Featured, Opinion, Politics

Bola Ahmed  Tinubu’s  Ascent To The Presidency As A Highly Experienced  Political  Strategist

Nmesoma Okwudili


May 9, 2023

A prominent Nigerian politician, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has emerged as a pivotal figure in the country’s political landscape. His ascent to power has been characterised by shrewd political strategies, charisma, and strong leadership qualities. Tinubu’s journey from his early days in Lagos to his influential position in national politics is a testament to his perseverance and ability to navigate the complex world of Nigerian politics.

Born in Lagos State, Nigeria, on March 29, 1952, Bola Ahmed Tinubu had a modest upbringing. Before moving to the United States to continue his education, he attended St. John’s Primary School, Aroloya, and Children’s Home School in Lagos. Tinubu obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Chicago State University.

During his time in the United States, Tinubu developed an interest in politics. He observed the functioning of democracy and recognised the potential for change in his native country. Upon his return to Nigeria in 1992, he joined the pro-democracy organisation National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), which was instrumental in the fight against military rule.
Lagos State and the Success Formula

Tinubu’s political career gained momentum in 1999 when he ran for and was elected Governor of Lagos State. As the leader of Lagos, he moved swiftly to transform the state with a well-considered plan for success. His innovative policies and strategic infrastructure development earned him the moniker “The Jagaban of Lagos.”

During his tenure, Tinubu focused on enhancing Lagos State’s public transport, healthcare, and education. He implemented the “BRT Bus System,” which revolutionised public transportation and reduced citywide traffic congestion. Tinubu also made education a priority by establishing numerous elementary and secondary schools throughout the state.

Tinubu’s ascent to power extended beyond the state of Lagos. He understood the significance of forming alliances and coalitions and utilised his political acumen to establish strategic partnerships. In 2013, he founded the All Progressives Congress (APC), a coalition of opposition parties intended to challenge the ruling party on a national scale.

Tinubu’s political empire grew when the All Progressives Congress (APC) defeated the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 presidential election. President Muhammadu Buhari, who appointed Tinubu as the APC’s National Leader, credited Tinubu’s ability to forge alliances and unite disparate factions as a key factor in his election victory.
National Impact and Legacies

As the National Leader of the APC, Tinubu has risen to prominence in Nigerian politics. His leadership and strategic thinking have influenced the policies and direction of the party. He has played a significant role in cultivating political talent within the party, including the current state governors and other high-ranking officials.

Tinubu’s political legacy is also marked by his contributions to Nigeria’s economic growth. He has advocated for policies that encourage investment in industries such as agriculture, technology, and manufacturing. His philanthropic efforts are aimed at alleviating poverty and empowering youth, extending his influence beyond politics.

Tinubu’s ascent to power has not been devoid of obstacles and controversy. Regardless of his accomplishments and contributions to Nigerian politics, he has been accused of corruption, nepotism, and promoting dynastic politics.

Corruption allegations are one of the most significant obstacles Tinubu has faced. Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), a Nigerian anti-corruption agency, investigated allegations of fraud and money laundering against Tinubu in 2016. The investigation centred on allegations of fraudulent transfers of funds from the accounts of the Lagos State government to private companies associated with Tinubu.

Even though Tinubu denied the allegations and no charges were filed, the controversy tarnished his reputation and raised questions regarding his financial dealings.
Politics and dynastic nepotism

Tinubu’s rise to power has also been hindered by the perception that he promotes nepotism and dynastic politics. Critics accuse him of establishing a political dynasty in Nigeria by placing family members in key political positions.
Since 2011, his wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, has represented Lagos State as a senator. Seyi Tinubu, Tinubu’s son, is also a prominent businessman and entrepreneur in Lagos, with multiple companies operating in various economic sectors.
Tinubu’s supporters argue that he has the right to promote his family members based on merit, whereas his detractors assert that such actions create a conflict of interest and undermine democratic principles.

The ascent to power of Tinubu has also been met with opposition from other political actors in Nigeria. Specifically, his influence and control over the All Progressives Congress (APC) party have caused friction with other party members.

In 2019, there were reports of a rift between Tinubu and Akinwunmi Ambode, the then-governor of Lagos State. Tinubu was allegedly opposed to the governor’s bid for re-election. The incident highlighted the political power dynamics and factions within the APC, despite the fact that Ambode ultimately lost his bid for re-election.

Tinubu remains a highly influential figure in Nigerian politics despite these obstacles.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu was declared the winner of Nigeria’s presidential elections in 2023, defeating two other notable candidates.

Tinubu’s victory represents the realisation of a deeply held aspiration.

The former two-term governor of Lagos has become a controversial yet towering figure in Nigerian politics over the course of decades. The so-called political godfather is a wealthy power broker who was instrumental in President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2015 election victory.

Tinubu’s campaign slogan in his native Yoruba was “emi lo kan” — “It’s my turn.” Now it is time. Declares his confidence in his ability to hold such a position.

He received slightly more than 36% of the vote in one of the most contentious elections since the end of the military dictatorship.

As a whole, Asiwaju Tinubu, also known as Jagaban, has been a prominent figure in Nigerian politics. He has reached the pinnacle of Nigerian politics and devoted his entire life to service. The Nigerian people can do nothing but observe the unfolding of events following the inauguration.



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