It is a kaleidoscope – the pattern keeps mutating. Nigeria’s politics should be among the most unpredictable, intriguing and exhilarating. There are more smokescreens than actual smoke; more pawns than real players; more masquerades than true pipers and more jokers than aces.
But Bola Tinubu, former Lagos governor and APC presidential hopeful, is no joker. As he said during his declaration, it has been his ‘’lifelong ambition’’ to become president. A younger and healthier Tinubu will make a good president.
As I wrote in a previous column, Tinubu as Lagos governor showed his mettle. He worked out a roadmap for the state; had a diverse cabinet; in fact, he is reputed to be one of the few governors who appointed non-natives, including Igbo citizens, in their cabinet at the time. Against a federal government allocation blockade, he governed Lagos with internally-generated revenues and was able to steer the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to dominance in the south-west, and then midwifing a merger with the Congress for Progressive Change and the All Nigeria Peoples Party for the parturition of the All Progressives Congress. We cannot ignore Tinubu. For what it is worth, he has shown an uncanny ability to build consensus and mobilise consciences towards a cause.
The argument for Tinubu by his supporters in the APC is that he has watered many seeds which have burgeoned. He has nursed many fledging political careers to maturity. He has created opportunities for many who were without a compass. He has invested his life and resources in building people. And that he gave oxygen to the APC, machinating the deracination of an incumbent president at a time everyone thought it was impossible.
The arguments for Tinubu are not vacant of verisimilitude. Tinubu has built people. Only an inveterate hater will say otherwise. Jagaban is deserving of a princely reward. But should the presidency of Nigeria be his compensation? I do not think so. Like Kayode Fayemi, another APC presidential hopeful, said, Nigeria’s presidency is not an ‘’inheritance or traditional title’’. It is a critical office that should not be occupied on the basis of political requital. If the supporters of Tinubu are so compelled to want to pay ‘’reparations’’ to him, it should be done outside the delicate office of the president…