ASCENSION OF THE KINGMAKER: The Rise and Rise of Bola Ahmed Tinubu

-O. Obaremi

March 1, 2023, marked a historic moment in Nigeria’s political landscape as the electorate delivered its verdict in what has been one of the most fiercely contested elections in the nation’s history. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu emerged victorious, securing the mandate of the masses to lead Africa’s most populous nation. The ascension of the ‘kingmaker to the throne of the king’ is a testament to his tenacity, strategic prowess, and unwavering commitment to Nigeria’s progress.

For years, Tinubu had been renowned as a political kingmaker, wielding significant influence and playing a pivotal role in shaping the political landscape of the southwestern states and eventually extending his reach across Nigeria. The now-famous phrase, “Emi Lo Kan,” reverberated through campaign rallies and public consultations, capturing the audacious declaration of a man who had long operated in the shadows as a kingmaker.

In the southwestern region of Nigeria, where the Yoruba people hold steadfast to traditional beliefs, there is a long-standing notion that a kingmaker can never ascend to the throne. However, traditions evolve, and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu stands at the forefront of this evolution, defying conventional wisdom and making history as ‘the kingmaker turned king’.

Tinubu’s journey to the zenith of national politics has not been without hurdles and heartbreaks. After his successful two-term tenure as the governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007, he proceeded to pave the way for his successors, who built upon his transformative model of governance, turning Lagos into a mega city. His increasing reputation as one of Nigeria’s most influential politicians propelled him to extend his political influence beyond the southwestern states, forging deep alliances in the Eastern and Northern regions of the country.

The culmination of this rapid rise in political stature came with the birth of his brainchild, the All Progressives Congress (APC), in 2013. As the driving force behind the formation of the party, Tinubu harnessed his vision and resilience to unite political elites and bridge the religious divide that had long plagued the nation. The resounding victory of the APC at the 2014 polls, which ended the over two-decade rule of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), further solidified Tinubu’s status as a national kingmaker.

The path to democratic rule in Nigeria has been fraught with struggles, sacrifices, and a yearning for genuine leadership. For more than two decades, the nation grappled with military rule, yearning for a return to civilian governance. It was in this backdrop of collective aspirations that Tinubu emerged as a key figure in the struggle for democratic consolidation. His unwavering commitment to the principles of democracy and his strategic political manoeuvres played a vital role in shaping the course of Nigeria’s political landscape.

As the ‘Lion of Bourdillon’, Tinubu has defied all odds to ascend to the highest office in the land, aligning his trajectory with destiny. His victory in the presidential election signifies a significant turning point in Nigeria’s political history. It is a testament to his ability to unite diverse interests, bridge regional divides, and inspire hope in the hearts of millions of Nigerians who yearn for a better future.

As President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu assumes leadership at a critical juncture in Nigeria’s development. The challenges ahead are immense, ranging from security threats to economic revitalization, social welfare, and infrastructure development. However, Tinubu’s track record as a visionary leader and his ability to mobilise resources and talents give hope that he will navigate these challenges with strategic acumen and bring about positive change for the Nigerian people.

In the coming years, we anticipate a Nigeria where the aspirations of the masses are prioritised, where corruption is vigorously combated, and where opportunities for growth and development are accessible to every citizen. Tinubu’s transformative leadership in Lagos State serves as a blueprint for what can be achieved on a national scale. We hope to see the replication of his successful initiatives in other parts of the country, creating a ripple effect of progress and prosperity.

As Nigerians, we must rally behind President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and provide the necessary support to translate his vision into tangible actions. The journey to a better Nigeria requires a collective effort, unity, and unwavering dedication. Together, we can build a nation that upholds the values of justice, inclusivity, and socioeconomic development.

The ascension of the kingmaker, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to the presidency marks a defining moment in Nigeria’s political history. His rise to power reflects the resilience and determination of a man who has dedicated his life to the service of his country. As we embark on this new chapter, let us remain hopeful and committed to the ideals of a prosperous and united Nigeria. The mandate of the masses rests on the shoulders of President Tinubu, and we eagerly anticipate the transformative changes he will bring to our beloved nation.




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