By Wale Adedayo
Among all the politicians jostling for the Presidency of Nigeria only Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has what it takes to preside over the affairs of a country like ours in today’s ever-changing world. He has proved it several times over in Lagos State to the admiration of his worst critics, a category to which son of man belonged at some point.
He has his many negative sides, no doubt. But to take Nigeria out of the woods and place the country on a pedestal to genuinely compete with the rest of the globe, Tinubu has more than what it takes. The negatives abound, as pointed out earlier. But son of man believes that with his advancing age, he might be seeking immortality like Great Awo at this time.
Immortality, in the words of Engr. Bayo Banjo, for a Yoruba, is different from what could be found in an ordinary English language dictionary. Immortality is not only remaining alive, physically, forever. Immortality in the mould of Great Awo is to be remembered almost everyday for the many lives and issues one had touched positively, while on this side of the divide.
On the negative side, Tinubu promoted money politics, which is not unusual for a man coming from the background of Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua’s School of Politics. It was largely the reason Tinubu was able to sideline the Afenifere from the organisation’s usual political base, and disgracing many key stalwarts, who had sacrificed almost all their lives for the Yoruba race.
Tinubu laid the foundation for the retrogressive destruction of the Local Government System of Administration. A former Lagos Island Local Government Council Chairman was sent to prison for daring to demand what the 1999 Constitution stipulated for his people. He was tried on spurious charges and sent to jail.
Allegations of corruption abound. But none has been proved against him till date. Croniysm is another negative attribute often attached to Asiwaju. But this too hardly holds water because majority of those who found themselves in public offices through his influence remain outstanding not just in Lagos State alone, but outside it and in Abuja itself. He has brought out many stars, initially buried in the mud, so to say, to shine.
Son of man cannot in good conscience accuse him of being the first promoter of thuggery in politics. The defunct Action Group might have done better in this area than the Asiwaju of Lagos. Opponents were decisively dealt with by AG ‘stalwarts’ during the First Republic. Tinubu might have installed proteges as Obas in Lagos, till date, he is yet to depose any Oba because of political differences, which was a tool readily deployed in those days of our fathers.
On the positive side, he is an Ijebu as described by the late Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, in terms of getting money and looking after same. Nigeria cannot face financial challenges, as it is happening today, under an Ijebu Tinubu. The country will prosper with many holes being plugged and unproductive hands forced out of the system. Tinubu will make things work. Of course, making things work brings enemies. Tinubu is not a leader that can be intimidated by retrogressive forces within Nigeria and their collaborators in Western capitals. He’ll call their bluff.
Boko Haram and terrorist elements cannot thrive under a Tinubu Presidency. Not because he has any military or security background, which he certainly lacks. A successful man as Asiwaju knows the ins and outs of what could obstruct prosperity. He’ll tackle them at source. Besides, whatever it takes to root them out, he’ll deploy without any fear or favour. Asiwaju will NOT tolerate insecurity, as quality will be his watchword in pushing those in charge forward. Prosperity and insecurity cannot dwell in the same place. Tinubu knows that. Evidence abound in Lagos State about that.
More than ANY other Nigerian, living or dead, the littoral states (Niger Delta, including Lagos, Ogun and Ondo states) need to specially appreciate Tinubu for using his noted far-sightedness to ensure that coastal areas and adjourning lands are permanently in the hands of such states instead of the Federal Government through a suit he pursued till victory at the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Other short-sighted political leaders are still making noise about similar issues till date without results. To Tinubu’s eternal credit, he challenge Nigeria’s defective federal system through the law courts and used the courts to restructure Nigeria .
Under Tinubu’s leadership, Lagos State won 13 constitutional cases up to Supreme Court. Some of the cases include consumption tax, right of state government over inland waterways, illegality of Federal Government withholding state and local government funds under any guise among others. He pushed legal boundaries and enriched our jurisprudence in Nigeria. Sadly, some angry leaders continue using the old tactics of crying in the media all the time to draw attention to flaws in Nigeria’s constitutional system.
I have no doubt Tinubu already has a blueprint for Nigeria’s development. He did same for Lagos State, which successive Governors have been using as their Bibles since 2007 when he handed over to Babatunde Fashola. Tinubu inherited a dysfunctional and a Lagos State under seige in 1999. He reinvented governance in Lagos and rescued the state from the doldrums of stunted development. Tinubu became the pathfinder for the progress everyone applauds in Lagos today. I am convinced that the current APC led Federal government would have performed far better than it has done if Tinubu had been allowed to play the role of a turnaround manager from behind. President Muhammadu Buhari would by now have realized that he made a mistake ‘fighting’ with Tinubu when he first got into office in 2015. Buhari’s Administration would have benefitted immensely from Tinubu’s template, which son of man is very sure was drawn up for the APC Government at the centre at inception in 2015.
Tinubu can make needed calls to world leaders and get quality support for governance at any time. Nigeria will return fully as a respected leader in the comity of nations with Tinubu as President. Our universities, research institutes and others will work. Unity, which is of essence in a multi-ethnic country like ours, will return. We will be proud to call ourselves Nigerians ANYWHERE in the world with an assurance that our country is with us every inch of the way.
On Tinubu’s Mandate we stand!!!