By Olumuyiwa Wahab Jimoh
Every epoch in every nation throws up its own heroes. Men and women who in the midst of adversity and uncertainty saw clearly within the mist a vision of a glorious future and with unusual courage and uncommon determination pursued its actualisation. These are men and women who have impacted positively the lives of the people within their jurisdiction and who have become change agents that altered the course of the society at a particular point in time; creating and moulding a nation that has essentially their footprints embedded in all of its strata.
One of the men in Nigeria today who fits into this mould is His Excellency, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu – the Jagaban Borgu. A man who has humbly and practically turned not just the politics of South West Nigeria into a robust and vibrant enterprise that has seen the enthronement of very impactful governance models across its states but the Politics of Nigeria as a nation. Here is a man that understands what the people crave and yearn for and is able to mobilise the nation’s politics to meet these expectations.
After all, what is Politics all about if not for the mobilisation and allocation of a nation’s resources to satisfy the interests and desires of the citizens? This is where the Asiwaju has excelled more than his contemporaries. He understands the objectives of Politics which is that of acquiring political power to satisfy the interest of the majority. His brand of politics therefore captures the true undiluted and sanguine reason for the noble business of politics.
As this living legend turns 69 on the 29th day of March, 2021, we believe that he is worthy of our celebrations. A man who has shaped the lives of many young men and have given them the needed opportunity to participate effectively in the nation’s political space, a time like this calls for the doffing of hats and clinking of glasses in honour of the day that saw his glorious entrance into mother earth.
We are truly blessed and are sincerely proud to be part of the great heritage which he has created and is expanding in our dear nation. We join millions of Nigerians all over the country to wish the Asiwaju a happy birthday and congratulate him as he thanks the almighty Allah who has kept and preserved him to see this day. We are more grateful to the Almighty Allah for this celebration because this is one life that is being lived for the benefit of humanity thus preserving him is akin to preserving humanity and giving hope to the masses and people of Nigeria.
When God has given a man a task as that which the Asiwaju seem to have been assigned, he equips him, guards and guides every of his footsteps as long as he keeps on the path of that divine mission. Tinubu everyday walks without wavering that divine path that is daily being demonstrated in the life of this our modern day hero who has not put his foot wrong in most of his engagements though ordinary mortals may not see it and would chose to pass snide remarks but posterity has most of the times proven him right. We dare say that he is a man on a mission and cannot be easily discouraged until his objectives are accomplished.
It is with this in mind that we believe that God being involved in his pursuit for a better Nigeria, any man or group that stands against him is contending with the mighty powers of the almighty God who has continued guarding him jealously. Who can battle with the one who God has chosen and sent on a mission? Any man that pretends to stand against this mission has already lost the battle before it began as would have been seen all over the landscape.
Heroes are visionaries. Inherent in visionaries is an unimaginable quantum of light which they carry and radiate. They spread their light and cause it to expand beyond the confines of their immediate environment as the light shines brighter and brighter. Unfortunately for mankind, men with these qualities are rare and emerge once in a while. Bola Ahmed Tinubu is one of such rare breeds and we are truly blessed as a people and as a nation to have him at this time.
Only men of vision can explode and channel their lights creatively the way Asiwaju has done in the Nigerian and global space. From his Lagos state; standing alone, he was able to spread the light to other South West states with his Progressive politics and practical ideology built on the wings of the present and future context. He has grown these precepts into a national movement despite the challenges and obstacles expectedly mounted by forces of retrogression. The cries of liberty have enveloped our land as the agents of light which he stands as its chief apostle grapple with the remaining vestiges of darkness across the landscape.
He never allowed the pursuit of mundane and filthy lucre to distract him and with unwavering determination; he has focused on the task of building a nation that would deliver the best possible benefit to the majority of Nigerians no matter where they come from. He was offered opportunities to dump his commitment to the people. Carrots were dangled before him to waver on his pristine ideals. Mouth-watering deals were placed before him. He rejected them all for the sake of the people of Nigeria sacrificing his personal ambitions and comfort so that justice, equity and fairness will be enthroned in our beloved nation.
The triumph of the Progressives in general elections is the triumph of JAGABANISM. It is the triumph of his ideals and ethos. It is the triumph of patience and longsuffering over short termism and indecent pursuit of personal interests over that of the nation. It is the victory of the good over the bad and once again demonstrates the essence and solidity of vision which Senator Tinubu carries. We would have said that the success approximates to a canonisation of the man – Tinubu but that would be trying to play God, we would not be wrong however if we say emphatically that the philosophy that drives him has shown so much resilience and effectiveness catapulting him in the process into sainthood amongst not just politicians but also political thinkers.
In all these, this great leader has remained humble, available and easily accessible. His doors are always wide open to his people and whosoever seeks his audience. He has thus provided his usual wise counsels to us, guided our thoughts and actions making us to see what we may not have seen if we had acted alone. Fortunately, he is open to suggestions and quickly grasps new lines of thoughts and soaks them in like a patched ground hungrily taking in water. That is the stuff with which great leaders are made – avid learners and teachers all moulded into one!
At 69, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, remains one of the brightest spots of politics in Nigeria radiating a strong hope of a greater future for the Nigerian project. His forthrightness, his integrity and his courage are unprecedented even in the midst of great opposition. We found that he seem to be made stronger in the midst of very stiff opposition. Where others would have given up, he showed enormous confidence and verve that allows him have transcendence. We all have learnt this from him and we are still learning every day from his fountain of wisdom. Since we are not tired of drinking from this pool, we pray our good God to preserve him more so that we can continue enjoying the nourishment which he has provided for the youth and the emerging members of the political class.
This truly offers all of us both as individuals and as a nation a great opportunity to re-examine our politics. The need to align our actions within the space of contestation for political power ought to be critically reassessed given what the Asiwaju stands for. The need to make public offices deliver the utmost good to the majority has become imperative. The need to create frameworks that would make governance answerable to the people and more accountable to their yearnings and aspirations has become central. This aligns with the celebrant’s belief that political office holders and all processes leading to it, during and after it should be subject to the Sovereign – the masses and people.
When this is done, our celebration of this icon and hero of our nation would then be more functional and meaningful. He would prefer that we spend time creating conversations that would make the nation better and deferring to that, it behoves us to seek the enthronement of a political structure that would enable the building of a nation that is progressive and caters to the needs of the majority while protecting the rights of the minority. The need for an inclusive politics which the Jagaban champions; has become critical.
We therefore pray the good lord to keep him in good health preserving him so that his potentials as a national monument would touch every life and the nation positively. He remains a man created and preserved for Nigeria at this moment. Our prayer is Long life and good health for Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Our hands are joined with his numerous well-wishers the world over especially his protégés direct or indirect to call upon him to see in this celebration the yearnings, desires and hunger of the people for greater and more creative leadership. We urge His Excellency to accept this burden of leadership which is once again being renewed by his constituents through these celebrations.
May BAT continue basking in the goodwill of God and may his light continue shinning for all to see and follow! We urge all Nigerians from across all the divides of our nation to join us as we bridge the primordial gaps and transcend the Shibboleths that have held us down as a nation by lifting up Senator Tinubu as that patriotic symbol that would lead our nation to its place in the sun.
May the Asiwaju live long! May the Jagaban live long!! May Nigeria march to the Next Level!!!
Hon. Olumuyiwa Wahab Jimoh, member representing Apapa State Contituency 2, Lagos State House of Assembly, writes this piece from Apapa, Lagos