Tinubu: Audacity of a prophet
It was Samuel Sutherland in his book, “why revival tarry,” who posited that pastors make the Pulpit famous, while prophets make the prison famous. This is essentially a truism as regards prophets of old because of their penchant for the truth, no matter whose ox is gored.
Prophets are wired with this atavistic tendencies, which make them not just sue for structural change, but also live far beyond the political, economic, socio-cultural ethos of their time. Today, some pastors also exude these traits. One can imagine the fate that would have befallen Elijah the prophet if he had been caught by King Ahab or Jezebel. Needless to say that he would have ended up the way of John the Baptist who was beheaded because of the same posture.
Right from biblical history, it is common knowledge that God himself raises a prophet not man, specifically to address a teething problem of a nation. Prophet John the Baptist was raised not just to forerun the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ but also to save Israel that was already lost to ceremony, sacrifice and circumcision over a thousand years before the coming of Jesus. This was the religious state of stupor the nation state Israel was in, hence the need to reconcile the people of Israel with God became the subject matter, the hallmark of the ministry of John the Baptist and the earthly ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Just like Israel, Nigerian’s democracy though on course, is not without serious challenges. Now, what is the specific problem of Nigeria that is begging to be addressed? Indeed, it is the malaise called leadership challenge. Students and experts of political history could not agree more that successive governments from independence till date has turned out to be worse than their predecessors. Living standards continue to get worse daily for the vast majority of Nigerian’s and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel.
This, of course, is Nigerian’s hills of Achilles. And our solution must necessary come from a God-inspired purposeful and puritanical leader who will dare query the hegemony of the existing order he may have been part of, just like Karl Marx who was born an aristocrat, succeeded in changing the rabid capitalist posture of his people.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu, right from the days of NADECO, through the series of harassments, detentions and his subsequent escape to the United States of America, is still undaunted. Tinubu had the audacity to continue the struggle even in the U.S, as he turned his house into the rallying point, the launching pad of other activists in the struggle for democracy.
The menace of Abacha’s death squad even outside the country did not deter him. He was clear in his resolve and total commitment like a prophet of God sent on an errand for the cause and mission he was more than ready to live and die for.
Tinubu saw his mission beyond ethnic parochialism, the reason he opted out of Alliance of Democracy (A.D) for a more nationalistic, politically adventurous, more productive platform AC, ACN and then APC, which he tremendously and unarguably helped to nurture to its omnibus status.
When the former president, Olusegun Obasanjo tried and almost succeeded in colonising the ACN state in 2003, Tinubu peeped into the future and saw ahead of his peers and time. He warned other colleagues who would not listen to him. He was the only ACN governor who stood against the greek gift of Obasanjo and against his expansionist acquisition of the ACN by PDP.
After the progressive era of the first civilian Governor of Lagos State, the late Lateef Jakande was cut short by the coup, the military’s unproductive interregnum, in character and form, threw Lagos and indeed the country into a state of political inertia, socio-cultural economic and political stupor. Lagos and the entire country was back in the Stone Age. The advent and emergence of the Bola Tinubu administration once again brought the lustre back to governance and development in Lagos even when Obasanjo swore to bring Tinubu to his knees, seizing the revenue allocation to Lagos state. Obasanjo had alleged constitutional breach in the local government’s arbitrary increase. But, Tinubu, the constitutional architect, was able to meander through and succeeded in evolving a visionary, sustainable development master plan, a template Tinubu and his successors have adopted in advancing the frontiers of good Governance in Lagos state.
Just as Tinubu was destined to lay the foundation for a greater Lagos, the cynosure of all eyes, the pride of Nigeria, he is destined to once again place Nigeria on the pedestal that will soon make her the pride of Africa, and the entire world at large. Prophets on assignment do not die until they accomplish their God given mission on earth. The strength to achieve this is already given from above.
Buhari came to forerun Tinubu just as John the Baptist to Jesus. For the prophecy of becoming a Nigeria president to be fulfilled in the life of President Buhari after series of failed attempts, it took God’s intervention through Bola Tinubu et al. It does seem and follows logically, as a matter of fact, not just by our political calculus, that Tinubu would be the expected political messiah to deliver Nigeria from the aforesaid malaise – the discontinuous political leadership that has led to inconsistency of government policies, which has also bedeviled the fabrics of Nigerian polity.
Tinubu brought continuity to governance in Lagos, which has engendered transformation in all the critical and other sectors in Lagos. He is set to repeat same at the federal level. This is no praise singing but a prognostication.
If indeed Nigeria is going to make something meaningful of the present political socio-economic realignment and dynamics of the world order, it will need not just a leader but a pragmatist with the inkling of a prophet to refocus its foreign policy through reappraisal of its domestic policies. The policies must be subjected to serious re-engineering to also contain strategies that will reduce if not completely decimate the activities of the Boko Haram and banditry, the very cause of the general insecurity that has scared away and is still scaring away investors and fast crippling our economy.
Tinubu has over the years distinguished himself as a dogged, brave fighter, a brilliant constitutional architect and reformer, a capable administrator, a man of high intelligence and great intellectual ability. He certainly and indisputably deserves the place of honour and the esteemed office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is on the strength of these elements and character traits that are very well mixed in him that we recommend him as the next President. It is equally suggested that he stays recommended in the minds of the true progressives of our dear country Nigeria.
Olabode Ayo-Philips is lead consultant, Philexstone Consult, a media communication organisation in Lagos. He was also a media/publicity committee member of the defunct Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu campaign organization. He wrote via firstname.lastname@example.org