Tinubu at 68, is he really worth the hype?

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Tinubu at 68, is he really worth the hype?

Tinubu at 68, is he really worth the hype?
March 29
15:56 2020

Victor Ganzallo

It’s that time of the year again when a generous number of newspaper pages are dedicated to felicitating and sending birthday wishes the way of former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. WhatsApp statuses and other social media spaces are all generously dedicated to him, some with pictures even the man has never seen of himself before.

Some of the words used to describe Tinubu by his aides, political beneficiaries, business associates and followers can make traditional gods like Ogun, Sango and even Orunmila envious. Every 29th of March, since he has come to be identified as one of the most powerful kingmakers in Nigeria and the undisputed godfather of Southwest Nigeria politics, the words used in celebrating Tinubu will leave you wondering if the senders of the messages have been composing them since his last birthday or maybe they employed the services of copywriters to compose the birthday messages. Some of the messages are short of being seen as sycophantic, from their tone and choice of words.

But is Tinubu really worth the adulation and the godlike reverence he has come to enjoy from far and near? Is he really deserving of the iconic veneration he currently enjoys? Is Tinubu deserving of being treated like a god among his contemporaries?

Among his contemporaries, in spite of his slight frame and average height, Tinubu stands very tall politically. You can rightly say that he has become like a single tree that you can regard as a forest. His political sagacity and audacious ventures has seen him build one of the most formidable political empires in present day Africa. His ability to sniff a talent from a mile away and win such to his side is unbelievable. Tinubu is the man that is smart enough to surround himself with the people who have got the things he is lacking.

Today, hate him or like him, he has come to occupy a place of pride among his Yoruba people of southwest Nigeria, always fighting their cause and cleverly building up the region by filling up positions that are critical to the growth of the region with the minds that can best occupy such positions.

Indeed the Yoruba people have never been left without a visionary leader from 1960 when Nigeria attained independence from Britain. The first Premier of the old Western region, Chief Jeremiah Oyeniyi Obafemi Awolowo is still regarded as the most sagacious politician Nigeria has ever produced till date. He was an uncommon visionary and his foresight is the reason the southwest of Nigeria is ahead of all the other regions in the area of educational and infrastructural development. Awo has he was fondly called was not nicknamed the sage for nothing. Although his aspiration to rule Nigeria between 1979 and 1983 was not to be, he occupies a place of higher reverence in the heart of Yorubas and even other ethnic groups than any Nigerian ruler, dead or living. Bola Ahmed Tinubu belongs to the Awolowo School of political ideology. He has consistently since joining active politics in 1992 been a progressive.

Another political leader of Yoruba stock that Tinubu has mirrored and is walking in his footstep is Bashorun MKO Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election that was annulled by former military head of state, General Ibrahim Babangida. MKO was a people person; he too surrounded himself with and built his business empire around some of the most brilliant minds in Nigeria in his time, regardless of their ethnicity or religion. Abiola was generous to a fault and his native wisdom and cerebral use of words always leave his audience awed. These outstanding attributes of Chief MKO Abiola can be seen in the way Tinubu handles his businesses and political affairs too. Nigerians are always on the lookout for Tinubu’s position on issues of national importance and the husband of Oluremi never disappoints. At every opportunity, he never fails to leave sound bites that will become subject of discussions days after.

As Tinubu celebrates another birthday, here’s wishing the Lion of Bourdillon, the Jagaban of Borgu Kingdom in Niger State and the Asiwaju of Lagos many more years in good health.

Victor Alaba Ganzallo is an experienced Journalist, Brand Manager and a Political Analyst.

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