like the lines in the Ballad of St Andrews: “Fight on, my men,” says Sir Andrew Barton,
“I am hurt, but I am not slain;
I’ll lay me down and bleed a while,
And then I’ll rise and fight again.”
That is the spirit we are seeing in the lion of Bourdillon. Others will do well to ape him.