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Tinubu: The Eagle flies to victory

By Emmanuel Umohinyang

The reverberation of the electoral victory of former Lagos state governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in the presidential election of February 25, 2023, is one that is bound to abound for a long time to come.

Even the history books would have it well engraved in a very special place because, for many, it was more than just sweet music to the ears; it was an honour well deserved.

No wonder, the global community spoke with one voice on the election, with congratulatory messages pouring in like torrential rain.

From world leaders in the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Canada, and across the length and breadth of Africa, it has been congratulations galore.

Long before the blast of the whistle and the campaign that ensued, many Nigerians, including this writer, opined that the coveted prize was for Tinubu.

The conviction was not based on guesswork but on a cursory look at the antecedents and accomplishments of the front runners for the seat of the nation’s number one citizen.

Without doubt, Asiwaju was clearly ahead of the pack, leading the rest by miles, based on his enviable record as former governor of Lagos State.

Even his rivals know within themselves that this is one man they cannot match in every critical sector, if accomplishments are anything to go by.

From the way and manner in which they ran their campaigns, Tinubu of the APC was clearly ahead, and the signs were there for all to see, even for the blind and the deaf.

If you break it down to the campaigns of the leading parties, none was a match for Asiwaju, as his “renewed hope” manifesto dwarfed all the others in terms of answers to what their plans are for Nigeria.

Though Atiku Abubakar of the PDP was the first to unveil his manifesto, “My Covenant with Nigerians,” observers say it fell short of providing answers to the myriad of problems facing the nation at this critical period.

Even Obi, who took all the time in the world to release his, was no better, as his manifesto never received the kind of reviews received by the APC manifesto.

Given Tinubu’s background, many were not surprised that he came up with a brilliant document that is bound to remain relevant, even long after he exits the presidency.

Jagaban Tinubu

No doubt, this is a product of the combination of his experience in the corporate sector, where he rose to become Treasurer at Mobil, and what he garnered as Lagos’s number one citizen, working with some of the best eggheads from across the country.

For the record, “Renewed Hope” addresses the major issue at the heart of attaining prosperity, growth, and development for the nation: security economy, fiscal policy, import substitution, tax reform, optimization of government revenue, monetary policy, exchange rate management, industrial policy, housing, agribusiness, power, and more.

The new agenda seeks to achieve objectives that include job creation and decent wages for youths as a baseline for creating a better life, manufacturing, and invention of goods and services, thereby transforming Nigeria from mere consumers to creators.

It also aims to bring about less importation and more exportation for the purpose of strengthening the naira; an agric policy that promotes productivity, decent income for farmers; the modernization and expansion of public infrastructure, harnessing the energy of youths in the digital economy; entertainment, culture, and tourism; and the abolition of poverty.

On security, Tinubu/Shettima believes that the fundamental responsibility of government is the protection of lives and property.

Consequently, the new administration plans to mobilise the totality of national security, military, and law enforcement assets to protect all Nigerians from danger and the fear of danger.

Tinubu, as Lagos’ helmsman, promised something similar and did exceedingly well; other states copied the Lagos security model, which is still in operation to date.

In the area of power, the President-elect is a firm believer that our economic woes are closely connected with power, as the nation has approximately 12,000 MW of installed capacity, generates only 8,000 MW, and distributes 4500 MW to consumers.

Recall that Lagos State under Asiwaju embarked on the Enron project as a way of filling this void, another first in history by any state government in Nigeria.

These and many more ingenious ideas are what the incoming administration is bringing to tackle the many challenges currently facing the nation.

As somebody who has worked very closely with President Muhammadu Buhari, there is no gain in saying that he has succeeded largely in his task of fixing many of the problems facing the nation.

These could be better appreciated when we look back at events before his assumption of office, when the nation was at the precipice, drifting in a very fearful manner, and needed a captain to save the ship of state from sinking.

Though Buhari may not have done it all, as no administration can fix all our challenges, as a Nigerian and unapologetic Buharist, I and millions of Nigerians can boldly attest to the administration’s accomplishments.

Today, we can look back with pride and boast of better railway services, better roads, modern airports, improved agriculture, well-motivated military and police, a better civil service, fewer bankrupt states paying salaries, courtesy of President Buhari, and, better still, a far better image of Nigeria abroad. Our recent visit to Doha, Qatar, can attest to these things.

Furthermore, President Buhari would go down in history as a president who bequeathed a free, fair, and credible election to Nigerians.

Though some are crying foul, the truth is that there can never be a perfect election anywhere in the world, even in the United States, which is the bastion of democracy.

The same election saw Atiku Abubakar’s PDP winning in Kastina, Kaduna, and Yobe, regarded as nests of the APC, even as Obi won in the Plateau, the FCT, and Lagos, areas it could never have dreamed of winning; the same is true for Tinubu, who won PDP-dominated states.

The greatest challenge before President-elect Bola Tinubu is taking Nigeria from where it is presently to an enviable position that will be the pride of black people around the world.

No doubt, the country is heavily fragmented and would need some healing through unity, for which some have called for a Government of National Unity (GNU). The good thing is that Tinubu is a man with a large heart, a man at home with all Nigerians, irrespective of religious or ethnic background.

He was the one who first appointed Nigerians from other geopolitical zones into his government as governor of Lagos State.

There is no gain in saying that one of the reasons for his victory is his open-mindedness, which has made him a friend to millions locally and internationally.

Such a spirit would no doubt do his administration a lot of good, given the bad blood across ethnic and religious lines as a result of the election.

The good thing is that Tinubu has not just waved the olive branch; he has equally swung into action by constituting a committee to reach out to aggrieved persons.

This shows him as a man who is genuinely concerned about the state of the nation and the need to bring all hands on deck for a better, prosperous nation.

Ultimately, it will do the President-elect a lot of good if he would quickly recognize and find solutions to areas where the Buhari administration failed, namely the badly implemented Naira redesign policy of the federal government. The government exists for the survival of her citizens, not for their funerals. To this end, I invite the president-elect to review when sworn-in most policies of the Emefiele led CBN and sanction officials responsible for the needless pain and agony Nigerians had to go through during the poorly implemented policies.

The earlier this is done, the better for Tinubu himself, as many look forward to him re-enacting the “Lagos magic” at the national level for a better Nigeria and proving to his critics that those achievements were not a fluke. I then leave the City Boy of Lagos with the words of the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi that he should “stand up for what is right even if you are standing alone because at the end you will be vindicated.” Luckily for Bola Tinubu, he is not standing alone because the majority of Nigerians are standing with him for people-oriented governance.

If he succeeds, surely Nigeria succeeds, and the respect for the nation as a true giant in the global arena would surface once more, even as Asiwaju would have succeeded in writing his name in gold.

  • Umohinyang, an activist and social commentator, writes from Lagos.



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