by Hon Segun Olulade
“He wanted to become the President and never wanted to relinquish regional power, was the world created for him alone?”;“He was a thief too because he was making One kobo on every bottle of Coke?”; “If he was a selfless and prudent leader, why did he build one house at Oke Bola in Ibadan, another one in Apapa-Lagos yet another one in his home town in Ikene?”
“He was in the cult; he led us astray, he was too rigid, he was an alien, his wife was a witch, he was originally from Dahomey, he was a wizard and too power conscious”.
The legendary ‘Yoruba Ronu’ exponent late Hubert Ogunnde warned of imminent backwardness in the face of pull-down syndrome and unbridled envy amongst the Yoruba political class. The late ace comedian Gbenga Adeboye and fuji maestro Sikiru Ayinde Barrister also separately described the Yoruba race as one that is wise, intelligent but riddled with disposition of vain expectations from human what even an angel cannot meet.
During the travail of late Chief M.K.O. Abiola, while the nation burns in agitation for actualisation of the ‘June 12’ mandate, some eminent Yoruba leaders were spotted in and around Aso Rock romancing the late dark-google General to foist any attempt to let Bashorun Abiola off the hook of the ‘khaki boys’. When the business mogul and philanthropist finally died in detention, Yorubas were fast to say “afterall he was an International Thief Thief man according to late Fela Anikulapo”. Abiola was described as a man that sponsored several coups and therefore deserved to die in a coup circumstance. They claimed he had too many wives and children. While Abiola was being honoured globally for laying down his life for Nigeria to entrench a democracy, his kinsmen were busy scoring him low on the pages of history.
However, nature has way of raising banners before God and men for those who truly distinguished themselves. While Awolowo and Abiola became known and remembered for their roles in our nation, those who envied their historical records had settled in the dust of history. Awolowo and Abiola paid their dues and will forever be remembered among those who have made significant impacts in the political sphere of our country.
What does Tinubu owe us?
Indisputably, this era has provided yet another hero for the Yoruba race in the political sphere. The nation unanimously agreed that Tinubu’s expertise dislodged incumbent federal government to install a progressive opposition. Before then, he had held political space consistently as leader of liberation movement with astonishing records evidently.
Tinubu’s legendary has now surpassed Nigeria’s political space having been recognised as one of the most influential personality in the world and among most powerful political leader on the continent.
The truism that “no leader is successful until he produces equally competent and successful leader(s)” has been proven to test in Asiwaju’s case. Not only has he produced second successive outstanding Governors in Lagos State, he has equally raised high profile lieutenants that are presently occupying significant political offices across board; all of them equally competent and powerful. What does Tinubu owe us?
Popular with our brand of politics is the pull-down syndrome rather than rally round a successful one to score a point for our growing democracy. Topmost amongst Tinubu’s political enemies today are his kinsmen and those who have once been favoured by his political dynasty. His political influence is so enormous that he made those who never dreamt of attaining a political feat reach power, this after he must have discovered their leadership potentials which in itself is a great leadership quality.
The silent gang up is hard to imagine. Tinubu is a politician who recognises political freedom and acknowledged that political space is meant for nothing but for contest and prove-of-strength. Hiding and ganging up strength to fight his popularity is not politics but sycophancy. Let anyone who opposes Tinubu come out from the hiding, declare opposition and allow a contest. As a Jagaban, he has never been afraid of contest. He knows the rules of the game. He contest, he does not fight. A gentleman and generous living legend he is.
Those who think they can assemble from the back stage to launch political attack against Tinubu need to suspect a more ground breaking onslaught from the loyalists among his reigning political empire. This is not a fight for Tinubu, but a fight for the real progressives who uphold loyalty as guiding principle from day one they enrolled in Asiwaju’s political and leadership institute.
Personally, I want to believe all rumours linking former Governors of Lagos Raji Fashola, Ekiti Kayode Fayemi, Rivers Rotimi Amechi and present Governor of Ogun State Ibikunle Amosun to the political ambush better remain rumours and rumours for ever. They are gentlemen. Rather than ambuscade, let anyone in doubt flow a political party, establish a lead and show the world how to sustain a political empire.
Undoubtedly, even Mr President who has a proven integrity and fear of God is not expected to stand against Asiwaju at this crucial moment save for the vultures trying to hijack his political influence to submerge popular opinion such as seen in Kogi and the Senate among other references within the party.
Every coup against Tinubu has always vindicated him and vindictive of the traitors. As it is, Nigeria sees the Senate under a Saraki and the ongoing polarisation in the national progressive camp simply because a man’s achievements are grossly envied by those who cannot half his records even if they live and do politics for a decade more.
Tinubu’s many sacrifices are unusual. His contributions to political and national development are unequalled in this generation. His legacies for Nigeria’s democracy will take another decade to see its like. His influence across all industries and strata are not a coincidence. The growth of his political reign has witnessed ingenuity, hard work, commitment to the masses, love for the country, firm believe in team work and exceptional gifts ordained by God. He never fought clandestinely; he does not do illicit pattern. He just owned his game.
Today, we have an icon that is already a living legend. Those who truly believe Asiwaju is a worthy leader and benefactor should wait for no other time to stand with their leader. I stand with Asiwaju. The forces at the national stage and the domesticated ones in Lagos cannot be greater than the grace of God upon this enigma called Tinubu.
For the Yoruba race, for sure it takes another century before we see like of Asiwaju again. What do we stand for at the moment? Celebrating our own glory or settling for otherwise which is far less a decision?
Olulade is a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, representing Epe Constituency II