Leadership as they say, comes with numerous responsibility(ies). These responsibilities are coupled with the duty service and care to the subjects.
In the words of Nelson Mandela, “To be a great leader, one must never give up, try to bring people together and be selfless”. This quote is not far fetched from the astounding attributes that is being possessed by the former Lagos State Governor and new president-elect of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Tinubu entered the Nigerian political scene during the political transition programme of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, as he was a member of the Peoples Front political association, founded by the late Shehu Yar’adua. The group, along with other parties were denied of being registered as political parties by the then military junta, which later formed two major political parties namely; the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the National Republican Convention (NRC). Yar’adua’s group later moved to the SDP, a party under which Bola Ahmed Tinubu was elected Senator in 1992.
The transition programme was later scuttled after Gen. Sani Abacha, the military successor to Gen. Babangida scrapped the democratic institutions and threw the late MKO Abiola into prison and went after his supporters in rage. In view of the unfolding events, Mr. Tinubu and others, formed the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), a group which sustained a fight against military rule in Nigeria. His involvement in the democratic struggle forced him to go on exile. He later returned home after the demise of Gen. Sani Abacha in 1998 and joined the Alliance for Democracy (AD), a party which he contested and got elected as the first Governor of Lagos State in the Fourth Republic.
Tinubu’s tenure as Governor of Lagos State was followed with massive developmental plans among which are the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) / LAGBUS, establishment of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and creation of 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), thus bringing the government closer to the people at the grassroots.
In 2006, he formed the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), in a bid of reclaiming the Southwestern region from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while building alliances outside the region for a firm influence in national politics. This was at a time Atiku Abubakar, the then Vice President, who had fallen out with his principal, President Olusegun Obasanjo, decamped to Mr. Tinubu’s Action Congress and ran unsuccessfully in the 2007 presidential election.
His party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), later formed a merger with the All Nigerians Peoples Party (ANPP), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and factions of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the PDP to form the now known All Progressives Congress in 2013. The formulation of the APC, a brilliant plan which became an instant hit with the party’s flag-bearer, Maj Gen. Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
Tinubu’s key role in the formation of the APC was well talked about by party leaders who spoke at various occasions. Even President Buhari at the time said, “If Bola Ahmed Tinubu did not participate, there wouldn’t have been a merger and there wouldn’t have been an APC government at the centre. That is absolutely clear.”
All through Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s years in Nigerian politics, he has successfully continued to remain relevant in the country’s political sphere, considering his “Mega City” Lagos master plan which is being continued by his successors who happened to be his political mentees. His brain-born initiative (Mega City), which later became a midas touch has helped Lagos State transform her Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from N600 Million to a record high of over N45 Billion monthly, making it the fastest growing economic city in Africa.
Tinubu is largely referred to by many as the ‘father of new Lagos’ and the builder of men, many whom have progressed to become political leaders and captains of industry(ies).
Upon his swearing-in on May 29, Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) will become the fifth President of the Nigerian Fourth Republic.
The president-elect has to his credit two publications namely:- Financialism: Water from an Empty Well”, a book which was co-written with Briane Brown; and “Common Sense Revolution”, which was presented at the 7th Bola Tinubu Colloquium.
Also to his credit are so many honorary academic awards: Doctor of Civil Law (DCL) (Honoris Causa) by the University of Njala, Freetown, Sierra Leone; Doctor of Science (D.Sc) by Kano State University of Science and Technology; Doctor of Science (D.SC) in Management Sciences by Ladoke Akintola University of Technology; Doctor of Political Science and Diplomacy by Adeleke University, Osun State; Doctor of Business Administration by University of Abuja, and Doctor of Business Administration by Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto State.
He also holds many traditional chieftaincy titles which includes Asiwaju of Lagos, Aare of Ile Oluji, Eze Obalu Dike Gawu na Oko, Jagaban of Borgu, Are-Ago of Egbaland and Wakilin Raya Emir of Gusau.
Mr. Tinubu is happily married to Mrs. Remi Tinubu, a current serving Senator of the 9th Nigerian National Assembly.
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