AMCON: Who Is Afraid Of Muiz Banire?, By Adeoba Michaels

Dr Muiz Banire at one the meetings with President Muhammadu Buhari.


Dr Muiz Banire, SAN, the Immediate past National Legal Adviser of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC has become a recurring decimal in the Lagos politics equation. He has triumphed over and again over his traducers. The plot to expel him from the party failed twice. He rose again in the face of persecution and was appointed the Chairman of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON.

It was a rude shock for those who thought it was over for Banire politically to learn that President Muhammadu Buhari had sent his nomination as AMCON chairman to the Senate for confirmation. The Tuesday’s resistance from the Lagos Senators were expected which Banire himself must have anticipated as a proactive politician.

The nation is now aware of those who are afraid of Banire. Their fears may not be unfounded anywhere because they know the political sagacity of Banire in Lagos and thus south west. Banire, through God’s grace and untiring re-invention of himself has remained a popular brand in the political arena for years.

While many who served with him in the cabinet of Bola Tinubu  between 1999 and 2007 have either gone into political oblivion or castrated, Banire has continued to rise and rise in the nation’s political space in the last two decades.

Give it to him, Banire knows what he wants and he does not pander to sycophancy which is the stock in trade of politicians who don’t have verifiable alternate sources of income aside politics. As the custodian of the party constitution, Banire challenged entrenched powerful interest within the APC who relish the impunity of imposition.

He didn’t engage in a  proxy war. Courageous Banire was at the forefront of the struggle to enthrone a new order of rule of law and constitutionalism in the APC. To the chagrin of many observers, Banire defied the norms and stuck out his neck for the struggle for a free and fair internal democracy in the party.

As a veteran and a master in the game, he understands there would be backlashes from those who could not longer  freely engage in their act of imposition. Protests were sponsored against him. The Lagos State Government moved against his political associates and friends. Banire’s 90 year old mother’s residence was marked for demolition. He was unfazed. He didn’t back off the struggle.

One thing is sure. Just has the previous machinations collapsed like a packs of card so shall this pass also. Banire’s detractors perhaps still view him using the prism of Mushin/Lagos politics. Banire’s political influence has gone national. This is an undisputable fact. He has a strong political connection above anyone in his generation in the south west.

From Ondo, Ogun, Ekiti, Kogi, Oyo and others Banire is respected and revered by  men at the helms of affairs essentially because of his political worth. Therefore, the paranoid over his appointment as AMCON chairman is well understood.  The fear of Banire  is the beginning of wisdom.

Back to the shameful rejection of Banire’s nomination by the three Lagos Senators on Tuesday, it further exposes the inability of the chief missioner of the APC, Bola Tinubu to harmonize tendencies within the ruling party

. Worst still in Lagos, the political base of the APC leader.  A father who could not rein in his children has lost the moral authority to reprimand neighbour’s children when they misbehave.

Senator Olamilekan Solomo, Gbenga Ashafa and Remi Tinubu had admitted that Tinubu had failed in his assignment to reconcile aggrieved members of the party if they could opening oppose the nomination of a founding National Legal Adviser of their party.

The show  at the floor of the senate made Banire a heroe, a strong man who must be tamed at all cost. They have further popularized  Banire and whatever he represents.

By the way, what is the influence of Tinubu in the National Assembly that could make him to scuttle Banire’s confirmation as AMCON chairman. In the first instance, he does not need to support of the inconsequential low ranking three senators out of 109 to get his confirmation.

What could be the basis for their opposition – Is it that Banire does not possess the requisite education, cognate experience to chair the AMCON board or is a member of the opposition Peoples Democractic Party, PDP. Maybe , they want to argue that Banire had not paid his dues in the party . Tinubu and his lackeys in the Senate are fighting a lost battle.

In contrast, President Muhammadu Buhari will never in live in denial of the political value of Banire and his contribution to the party at various turbulent times. The president cannot be intimidated to throw a great political asset in the south west under the bus just to impress some impostors.

Again, Lagos Senators must be politically naïve to have contemplated that in Saraki’s Senate, Tinubu will have his way on Banire. Not after the President of the Senate survived a ‘coup’ which had the imprimatur of Tinubu.

Banire will again triumph over his traducers who had failed repeatedly to cage him. It is very clear to discerning political observers that Banire is indeed a force to both fear and reckon with.

Adeoba Michaels, a political Affairs Analyst wrote from Lagos