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Perspectives for 2023 – Part 2

By Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa
03 May 2022   |   2:40 am
Some people look up to the APC to produce the next president after Buhari purely because of the incumbency factor, nothing more. If we go by the records of its (non) performance

[files] A voter drops ballot papers into a ballot box during an election in Nigeria.

Continued from yesterday

Some people look up to the APC to produce the next president after Buhari purely because of the incumbency factor, nothing more. If we go by the records of its (non) performance, the party does not deserve the vote of any reasonable person. It has taken the nation backwards in many respects, it has no quantum of integrity, it could not defend its manifesto to the people of Nigeria when it mattered most and it has led us on a roller coaster trip of empty promises, monstrous propaganda and media manipulations. It succeeded wonderfully as the opposition party but failed woefully as the ruling party when it was entrusted with power.

Unlike the PDP however, the APC has already zoned its presidential ticket to the South, which ordinarily should be a commendable idea but for the latent mines planted along that tricky route.

Undoubtedly, the leading contenders for the APC ticket as of today are His Excellency Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, His Excellency Professor Yemi Osinbajo and His Excellency Mr. Rotimi Amaechi. Take it or leave it, Tinubu has written his name in gold in the annals of the political history of Nigeria. I say this based purely on my own knowledge and experiences, of and concerning him.

Lagos State as of today has become the model for other States of the Federation, in terms of planning, infrastructure and development. It could not have been the product of guesswork or lazy administration. When he took over the reins of power in 1998, Tinubu committed himself to a master plan, for which he set up a strong team which travelled all over the world to understudy major cities in order to recreate a new Lagos.

Yes, that master plan has been hijacked and bastardized by self-interest in some ways, but the idea remains the best that has emerged from any politician after the Action Group regime of Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Tinubu then invested in men and women, all of whom he partnered with for the implementation of the Lagos Master Plan. Those men would later spread their tentacles to Osun, Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo, Kwara and even far away Ghana and the Gambia. So if we should talk about experience, surely Tinubu should be rated as one of the best materials for the presidency in 2023. I can say a lot more about the positive influence of Tinubu on our national polity but this is not the forum or time. I have had cause to disagree with a good number of his policies based purely on my conviction and principles, but this will not detract from the laudable vision that he outlined for Lagos when he came on board. Be that as it may, we cannot overrate an individual above the Constitution.
It may be that Tinubu has contributed immensely towards the political fortunes of His Excellency the Vice-President, the latter who has been his personal counsel, his official Attorney-General as Governor and one of the brains behind the several legal exploits that Tinubu has accomplished in his checkered political career. Now I have read so much on social media on why Tinubu should and why Tinubu should not declare for the presidency in 2023. I personally believe he should not and I will tell you why. The Vice-President is so far the greatest product of Tinubu’s political school, which is yet to produce the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, being the only position that has not been attained by that group. If it is correct to say that Osinbajo is a product of that school, then there is no reason why he should be denied the opportunity of representing that school for the highest office. No matter the role that Tinubu may have played in the political life of Nigeria, it will be unfair to his reputation to say that he did all that he has done for the selfish and personal ambition to become President or that he has raised men and women all the while purely for his own good.

Nobody should play godfatherism to such an extent that he sits down to encourage people to aspire to the best of their potential only to create a ceiling or barrier for them. You cannot raise a person to the office of Vice-President and then suddenly turn around to ask him not to run for the highest office on account solely that it has been your life ambition. Surely the nation is greater than any individual and no one should rate himself so high as to hold the nation to ransom by declaring himself as the only one fit for any particular office.

In fact, if we should turn the argument around, the better way to put it is that those who have sacrificed their lives, their thoughts and destinies alongside Tinubu have been the ones who have sustained him so far and he should be the one to show gratitude and loyalty to them while he retires peacefully and successfully to watch them grow.

Adegboruwa is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, (SAN.)