Nigerian leaders of today are quick to forget history and have also refused to keep the contemporary youths abreast of past events.
In1993, during the era of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and National Republican Convention (NRC) when MKO Abiola picked Babagana Kingibe as his running mate in the country’s general election, thereby making it a Muslim – Muslim ticket, many Nigerians opposed it, including the then Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida. “President Babangida” President in khaki uniform let’s put that one aside and go to the real issue.
Gen. Ibrahim Babangida wanted Abiola to pick Paschal Bafyau, the then NLC President so that it would be Muslim – Christian ticket.
But Abiola refused to do that, because he believed the idea wasn’t going to determine his victory, as a result, he maintained the Muslim – Muslim ticket. This decision didn’t go well with the people, it generated a lot of controversies but Abiola maintained his stance.
When it was clear that MKO Abiola was not going to change his decision, those who felt slighted then went to both Print and Electronic media to campaign against him. Lots of allegations were thrown at him, They went as far as accusing him of throwing millions of Bibles in the ocean, in order to turn people against him.
On the election day, many people, including myself, who was not just a member of the NRC party, but Secretary of the party in a Local Government thought the victory was ours.
(Behold!, Abiola did not only win but defeated our candidate, Alh. Uthman Tofa (of blessed memory) in his unit and town, Kano.
Abiola, despite his decision to go for a Muslim-Muslim ticket, won in all the geo-political regions in Nigeria, not only because of his pedigree but because he was a philanthropist, who touched every part of Nigeria with his generosity. Thus, Nigerians voted for him en mass regardless of ethnic or religious differences.
Take it or leave it, MKO was a Nigerian president who never came into power.
The candidates for the 2023 Presidential general election are well known by Nigerians, if we examine them thoroughly, who among them can we say meet the standard of MKO Abiola? Let’s put ethnicity or religion aside, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has not only met up the standard but surpassed it.
Tinubu has over the years imparted not only in Lagos State but the nation at large. His imparts in Lagos state have contributed a lot to the economic strength of Nigeria as a whole.
His efforts during his tenure as the governor of Lagos have placed the state where it is today. Lagos State no doubt rose to an unexpected height when Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu embarked on an aggressive revenue generation drive in the state, thus putting a stop to any form of dependence on federal allocations.
The fact that Lagos state has remained the economic and commercial strength of Nigeria, accounting for more than 26.7% of the Country’s GDP, is as a result of Tinubu’s efforts during his administration has made the state an indispensable one to the existence of the country.
Asiwaju through his effort has built a very strong economic foundation in Lagos State which his successors; Former Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, Former Governor Akinwumi Ambode and the current Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu have built on, this has helped to contribute to the economic strength of the state. He (Asiwaju) has laid a very good foundation for them.
BAT has helped to mentor many politicians who have also contributed to the development of their various states as a result of his mentorship, some of which include but not limited to The Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo, the Former governor of Osun state, Rauf Aregbesola….
Since Asiwaju Tinubu left office in 2007, he has not contested for any elective position but has continue to make people, some of whom are even contesting for the presidential seat alongside him today.
His tolerance for ethnic differences made it possible for non-Lagosians to actively participate in the affairs of Lagos state, for example, Igbos were appointed as Commissioners during and after his administration.
He has not stopped in his area alone but has extended to all parts of Nigeria.
As the two holy books have said (The Quran and Bible) “the hand of the giver will always be on top” and so it will be for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Irrespective of his decision on the Muslim-Muslim ticket, BAT has demonstrated true leadership qualities by going for someone who he feels is expedient. He never hesitates to go for whatever produces the best results, Shettima came into the picture because he(BAT) never compromises the welfare of his people.
Asiwaju’s past achievements have made it possible for him to win a lot of leadership awards from different media bodies, examples are, Governor of the Year, 2015 (Vanguard newspapers); Governor of the Year, 2016 (Tell magazine; 2017 Zik Prize for Leadership; Kaduna NUJ Award for courage and exceptional leadership (2017), to mention a few.
Asiwaju will never impose an incompetent leader on his people. His achievements and past records have a lot to say about this. And has the Yoruba adage goes “ile ní a tí n kó ẹṣo rè òde”. He built Lagos and is ready to build Nigeria.
May God bless Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu!
May Allah SWT see him through!
Victory for BAT Insha Allahu!
God bless Nigeria!
BY – Suleiman O Aremu