By Iyanu Oluwajomiloju
BATOC23, a leading political group supporting the aspiration of Tinubu for Nigeria’s presidency, has hailed the emergence of its principal, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as the candidate of All Progressives Congress APC in the next year’s presidential election in Nigeria.
Tinubu polled 1,271 votes to defeat other contestants including Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the vice president with 235 votes; Rotimi Amechi, transportation minister, 316 votes and Ahmed Lawan, the Senate president 152 votes at the just concluded primaries in Abuja.
In a statement released by Otunba Abimbola Tooki, director of media and publicity for BATOC23, the group said Tinubu is not only eminently qualified to emerge, he stands tall, head and shoulders above his peers.
While praising the manner in which the primaries was conducted by the organising committee, Tooki said Nigeria brims with colorful politicians whose showmanship cannot be equated.
Among them, Tinubu, the famed national leader of the APC is in a class of his own.
He emphasised that given the current trying socio-political and economic times Nigeria and indeed the world has found itself in, Tinubupossesses the proud political pedigree, the steel mindset, and largeness of heart to steer Nigeria beyond the raging storms to a safer harbour of hope.
Within the paradigms of his political experience and competence, Tooki called on all the aspirants, the party and all Nigerians to stand up and support Tinubu to come out victoriously in next year’s general elections.
“As a matter of determination from all patriotic Nigerians, now is the time to be counted behind the man of vision who epitomizes democracy in Africa’s most populated country, Nigeria,” Tooki said.
According to him, his political pedigree has earned him lots of accolades where some call him “the icon of Nigeria’s democracy”. Others state that he is indeed, the “political Jagaban, the juggernaut, the master strategist and political enigma” of modern politicking in Nigeria.
These are but a few epaulets that adorn the shoulders of the one-dogged fighter who, today, stands on a high moral ground to speak on Nigeria’s democratic norms, mores, codes, evolution, development and sustenance with unparalleled dexterity.
Speaking of his experience as a blessing to the country at large , Dr. Ayo Owoade, director general of BATOC23, said Tinubu’s astounding political profile looms so large that it triggers some pertinent questions. “For instance, who else amongst those currently angling for the presidency has sacrificed so much precious time, so much energy, and valuable resources to ensure the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria?
Which notable politician teamed up with Abubakar Atiku and others to form the Action Congress (AC)? Who out of the politicians later expanded the vision of the party to make it more nationalistic; to form the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)?
Owoade noted that he pursued his own economic and political agenda and strategy, keeping Lagos from being dependent on allocations coming from the federal purse, to the chagrin of Obasanjo who had vowed that winning Lagos was a “do-or-die”.
Under his watch, Lagos prospered from generating N600 million in Internally Generated Revenue monthly as at the time he took over to making over N7 billion monthly by the time he handed over to his successor in 2007.
According to him, both his lovers and haters agree that during Tinubu’s tenure, Lagos scrubbed up dramatically, transforming into a modern city.
Tinubu wooed investors and made far-reaching tax reforms, “using these resources to restore basic infrastructure and expand public services and law enforcement.”
Owoade noted that Tinubu officially departed Lagos politics in 2007, but he has been seen as grooming Lagos state governors ever since.
“Although he hasn’t held an elected position since the end of his second term as governor, Tinubu has been deeply involved in Nigeria’s politics as a master strategist,” he said.
He was behind negotiations to unite Nigeria’s opposition parties and push for electoral reforms resulting in the merger of Nigeria’s three biggest opposition parties into the All Progressives Congress party in 2014.
He supported Buhari as the party’s presidential candidate in the 2015 elections. Buhari’s victory was in part thanks to Tinubu’s extensive influence in Nigeria’s southwest, especially Lagos.
His formidable political network, propensity for winning strategy, and substantial personal wealth give him a head start over his opponent t in the People Democratic Party.