Many persons are still in disbelief that Bola Tinubu is now the president of Nigeria.

When Tinubu said ‘Emilokan’ translated to mean ‘It is my turn’, many persons doubted him, others wrote him off, saying he was too old. 

Bola Tinubu
Bola Tinubu giving his inaugural speech

The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential primary in June 2022, if for anything, offered us a clue of the level of influence, strings and wings of the man, Bola Tinubu.

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Many who had written him off before the presidential primary held by Tinubu’s party, were eventually shocked by his landslide victory.

In fact, some strong contenders stepped down during the primary election held in Abuja.

Up till this moment, the reason for their actions remains unclear.

Man is an ambitious being, but why many politicians were willing and ready to sacrifice their political ambitions for Tinubu remains unfathomable.

Political Structure

As the kickoff of the 2023 election campaign approached, critics once again wrote off Tinubu’s political sagacity, but he stood firm and appeared more confident– this ‘confidence’ should be studied rather than ignored.

Amid rallies conducted by the teeming supporters of Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi and the towering political stature of the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Abubakar Atiku, Tinubu, rather than get intimidated, told his supporters to sheath their swords.

He advised them to lower the temperature of campaign.

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Back to the unforgettable presidential primary of the APC, Tinubu contested against the best in the party, some were way younger and more vibrant, yet Tinubu trounced them roundly to emerge the party’s flag bearer.

A Man Called ‘Jagaban’

In the political landscape of Nigeria, “Jagaban”, as he is called by his supporters, is no minnow to be discountenanced in the scheme of things.

Like an expert who has paid his dues in any field, Tinubu has entrenched a legendary status in the political arena of Nigeria.

His administrative and activism feats have earned him a place in the top echelons of the political pyramids in Nigeria.

The Tinubu Politics (How it started)

Bola Tinubu’s archival political records date back to the days of M.K.O Abiola.

He played a principal role in the campaign team of the business tycoon.

It is recorded in history, how Tinubu was so invested in the M.K.O. Abiola’s dream to become the country’s first democratic president, and consequently, have democracy returned to the land.

In executing this, he was unstinting in unleashing mental and financial resources into the movement.

And not only was Jagaban seen in the prior election days, pushing for the emergence of M.K.O., when the election was annulled by General Ibrahim Babaginda, he was among the very few who spurred the course, attempting to see to it that the mandate be returned to Abiola.

He was one of the founding members of the pro-democracy National Democratic Coalition that mobilised support for the restoration of democracy and recognition of M.K.O., as the winner of the June 12 election.

However, June 12 struggles forced him into exile in 1994, when General Sanni Abacha took over power as the military head of state.

He, however, returned to the country in 1998 after the death of Abacha.

A New Dream

As characteristic of Tinubu, and his propensity for public service, a new dream was born, he contested for the 1999 gubernatorial election in Lagos state and won.

He served as governor for two terms and was responsible for a number of projects that transformed and sytematised Lagos State for a sustainable growth pattern.

With this sparse mention of his political and administrative achievements, one cannot uncouple the impact it would have in swelling his conviction and boosting his scorecard against others rivalling him for the peak political seat in the land.

Incumbency

In further evidencing the basis of his confidence is to consider the political advantage that comes with running on the ticket of the ruling party.

It took 16 years for the PDP to be ousted from power in 2015 when APC did the “unthinkable”.

This is not to validate the rectitude of a party holding sway for a long time especially against the will of the people.

However, if history is anything to go by, it will take a lot from other parties to dislodge the ruling party from the presidential seat it occupies.

This is also to bring back the preponderant number of states – twenty-two – the ruling party holds in Nigeria.

Think of how much of a political advantage that wields to fetching votes in their ambition to maintain their presidential status.

Tinubu’s competitors are cognisant of this political strength.

They know how much of their A-game they need to bring to the political table to upturn the domineering political structure the APC wields.

Muslim/Muslim ticket

Though aged, Tinubu is one of the smartest politicians in Nigeria.

He works with political data in making decisions and micro-targeting his campaign goals to the right demographics.

Hence his ability, more than any candidate to cross the long bridge dividing the northern and southern part of Nigeria ahead of the 2023 presidential election.

Enflaming the conviction of Tinubu in this data-centric politics, is his calculated choice of former Borno State governor, Senator Kashim Shettima who comes with a ponderous influence in the northern region of the country, where “we find the real voters”, (numbers) as claimed by several political analysts.

Although, the choice of Muslim/Muslim ticket came with a heated backlash that almost, if not, divided the party.

However, the tact, ingenuity and boldness he displayed by making the decision and facing the inevitable outburst is what stands him out.

This feat lends much credence to the undeniable trait that Tinubu is never timid to proffer solutions to problems in both riskless and risky context.

Putting up own defence, Tinubu and his handlers pointed to BAT’s marriage to a Christian, Remi.

They cited his administration as Lagos governor, among other several instances where he has proved himself to be a detrabalised leader.

Financial war chest

Ultimately, it will be delusive to exonerate the role of the “war chest” when it comes to elections.

It is what separates the boys from the men, willy-nilly. On September 28, 2022, election campaign that will last for six months began.

The fact is that talks don’t do campaigns alone.

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You need the war chest to outdo your competitors in an election. All political parties know this, all political candidates will deploy this.

A politician at that level requires funds to take care of the financial expenses of an electoral campaign.

Although excoriated for his entitled mentality towards the election with his now-famed catchword, “E mi lo kan”, it only takes a man who knows what it takes and what he has to make such an assuring statement.

Tinubu The Warrior And His Massive Structure

Titles like ‘Asiwaju of Lagos’; ‘Jagaban of Borgu Kingdom’ in the Northern Niger state, ‘Aare of Ile-Oluji’ and ‘Agba-Akin Adinni of Ijesha land’ are symbolic.

They serve as pointers to Tinubu’s evolution as a warrior who actively fought and won many battles in Nigeria’s democratisation process.

Tinubu’s machinery brought many politicians to power.

Also Read: VIDEO: Stage Collapses During Swearing-in Of New Kano Gov

For over 20 years, Tinubu has relentlessly invested in deepening his political structures which spread across Nigeria.

All of these provided him the strength he needs push through the deluge of issues around his name, seen as allegations.

From drug issues to, to forgery, fake age declaration and all of the like.

Through these years, Tinubu mustered the kind of support from different persons he had put in positions. The pay-back-time support was massive when he needed it the most to push through such allegations without being scared.

It is, therefore, uncontestable to say that Tinubu’s patience, contact, network and political grassroots structures was most efficient to get him into Aso Rock.

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