For The Love Of God, Church And Nation
Dr. Sunday Adelaja
2022NIGERIA, BEHOLD YOUR NEXT PRESIDENT:
By Dr. Sunday Adelaja
I was initially very hesitant to write this article. The reason being that I have too much on my table now to deal with considering the ongoing war in Ukraine. I also didn’t want people to think that my position is informed by the fact that I’m a fellow Yoruba man as Bola Ahmed Tinubu. I intentionally wanted to be silent in this election season for this very reason, seeing how divisive tribal sentiments are in our society. But the multiple messages I get every day demanding for my position compelled me to pen down my convictions on why I see Bola Ahmed Tinubu as our next president. These are my 10 reasons why I see Tinubu as the next President of Nigeria.
1. Tinubu is a man of vision. Can you imagine that when he was voted in as Lagos Governor he set up a think tank through which he was able to develop a 50 year vision for Lagos. No wonder Lagos is still under the leadership of his disciples till today long after Tinubu himself stopped being the governor. The reason is simple, the whole world will follow the man that knows where he is going. With the picking of Kashim Shettima as Tinubu’s running mate, it’s obvious that this election is already predetermined. As things are Shettima will deliver the Northeast, while Buhari and his governors will deliver the Northwest to APC, we know Southwest will definitely go to Tinubu. If those three geopolitical regions go the way of Tinubu/Shettima, all other political parties would only be contesting for the second and third positions. So what of a Muslim/Muslim ticket? Yes, that will really be a big issue for some Christians from the south/south and especially south/east areas of Nigeria. These are regions that don’t normally vote APC anyway, they cannot be the main factors for consideration, expediency advises that you mainly consider the opinions of your staunch supporters, those who’ll give their vote to you. The South/south and the Southeast will vote either PDP or Labour Party, even if Tinubu selects a Christian running mate. The Southwest doesn’t really care as much when it comes to religion, it’s the most tolerant zone in Nigeria in that term, so they’ll surely remain with Tinubu no matter what. The other two zones that will vote Tinubu/Shettima ticket are Northern states, they’ll rather be excited by that choice. I personally don’t believe that Tinubu who is married to a Christian Pastor for 40 years will all of a sudden become anti christian. If that could be the case we would have seen the signs in Lagos. No, we need not fear Muslim/Muslim ticket, no, not under Tinubu. At this juncture I can only say; Nigeria, behold your next President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
2. Tinubu is a raiser of men. “I look for talents that are better than me. I’m not afraid to bring on board people with higher wisdom because the most important thing to me is to get the job done for the betterment of all. I don’t wait till zero hour to discover the next person to do the job or the next job to be done, from the first hour, I find them. The second, third and fourth are as important as the first. Time waits for nobody. Even the obstacles on my way, I predict them before those that will bring them will start to think about them, I plan for betrayal, I plan for backstabbing, I also plan for reunion and forgiveness long before they happen. In life, I expect nothing, I expect anything, I expect everything.” – Bola Ahmed Tinubu
There is a long retinue of leaders who have been raised by Tinubu. These people gladly call him their god father. We all know the evil of godfatherism in Nigerian politics but Tinubu is one of the only few ones who represents the positive reflection of the word. His own godfatherism is not to hold you down but to raise you up. This is the true meaning of mentorship without which no human endeavor is successful. Many blame him for it, please show me a better example not only in Nigeria, but anywhere on the continent. Guys, Tinubu is the best we have. Just take a look at all his products. His top-ranking men include Professor Yemi Osinbajo, now the Vice President, who was his attorney general and commissioner for justice.
Rauf Aregbesola, the immediate past governor of Osun State, was Tinubu’s commissioner for works. Babatunde Fashola, his successor in Lagos State, was his chief of staff. He is presently a federal minister for a second term. Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who served as Tinubu’s first chief of staff, is also a federal minister for a second term.
Babatunde Fowler served in Tinubu’s administration as chairman of Lagos State Internal Revenue Service from where he proceeded to become executive chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos State.Others include: Femi Gbajabiamila, present speaker, House of Reps, Akinwunmi Ambode, former governor of Lagos State, Sen. Solomon Adeola, Dele Alake, Wale Edun, Bamidele Opeyemi, Gbenga Ashafa, Sunday Dare, Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Adeleke Mamora, Minister of State for Health, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman, Nigeria Diaspora Commission, Adejoke Orelope-Adefilere, Kemi Nelson, etc.
Jesus said to judge the tree by it’s fruits, I can see by Tinubu’s fruits that he is the best we have.
3. A man who survived as the Governor of a Nigerian state without the normal monthly federal government allocations to the local government administrations of the state must truly be special. We all know that even with the monthly allocations from Abuja, many states still fail to cope with their responsibilities. Some of them cannot even pay ordinary salaries to workers of their states, not to talk of development strides. This is not the case with Tinubu, when Obasanjo kept the money from Abuja from him he rather thrived thanks to some incredible ingenuity in financial management. Listen now, he not only survived, he went ahead to do something our country had not seen before or after him. He was able to increase the internal revenue generation of the state from a paltry N600 million monthly, to N51 billion today. It is said that if Lagos was a country it’ll be number five by GDP as of 2016 thanks to its 146 billion dollar economy. As of 2016 this was bigger than the economy of Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Senegal, Congo etc. Lagos didn’t become this successful because it gets more money from Abuja than other states, oh no, the states with the biggest allocations are in the south south and their people still run to Lagos to survive. Lagos didn’t become this wealthy thanks to its natural resources like oil, gas etc, no, no, go to those states that get 13% of all our nation’s wealth and you’ll see a different story. Natural and material resources don’t grow wealth, it’s visionary leadership that does. This is what Tinubu brought to Lagos, and it’s what made the difference. Nigeria needs Bola Ahmed Tinubu now like never before. Friends, this is the type of man I’ll like to see manage the affairs of our beloved country.
4. Some haters have tried to tarnish the image of Tinubu by saying he was not educated or didn’t finish university. However a simple investigation will show you that Tinubu got a distinction from Chicago state university. The Punch of January 7, 2022 reported that Chicago State University wrote to it to confirm that Tinubu did indeed graduate from the school after two years of study there. The Richard J. Daley College, a community college in Chicago, also confirmed that he did receive an associate degree from there. In other words, he spent two years at Richard Daley College for an associate degree and another two years at Chicago State University for a bachelor’s degree. He was also an excellent student in Nigeria. But to be the head of your class in America means you are for real, you can’t buy your way through school there. Tinubu’s presidency is an idea whose time has come, there is no amount of slander or character assassination that’ll stop this moving train of Tinubu’s Presidency.
5. Many have finished school as excellent students, but have not been able to perform in the field of their calling. This is not about Tinubu, he excelled even in his professional practices. He was head hunted by some of the top American companies as one of the best products of his university. Upon graduation with honours and several awards, Bola Tinubu cut his professional teeth at the American-based Arthur Anderson, Deloitte Haskins and Sells (now called Deloitte Haskins and Touche) and GTE Service Corporation – the largest Communication and Utility Company in the United States of America.
Meanwhile, at Deloitte Haskins and Sells, the young and professional Bola broadened his experience by participating in the auditing and management consultancy services of General Motors, First National Bank of Chicago, Procter and Gamble, International Harvester, GEC and other Fortune 500 firms. Tinubu worked in American companies rising to executive positions before moving back to Nigeria to continue working for his American employers. His results in Lagos show that the man Tinubu can deliver, I don’t doubt the fact that he will make a major difference in the role of Nigeria’s President. Of course he won’t resolve all our national issues, but he is capable of paving the way for a greater Nigeria.
6. After returning to Nigeria in 1983, Bola Tinubu joined Mobil Oil Nigeria, and later became an executive of the company. Stories are still being told about the excellent leadership Tinubu brought to Mobil Oil till today. He was recognized by both Nigerian and American executives of the company not just as an excellent leader but as a revolutionary one too. If you are looking for the secret of Tnubu’s Lagos, here it lies. Some will say Lagos is this good today simply because it once was the nation’s capital, oh no! Hope my recollections of Lagos of the 90s earlier give you the picture of how Lagos was after the capital moved to Abuja, it was a forgotten city, totally abandoned with the streets littered with corpses lying there for weeks without anyone caring to do anything about the situation until Tinubu came to the stage. Lagos was the most insecure city in Africa, the city was waking up to new 50 dead bodies in the streets with no one removing them. If you think Lagos is still nothing to write home about even today, then just go and read the news lines of those days, only then would you value the amount of work that has been done in Lagos. The Lagos ministry of health was said to be having only one ambulance bus in the whole city of millions of people. Today Lagos boasts to be one of the richest cities in Africa, it is richer than 50 out of the 55 countries in the continent. No doubt a huge part of that success must be credited to Bola Ahmed Tinubu, I’m certain he can bring about a similar radical change to the situation of Nigeria today.
7. In this presidential race especially at the primaries stage, there were many Governors and former Governors that participated, yet none of their states is known or remembered for their leadership. You can’t find any of their footprints of excellence after ruling for 4 or 8 years. You can’t say this about Tinubu, his footsteps and footprints are all over Lagos as we speak. As a matter of fact even his opponents who were former Governors moved from their states to settle down in Lagos state. The question is why couldn’t they make their own states as good as Lagos while they were Governors there. After their leadership it’s always stories of woes and tears, banditry and kidnapping, which they quickly blame on their successors. As a matter of fact most of the harshest critics of Tinubu are people enjoying what Tinubu built in Lagos. They never once think of acknowledging with gratitude the hard work of the man who provided them the opportunities they couldn’t get back in their home states. If it were so easy then all other states would be as good as Lagos or even better, especially bearing in mind that no state in Nigeria is faced with such daunting challenges as Lagos faces every day. This is a clear indication that Tinubu possesses exceptional leadership qualities that Nigeria is beckoning on him to bring these qualities to bear in the affairs of our nation at this time.
8. Many accuse Tinubu of corruption, that I cannot affirm unless the court of law finds him guilty of any crime. If the Obasanjo government that hated him with passion couldn’t convict him of corruption then I’ll not join those spreading that rumors. Remember that the most respected anti corruption advocate in Nigeria till date is Nuhu Ribadu, yet this same person said he couldn’t implicate him of any crimes even though Obasanjo gave him the task to investigate him. More so, Ribadu himself later joined the team of Tinubu calling him his mentor now. The US government came out to say Tinubu is cleared of any criminal dealings. It was published in the Vanguard of 23 February 2003. Meanwhile there is one of the presidential candidates that is being dubbed as Mr. Integrity, this same man in his own words on video admitted to have invested the state government money into his own family business, when he was the state governor. Yet Nigerians don’t see this as corruption, meanwhile in any other countries this person would be serving a jail term for such an act of corruption. It’s a clear case of conflict of interest. Our own sense of corruption in Nigeria has its own definition that’s totally different from what the rest of the world sees as corruption. May God give us insight so we renew our minds as a people and as a nation. Ever since Tinubu left government in Lagos, it’s one of the few states of the federation that has not been plagued by corruption scandals. Tinubu has been able to put capable technocrats in charge of the state. From Fashola to Ambode to Sanwo-Olu, these are extremely focused men EFCC has not been after them as it’s the story with other governors, neither has there been any international anti corruption agency that have accused them of corruption. I’ll say until we see the facts, we should just focus on someone that’s capable of resolving the daunting issues facing our nation at this time. Tinubu has to be allowed to contribute his quota to turn this nation around.
9.I remember clearly when Tinubu was the Governor of Lagos State. My most vivid memories of Lagos were the years prior to his election and the early years of his reign. I was already based in Europe, so each time I visited Nigeria the most glaring image of Lagos were the dead bodies littered all across the streets. The bags of refuse wastes and garbage all across the roads. Surprisingly even the iron handed man like Abacha could not do anything to change the rots of the then Lagos. This disgusting image of Lagos started during the regime of Babangida after the capital was moved to Abuja. The state of things got to a despicable height under Abacha just before Tinubu came. For those who didn’t see or remember Lagos of those years, it’ll be difficult to truly know the value of what Tinubu has done to Lagos and Nigeria at large. Unfortunately, i can’t see any other state in the federation that has been so transformed even after some of the presidential aspirants today ruled those states. To me our country Nigeria is also in a similar comatose state right now in terms of security, safety to lives and property, economy etc. We need a Tinubu to come with his transformational capabilities to help turn things around in Nigeria.
10. Many will be quick to point to the frailty of health of Mr. Tinubu. My answer to this is simple, it comes from my own personal experience of growing old. I’m 55. The older I get the more I discover that my body can no longer do some of the acrobatic exercises I was capable of when I was much younger. However to my amazement, I discovered that my inner man is not getting old at all, my spirit and mind are always as sharp and alert as ever. During the APC convention while younger men were falling asleep, Tinubu was agile all night. Following his victory at the convention we can all see how he has been galloping from one state to another. No one out of the candidates have been as hard working and busy as he is. His close associates talk about how Tinubu outworks all of them, working 14 to 20 hours every day. What else do people want for Christ sake? My take is this as long as Mr. Tinubu is sharp mentally, so long as he can see clearly as a visionary we need his leadership before he leaves us to a better world. We shouldn’t waste the huge potentials and life experiences that he carries inside. Friends, sooner or later you and I will get old too. While our flesh and body might be challenged, we will discover that it’s a huge injustice to discard us as simply being too old, while we know we still have something to offer. It’s not the body that rules a nation, it’s the clarity of vision. If Tinubu has that, there will be enough of able bodied men and women who’ll gladly put their bodies to work to bring the vision to pass.
As things are now only death can stop the emergence of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Nigerian sixteenth President. If I were in the camp of Tinubu I’ll not rule out an attempt on his life by the forces bent on not letting his presidency become a reality. It’s not enough to pray for him, I will strongly advise that his security be beefed up accordingly. Nigeria cannot afford to have a repeat of the destiny of Moshood Abiola.
May God bless The Federal Republic Of Nigeria, and may all her haters live long to witness it.
For The Love Of God, Church And Nation
Dr. Sunday Adelaja