Paul Pierce said, ‘If no one is talking about you, you are not doing something; you are not doing anything’. Since Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s declaration of interest in running for the 2023 Presidential elections, he has been the centre of attention and all eyes are on him.
No one can deny that Tinubu is a force to reckon with in Nigeria’s political landscape. Those who know the true extent of his power and influence revere and look up to him. I remember when I referred to Tinubu as a man of ‘known quantity’ and some people made fun of it, thinking of themselves as the more intelligent pack. To the ordinary mind, that adjective sounds funny because as we all know, quality trumps quantity. But what exactly did I mean by ‘known quantity?’
In mathematics, a known quantity is that whose value or quality is apparent. So, calling the Jagaban of Borgu a known quantity doesn’t make him a man who lacks finesse or standards. His achievements and successes precede him. His 8-year tenure as the governor of Lagos State is arguably the best period of governance in Lagos State. He pioneered a lot of projects that have made Lagos the wonderful metropolitan city and state it is today. When you compare Lagos to other states that have been or are supposedly being ‘reformed’ by governors of the opposition party, PDP, like Gov Nyesom Wike and even Gov Aminu Tambuwal, Tinubu’s pioneer reforms are far more effective. His effective reforms in transportation, housing, and the judiciary have enabled succeeding governors to build projects based on his existing groundwork. If anything, he possesses finesse and standards that are rare to find in your average Nigerian politician.
I have lost count of the number of posts I have been tagged to about the obscurity of Tinubu’s age, his finances, and assets, his health status as well as his alleged criminal activities including syphoning funds with bullion vans. If there is anyone who believes the disrespectful, desperate, and incredible lies written on those posts, then the person has to be of the opposition or they simply like to close their eyes and turn deaf ears to the truth. A lot of these detractors have taken to their keypads and pens to spew the most ridiculous stories. Nigerians do not need to be exposed to this level of ignorance and someone needs to straighten the facts and speak the truth.
A quick look at Tinubu’s profile will give you the clear picture you need to see. For 30 years and counting, he has been active in politics and if his age was an issue of valid contest, it would have arisen when he ran for Governor 22 years ago. Why wasn’t his age doubted then? For someone who worked with Mobil and Deloitte, two of the top multinational businesses in the world, he couldn’t have possibly faked his age. If you are familiar with these companies, you would know that one can only get in by merit. So tell me, how would he have gotten in with fake certificates? It is even easier to ascertain his age with such high-profile work experience.
As for the alleged embezzlement, innocent people get framed or wrongly accused all the time and Asiwaju is not any different. Illegal money can get into his account without his knowledge and if that was the case with him, his accounts would have been seized and frozen by now. If he was a drug lord like some of those posts claim, wouldn’t the Intelligence Unit of the United States have caught and prosecuted him? Let’s not forget that he studied in the United States and at that time, he couldn’t have been concerned about the uncertainty of his future as a politician in Nigeria and how age-fixing would solve his problems.
Beyond politics, he is a shrewd businessman that has left his imprints in the business landscape. Only an intelligent and smart man like himself can rise through the ranks of leadership in companies like Mobil and Deloitte. I find the recent calls for verifying Tinubu’s age, background, and character, an absolute waste of time. Whilst it is distasteful, it won’t be the first time such will be occurring. 7 years ago, during the election season, it was also brought up even though he wasn’t vying for any post. These detractors think that by spreading all of these baseless lies and antagonising him, they are ruining his image. They are oblivious to the fact that they are making him the issue. I mean, it is one year to the 2023 general elections and everyone is talking about Tinubu like he is the only one running for the seat of presidency.
I think the opposition and their supporters can come up with better strategies than discussing and doubting Tinubu’s age, educational background, health status, capacity, and intelligence, amongst many other stale stories they have decided to make breaking news. Who knows, we just might be discussing the type of meal he eats and the clothes he wears in the weeks to come. They need to be more strategic if they want to stand an actual chance against APC in the coming elections. I believe they can do better than spinning tales and bark away with toothless mouths. I am certainly looking forward to the convention of PDP governors in Rivers State that has been widely publicised and advertised prime-time, by Channels TV. Of course, Gov Wike must have paid millions for that. I hope they find something more worthwhile to discuss other than Jagaban’s personal life.
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is absolutely capable of bringing a desired change to the country and he deserves the same chance as every other candidate, without having his name and image linked to all sorts of illegal activities. Despite the anti-campaigns, groups and individuals have thrown their weights behind Tinubu and have already begun to campaign for him. I can imagine how the man of the moment must be feeling.
No line describes it best like this line from the late 2pac’s best-selling song of the same title; ‘All Eyez on Me’. He is in the spotlight and his name is on everyone’s lips—allies and foes. Knowing him, he is not deterred by the antics of the opposition and he must be thinking of effective strategies that will favour him and APC in the elections come 2023, unlike the opposition.