Prior to the 2015 general election, there have been heated debates in several quarters on whether the Nationa Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, deserves the accolade of the greatest political strategist Nigeria has ever produced.
To many before the election, Tinubu was only playing regional politics with the failure of his party to control the centre.
Many believed then that for Tinubu to be called Nigeria’s greatest politician, he must ensure that his party controls the centre. Indeed, a tall order for an opposition party that is barely two years old seeking to unseat a party that has not only been in power for 16 years but also touted itself the greatest and biggest party in the whole of Africa.
And going by the history that no incumbent party has ever been defeated in a national election in Nigerai, it was indeed a tall order for the APC, Tinubu, General Muhammadu Buhari and others.
But many apparently never reckoned with the never-say-die attitude of Tinubu; many took his doggedness into consideration and many never consider his ability to excel in the face of impossibility.
The elections have come and gone and the rest they say, is history. APC swept into power at the centre in the most unprecedented manner in an election generally accepted to be free and fair.
Of course, the feat was not performed by Tinubu alone. One must acknowledge the uniqueness and overwhelming acceptability of the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket; the doggedness and support of the APC leadership; the likes of the National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun; Governors Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, Lagos; Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Osun; Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Ogun; Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Edo; Rotimi Amaechi, Rivers; Rabiu Kwakwanso, Kano; Aliu Wammako, Sokoto and others numerous to mention here.
However, one man stands out – Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the master strategist of our time.
The conclusion of the 2015 general elections has finally cemented the position of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as arguably Nigeria’s greatest politician.
Like, love, loathe or even hate him, the fact remains that Tinubu has proven himself over and over again that he is right to be called the greatest politician that ever lived in Nigeria.
Tinubu’s political antecedents have shown that he is always ready to lay his life down for any idea be believes in and it is also an introvertible fact that the man Tinubu will always be on the side of the masses no matter whose ox is gored.
Tinubu has always taken the interest of the group and masses over personal interest. In 1992, Tinubu was the Senator with highest number of votes in the Senate.
He was representing the largest senatorial district in the country and he was well positioned for the office of the President of the Senate.
However, when it was clear that his ambition would jeopardised the larger interest of his southwest people in the Presidency of the country, he had to jettissioned his ambition.
It was this decision that paved way for the election of the late Chief MKO Abiola as the presidential candidate of the then Social Democratic Party (SDP) at the National Convention of the party in 1992.
When Abiola won the election and the election was annulled, Tinubu with likeminds wnet into the trenches to fight the unjust annulment, leaving behing comfort and wealth.
He was arrested and detained and after he was released albeit, he had to run for dear life with the military government of late Sani Abacha not only declaring him wanted but also putting a price on his head.
It is a fact that Tinubu was the main financier of NADECO home and abroad hence it was appropriate that when democracy was restored in 1998, he came back home to vie for the governorship seat of Lagos State, an election he duly won on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD).
Tinubu’s eight years as governor of Lagos State witnessed an unprecedented development which made the state lived up to its status of Centre of Excellence.
In all his life, Tinubu has practically lived a life of the man who God has given the ability to sense what will happen in future. What Tinubu sees sitting down, many of his contemporaries in politics and even politicians never see even when standing on a thre-storey building.
In the run off to the 2003 election, the AD Governors in the southwest went into allainces with then President Olusegun Obasanjo. Tinubu warned them but they refused to heed the call.
Eventually they were swept away by the Obasanjo-inspired Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hurricane that swept through the southwest between 2003 and 2011. Then Tinubu was the only AD governor who retained his seat
Even as a lone ranger, Tinubu never stopped thinking and working for the generality of the masses. He was always a believer that the prophesy of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo that the progeressives in the southwest will one day allign with their counterparts in the North to take over leadership in the centre.
Tinubu not onlt believe in this prophesy, he also worked assiduosly in ensuring its realisation. In the aborted Third Republic, Tinubu worked closely with the Late Shehu Musa Yar’Adua in the belief that the prophesy would be realised then but the military cut short the expectation.
In the present dispensation, Tinubu decided to eventually go with General Muhammadu Buhari.
Before then, he had solidified his political structure. His party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has virtually taken over the southwest region, made in road into the north central, south south and south east geo-political zones.
Tinubu almost two years ago, has predicted that Buhari is the only candidate that can galvanise Nigerians into seeking and working for change, a prophesy that came to pass on Saturday, 28th March, 2015.
Thus, he jettissioned any individual ambition for the collective success of the group. Even when it was touted that he wanted to be Buhari’s running mate, Tinubu insisted on having a candidate that will appeal to the generality of Nigerians coming up with a pastor from arguably the largest Christain denomination in Nigeria, the Redeemed Christain Church of God (RCCG).
For Tinubu, it is always the group, the collectives and not the individual interest that drives his passion, a passion that has now been realised with the progressives at the helm of power in Nigeria
Sometimes ago, this writer suggested that the politics of Tinubu called ‘Tinubuism’ should be included in the Nigerian school curricullum for upcoming to study the ideals, style and beliefs of the Tinubu School of Politics, there is no doubt that recent events have more than confirmed my suggestion.
The onus now lies on stakeholders in the Nigeria education sector to implement this. This is not the suggestion of a myopic sycophant but a suggestion that can enrich the knowledge of the generality of Nigerians, particularly aspiring politicians and future leaders of the country.
For now, let us stand up for Nigeria’s greatest politician.
Alawiye-King is a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly