There is no doubt that many aspects of development by individuals have been fired and propelled by vision which is regarded as an indispensable ingredient and catalyst in the dynamics of human existence. This is why Woodrow Wilson once emphasized that “no one that does not see vision will ever realize any high hope or undertake any high enterprise”, a pragmatic statement reinforced by that of Ralph Waldo Emerson who said, “Where there is no vision, a people perish.
Thomas Mann once declared that ‘the destiny of man presents its meaning in political terms ‘. That is to say, in our contemporary experience, it is difficult to make clear separations or distinctions between the politics of life and the life of politics. Once again one of the greatest and undisputable Nigeria political strategist marks quiet 68 years birthday. Jagaban Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu was a founding member of the defunct Social Democratic Party(SDP) and he was elected as a Senator of the Federal Republic Nigeria to represent Lagos West Senatorial District In 1992. After the annulment of the June 12, 1993 Presidential Election he stood with the acclaimed winner of the election and engaged the military for the very soul of Nigeria. He became a founding member of pro-democracy group, the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) suffered many arrests and detention, harassments and constant threats to his life. Despite the high risk of daring the militarization of the Nigerian politics he did not give up the struggle. When the last military government set for restoration of democratic governance and the rule in the country he returned to Nigeria to heed a call for all Nigerians to join in the National Reconciliation and Development.
In 1999 he was elected Executive Governor of Lagos state on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD).
Even his political foes believe that Bola Tinubu is a sagacious and dogged politician. In 2003, AD considered an alliance with then President Olusegun Obasanjo, in order to have the president endorsed for re-election in return for the AD holding on to its six South-West states. As an astute political strategist, Asiwaju survived the massive incursion of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the South Western states as the lone re-elected governor of the AD.
His refusal to enter the deal turned out to be his saving grace – he was the only AD governor to win his re-election as the PDP swept away the rest. As as the lone AD governor he was pitched on a regular collision course with the PDP-controlled Federal Government, especially on his creation of additional 37 Local Council Development Areas for Lagos state. In spite of the fact that the Obasanjo administration deliberate withheld statutory allocation to Lagos state for almost three years Lagos state survived without it. Tinubu’s outstanding policies made the state exceptional and foremost in the country, ensuring the state generated more internal revenue without reliance on the monthly federation account allocation. In 2007, Tinubu left Lagos state government house by making the state more self-reliant state in the country and making the state generate more internal revenue without reliance on monthly federation account allocation. Many described him as a dynamic and visionary leader, seasoned administrator, courageous fighter, defender of the oppressed, foremost philanthropist, and man of the people.
The Jagaban Borgu is behind the formation of the Action Congress (AC) party as recourse to the decimated Alliance for Democracy (AD) and was able to win back four of the states. After Jagaban Borgu left Lagos state government house in 2007, he, however, did not give up the struggle for strong and formidable opposition party in the country especially during the 2011 general elections. The parliamentary elections in 2011 showed that the Peoples Democratic Party would retain the presidency, thus members of the two parties met to discuss the prospect of forging an alliance that would have a realistic chance of defeating the PDP’s candidate, Goodluck Jonathan. But the collapse of the alliance talks between the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) which was blamed on Tunde Bakare, the CPC candidate for vice-president, for refusal to sign a predated resignation letter, irked the leaders of the ACN who decided to opt out of a planned “grand coalition” and go it alone.
Nigeria’s political strategist did not lose hope on having a formidable opposition party in the country. In May 2013 three major parties – the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) – floated a mega platform, All Progressives Congress (APC), to oust the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.
Without Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu’s sacrifice there would not be APC at the centre in 2015 and 2019 despite his interest to govern the country but choose to support and contribute significantly towards the emergence of then General Muhammadu Buhari as APC presidential candidate and used his resources in marketing him to the electorate especially in the Southest geopolitical zone. Tinubu is a man of many parts, whose political profile has now dwarfed his rich resume as a professional accountant and financial surgeon, boardroom guru, strategic economic planner and socialite. There is no evidence to show that Tinubu was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. The former governor is always bubbling with energy, zeal, enthusiasm and optimism. This may have been bedrock of his successes in his chosen field of endeavour.
One thing that help to sustain the prosperity of Tinubu’s ideas is his eye for excellence with which he recruits future leaders. Leadership grooming has been found as the forte of great leaders and statesmen. Tinubu is an enigma, what many fail to recognise is how he has over the years blended a crop of new leaders that have turned out to become change-agents and drivers in both Lagos state, Nigeria and the world at large. He has allowed his charisma to infect many young people, thereby enhancing the fructification of his ideas in politics and the professions.
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The visionary leader should be celebrated by all and sundry as he clock 68 years of valuable contribution to humanity and he is a personification of humanity, a selfless leader and an uncommon Nigerian, who thinks more about the other person’s feelings than of his own. Jagaban Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu has been such an inspirational leader to Nigerians. As you celebrate your 68th birthday it’s my prayer that God will open the gates of heaven and shower upon you unlimited blessings. Wishing you the greatest of birthdays.
Dukawa writes from Kano via [email protected]