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Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu: A Political Colossus-Anthony Ochela



The former Senator who later became governor of Lagos State in South-West Nigeria is a household name not just in Lagos but across several frontiers.

Recently, Tinubu won nomination as the candidate of the ruling All Progressive Congress and had since unveiled former governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima as his choice for vice-president ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Currently, the major topic of discussion in Nigerian political circles and even on the streets, is the Bola Tinubu candidacy given that his political stature is nearing stratospheric heights.

But there is a background to this because whoever Bola Tinubu is today was not achieved in a day.
No one can talk about the fight or struggle for entrenching democracy in Nigeria without contemplating Tinubu’s role in that effort.

The military had held Nigeria hostage, literally, and the nation was groaning under mismanagement, massive corruption and seemingly on the brink of oblivion until certain persons decided to confront the situation, among them was Bola Tinubu.

The Nation had just held an election adjudged by many as the freest and fairest in its history but the Military Under the Leadership of General Ibrahim Babangida would have none of it and the obvious winner of the election, Chief MKO Abiola, was jailed.

The development led to many fighters for democracy to take flight and seek refuge in foreign lands, among them was Bola Tinubu.

When democracy got back on track in 1999, Tinubu was elected Governor of Lagos State but even with a civilian government, the vestiges of military mentality were still visible and Governor Tinubu was still fighting it.

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Lagos was denied several months of Local government funds, yet Tinubu brought into play new ideas to tackle these challenges. He was undaunted and took the state to greater heights making it a reverence point for good governance.

Tinubu has probably seen it all; he has developed leaders in several sectors of the nation’s politics and economy and his aspiration to be president has never been in doubt.

Now that the APC has given him the mandate to lead the party into the 2023 general election and hopefully establish a government, thereafter, the question on many lips is “why must it be Tinubu?”

The question of his age has been raised severally and many are of the opinion that someone younger should be given the job, however no one has raised doubts about his ability to deliver.

Being a Muslim and with the current President Muhammadu also being a Muslim was a source of worry for many including religious groups was compounded with picking Kashim Shettima as his running mate.

BAT, as he is often referred to, has pointed out on several occasions that the question of Muslim-Muslim Ticket should not be an issue if the welfare of the people is of primary concern and his wife Senator Oluremi Tinubu, a Christian, is not of the same religion with him.

He has promised good governance and winning the election may not be a hard sell for him because his party is in government but this should not preclude the fact that an incumbent government and President Goodluck Jonathan had lost an election in 2015.

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He has opponents in several parties, many of them also charismatic: Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice President who is of the Peoples Democratic Party; former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, who is of the Labour Party and Ibrahim Kwankwaso, a former governor of Kano State who is of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, among others.

The challenges of winning an election may be tedious but the good thing about it is that the Independent National Electoral Commission has proved in recent times that it can provide a level playing field for all aspirants and candidates as contained in the electoral act.

It is now in the hands of the electorate to ensure they have their Voters Card, be present at polling units and cast their votes for the candidate they feel will represent their interests better.

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