The truism in the assertion that Power belongs to God and He gives it to whomever He pleases has remained true throughout humanity. It implies that despite politicking, horse trading, political permutations and maneuverings, it is God who ultimately decides where the pendulum swings to.
In keeping with his avowed neutrality, President Muhammadu Buhari has once again demonstrated that he is a man of his words. When permutations about who flies the flag of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in February 2023 kick-started, the president had promised to provide a level playing field for all aspirants.
The seamless presidential pimary election conducted by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is akin to the time-tested saying that “as you lay your bed, so you will lay on it.” President Muhammadu Buhari has, by that transparent and credible process, affirmed that he is a true democrat and unbiased leader, while the APC has demonstrated that it is prepared to keep power beyond 2023.
The icing on the cake is the emergence of a political collossus, Ahmed Bola Tinubu. His triumph as the APC presidential candidate closes an epic story of what is possible when a man lives a life of dedicated service all his life. Pundits had underestimated Tinubu’s political clout and pedigree until proper voting actually began at the primary.
In consonance with his balanced view of life, Tinubu had all his life dedicated his life to building of men. That explains why when it mattered most, he had ‘footh soldiers’ scattered all over the country mobilising for the actualisation of his presidential ambition.
However, one issue that cynics started throwing up to rob mud in the wheels of Asiwaju movement is the delicate balance of Muslim-Muslim ticket, which became an issue in the social media while voting was ongoing at the primary. But Tinubu is a tested statesman and deft political strategist. He has stayed long in the game to know that in an ethnically and religiously heterogeneous society like ours, the sensitive issue of religion should be handled with utmost care.
Besides, as a statesman who has contributed immensely to the development and modernisation of the Nigerian polity, he understands the enormous role religious tranquility plays in a plural society. There are credible, popular and competent Christian politicians from the North who can add value to Tinubu and APC’s political fortune in the February 2023 presidential election. Tested and trusted men like the immediate past Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof Suleiman Elias Bogoro, a merchant of competence, integrity, courage, would be an added advantage.
The issue of urgent importance arising from the primaries is how to assist President Buhari unite the party as it braces up for the 2023 presidential campaign. Does Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu have the clout to hand APC victory at next year’s election? The straight jacket answer is yes. He has all it takes. Because of his knack for modernity and excellence, he has endeared himself to millions of Nigerians. Tinubu’s appeal goes beyond ethnic and religion devides. It is on record that northern governors were fully behind him in the just concluded primary.
Now, the dusts from the primaries are begining to settle. For instance, one of Tinubu’s main challengers, Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, has since sent a congratulatory message, in which he said “Tinubu’s sterling contributions to our democracy and its progress stand him out. Other aspirants have joined in drumming support for Tinubu.
Tinubu has been there. His anticedents and commitment to flourishing Democracy is unparalleled. It was Tinubu and others like Pa Alfred Rilwane and Pa Abraham Adesanya who risked their lives to fight for the Democracy Nigeria is enjoying today. To be specific, BAT, as the APC Presidential flagbearer is fondly called by his teeming admirers, was one of the major financiers of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO). That he did at the risk of paying with his life. In the process, he and others had to run into exile when the heat on them became too much.
My conviction that Tinubu will make an impact when voted into power is premised on his track records. We all know the chaotic situation of Lagos before 1999, when Tinubu became the governor. Because of his unequalled sense and knack for modernity, he kick-started the modernisation of Lagos into what it is today. As a man, who moves with changing trends, Tinubu believes in too much openness and reforms as the basis for sustainable progress. That he has demonstrated in Lagos, which became the foundation upon which subsequent Administrations in the state are building on.
One recipe that has helped leaders succeed throughout history is the courage to put round pegs in round holes. In this regard, Tinubu is a master at recruiting best brains to get jobs done. His emotions transends race, tribe and religion. He always focuses on the goal, which is the primary reason why he always goes for the best. And this is evident in the serial results he has always recorded. With Asiwaju, one is not in doubt as to his ability to assemble best brains to fix Nigeria.
Nigeria is a multi-ethnic and religious society, hence, a leader needs to be dynamic to give a sense of belonging to all components. This is one area Tinubu can be described as ‘Giant for Unity.’ It is on record that in Tinubu’s Lagos, no one cares about where you come from. Rather, what matters is your competence and capabilities. There are countless examples to buttress this. Joe Igbokwe, one of Tinubu’s right hand man and a former cabinet member in Lagos State, is from Anambra State. Under Tinubu’s Administration in Lagos between 1999 and 2007, Lagos State governmemt was dominated by non indigenes of Lagos.
For instance, the current minister of Internal Affairs, Engr Rauf Aregbedola, was Tinubu’s commissioner for Works. He later became governor of Osun State at Tinubu’s behest. Kayode Fayemi, the current governor of Ekiti state and others all held appointments in Tinubu’s government. This is the new order Tinubu is going to bring to bear in our governance system.
Perhaps, the best attribute of the APC flagbearer that would change the status quo is his negotiating skills. Tinubu is a deal cutter and a diplomat. He typifies a real man that smiles when he is beset with troubles. Where others lament, he looks out for solutions. He gathers strength by distress and brave by reflection.
Tinubu is APC’s best sell. With his candidature, campaign becomes very easy and evidence-based. All that is needed is for all members of the APC to rally support for him ahead of the 2023 polls. Above all, I would like to implore all Nigerians to join hands and support President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the governing APC wins the next 2023 election, as well as achieve a peaceful transition.
– Ibrahim is director, Communications and Strategic Planning, of the Presidential Support Committee (PSC)