BusinessDay

How Tinubu’s presidential ambition will affect us all

It seems that Alhaji Bola Tinubu had wanted to be President of Nigeria for so long that even his supporters do not know what damage that they do to him by robing him as a power monger who spent decades pinning every act to that day he would demand paybacks from everyone he had done something for, not matter how fleeting. Tinubu is too complicated that he defies definitions.

He fits into too many roles and rolls with them in manners that he would not have picked some malodorous spots. Who smells nice all the time? Yet these are not the issues with Tinubu.
The simplest answers to why he wants to be President or should be President, are that they are within his inalienable rights. More die-hard supporters would say he had invested in politics, made Muhammadu Buhari President, and has made many people something, that they should, in turn, make him President, not just anything.

Let nobody deceive you that Tinubu needed to be begged to be President. He may believe he is already one. The video of him stepping into a car, on his most recent hospital visit to London gave us a glimpse.
One younger fellow had greeted Tinubu, “See you in Nigeria Mr President.” Jagaban responded, “Thank you.” The fellow was a member of one of the groups that headed to London to see Tinubu. President Buhari also on medical vacation in London visited Tinubu.

There has been no effort spared in ignoring that incident. Tinubu is imposing enough to be President of many things. In the context of the visiting crowd, whose message was “Be our President,” calling Tinubu President was not a mistake.

I suspect there must be time to discover how President Buhari, the same Buhari who believes there is none beside him, feels about Tinubu making him President. The Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo is another they claim Tinubu created. Tinubu has the leadership of the National Assembly. They count Governors and other political heavyweights he made across states and settlements in Nigeria.

These are in some instances, spurious claims. Politics reside in the recesses of deft doubts. His generosities can make him a great man, President of Nigeria.
Not too long ago, the best defences for any allegations against Tinubu were that we were jealous of him. We are also told that his political sagacity was one that opponents could not match.
These untested claims on his behalf have made it challenging to ask harder questions about the Tinubu that we may never know.

His version of an American accent would not suffice in accounting for Tinubu’s sojourn in the United States. There are as many details as are there are storytellers. I would not repeat any of the stories. I whet my appetite in anticipation of hearing about Tinubu from Tinubu.

Tinubu’s legacies would extend beyond pride in promoting a political pyramid where the greatest assets of a professor of law in becoming a Vice President is that Tinubu recommended him, not even political correctness of his religion putting a semblance of inclusiveness in the presidential ticket, not that he had anything whatsoever to contribute to the development of Nigeria, not that his presence will help the imperatives of respect for law and order in a democracy. The most important thing is that Tinubu said “put him there.”

How many Nigerians did these Tinubu-prompted appointments affect their lives positively? Do we hand over a country to someone because of his political sagacity that consists of building a collection of followers for his own benefit?

Read also: We’ll take Tinubu’s money and vote Osinbajo – Babangida Aliyu

We cannot reduce the qualifications for leadership to trite regurgitations of meaningless quiddities. We cannot put up the presidency as a parting gift to a benefactor as some tend to be minded. It is incredible that Nigerians, among them, some of our most cerebral, are convinced that the types of investments Tinubu reportedly made are what qualify him to preside over Nigeria.

What type of President would Tinubu make? What are his views about Nigeria? How has he pursued these views outside the public office? Will his records in Lagos as Governor give an inkling of his management styles?

If all that we gain by the end of the presidential contestations is to know the real Tinubu, Nigerians would have been a lot more enlightened about this enigma that has become an easy target for people to weave their stories – some so fantastic that Tinubu would do us a favour to comment on them – then we would have made progress in our quest to know our leaders. We should be grateful to the Jagaban for that.

We are so much in need of understanding ourselves that we would eternally remember Tinubu as the one whose most enduring contributions to politics is making it possible for Nigeria to make the most minimal demands on their leaders, asking them to tell us who they are. Tinubu’s announcement that he is joining the presidential race has helped us re-gain a long-held belief that our leaders should be accountable to us.

It all begins by telling us who they are, who they are not so that our politics and governance are relieved of speculations and suggestions that deny us opportunities of having leaders who do not grow a culture of using public resources to keep themselves in office as they sprout their kind who finally erect governments that are by themselves for themselves and for the promotion of impunity as immunity.

We should thank Jagaban. His interest in becoming President of Nigeria is raising scrutiny of our leadership standards.

Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues