Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu: The Special One – By Akinleye Temidayo Bright
In Yoruba mythology, ‘Akonda Eyan’ means the Special One or literally translated, The One Who is ‘Exceptionally Created’. While a cock or a hen cannot be known from the egg, it is a fact that as the chickens start to grow, the hen and the cock will become easily identifiable and differentiated.
In the case of humans, an Edo parable states that we can never know when a king is born, or we would have rejoiced so that the heavens would hear. Though Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu was born and raised into the illustrious Tinubu Family whose forebears dots the history of Lagos with heroic feats even before the colonial era, no one then could have accurately predicted the glory Ahmed Bola Tinubu will bring to the Tinubu family lineage, Lagos, the Yoruba race, Nigeria and Africa as it is happening today.
Without an elaborate recourse or narratives of the many battles and eventual triumphs Tinubu has seen in both his political and private life, one can category states that the Asiwaju, Jagaban Borgu’s life story can adequately attest to the indisputable fact that Tinubu is not just a rare bred of human being, but he is a special one whose place in life, past present and the future when today becomes history fate has reserved as an exceptionally created human being; Battle after battle, even as an underdog on the surface, Tinubu has beaten all odds to emerge victorious. That is why anybody expecting Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to be vanquished in the ongoing struggles and political permutations as far as the 2023 Nigerian political struggle is concerned will do themselves a lot of good to have a rethink. One incidence readily comes to mind to illustrate this fact.
Midway into Tinubu’s first term as the Executive Governor of Lagos State, some forces led by a renowned legal luminary had ganged up to bring down Tinubu. They had claimed that Tinubu did not possess the academic qualifications he had tendered to become the governor of Lagos State. Fifth columnist within Tinubu’s party the AD then in the State House Of Assembly with orchestration from outside the House had mounted a formidable attempt to impeach Tinubu in what was to be his first political battle in this political dispensation.
In an exclusive chart with this medium some years ago, the Late King Alaiyeluwa Yekini Adeniyi the 20th Oba Elegushi of Ikateland, the father of the present Oba Elegushi had unknowingly then given us the foundation of this piece. According to the now late revered monarch, in the heat of the Lagos House of Assembly battle against Asiwaju, he the Oba as a bosom friend of Asiwaju had looked for means to help Tinubu. He said initially, as a Muslim, he had invited Muslim clerics to help pray for the former governor. But to his surprise, the alphas had told him that Asiwaju is an Akonda Eyan and does not require any spiritual help to succeed in his battles. The clerics according to the Oba went further to tell him that nobody except God can stop Tinubu and anybody fighting the Asiwaju would do so at their own peril.
Speaking further, the Oba continued ”I was not still satisfied so I called my Ifa Priests and tabled the same request to them and to my surprise, the Ifa Priests repeated the same thing to me. They said Tinubu was specially created by God for a purpose and there is no mortal alive who can stop him from achieving his divine mission and as such, I should not worry nor try to do anything to intervene as even the spiritual are already at work in favour of Asiwaju.
It is from then that I knew that Tinubu was just beginning and has a long way to go and achieve in his political quest the Oba concluded. To illustrate the picture of this unique part of Tinubu’s psychic make-up, let us look at a few of Tinubu’s political battles where he has triumphed without exception.
First, was the certificate scandal earlier mentioned; The sponsors of that infamous plot to not only halt Asiwaju’s political trajectory but to tarnish his hard earned global image as a renowned global accountant were left sniffling with running noses. Like the snakes they were, they had sneaked back into their dark holes.
No sooner had the dust of this battle settled did another political imbroglio aimed at bringing Tinubu down surfaced. This time, Tinubu’s enemies and traducers found a willing tool and stooge in Tinubu’s first term deputy governor, Mrs. Bucknor Akinrele. This woman mounted a Titanic battle against Tinubu with help from within and outside Lagos and the AD. However, these people failed woefully and Madam Bucknor Akinrele went into political oblivion.
As mentioned before in another chapter of this treatise, Tinubu was to come against the federal might of General Olusegun Obasanjo and his co travellers in the form of the turn-coat progressives hiding under Afenifere in the 2003 General Elections. While these retrogressive forces who were bent on turning back the hand of the clock as far as progressive governance and politics in the South-West succeeded in other South-West States and saw the wiping out of progressive gladiators and all tested and trusted Awoists like Olusegun Osoba, Ogun State, Lam Adesina Oyo State, Adebayo Adefarasin Ondo State, Adeniyi Adebayo, Ekiti State and Bisi Akande Osun State; Tinubu survived and became the rallying point of the traditional progressive umbrella of Yorubaland and Western Nigeria.
Tinubu’s second term was no less eventful as he had to face a lot of battles within and outside to maintain his political relevance and trajectory. Firstly was the Obasanjo vindictive withholding of Lagos State’s Federal Allocations over the creation of 56 additional Local Area Development Councils aimed at bringing development closer to the people.
Obasanjo, the PDP and his ultra conservative administration would have none of that and struck out viciously at Tinubu. This singular setback would have crippled the administration of a less shrewd and politically and administratively sagacious personality than Tinubu. But Tinubu was able to turn this disadvantage to advantage for Lagos State and strengthened Lagos Internal Revenue Generation.
Tinubu was to triumph at the Supreme Court and the money paid to Tinubu’s chosen successor Babatunde Raji Fashola to fast track the economic and infrastructural development of Lagos State that two successors after are still building on today.
Another case in reference was the antagonism of Tinubu handpicked second term deputy governor, Femi Pedro. This former banker without any political experience or pedigree before Tinubu picked him to replace Akinrele Bucknor decided then that there was no harm in biting the fingers that fed him and squared off against Tinubu. The end result was Femi Pedro’s political emasculation even before the 2007 elections where he contested under the Labour Party and lost woefully. Haven realized that he was deceived and used by those who want to pull Tinubu down at all cost, Femi Pedro has since recanted and repented of his actions and like the humane and humble man he is, he came back to his ever forgiving boss and has remained a stout loyalist till date.
Haven succeeded in stamping his progressive credentials in Lagos State, Tinubu was now free to extend his progressive gladiator tentacles to reclaim the South-West from the retrogressive forces of the PDP. This Tinubu did albeit through titanic legal battles successfully in all the South-West States, except Ogun State which incidentally is the home ground of Olusegun Obasanjo. With this the Akonda Eyan was set to move to focus on the national level.
When in 2014 Tinubu had initiated and championed the idea of a progressive mega party that will see the amalgamation of already existing opposition political parties in Nigeria, many people had thought that given Nigeria’s political history, this will not be possible. The ruling party then, PDP had done all they can to frustrate this historical political phenomenon. They threw all kinds of covert and overt spanners in the cog and wheels of the emerging juggernaut with Tinubu as their primary target.
The ICPC under Ex President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan came up with allegations that Tinubu was operating a foreign account in London, United Kingdom while he was still governor of Lagos State. They claimed that the account which was opened and operated by Tinubu’s son who was by all account a private person actually belong to Tinubu even without any evidence to back their claims. Tinubu was charged to the Tribunal by ICPC. Asiwaju’s traducers went to town in jubilation claiming that the Gentle Lion of Bourdillon has been finally caged and will go to jail However, the case was thrown out like the thrash it was.
The Tribunal judgment showed clearly that the case was nothing but an attempt to frame Tinubu and get him out of the way by discrediting him. The judgment criticized the government for not inviting Tinubu to state his side of the case as other governors were invited and wasting government time and resources on a baseless allegation without a shred of substantive evidence.
Other bobby traps were thrown Tinubu and his new party but like an ideal which time has come, The All Progressive Congress due to Tinubu’s political sagacity and uncommon strategist credentials did not only emerge but made history on two fronts in Nigeria’s political history.
Firstly, APC broke history as the first time traditional parties which had existed on distinct ethnic or regional coloration and pedestals would successfully merge as a single party.
Secondly, at the conclusion of the 2015 General Elections, the APC again made history as the first opposition party in Nigeria to unseat an incumbent party by bringing PDP sixteen years uninterrupted rule in Nigeria to an unexpected end.
Nobody can deny that all these were masterminded and piloted to reality by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. So if all these feats are not un-doubtable proof a Special or Exceptionally Created Being, then pray tell, what is?
Even after all these, those who think they can stop Tinubu from achieving his God given mission has not relented. Since 2015 till now, both within the Yoruba progressive enclave; including those who have benefited from Tinubu’s many battles and within the APC and the opposition parties, they continue to attempt the impossible; bring down Tinubu.
However, 2023 promises to be the climax of this long journey. Tinubu continues to march towards his destiny of leading Africa’s most prominent nation which is his God given destiny. Like the AKONDA EYAN that he is, those who think that they can stop Tinubu better bear in mind that you cannot step in front of a moving train, most especially if its destination is divinely ordained.
Like a Yoruba saying “Owo ti ogede ba gbe arare la fi lu” meaning “The arm raised by the plantain eventually falls on her. A word is enough for the wise.
By Akinleye Temidayo Bright
Biographer Int’l. Publications Ltd.