The former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, is not a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) but Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is said to be the ‘National Leader’ of the party. Fayose still belongs to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Like the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, Fayose is a PDP man at heart. He cannot, in all fairness, be said to be a political prostitute jumping from one political bed to another with strange bedfellows. If every politician in Nigeria were like him and Gov. Wike then politics of ideology and principles would be played in our country with positive effect.
Alas, defection from one party to another has become as ugly as they come with Peter Obi being the latest to decamp on a flimsy excuse. Before him the ex-Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, for ‘stomach infrastructure’ reason, had left the PDP for the APC! The current Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Adamu, was once a member of the PDP.
Fayose, known for his garrulity and hubris, had written an open letter recently to the former Lagos State Governor warning him about the ‘fate’ that may befall him in the APC. He drew a parallel between Asiwaju’s desperate ambition to be President and how the late sage, Obafemi Awolowo and the late benevolent billionaire-businessman, Bashoron MKO Abiola, sought in vain to rule Nigeria ending up both on the wrong side of history.
Fayose’s open missive came shortly after Asiwaju’s visit to Ogun State where he made a controversial statement that drew the ire of even the presidency. Asiwaju Tinubu, in that campaign tour prior to the recently-concluded National Convention of the party in which he emerged triumphant, had declared that he made the Ogun state Chief Executive, Dapo Abiodun, Governor!
Sounding haughty and omnipotent, he had equally said that he nominated the current Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to the position he is occupying. And that without him Muhammadu Buhari would not have become President!
Indeed, the Lagos strongman contributed immensely to the emergence of Buharism. That is the truth and nothing but the truth. But he cannot claim to be the only one, as the presidency reasoned, that made it possible for Buhari to defeat Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 for the presidency. It amounts to self-entitlement on his part for which recognition and reward (Aso Rock) was being sought.
The ruling APC recently concluded its National Convention which saw the emergence of Asiwaju Tinubu as its official flagbearer (or is it broom-bearer!) for the February’s presidential poll. Tinubu had reportedly polled 1271 votes to beat his major opponents, former Minister and former Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi who polled 316 votes while Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, had 235 votes.
It was a ‘landslide’ victory from all indications. VP Osinbajo’s posted figure must have shocked him and his followers. Tinubu by that victory with a huge margin had demonstrated his political sagacity and organization. From day one he had informed us that his quest for the presidency was his ‘life-long ambition’. And now that this ambition is getting closer to its realisation it remains to be seen how his opponents would react.
Tinubu strikes one as a shrewd rich politician out to prove his mettle at the national stage. His capacity to deliver electorally cannot be over-emphasized here. He did (and still does it) in Lagos every now and then mobilizing even the market women, ‘okada’ riders and ‘area boys’ to see through his every political move in the state of aquatic splendour!
By that singular victory at the Eagle Square, the ‘Jagaban’ proved his ability to connect with the past and present. He demonstrated his uncanny ability to withstand whatever the opposition threw at him coming out stronger at each turn.
Yet his political antecedents interrogate not a few Nigerians. Tinubu is as corrupt as they come! With him we have come identify our politics with the ‘bullion van’ cash-and-carry sobriquet. His real names are shrouded in mystery. Is he called Ahmed Magaji or Yekini Amoda Ogunlere or Amuda Sangodele? What is his real academic profile? Did he commit any drug-related offense while in the United States? Or did he directly or indirectly benefit from such? Who really owns Alpha Beta tax-collecting agency in Lagos?
But by far his graft-related stewardship in Lagos poses much more problem here! Asiwaju Tinubu had ruled Lagos as the Lord of the Manor for eight eventful years. In those years fraught with high-wire corruption he had achieved great things yet corruption had dogged his stewardship. Lagos being the richest state in Nigeria Tinubu was alleged to have milked her dry!
However, to be fair to him, he always have an eye on history and his sight is always set on the bigger picture. He possesses the power to identify talent and groom people into greater accomplishments. If not for him Prof. Osinbajo would probably be struggling somewhere in Lagos as a lecturer. With the ASUU strike maybe his salaries would still not have been paid!
Tinubu is a good manager of men and resources even though this ability has every selfish interest attached to it. His capacity to play the godfather could be said to have paid off with his recent triumphant outing in Abuja. He would definitely make a good President in our reckoning.
For Fayose and those seeing another Abiola or Awolowo ill-luck befalling Asiwaju Tinubu their prophesy may be dead on arrival. Tinubu is not Awolowo and he cannot claim to be Bashorun Abiola. Politically speaking, however, he is ‘lucky’ to belong to a generation of politicians whose patriotism and competence are daily questioned by Nigerians. Besides, the digital age we all live in has done a great deal of favour in their political lives.
For Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, therefore, the signs of the times signal nothing but greatness. If he could beat the PDP’s Atiku Abubakar, himself a veteran politician with a lot of money to spare and one as desperate as ‘Jagaban’ for Aso Villa, come February, then greatness, in its presidential magnitude and plenitude, must have happened to his life.
The audacity of victory, then, must have manifested itself at the fullest of time!