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Bola Tinubu And 2023 Presidential Ambition

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2023: Sen Adeyeye Says Tinubu’ll Replicate Lagos ‘Success Story’ As President

By Adémólá Òrúnbon

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been one of the prominent names since the soldiers returned to the barracks and handed over power to democratically elected leaders in 1999, he was first and foremost elected a senator to represent Lagos West in 1992 under the banner of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, was among the activists who campaigned for the return of democracy using the platform of the National Democratic Coalition Movement, NADECO.

In the first post-transition Lagos State governorship election in 1999, Tinubu as the candidate of the Alliance for Democracy defeated the Peoples Democratic Party’s Dapo Sarumi and the All Peoples Party’s Architect Nosirudeen Kekere-Ekun. He secured a second term in 2003 and after leaving office in 2007, Tinubu has retained his status as one of Nigeria’s most influential politicians, serving as a kingmaker in Lagos and other states, especially in the South West.

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In 2013, he led the bloc of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, that merged with the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the new PDP (nPDP), a faction of the then ruling PDP– into the All Progressives Congress (APC), which ousted the PDP from power at the centre after 16 years. Thus, elevating him into the national scene as he is fondly referred to as the national leader of the APC.

His dexterity to have control over Lagos State and extend such influence not only to other states and regions in the country, but also the presidency, has made him the master of the political chess game and the numero uno kingmaker.

The kingmaker never hid his intention to become the king in 2023, despite doomsday prophecies about his imminent downfall. He suffered from mudslinging, betrayed by some prominent beneficiaries of his struggles, and threatened among others in the build up to the APC national convention.

His experience as a kingmaker, who has been involved in many political battles since 1992 will be helpful in the journey to Saturday, 25 February 2023, when Nigerians will elect the successor of President Buhari.

He was once forced into exile by military ruler Sani Abacha, Mr Tinubu knows the value of freedom and wears it as an insignia on his signature hat – a broken shackle that looks like a horizontal figure eight. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,a trained accountant, it was the activities of the pro-democracy National Democratic Coalition (Nadeco) group, where he was a member, that brought him into Abacha’s crosshairs.

The opposition of groups like Nadeco and Abacha’s death in 1998 ushered in Nigeria’s democracy in 1999 and in many ways, Mr Tinubu, a former Mobil oil executive, feels entitled to Nigeria’s presidency. He will surely be banking on his experience in politics and huge influence across the country to win the general election, where he will face stiff competition from former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, who is standing for the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and a burgeoning campaign by the Labour Party’s Peter Obi, who is hugely popular with urban voters.

If Mr Tinubu, known as “Jagaban” by supporters, gets the top job, he would be looking to unify a country divided across regional lines, tackle widespread insecurity, create jobs and bring down rising inflation. Mind you, it is not a job that fazes him. He has pointed to his time as Lagos state governor between 1999 and 2007 to sell his candidacy to party delegates and will be hoping to do the same with Nigerians.

Under his tenure, Lagos massively grew its income through huge foreign investment, while a public transport scheme that saw new lanes created for rapid buses eased the notorious traffic jams faced daily by commuters. Indeed, his immense political influence led to the merger of opposition parties in 2013 and eventually wrestled power from the then-ruling PDP in 2015 – a rarity in Nigeria where incumbents are not often defeated.

In fact, with Bola Ahmed Tinubu presidency, the nation educational and Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) sectors are poised to experience audacious capital outlay with the aims of making them competing on the same pedestal with the best across the globe. He is not a man who pays lip service to education, economy and computer development. I see uncommon excitement and development in the nation political sphere with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu presidency.

The sacrifice bore fruits for Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the political genius, at the APC’s special convention for the 2023 race, as some of the beneficiaries of his long-suffering and self-denial cleared the path for his emergence, despite uninformed rumours of a rift. Some unscrupulous elements had earlier murmuring that some of the aspirants contesting with him were not in good ranpor and most of them were his sworn enemy.

It is time to give to those who sheathed their sword to pave way for Bola Tinubu presidency, those dogged contenders, such as, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Governor Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State, former Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, former Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Ajayi Boroffice and former Speaker Dimeji Bankole, all shelved their ambitions and stepped down as spirants of APC to back, support and endorse Bola Tinubu.

Indeed, Fayemi, Amosun and Akpabio deserve commendation for their doggedness, sensible pragmatism and good natured decision, which is very hard to take, having recognized the need for southerners to unite around the most likely aspirants to go the long haul and secure the victory of the APC at the event.

Your emergence as the standard bearer of the APC is a national call to duty, to serve humanity, bring prosperity to the country and to replicate what you have done in city of Lagos on a national scale, when you look at your scores in the convention, BAT scored 1,271, and when you at it critically, you will observe it in the Psalm 127 vs 1, which says; unless the Lord builds the House, its builders labour in vain, may Allãh (SWT) give you the strength and power to steer the boat of the party till the general elections in February, next year.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu polled 127-1 votes at the APC Presidential primaries. Please, check out Psalm 127 verse 1 in the Holy Bible. “Except the LORD build a house, they labour in vain that build it; except the LORD keep the City, the Watchman waketh but in vain”.

This is a house built by the LORD, and the LORD is watching over the house. What a symbolic number to poll!

Òrúnbon, an opinion writer, poet, journalist and public affairs analyst, writes in from Federal Housing Estate, Olomore, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Can be reached via: orunbonibrahimademola@gmail.com, or 08034493944, 08029301122.

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