By Peter Claver Oparah
Hate him or love him, you can’t ignore or fail to notice the suave character that drew the prosperous map of Lagos, charted the progressive sweepstake that upstaged the long-enduring conservative power grip in Nigeria. Try as hard as you can, there is no way you can feign ignorance of the mythical political might of the man that has, by sheer grit and determination, risen to become Nigeria’s foremost political czar today; a man that has re-scripted the power diagram of Nigeria and a man whose political wizardry has astounded and confounded his opponents to stupor!
Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Asiwaju, the Jagaban Borgu is a man of immense political clout. He didn’t happen on his political strength. He planted, nurtured, tended and harnessed it through adroit wit, remarkable hard work, deep-grained intellect, borderless charity, deep-welled humaneness and adroit cultivation of human empathy. Tinubu is the politician who toils and sweats when others retire to the easy, painless life of debauchery and licentousness. He knows when to labour and when to relax and weilds a deft combination of both labour and pleasure to mould an impregnable political force that stands the test of time.
To be sure, Asiwaju was born like others, schoolef like others, laboured like others but what stands him out is his perennial capacity to plan ahead and fix his gaze perpetually on the big picture when others get distracted by fleeting inanities.
Over the years, Tinubu has morphed from a boardroom technocrat in Mobil to perhaps, Nigeria’s greatest and most colorful political chess player today. Fondly called The Logician, Tinubu is endowed with that innate capacity to read long into the scene and set out at dawn on a long distance journey. That is why even when his last feel at public office was the Lagos State governorship he held last some 17 years ago, he remains perhaps the only active player among his peers and contemporaries of that epoch today!
A consummate bean counter, Asiwaju has combined a profound business acumen with epic knowledge of politics to wax for himself a dreaded persona that bestrides Nigeria’s space like a huge collosus today.
Perhaps, Asiwaju’s greatest forte is his uncanny capacity to poach, harness, grow and deploy the bests in man to get results. And that remains the corpus of leadership. This is the reason he remains a huge success story in Lagos. That is why the exponential growth Lagos continues to record and which was birthed when he was in charge of Lagos. seems to be cast on stone. That is why those he harnessed, fondly called The Asiwaju Boys, bestride Nigeria’s political, social, economic spaces today. This ability has made Asiwaju the ultimate Kingmaker. whose indelible imprimatur resonates in many people in commanding leadership positions today!
As a kingmaker, Asiwaju has been fantastically successful and ranks as the foremost and most successful talent hunter in Nigeria today. Blessed with an uncommon Midas touch, Tinubu has mentored, built and projected more people into leadership than any other Nigerian and his famed strength today
derives from the natural payback that comes from that ability.
In politics, business, and every other facet of leadership, Tinubu has hewn unto himself a large swathe of people who owe their success and ascendancy to various positions to him. He did this via a selfless deployment of resources to drive his desires which sums at harnessing the potentials of his subalterns and lieutenants. Today, Tinubu leads an army of footsoldiers that are ready to go to battle blindfolded with him.
On the flip sides, Tinubu has been betrayed, bad-mouthed, back-bitten and subjected to nihilistic tackles in the course of his activities. More significantly, his resounding success has drawn for him an army of foes, antagonists, envious angry bees and those who wish they were him but frustratingly were not him. They have been extremely venomous in attacking him and living under the heavy pangs of envy and acrid bitterness of his success thus, they have spared nothing to try to cut him to size, to diminish his huge and eminent status and at least bring him down their liliputian levels.
What more, many of those that drank copiously from his benevolent well have turned round to betray him and sting him like deadly wasps. Many people made by Tinubu in his expansive, hyper-active life, have turned round to bite and betray him.
But what stands Tinubu out, and perhaps accounted for why he had been so successful, is that he seems always prepared for every betrayal and attack. He forgives so easily and opens his hands so pruriently that many still wonder how he manages to do it. He has never allowed backstabbing or petty envy to detain him or distract his desire to always expand his coasts and this large-heartedness has been paying him tremendously.
From a kingmaker, Tinubu wants to be king. He has thrown his hat into the battle for the 2023 presidency. Predictably,this has sown huge excitement, anxiety, activity and color into the 2023 contest. Predictably too, his entry into the contest has tipped the scales such that the contest seems to be a battle for or against Tinubu. In short, he is the biggest factor in the 2023 contest-for understandable reasons. The contest now revolves around him. It is either you are for or against Tinubu and this introduces a highly electric dimension to the struggle for 2023 presidency.
As a kingmaker, Tinubu has drawn immeasurable attention even when he played behind the scene. His opponents dread him.like a holocaust and will do anything to stop him. That was why even when he wasn’t on the ballot in 2015, the departing PDP, its media allies and acolytes subjected Tinubu to the most scurrilous propaganda ever in the period leading to the election.. Sure, they had reasonable reasons to dread Asiwaju because he held the nuclear button that swept them out of power then. Even during the seven years President Buhari had been in power, Tinubu has consistently been at the receiving end of the jeremiad, bile and bitter acrimony of the hurting opposition. The height of that bitterness was the massive attack on Tinubu’s real and perceived assets by the opposite-led EndSARS protesters and hoodlums in October 2020.. These were heightened expressions of anger against him for leading the revolutionary movement that upstaged the corrupt PDP from power in 2015!
Even then, the negative and vicious attacks on Tinubu were anticipatory strikes against his suspected ambition to rule Nigeria someday. That ambition is finding expression today in his decision to transmogrify from kingmaker to the King in 2023. It is his due rights and nothing stops him from desiring to become king.
So 2023 presidential contest is understandably about Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and his desire to be king. For his teeming supporters and admirers, it is payback date for him while for his seething, angry, bitter, envious and jealous opponents, it is time to shred his meteoric rise and at least, drag Tinubu down to their lowly levels. From all indications, intents and purposes however, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu looks like that kingmaker that is destined to be king in 2023.
Peter Claver Oparah, writes in from Ikeja, Lagos