Last week, I asked a leadership question: Why should anyone be led by Tinubu? In my submissions, I focused on how Bola Ahmed Tinubu progressed his political protégées and advanced them for national service.
These protégés were not the usual political jobbers that see public offices as their career platforms. They were technocrats Tinubu lured into public service since 1999. I miss out on one aspect of Tinubu’s credence for people’s advancement.
That’s his conflict resolution and forgiveness strengths. Tinubu’s relationships with Femi Pedro and Musiliu Obanikoro attests to his capacity and capability to lead people with different views and, at the end of it all, still find a way to work with them.
Today’s question is a nation-building question: why should Nigeria be led by Tinubu?
In building an egalitarian society, leaders play vital roles aside from the environment (the availability of institutions) and the followers. The difference between my Kano and Dubai is leadership. Ages ago, Dubai was a desert.
Today, it is a tourist hub and one of the most respected cities in the world. What transformed Dubai into a place my Kano admires (allegorically, Nigeria) is the availability of leaders with vision. That’s the difference.
In nation-building, that purported leader’s capacity and integrity are two vital organs for effective governance. Unfortunately, there is hardly a case where a leader is with capacity and at the same time has integrity. There is always a conflict of capacity and integrity.
Where there is a conflict of capacity and integrity, a leader with capacity can envision policy and help his or her society. He or she will offer something good to advance the followers. If leaders with integrity but without capacity are elected, the lack of capacity will hurt the society, and they will be the only beneficiary of their integrity. No integrity can withstand the pressure of corruption except with the presence of strong institutions.
In Nigeria of today, we need someone who has built the capacity to build people, the capability to envision policies, and with an infinite stake mindset.
Like last week, I demanded any of the ex-governors who were governors during Tinubu to come out and show us their progressive scorecard for comparison. So, if Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s (BAT) records and trajectory of political advancement of people cannot be matched, why should Nigeria not be led by Tinubu?
If leaders with integrity but without capacity are elected, the lack of capacity will hurt the society, and they will be the only beneficiary of their integrity
From 1999 to 2007, as the Chief Vision Officer of Lagos State, BAT envisioned an educational investment policy that had over 128 projects initiated and completed. The benefits of such a vision are to all Nigerians resident in Lagos. I boldly repeat that there is nowhere in the world with the concentration of Nigerians like Lagos state. We need such a vision that will benefit all Nigerians for the country’s education system, especially in the North with the highest percentage of ‘out of school’ children.
Tinubu’s Lagos wasn’t an entitled government. The Federal Government seized the state’s fund for creating Local Community Development Areas. What was the leader’s response? He set machinery in motion to generate more revenue to implement the Lagos’ Blueprint he created. Remember, BAT is a technocrat himself, having worked at Mobil as the treasurer and many accounting firms in the United States.
Imagine a president whose states governors complain about low revenue from the Federal Allocation account. A person like Tinubu will draw from his available experience in generating revenue for Lagos state to guide the governors. He will command the respect and trust of the governors and ministers because he is a man who has travelled through the road of achievements in the past.
Read also: Why should anyone be led by Tinubu?
I love using Singapore and Lee Kuan Yew as an example of leadership with capacity and result. Singapore had no resources, but a visionary president Yew invested in the people’s ability and built strong institutions.
The legendary president of Singapore built institutions that are the strongholds of his enduring legacies. The outcome is the Singapore of today, where the people are patriotic, educated and with a high standard of living.
We need someone who can build people and with a capacity to lead at this stage of our development. We need someone who can create and surpass Awo’s legacy that is dwindling at a geometric rate among today’s youth. We need a rally and leadership reference point in what Awolowo was to the generation of Tinubu.
Without a doubt, BAT is one among none that is on the trajectory of replicating tested governance blueprints if the Nigerian institutions will not prevent him.
As good as his candidature is, I have concerns like many other Nigerians. Some have concerns about his health, some about his past cases, but one doubts his capacity to repeat what he had done with the mandate of Lagos.
At this stage, Nigeria needs a man who has a thinking cap and has used it in the past to produce visible results. We need a leader that can push hard amid a lack of strong institutions. No one knows the current system as much as a man whose partnership dislodged an incumbent federal government, the first in Nigeria. On the flip side, if you believe we had not benefited from the above turnaround, let’s give an inside the opportunity to correct any mess in the message he helped to deliver.
And on those with concerns for Tinubu’s age and health. An analogy involving Roberto Baggio, a legendary Italian footballer and his coach, Ariggo Sacchi will help. Roberto Baggio was recuperating from an injury when a world cup squad was named.
There were criticisms on how Roberto Baggio made the final list. In his response to the tense complaints, Arrigo Sacchi said, ‘with Roberto Baggio’s experience as a player and the first Italian to score in three world cup, fifty per cent of Baggio is good enough to be selected.
In Tinubu’s case, his experience is good enough to be elected while we keep building institutions to deal with any other concerns. After all, we are in a democracy with checks and balances.