Hats Off to Jagaban! By Olawale Olaleye

One of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s agelong political ideologies, is that power isn’t served a la carte. It’s a philosophy that encourages power seekers to go after it as much as they want it and like the kingdom of God, which suffers violence, take it by force and own it.


But I’d never shared this idea with him. Reason for this is not far-fetched. He has refused to live up to billings internally, especially, given his Darwinian approach to politics. For as many as had wanted to seek power in his cosmopolitan Lagos, Tinubu shut down their aspirations and always ensured his choice persons won. So, I had thought it was sheer facade proclaiming that creed.


Yet, on Tuesday, in Abuja, he served a dose of personal example of that creed and on a scale unprecedented in the nation’s history. Counting down to the APC presidential primary, he was not conceded a good chance. I didn’t for once and I completely wrote him off. My reasons are still valid though.


Unfortunately, many of us rather played up his weaknesses as against his strengths. Although the president, Muhammadu Buhari, didn’t have a candidate (so he claimed), there were no indications he would rather a Tinubu either. Sadly, Buhari was too aloof to be a factor in the choice of his successor, something a Tinubu would not dare.


But against all odds, Tinubu trumped everyone. It was a tortuous and undulating path to success. He pulled it off majestically, with a resounding message that, “I’m the master of the game”. His network was staggering; war chest has always been intimidating. He had built alliances over the years and wasted no time deploying them all to work, when it mattered the most.


Give it to Tinubu, he worked hard for the APC ticket, and this was in spite of his fragile health. His convictions moved mountains; his determination shattered ceilings and his confidence dared in the strangest of places.


Frustrated and desperate at some point, he had said to delegates in Abeokuta, Ogun State, “Emi lo kan, e gbe ki ni yi wa,” and when he saw that they were pussyfooting, Daddy, ja ki ni yen gba, big time!


In Nigeria’s contemporary history, only one person had wanted to be president and got it. He is the incumbent, Buhari, who became president after three failed attempts (Olule). Others emerged either by accident or through some deliberate contraptions by other vested interests. Those who desired it never got it.


But if Asiwaju won the 2023 elections, he would be the second man – most determined and engaging – who wanted it and got it. Not just that, it would be on merit and dint of hard work.


And, do you know one thing that this would mark him up for? If he won the presidential election next year, which now looks very plausible, he would have succeeded, where the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, couldn’t.


It doesn’t mean he is in the same bracket with Awo, if and when other factors are considered for comparisons. But, on this, he did it and with practical approach to politics, as against what many had thought.


In spite of it all, this still doesn’t make him my dream president. Nah! And if given the opportunity again, I would rather a much younger person, who boasts other requisite qualities.


However, fielded against Atiku, I’d grudgingly vote for him. After all, what’s the marked difference between them? But, as a southerner, he’ll get my vote. Power has to shift to South. It’s only fair, just and equitable.


This, nonetheless, I recognise and admit that Tinubu is a master of the game and at the moment, the BIGGEST issue in the annals of the nation’s body polity, nay Africa.


Hats off to this juggernaut of immense political clout and networth.

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