The Miracle-Working Godfather…How Tinubu Blesses Those He wants to Bless. Why Sunday Dare, Aregbesola , Mamora, Fashola, Will Be Eternally Loyal

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The Miracle-Working Godfather…How Tinubu Blesses Those He wants to Bless. Why Sunday Dare, Aregbesola , Mamora, Fashola, Will Be Eternally Loyal

The Miracle-Working Godfather…How Tinubu Blesses Those He wants to Bless. Why Sunday Dare, Aregbesola , Mamora, Fashola, Will Be Eternally Loyal
July 25
07:30 2019

History has a way of always shaping and reshaping the legacy of political leaders whether alive or dead. What cannot be denied the former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in whatever form or shape is that he is streets ahead of his contemporaries.

A deft politician in a class of his own; put him in a desert and he would find an oasis for his throng of supporters and loyalists. Without fuss, Tinubu’s political intelligence and yeomanry work their way through his muscle and bone as well as his heart and soul. And he would forever be remembered for his mystique and mojo among Africa’s political leaders. Indeed, the unveiling of the ministerial list Tuesday, July 22nd, was a further proof of this.

On the long-awaited list are some of the loyalists and protégées of the man popularly called the Lion of Bourdillon. They include his former media aide, Sunday Dare; a former Governor of Osun State and two-term commissioner under Tinubu, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; former Governor of Ekiti State, Niyi Adebayo; former Commissioner for Finance and Planning in Ondo State, Senator Tayo Alasoadura; former Lagos State governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola; former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Senator Olorunnibe Mamora; and Architect Lekan Adegbite, the immediate past Commissioner for Works in Ogun State.

Dare, who combined his role as Special Adviser, Media and Chief of Staff to Tinubu, was a founding member of the weekly magazines, TheNewsand Tempo. He was appointed Executive Commissioner (Stakeholder Management) of the Nigerian Communications Commission in 2016 and took a shot at elective office in 2019 but beat a hasty retreat. Sources say President Buhari was at a crossroads as to who to appoint between Dare and Bayo Adelabu, a former Deputy Governor at the Central Bank of Nigeria who flew the APC flag in the last election but lost to the opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, candidate, Seyi Makinde.

Tinubu’s intervention saved the day for Dare who is being groomed to take over the governorship of Oyo State in 2023. Likewise, Adebayo, who became Governor of Ekiti State the same year Tinubu emerged in Lagos, had been in the political wilderness since he lost power in 2003. He was wise enough to pitch his tent with Tinubu in the intervening years, emerging recently as the APCDeputy National Chairman (Southwest), and, now a minister-designate. Without Tinubu, of course, he would have remained on the periphery of power.

In the southwest political power calculus, Aregbesola is seen as the de facto deputy to Tinubu. Like him or hate him, he has remained loyal to Tinubu and he is said to be one of the few who can look the kingmaker in the face and tell him the home truth. Not forgetting that he made Aregbesola governor of Osun State where he served for eight years. Aregbesola’s successor and incumbent governor is Tinubu’s first cousin who also served as Chief of Staff for eight years to Aregbesola.

Like Aregbesola, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, was one of the eggheads that served in the cabinet of Tinubu as Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice between 1999 and 20007. He was handpicked by Asiwaju as vice presidential candidate in 2015 after the coalition that formed the APC ruled out a Muslim-Muslim ticket of Buhari/Tinubu.

Alasoadura, on the other hand, was a former member of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and was commissioner for seven years under late Olusegun Agagu. Since his defection to the APC, he has served as Senator and narrowly lost his return election this year to the PDP. Conversely, the story of Fashola is the stuff of legends.

From serving as his Chief of Staff, to unilaterally installing him as a two-term governor of Lagos State and now as a returning minister, Fashola is one of the greatest beneficiaries of the Tinubu political adroitness. Another major beneficiary is the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, who has been his eyes and ears in the Lower House since 2003. Though Tinubu lost out in the power play to install Gbajabiamila as Speaker in 2015, he has now had his way. And the same scenario played out in the Senate where his choice of Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, is sitting pretty in office.

Well, many might say Oluremi Tinubu is his wife and, as such, her senatorial seat is taken for granted. But, pray, how many political leaders have successfully installed their wife as a three-term Senator?

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