Bola Tinubu is eminently qualified to run for the presidency, writes Idowu Sowunmi
It’s increasingly becoming clear that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu may be one of the contenders in the 2023 presidential election. Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has become a political brand with a proven mark of impact and influence in different parts of Nigeria. His die-hard supporters and admirers are in many parts of the country.
With the recent launch of the South-west Agenda 2023 (SWAGA ‘23) in Lagos State, Tinubu’s ardent supporters and well wishers across Nigeria and beyond have demonstrated their common interests to sustain the pressure on him to run for 2023 presidential election, to vigorously campaign for him and to ensure his victory at the poll. The statement has been made and the unfolding events obviously pointed in this direction.
Even, the reception recently organised for Tinubu after his three-month medical trip abroad turned out to be another fertile ground to spread the word.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong for Tinubu, popularly known as Jagaban Borgu, to aspire to rule Nigeria. He is eminently qualified like any other politicians in the land. For different reasons, Tinubu’s candidacy will definitely attract diverse political assessments, reassessments and possibly “post-reassessments.”
As nature demands, people will always have different shades of opinions and views about one person or the other. There are people who will, as a matter of fact, go to any extent to defend and support the candidacy of Tinubu. Such groups of people are well armed with his track records and they are prepared to face anyone in making a case for his candidacy. They are ready to work round the clock to win more souls for Jagaban.
These people will go extra miles to celebrate the contributions of Tinubu to good governance and democracy in Nigeria. They will recall his good deeds as democracy activist during the military era and his eventful reign as a governor of Lagos State, the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria. They will also want to push into the front burners of the discussion. Tinubu’s various political activities since 2007 after he left Lagos State Government House, most especially his consistency as an opposition figure and his major contributions to the election of Muhammadu Buhari as the presidential candidate of the opposition party, APC, in 2015.
On the other hand, there will be a category of people who will vehemently oppose Tinubu’s candidacy. To these people, no good thing can be said of Tinubu. They hate his political ideologies and they don’t want to have anything to do with him. They describe him differently as a godfather, among others.
Meanwhile, there is a group of Nigerians who are totally indifferent. When you tell them about Tinubu’s presidential ambition, they will simply respond: “What about it? I don’t care who becomes the next president.”
The stark reality of our human existence is the fact that people will always hold one opinion or the other about one personality or the other. It is a natural order. And no one can stop anyone from expressing his/her views about human beings, animals, places or things.
As the journey for 2023 general elections unfold, opinions and views will go through various degrees of adjustments, mal-adjustments and re-adjustments. Some will be won over, while some will decamp.
In fact, some Tinubu’s close associates who fell out at some points will be recruited to do dirty jobs, while there will still be a group of Nigerians that will perpetually remain undecided.
Days ahead are bound to be interesting.
If our greatest religious leaders like Jesus Christ or Mohammed (SWT) should contest any election in Nigeria today, people will still have divided views.
No matter the political lens one is wearing in analysing Tinubu’s imposing profile, no one has come out to say clearly that the man lacks the capacity or capability or intellectual pedigree to perform credibly well if voted for as the next president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
If anything, Tinubu’s towering political personality remains a constant reference point in many quarters. Truth must be said: If Tinubu’s political acumen is what it takes to fix the Nigeria Project, I think it is only logical to rally round him in order to truly take the country to the next level.
It is called democracy. If we think there is a viable alternative to Tinubu, the person should be prepared to slug it out at the poll.
Debates about 2023 general elections should go beyond avoidable emotional spankings or unfounded arguments or some baseless conspiracy theories. Let us have robust and meaningful discussions ahead of the 2023 general elections.
There is no more excuse. If we feel strongly concerned about the Nigeria Project, then it is time for us to get involved.
With Nigeria’s abundant natural resources and human capital, this country must not be a failed project. We must take a deliberate step to give the Nigeria Project a new purposeful direction and set it on the right paths of real development.
This article by Idowu Sowunmi was originally published in THISDAY Newspapers n October 17,2021