By Femi Salako
There is no disputing the fact that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a political colossus that is imbued with amazing leadership qualities.
The Jargaban of Borgu has undoubtedly paid his dues in partisan politics; just as he has equally passed through the vicissitude of Nigerian politics, albeit unscathed.
The two term former governor of Lagos State has over the years demonstrated his quality of good governance as well as the ingenuity of building political bridges.
He is also manifestly deserving of accolades for his strategic ability to readily spot out quality materials for political positions.
Perhaps, the biggest political achievement of Tinubu aside presiding over the affairs of Lagos State for eight years was his undeniable collaborative roles in ending the 16 years reign of PDP at the federal level.
The former senator had fearlessly propelled the APC to win the presidential election in 2015. Also, he has cleverly succeeded in projecting a good number of his political proteges to prominent leadership positions in Nigeria.
It is uncontestable that the likes of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; incumbent governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Interior Minister, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, SAN, and host of others owe their ascendancy to the political prominence to Tinubu.
However, in spite of all the excellent leadership qualities of Tinubu, he has unfortunately submitted himself to the twin counterproductive political styles of ‘money bag politics’ and ‘imposition politics’.
Although these twin undesirable factors may have promoted some people, the beneficiaries would expectedly not see anything that is wrong in “imposition position’ and ‘money bag politics”.
Meanwhile, beneficiaries of “baba sope” brand of politics that is being promoted by the Jargaban merely constitute a fractional percentage; compared to those that are bitterly against it.
Political imposition in Nigeria is definitely not invented by Tinubu; nevertheless, the political strategist has definitely taken same to the extreme. The entire landscape of the South-West is replete with traces of candidates imposed on the people by the Asiwaju of Lagos.
It is without doubt that many supporters of Tinubu are furiously discontented with his political style of “baba sope”.
The height of Tinubu’s proclivity for political imposition was witnessed when he practically turned Hon. James Abiodun Faleke to a proverbial god that attempted to watch over two different houses.
Faleke has been representing Ikeja federal constituency of Lagos since 2011; yet, Jargaban propped him to contest for deputy governorship position in Kogi.
As a matter of fact, Faleke could have become a deputy governor in Kogi, but for the unfortunate and sudden demise of Alhaji Abubakar Audu in November 22, 2015.
Audu was the governorship candidate of APC in the staggered gubernatorial election that was held in Kogi.
Another rather confusing demonstration of proclivity for political imposition by the National Leader of APC was when he openly encouraged Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, popularly known as Yayi, to contest for governorship in Ogun State.
Here is a man that had twice represented Lagos State in the House of Representatives and now representing Lagos West in the Senate for the second time.
Asiwaju may have done better in this regard without making enemies for himself in his resolve to ensure continuous political patronage for Yayi. The same propensity of Tinubu to impose his preferred governorship candidate in Ogun has sadly given birth to two bitterly divided factions of APC in the Gateway State.
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The story is not any different in Osun State as Tinubu yet again forced his cousin, Gboyega Oyetola, down the throat of the then governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
Due to this factor of candidate imposition, the ‘Dancing Senator’, Ademola Adeleke almost won the 2018 governorship contest in Osun.
On the basis of Tinubu’s style of candidate imposition, he has sadly fallen out with several of his hitherto political children and perhaps, also attracting more foes than friends.
Meanwhile, there is no denying the fact that Tinubu is seriously nursing an ambition to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023. Undoubtedly, he is eminently qualified for the position and also has a whole lot of goodwill to latch on.
But, the fast rate at which the Jargaban is crossing the paths of people, basically on the basis of candidates’ imposition, may negatively affect his chances.
He is definitely a great presidential material that can be proudly flaunted by any Nigerian. Even with this, he needs to learn some useful lessons from the fallout of recent ‘EndSARS’ protests in Lagos State.
At this crucial stage of Tinubu’s political political life, he needs to stay firmly focused on the big picture and let go of distractions. He also needs to make sacrifices that will improve his perception in the Nigerian political space.
It is just reasonable for Tinubu who wants to become President in 2023 to stop his wife from seeking another term as senator. Moreso, he needs to let go of deciding who gets what in all the APC controlled states of South-West. The Jargaban should also learn to live and let live (ibiri kambiri).
Similarly, Tinubu should publicly discourage the idea or situation whereby one candidate will represent two different states at the National Assembly.
Above all, Asiwaju truly need to ensure the enthronement of internals democracy within the APC and particularly in the Lagos State chapter of the party.
He also needs to reconcile with as many of his estranged political children and associates. Tinubu should desist, henceforth, from choking the political space in favor of his preferred candidates.
We have seen hitherto political enemies that turned 360 degrees to become the most dependable allies of their former ‘tormentor in chief’.
No one can in good conscience dispute the fact that Tinubu is one of the foremost leaders of Yoruba nation.
For this reason therefore, Jargaban must promote the fostering of unity amongst all the leaders of the Yoruba nation.
He should also deemphasize his brand of ‘money bag politics’ and learn useful lessons from a couple of socialist policies of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
Who even says that Tinubu could not be as great as Awolowo, provided he is ready to make the necessary sacrifices that will earn him the trust of certain political figures? These are curiously the political figures that may not possess the skill of extracting milk, but they are deftly capable of spilling all already extracted milk.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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