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Tinubu; The First Prepared President Nigeria Is Going To Have — Lukman Banjoko



Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu

Tinubu: In the First Republic, Papa Awolowo and Nnamdi Azikiwe were the two most prepared for the top post. Their parties came third and second respectively in the parliamentaryelection.

Awolowo approached Zik for a working alliance between the two parties with Awolowo accepting to be the ceremonial President and Zik emerging as the Prime Minister. Zik, sensing that the West which Awo came from were more educated than the East, he opted to align with the less educated but politically sophisticated North.

The arrangement was called in Political Science as the Unholy Alliance between the two dominant parties. The rest today is history as the topmost post went to the unprepared Arabic Teacher, Tafawa Balewa. Nigeria missed the opportunity.

The failed Major Chukwuemeka Kaduna Nzeogwu’s brought Major General Aguiyi Ironsi to power. Power tussle and political machinations brought in General Yakubu Gowon who released and used Awolowo as the Vice Chairman of the highest council in the land then.

The country went into civil war for three years without borrowing. Immediately Papa Awolowo left the Council in 1970 after the war, things started to deteriorate which brought General Ramat Muritala to power. He tried to make Nigeria a super power in the comity of nations by standing for Africa.

However, he made Nigeria a unitary country under a federal system. The states which were hitherto independent, became federal agencies and made local governments a third tier of government. This is where Nigeria got it wrong. After his death in coup de tat, the baton fell on his deputy, Olusegun Obasanjo whose only agenda was to do the bidding of the core north.

He handed power in 1979 to a primary school teacher, Alhaji Shehu Shagari who was preparing to go to the senate at that time. OBJ, even declared that, apparently referring to Awolowo, the best candidate doesn’t win elections Nigeria, also missed the chance to straighten things.

On 31st December, 1983, military struck again. It brought the then Major Generals Muhammadu Buhari and Tunde Idiagbon to power. The two no nonsense officers tried to redefined Nigeria. But their colleagues in the military in collaboration with some powerful civilians truncated the ambition.

Here came the evil genius, Maradona and self styled Military President, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida on 27th August, 1985. He brought Nigeria to his kneel while trying to sustain himself in power to become a life president.

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Many elections were conducted with a predetermined no end result other than to sustain IBB in power. Luck, however ran out of him when his bosom friend, Chief MKO Abiola defeated him and his strategies by emerging the winner of the 1993 Presidential election. It is worthy to note that Tinubu played major role in the emergence of MKO.

In fact, he stood down his ambition to become the Senate President for MKO to emerge as the Presidential candidate of SDP in Jos. The crisis of the annulment led to the setting up of Interim National Government headed by Chief Ernest Adegunle Shonekan who died recently.

Shinekan was shoved aside in a Palace coup by the dark goggle General Sani Abacha. His administration witnessed so many political assassinations and upheavals. Tinubu, using NADECO and Allied rallied the world against Abacha’s government until.his death and that of Abiola in 1998.

General Abdulsalam Abubakar was so much in a hurry to return Nigeria to Civil rule. The north got their friend OBJ who was just released from the prison to do their bidding in 1999. He won the election against all odds by defeating a well trained Economist, Chief Olu Falae who had been angling for the job since 1989. OBJ, on completion of his tenure in 2007, handed over to a sick Umaru Musa YarAdua, who as the first educated graduate to occupy the post, tried his best but his health challenges affected him until his death in 2010 or thereabout..

The doctrine of necessity brought in the opportunist, Goodluck Jonathan. I called him an opportunist not to denigrate him but say the fact. Back in Bayelsa state in 1998, he was the secretary of the Alaimeseiya political group. Alaimeseiya selected him as his running mate for the governorship election which they won.

He became the governor when his boss was impeached and the governorship candidate of his party in 2007 before he was selected by OBJ to run alongside YarAdua as his running mate. The point here is he wasn’t prepared for the job, but his name, Goodluck brought him far. He won the 2011 election and lost the 2015 election to PMB.

I won’t say PMB didn’t prepare for the job, his health issues, his northern root and his level of education grossly affected his performance.

From all the above, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR has no reason not to perform. When he was the Governor of Lagos State, he tackled Nigeria’s biggest problem- Power. He brought Enron from the US to generate power for Lagos State. When the project reached distribution stage, OBJ truncated the process by saying that it was on the Excusive list and not Concurrent list.

Secondly, the political tsunami and rigmarole that characterized the 2003 election is referred. Tinubu became the only surviving Alliance for Democracy Governor. He was courted by the then ruling PDP stalwarts to join the party. He refused. Rather, he launched deft moves to regain the control of the West for his new party, AC/ACN.

He extended his hand of fellowship to his Allied across the Niger and the East. He poached the PDP and came back with some of their Governors which led to the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. After assisting to install the government, he was shoved aside. He didn’t wavered. He was brought back to assist the party in remaining power in 2019. He did to the admiration of all. He stepped back until he launched himself in January 2022 as Emilokan, E gbe kini yi wa… And to God be the glory, he emerged in a keenly contested Presidential Election on 25th February, 2023.

As President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is being inaugurated today, 29th May, 2023, here is wishing the political titan of our time a successful tenure in office.

Lukman Banjoko
Sagamu, Ogun State.

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