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2023: Bola Ahmed Tinubu, For The Nigeria Of Our Dreams In Our Time

2023: Bola Ahmed Tinubu, For The Nigeria Of Our Dreams In Our Time

 

 

 

 

For many politicians, leadership is a choice. It is something they choose to do simply because the circumstances are right or the stars have aligned to put them in the path of leadership. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu can in no way be lumped into that category with the many politicians that vie for office today. This is because based on his history, struggles, trajectory, and spirit of persevering service, it has become obvious that he was born to be a leader.

The Nigeria that we have today, whether many will admit it or not, was a Nigeria that many people had fought for. The Nigeria we live in today was won by sweat, blood, and patriotic spirits. Whatever her failings, Nigeria is still our country and the one place we call home. Any historian worth his or her salt cannot in good faith write the history of Nigeria, especially the southwest, without a mention or two of the man we all know today as Asiwaju.

It bears recalling that Asiwaju returned the eyes of the world to Lagos State as the true pinnacle of Nigerian excellence. As a two-term governor from 1999 to 2007, he probably had the most difficult tenure, piloting the affairs of a special state like Lagos, fresh from the throes of military rule.

During his eight years in office, he made large investments in health, transportation, tourism and education as the number of out-of-school children reduced tremendously. The avalanche of roads he built, repaired and remodelled as the case may be helped in no small measure to open up Lagos as Nigeria’s commercial nerve center. Under his watchful eyes, new businesses sprang up and thrived in the newly conducive environment of Lagos. He won the trust of the people so much that only candidates recommended by him were marketable in the state and the country at large.

His financial dexterity and gift of developing human capital are unparalleled. As at 1999 when he was elected into office, Lagos State’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) was N600million, but within the first four years, he raised it to N20billion monthly without inflicting additional hardship or a tax burden on the people. That was the bedrock of successive administrations’ achievements.

Beyond his ingenious handling of the affairs of Lagos State in those eight years, Asiwaju has also demonstrated an exceptional ability to spot talents and surround himself with an irrepressible army of intellects who are poised to bring a new hope to Nigeria.

These intellectuals from different walks of life have impacted the southwest and Nigeria as a whole. Of a truth, these are the markings of a man of sound mind, one with a discerning spirit, a well-maintained and medically-fit body, an ability to unite the country through selfless decision-making and provision of right leadership at all levels.

Based on his leading and leanings, Lagos, and the greater part of the southwest, has grown in leaps and bounds to become a metropolitan city that other states like Kano appoint commissioners and special advisers to study and emulate.

On a grander scale, if that method were applied to the greater Nigeria will that not take the country light years away from her current position?

Several detractors have complained that age-wise, Asiwaju Tinubu is not a fit leader. But a look at countries piloted by the older generation is a testimony of the stability and strength of mind that only age can bring.

The United States of America is no baby in the comity of nations, and their incumbent president, Joe Biden is 79 years old. Interestingly, he has declared to run for a second term, meaning that he would be well above 80 by the time he runs for office again. Former President Donald Trump, at 75, is equally older than Asiwaju. For the former and incumbent American presidents, their ages had no impact on their abilities to lead their country.

The wisdom of youths they say are like bright lights that flash across the sky like meteors; they eventually fizzle out. But the wisdom of age is like the fixed stars that shine so unchanged that it is available and dependable for all who need them. I believe that if we are to achieve the Nigeria of our dreams in our time, Asiwaju should be given a chance to replicate the tested and result-oriented strategies he had deployed for the growth of the southwest.

There is an old Biblical saying that the labour of a foolish man wearies all those around him because he does not know how to get to the city. Asiwaju knows the way to the city, knows the layouts and even built the city, should he not then be given a chance to lead his people to that promised land?

The Nigeria of our dreams is not as far away as we think, but if it is to be achieved in our lifetime, it begins with Asiwaju, a trusted and tested leader and kingmaker who lives for the people.

With the recent confirmation of his intention to run for the office of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come 2023, Nigeria is on the precipice of taking a leap into the future of our dreams; that is if we choose right and follow a man who knows just what he is doing.
As a member of the ruling party, APC, which is focused on the collective growth of Nigeria, this is my call on the first declaration.

-Teju Ajayi is a Lagos-based Practicing Architect.

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