• Friday, June 21, 2024
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BusinessDay

Tinubu: A real politician in Aso Rock

Tinubu seeks FBI assistance to combat complex crimes

Nigeria’s seat of government – the Aso Villa – has received many visitors since President Bola Tinubu took office. Many visitors, including politicians, diplomats and other dignitaries from both within and outside the country, have commended him for a string of policies that have been described as bold and capable of helping put the economy on a strong footing if well implemented.

Tinubu has hosted many of the politicians who played active roles during his campaigns, as well as some members of the opposition parties.

Just last week, he met with Pius Anyim, former secretary to the government of the federation, and Olisa Metu, former national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), at the Presidential Villa. Anyim had contested the 2022 PDP presidential primary and lost to former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.

Though the outcome of the visit of the two chieftains of the main opposition PDP was not made public, some have said it signalled Tinubu’s move to form a government of national unity, cutting across all political parties.

Shortly before the Sallah break, he had a meeting with Rabiu Kwankwaso, the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party and former Kano State governor.

The Kano top politician, while speaking with State House journalists, did not hide his intention to work with the President in whatever capacity.

Tinubu had also had several meetings with the leader of the PDP G5 group, and Nyesom Wike, former Rivers Governor, who is rumoured to have made the president’s ministerial list.

With the list of his cabinet members still eagerly being awaited, the Presidential Villa has continued to witness intense political activities. It was reported that as hordes of lobbyists besieged his Bourdillon home in Ikoyi, Lagos, during the Sallah break, the president had to take “cover” elsewhere.

A bill recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari compels the President and the 36 state governors to nominate their cabinet members, ministers and commissioners, as the case may be, within the first 60 days after assumption of office for confirmation by the Senate or State House of Assembly.

Lawrence Alobi, a former police commissioner, likened Tinubu to the late Umaru Yar’Adua, who he described as “the first real politician to occupy Aso Rock”.

He said: “What we are seeing reminds us of the late President Yar’Adua, whose tenure would have been the best. He was a detribalised leader who brought everyone under his political fold.

“That was why he was able to quickly deal with the armed uprising in the Niger Delta by introducing the Presidential Amnesty program that led to stability in oil production and much more economic gains.

“We believe that President Tinubu has started well and will continue with these good policies, not being carried away by ethnic considerations and pressures from his political party to favour any part of the country above the others. I see him succeeding.”

Suleiman Larmorde, an Abuja-based legal practitioner, attributed the President’s activities so far to the presence of “a strong team of technocrats and well-informed loyalists”.

Lamorde believes Tinubu has started well.

“Honestly, we have seen a great change from what we are used to. He is a real politician and has also shown us that he was truly prepared for office. He must have developed this blueprint about 10-15 years earlier,” he said.

“Addressing the issue of multiple taxation, which weakened the economy, will give a big boost to the economy.”

Lamorde, who is also a chieftain of the ruling APC, also applauded the removal of the security chiefs, which he said “has also begun to bear fruits in the security sector”.

“Above all, he has been consulting with relevant stakeholders, which is providing him with the necessary wisdom to do the needful. I hope that the trend continues,” he said.

Speaking on Tinubu’s waited ministerial list, he said only very well-experienced technocrats will be brought in.

“He will not joke with key sectors. We are expecting that things will be done properly. You have to know what you are doing to serve in Tinubu’s government, because the President himself has said that we are supposed to be driving the economy of African countries and not struggling to initiate policies for survival and I trust he will not fail,” Lamorde said.

He also saw President’s appointment of Femi Gbajabiamila and George Akume as chief of staff and secretary to the government of the federation respectively as a clear demonstration of his desire to establish a strong administration, made up of technocrats.

“Don’t forget that the President appointed time-tested loyalists and technocrats who have been working with him and who are also behind the success story of Lagos,” he told BusinessDay.

A private sector operator, who did not want his name in print, while also expressing his confidence in the Tinubu administration, however, called for caution, saying that “it is too early to judge”.

“I believe that he has started well, but let’s wait for the cabinet and the end of the election petitions,” he added.