ASIWAJU BOLA TINUBU : A POLITICAL ICON WITH PENCHANT FOR PRODUCING LEADERS
The political space of Nigeria has over the decades churned out quite a good number of leaders since the nation attained independence. Some of the leaders had manifested varied character traits. Few of the leaders have done well while the vast majority have only been self seeking. However, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the National Leader of All Progressive Congress (APC) has been dominating the political spaces of Lagos State and Nigerian by extension like a colossus since 1999 with some of his demonstrated altruistic characters.
Asiwaju Tinubu who served as a Senator of the Federal Republic in 1992 had gone ahead to also served as a two term governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007. He has also achieved a feat that was unprecedented in Nigeria political history by organizing the opposition political parties that morphed into the APC and defeated an incumbent president in the 2015 general elections. To a very large extent, Tinubu was highly instrumental to the victory of President Mohammadu Buhari in the 2015 presidential election.
Tinubu has never left anyone in doubt of his exceptional brilliance and political sagacity which he combined to deliver good governance while he served as Lagos State Governor. This aside, another major quality of Asiwaju is his ability to spot out people with leadership qualities as well as the penchant to produce leaders. This is a cause to which he has over the years committed valuable time and humongous resources. Whereas, this in turn has continually help his political profile to be on a perpetual rise.
Asiwaju spotted out Babatunde Raji Fashola for an appointment as his Chief Of Staff while serving as a governor before he eventually worked tirelessly to ensure that Fashola succeeded him as Lagos State Governor in 2007. The joy of having Fashola as a governor was the fact that he became almost an instant success as a governor. BRF as he is popularly known, leveraged on the achievements of Asiwaju to transform Lagos State and delivered good dividends of democracy to Lagosians.
In appreciation of financial wizardry that helped to keep Lagos afloat when Obasanjo withheld statutory allocations meant for Lagos State local government areas, Tinubu declared his preference for Akinwumi Ambode to succeed BRF as governor. The incumbent Lagos State Governor has so far worked very tirelessly to dwarf the seeming unmatchable achievements of Raji Fashola. Of a fact, Ambode has surpassed himself in terms of achievements. Meanwhile, the tide has again turned and Asiwaju has thrown his weight behind the ticket of Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Kadri Hamzat to take over from Ambode as governor and deputy governor respectively of Lagos State respectively. The duo served as Commissioners in Lagos State under Tinubu and Fashola.
It is by the grace of God and the endorsement of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu that Prof. Yemi Osinbajo became the incumbent Vice President of Nigeria. Osinbajo was the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice during the administration of Tinubu between 1999 and 2007. Worthy of note is the confession of the Vice President that he had never met Tinubu before the hunter of leadership qualities appointed him the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State.
The Jargaban of Borgu has also developed other countless numbers of people that are now occupying vantage leadership positions in Nigeria today. It may interest that the out going Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was a two term Commissioner for Works in Lagos State during Tinubu’s administration before he eventually became Osun State Governor himself. Alhaji Gboyega Isiaka Oyetola the incoming governor of the same Osun State is also a product of the leadership breeding school of Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu.
The path of Tinubu and the incumbent governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi crossed during the struggle for the realization of annulled election of the late Chief M. K. O Abiola. Fayemi was instrumental to the daily broadcast of Radio Kudirat during the time of the struggle to which Tinubu committed so much resources and even at the risk of his life. Today, Dr. Fayemi is serving his second term as the governor of Ekiti State and this political attainment could not have been possible without the selfless contributions of Asiwaju Tinubu.
Dr Babatunde Fowler is another product of the leadership school of Asiwaju Tinubu. He was the Executive Chairman, Lagos State Board of Internal Revenue and Chief Executive Officer Lagos State Internal Revenue Service during the administration of Tinubu. Of course, Fowler performed excellently well and it was on the basis of his achievements in Lagos that he got appointed as the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
Ben Akabueze was the Lagos State Commissioner for Budget and Planning during the administration of Asiwaju Tinubu. He is also one of the shinning light of the leadership school of Asiwaju Tinubu. Today, he is the Director General of Budget Office of the federation. Prior to this appointment, Akabueze was the Special Adviser to President Buhari on Planning.
Hon. Abike Dabiri is another individual that has passed through the leadership tutelage of Asiwaju. Dabiri was advised to resign her appointment as a staff of Nigerian Television Authority by Bola Tinubu, after which she became a member of the Federal House of Representatives and represented Ikorodu Federal Constituency for three consecutive times. Today, she is the Special Assistant to President Buhari on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora. Without doubt, political promotions of Dabiri could not have been without the favourable disposition of Asiwaju.
Another shinning light in Nigeria political sphere that underwent tutelage under Asiwaju Tinubu is Muiz Adeyemi Banire. He served as a three-term commissioner in Lagos State and also served as the National Legal Adviser of the All Progressive Congress. Today, he is the Chairman of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigerian and a member of the National Judicial Council. All these attainments have been made possible by God and through the Tinubu’s factor.
The list of leaders that have undergone tutelage under Asiwaju Tinubu is simply endless. The Jargaban Borgu has produced several governors, senators, members House of Representatives and members states House of Assembly. It may also interest that the Majority Leader of House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila is also beneficiary of political mentorship of Asiwaju Tinubu. The story is not any different in the case of the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly and Chairman of Conference of Speakers, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa. He is also a product of the leadership school of Asiwaju Tinubu, hence his consistently rising political profile.
Tinubu is a leader like no other in the political firmament of Nigeria. His desire to groom and grow leaders is unparalleled. He is meticulous in his search for leadership qualities but exhibits fidelity in his strive to ensure that his products attains greater leadership heights.
A youth group in Akoko, the Akoko Youth Alliance (AYA) said it has adopted and threw it’s full weight behind the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Akoko North East/North West Federal Constituency, Bunmi Tunji-Ojo as the right and credible candidate to represent the constituency at the House of Representatives in 2019.
The group, in a statement signed by its Coordinator, Olusegun Akintunde on Thursday, said the constituency has suffered for too long in the hands of incompetent representatives and the 2019 election is the best opportunity to get it right by voting a credible and competent candidate.
AYA said “The present lawmaker representing the constituency could best be described as the most incompetent we’ve ever had as representatives. He has lost touch with base and has not done anything tangible in the constituency since elected, which is why he has been jumping from one political party to another.
“After a rigorous process of deliberation and scrutiny of the various candidates put forward by the political parties, we concluded that BTO has the credibility, competence and capability required to turn around the fortune of our constituency for better.
“From his manifesto and his past records, it is evident that Tunji-Ojo stands out as one whose wealth of experience and exposure would work well to attract infrastructural and human capital development to the constituency when elected,” Akintunde added.
“What we need presently is a candidate who is highly exposed, experienced and have strong connection with both young and old, have contributed immensely to the development of the society.
“We strongly believe that such candidate when elected would no doubt be accountable to the people and also deliver greater dividends of democracy to the constituency,” the group said.
The group however assured the candidate of its readines to embark on door to door campaign to mobilise voters and ensure his success in the 2019 poll.