In the last few weeks, anti-Femi Gbajabiamila reports have been syndicated widely, obviously to distract him. All manner of unfounded allegations have been heaped on him simply to paint him bad before President Bola Tinubu.
Even before his appointment as Chief of Staff to Mr President, anti-Gbaja reports had continued to trend. This development may not be unconnected with the angst of those who thought they deserved to be appointed as the CoS to Mr President when it was the prerogative of the President to determine who would occupy that exalted office. Again, some powerful forces from the South-West who believe in what they called ‘ lucrative ministries’ as opposed to the selfless service Mr President has continued to preach have found a fall guy in Gbajabiamila.
Members of this group are so desperate. They say Mr President may not complete his first term and that Gbajabiamila is already pairing with the National Security Adviser, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, to succeed President Tinubu in case of an eventuality. When that failed to sail through, they changed tactics. Now, the narrative is how he has been collecting money ranging from N10m to N5m to fix prospective applicants in the ministries of their choice or give people board appointments. In their warped thinking, Mr President is no longer in charge. It is Gbajabiamila who calls the shot. He has suddenly become ‘Mr. Fix it’.
One of the foot soldiers of those peddling these false narratives was on a national television recently, where he accused those working in the Presidency of favouring Lagos-based politicians in appointments and other acts of patronage even when Mr. President was yet to announce his ministers. And when the anchor of the programme reminded him that Mr Dele Alake, Zaach Adedeji and other aides appointed at that time were not from Lagos, he said their appointment was based on the influence of politicians from Lagos.Like Yoruba would say, ‘A njuwon o se wi lejo, ija ilara ko tan boro’.
The anti-Gbaja narrative is borne out of envy and an attempt to portray him as someone not worthy of the position he currently occupies. The pull-him-down campaign against Gbajabiamila is to portray him before Mr President as a corrupt official whose judgment is not to be trusted. But unfortunately for them, Mr President, who has said times without numbers that he’s not to be pitied because he campaign vigorously and begged for the job, is equal to the task. He’s quite familiar with the antics of the ‘Gbajabiamila must go’ crowd.
As a thoroughbred politician, he is aware of everything around him and is in firm control of everything. He demonstrated this recently when he met with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress ( TUC) at the Aso Villa and at the NBA conference where he showed doubting Thomases that he’s in firm control of his government and the peddlers of another cabal in the Villa is the figment of the imagination of those behind the false narratives. The question then is, who is afraid of Gbajabiamila?