Former Lagos state Governor and National Leader of the APC Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to President Muhammadu Buhari where he signaled his intention to vie, for the polity to actually become charged
By Yakubu Ahmed-BK
Until the declaration, the Nigerian political firmament was in some kind of self-imposed lull. There were some semblance of engagements alright, but nothing of note was taking place. The ruling itself was, more or less, in a quagmire of sort as it busied itself with when to hold a convention, or not hold it at all, to chose a path for itself.
Nobody knew who will throw his hat into the ring. The few names that were being bandied about never gave any hint as to whether they were indeed interested or not. The usual razzmatazz associated with times like this, when the nation was agog with political activities linked with a forthcoming presidential election, was surprisingly absent.
It took a visit by former Lagos state Governor and National Leader of the APC Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to President Muhammadu Buhari where he signaled his intention to vie, for the polity to actually become charged.
The moment he dropped the hint, the nation caught the fever and the whistle tended to have been blown for every Tom, Dick and Harry to now become copy cat by lining up. Don’t get me wrong, what followed the Tinubu declaration is good for the nation and its politics. We can’t have a pending general elections just months away and still be saddled with a nation bereft of the usual feverish conditions associated with it.
The nation has caught the fire and the environment has been enlivened for the right political frenzy to take place to enrich discussions and engagements and to offer us the variables for our choices to be upgraded.
Soon after the declaration, or long before it when the hawks were apparently scared stiff of a potential Tinubu-for-President project, the debate deviated to the age and health of the Asiwaju. As stated by Senator Kashim Shettima at a function in Abuja, managing Nigeria was not akin to going to the Olympics. Good leadership, he noted, was not the ability to lift a bag of cement. The antecedents of Tinubu should have bothered commentators. Where was he yesterday as the nation struggled to shed off its baggages of retrogression and backwardness? What has he done as Governor of Lagos state and what were his contributions to making Lagos the third best economy in Africa even when a vindictive PDP controlled federal government had denied him years of monthly allocation? How did he mentor people to make Lagos the beehive of all that is good for the people?
Age is not a factor in matters of leadership. I think it has nothing to do with it. Its the mindset and the attitude. The Nigerian factor is in all of us- young or old, male or female. We have the same bigoted, tribal, religious, regional and class sentiments. Age has never been a factor at all.
Hadiza Bala Usman, a young woman did not fared any better at the NPA even when all the tools to show what young people could do were at her disposal. Is Abdulrashid Bawa doing any better at the EFCC? Is there anything he has brought or done there that has marked him out as better than his older predecessors?
The struggle to promote a younger person to become President is, in itself, a class struggle that is not founded on any verifiable evidence that it could work or has worked anywhere.
The US economy has remained the strongest in the world not because younger men were at the helm but because their attitude was the right one which was built on the crest of selflessness, patriotism and commitment. That was why the age of Trump and Biden didn’t come into the calculations at all.
Kashim Shettima has also reminded us that the accident that had Kenya’s Mwai Kibaki confined to a wheelchair didn’t disable his ability to produce sound ideas and Kenyans were sold on his virtue that they chose him as their President over what some would consider as fitter option.
The problem with us in this country is that we play politics against the run of play. We allow sentiments to becloud our sense of duty to our country. Instead of making rationale evaluations in order to arrive at sound conclusions, we tend to skew facts to help us reach a self centered trajectory even when doing so has the potentials to make things difficult for the nation. Any wonder we are where we are?
Tinubu has proved to be a builder of bridges, a mentor of men and a good manager of resources. Lagos is Nigeria’s best example of how to govern and no one can take away the fact that Tinubu planted the tree that has so well bore the fruits of this continuity. What matter most is the sound judgement, the knowledge, the capacity to jobhunt and the courage to build the synergy to achieve results. These are the qualities we should be discussing instead of dissipating energy on factors like age that have never been highlighted in advanced and successfully run economies the world over.