BY IK OGBONNA
Bola Ahmed Tinubu, (BAT) is one of Nigeria’s most visionary, astute and strategic politicians. A man who dream dreams and works painstakingly to realize them. A man who garners men of intellect around him to assist him achieve his goal.
Born (offially) on the 29th of March, 1952, after an illustrious career in the private sector that saw him working for top blue chip firms including, Arthur Anderson, Deloitte and GTE and then Mobil Oil Producing as an Accountant. He joined partisan politics and was elected a Senator in 1992 under the Social Democratic Party, SDP.
In 1983, MKO Abiola (the presumed winner of the 1993 Presidential election) had his “victory” cut short by the military junta led by late Gen. Sani Abacha, forcing Tinubu and others to flee Nigeria in 1994 to form and fund NADECO (National Democratic Coalition), a pro-democracy group that fought against the military for the restoration of democracy. The fast thinking Tinubu immediately the transition was announced by Gen. Abubakar, returned home in 1998 with the impending exit of the military unlike most other activists and seeking to be and was elected as a two term Governor of Lagos State. As Governor of Lagos state under the Alliance for Democracy, AD, Tinubu survived the guile and trickery of the then President Olusegun Obasanjo who sought an alliance with the South West. While PDP made a clean sweep of the zone, Tinubu alone stood tall. Also, despite his struggle with the Obasanjo led Federal Government, Tinubu performed wonderfully well and changed the face of Lagos State with landmark achievements in all sectors of the state.
In 2006, Tinubu’s quest to be President resonated and commenced in earnest. He dangled the Presidential ticket of AD before Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the then Vice President of Nigeria with a plan to be his running mate. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar accepted the offer but chose Senator Ben Obi as his running mate but, regrettably, he lost to the PDP.
In 2009, BAT returned to his political chess board planning a Mega Party to challenge PDP. In February 2013, Tinubu was top on the list of several prominent politicians who formed a “mega opposition” party with the coalition of Nigeria’s three biggest opposition parties – the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), 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 People’s Democratic Party into the All Progressives Congress. He again dangled the ticket of the new party this time to General Mohammadu Buhari (Rtd) to also be his running mate but this dream was aborted when the fear of a Muslim-Muslim ticket made PMB pick Prof. Yemi Osibanjo, a protégé of BAT. They both won the 2015 presidential election . Again in 2019, BAT supported PMB and his deputy to get re-elected and patiently bid his time. He threw his support 100 percent behind the PMB led government in spite of provocations from several quarters, BAT remained focused.
In June 2023 at Abeokuta, while addressing his people from the South West after declaring his interest in presidential election, BAT spoke in his native tongue declaring it is “his turn” (emi lokan) to be President. That declaration drew mixed reactions of support and condemnation but it was the audacity of a dreamer and his dream. A focused man and his life long ambition. Of a politician and his quest for public office. Of a strategist and his strategy. Of a player with his eyes focused on the ball. For a very long time, Nigeria has be led by reluctant leaders. President Shagari wanted to be a Senator, Jonathan was happy as governor, Obasanjo asked how many presidents they wanted to make of him. Buhari was satisfied tending to his cows. Those who really aspired never got it. Late MKO Abiola, late sage, late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, late Pa Awolowo etc.
Today, the 29th day of May, 2023, the dreamer President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has realized his life long ambition. He is worthy of being studied and emulated. It is the stuff that focused and ambitious men are made of.
As President of our dear nation, we are obliged to pray and support President Bola Ahmed Tinubu even while his victory is under judicial scrutiny. We must allow the judiciary do their job. Nigeria must prevail.
Mr President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, I doff my hat for you and the audacity of your dream.
Long live Mr President
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Ik Ogbonna, fcai, anipr is an Owerri-based journalist and PR/Media Consultant