At 70, Tinubu remains an enigmatic symbol!
Once again especially at this time when the trumpet and sounds of electioneering have filled the air in Nigeria, the name Bola Ahmed Tinubu has dominated all facets of the nation’s media.
Is that surprising to anybody? No! Not to a discerning mind who has followed the trajectory which this enigma has plotted for himself and after having carved it, marched with gusto and savvy into its curves both treacherous and sanguine.
Year after year from 1999 to this moment, Asiwaju has become a constant factor in defining the outcomes of elections not just in Lagos state but also in Nigeria.
One could easily conclude that this is a man driven by the deep altruistic desire to confront the forces of communal decadence and social rot no matter what it may cost him personally. He is willing at all times to sacrifice himself for others and the society and this could be seen easily from the numerous battles he has fought throughout his journey thus far both as a budding leader and now as a national leader and opinion moulder in our great nation.
His principles and idealism could be anchored on this simple maxim of “Ubuntu” “I am because we are”. It is this understanding of the very unshakable African spirit that shapes the dynamics of his engagements with other stakeholders. He seeks to build the community; the people in it and the institutions and traditions that govern them believing that once the society is healthy; all elements within it will significantly be impacted positively and vice versa.
If you are still looking for why he has built so many men who have gone on to become giants on their own since 1999, then, there lies your answer. The reason for building men all over the place is his belief that various people with diverse capacities in various places coalesce to build a better and stronger society. He simply builds men not for himself but for society.
That is why every year whenever we celebrate his birthday, it is no more a celebration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu but a celebration of the community. It is no longer personal or individualistic but a gathering of the people to lift up the ideals that have come to be encapsulated in one man. His birthday has become a founding by the society of the very ethos which would keep it making progress and it is a recognition of the embodiment of hope which is demonstrated in the life of one man.
Some of us are products of Asiwaju’s pursuit for a better Nigeria through the empowerment of men and women pe
opling our communities. He goes out of his way to identify young talents no matter where they may be and encourages them to participate in nation-building. I and many of my colleagues are products of this effort and this singular attribute separates him miles apart from most of the horde that constitutes the nation’s leadership spectrum. He gives others a reason to serve while using himself as a vehicle for their participation not minding whether they are appreciative to him personally or not as long as they remain valuable and contribute towards national development.
When you, therefore, hear him talk about the fact that “to be the President of Nigeria is my lifelong passion” few may not understand where that key statement comes from but too many of us that have come to be his acolytes, it resonates loudly. Why is that so? Simple, at his feet, he has taught us that we must seek at all times to lay a good foundation upon which a future that will be the envy of other nations is built. He states that it is only men and women with the right passion and vision occupy the position of power that a society may be truly empowered to forge a strong anchor upon which that desired progress may be built. No one is insignificant and as he opined, as long as God gives us life and as long as we still have the desired strength, he insists that we must present ourselves to serve as it is founded on the factors that would help us build better societies.
That statement, therefore, speaks to his undying love for this nation; his quest to unleash his vision on the political space to make Nigeria a nation that all of us can be proud of and truly his passion to stop the rot in governance and enthrone egalitarianism in all spheres of national life. He understands that the power to make a difference in the lives of Nigerians is within his grasp thus he yearns for that opportunity to serve Nigerians and puts a lie to the global belief that Africans cannot produce great leaders.
The Jagaban Borgu is as fearless as he is humane. He never goes out of his way to court trouble but will not run away from one especially when he has restrained himself and sought all ways to seek rapprochement with the other party. I have seen him appease even those that publicly offended him drawing them closer to himself after forgiving all their errors. He, therefore, does not expect all of us to be perfect but allows us those latitudes of occasional errors patiently teaching and redirecting our paths; that is how he has been able to build a team of highly dedicated but efficient men and women around himself.
Some of us only truly have just pity for those who think they can blackmail him out of his drive to become the president of our great country. He does not need their noise, he does not need their din, he does not need their sycophancy neither does he need their feeble and weakened hands. He knows that the only support he needs he already has and that is the support of the almighty God whom he serves fervently and Nigerian masses scattered around the nation with whom he has built solid connection these past years. These are his core supporters and those that he truly needs.
A man driven with deep convictions cannot be stopped easily. When such person is backed with the necessary zeal and capability, he becomes unassailable. When he combines them with the unending clamour and desires of the people, he becomes a phenomenon. Bola Ahmed Tinubu has transcended the ordinary in our nation’s political sphere. He has succeeded in creating a movement that is increasing by the day and does not seem to wane anytime soon.
As the 29th of March 2022 approaches which mark the 70th birthday anniversary of this living legend, the Asiwaju continues to mesmerise and confound his critics while his traducers watch with fearful envy. He has bestridden our political space like a colossus mastering the nuances and dynamics of the ever-unfolding drama that keeps marking the nation’s political terrain.
His trailblazing instincts could be seen in his decision to announce his entrance into the contest for the 2023 Presidential election. He chose to do so at the Presidential villa. He chose to announce it to the man he wants to replace in 2023. That was a profound moment and very audacious despite all the envious protestations. This singular act galvanised and signposts the beginning of the race to 2023. Other contenders woke from their slumber to announce their already failed ambitions.
With that act alone, he has shown leadership and humility. He shook the lethargy that had seemed to have engulfed the political space shaking off all the fetters and gyres that had hitherto held many of his opponent in its thrall. If that is not enough sign to others that they should give way to this natural leader to lead Nigeria in 2023 then I do not think these leaders are sensitive in spirit at all.
AS we celebrate the 70th birthday of this enigma, let it be known that Asiwaju is not one of those seeking to be president based on what he is promising to do but he is presenting his scorecard for everybody to see. The testimonies of many people both celebrities and ordinary men and women on the streets bear witness to the fact that this is the man that is in the right position to lead our nation at this time. From Jay-Jay Okocha to Nwankwo Kanu and Taribo West including various top actors and actresses in the entertainment industry, members of the clergy and Artisans all over the federation; the testimonies are overwhelming.
We celebrate a man of 70 years who despite his trials and tribulations has remained refreshingly and excitingly an enigma. When they thought that they had shut him out, he turned the table against them and when they had written him off, they saw his name boldly etched in their faces. This is one man you cannot wish away and this is one tree that has the capacity to make a forest. I think that those who have sworn to leave Nigeria if Tinubu becomes President should already be planning which country they will retire to and those who want to go to the farm had better purchase the acres of land and the machines needed for the project because Tinubu will retire them to their chosen places as he becomes President come 2023.
The magnitude and depth of the celebration symbolises the unifying influence which he has become both to our great party the APC and Nigeria generally. There is no other way to explain the outpouring of encomiums and widespread rejoicing and effusive praises to the almighty God for yet preserving him with good health so that he can continue serving his people.
Participants in the celebrations have stated unequivocally their choice of leadership. They, therefore, saw in it the need to blow the beagle so that those who are still on the side-line can become part of it. The opportunity is therefore presented to all Nigerians to seize organise around the Asiwaju for the benefit of all.
This is a man who has shown repeatedly that he is not in politics for self-aggrandizement but to push the cause of the down-trodden demonstrating in several ways that he is willing to become the sacrificial lamb for the progress of our nation.
Spiritually inclined persons will always tell you that when God wants to cause a major change in any society, he sends a man! When he wants to begin something new in the life of a people, he chooses a man and when He wants to answer the prayers and listen to the cries of a people in the throes of angst and deprivation, he raises a man and sends him. Bola Ahmed Tinubu unequivocally may have been chosen by God at this time as an answer to our yearnings. The man Tinubu is the man sent by God to fulfil our dreams as a people and as a nation. That is why we celebrate his birthday with fervour.
Perhaps, that is why God has kept him metamorphosing and very unpredictable to his opponents and those wishing to douse his God-given light. The pillar of cloud by the day and the pillar of fire by night confounded the enemies of God’s chosen ones. We can see God doing the same in the life of Tinubu and that is why even at 70yrs he remains an unfolding enigma to them even as he marches fearlessly towards the fulfilment of his mission. His carriage at this time has aptly demonstrated the understanding that a child sent by his father on a mission will break every barrier on his way with unusual boldness knowing the power of the one who sent him. Tinubu knows that God is with him and will support him all the way.
We, therefore, pray to the good Lord who has given him to us to keep him in good health and preserve him so that he can live long to fulfil the purpose for which God almighty brought him into existence.
Our hands are joined together at this threshold of history with Senator Ahmed Tinubu’s well-wishers all over the world including the men and women he has raised to once again plead with him to continue providing his leadership roles to us. Our beagles are in our mouths shouting from the rooftops in support of your march to Aso rock. May the wind never cease from your sail and be assured that all of our hands are on the deck to ensure that you are not discouraged or pushed away from your divinely ordained mission.
We restate our position when he celebrated his 65yrs in 2017;
“It is not an easy task but the nation unanimously agrees as testified by the outpouring of praises that Tinubu can do it, they believe that he is equal to the task and can deliver. We pledge our continued loyalty and support towards delivering the promise and expectations of Nigerians. We assure BAT that he will never be alone as he takes up the mantle which this has placed upon him. We shall be with him and we shall work with him holding his hands at all times until victory is delivered to all Nigerians.”
At this time of the long sword we pray that God will strengthen him, provide him with the requisite energy and equip him with wisdom, understanding and knowledge that he needs to continue driving the vision so that the mission will be fulfilled. We are vigilant and we urge the Jagaban Borgu to refuse to be distracted by the noise around, the betrayals and the backstabbing! Our God has a shield around you and we pray to him to fortify that hedge around you as we go deeper into the mucky waters of 2023 elections!
Jimoh is a member, Lagos State House Of Assembly representing Apapa Constituency I1.