Some neighbours of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, have expressed mixed feelings about his candidacy as he bids to replace Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s next president.
The election would be held on Saturday.
Tinubu, a former Governor of Lagos State, is the APC candidate and lives on a popular street in Ikoyi, Lagos.
A visit to his residence on Bourdillon road on Thursday showed little or no activity except for armed policemen mounting both sides of his premises.
THE WHISTLER spoke to some neighbours in agreement that they must not be quoted or recorded. Some of them said they are voting for him on Saturday because “it’s Yoruba’s turn” while others indicated their not voting for the APC candidate.
A Vulcanizer, who simply identified himself as Abiodun, said he had been doing business on the street for over a decade.
Three blocks away from Tinubu’s residence, Abiodun said “When I started here and I learnt Jagaban (Tinubu as he’s formally called) lives on this street,” pointing to his house, “I said I must make it here before I leave.
“He is an inspiration to me and many. He’s hard-working. He did a lot for us as governor and if he becomes president, he would do it again.
“So as a Yoruba man, I will vote for him, it’s Yoruba’s turn,” he said, patching up a broken tire.
A resident who lives at the back of the APC candidate’s house shared the same feelings, telling THE WHISTLER that, “You know, whatever Jagaban touches, it times to Gold! I feel he is a perfect person as president at this time.
“I know the North don’t want him but they will fail. He will win on Saturday and everything will be alright,” he said in confidence.
Another resident close to Abebe Court on the same road said, “I don’t really know the good things about Tinubu except that I feel he is the man that can stop northern dominance.
“I hear he’s corrupt but who’s not corrupt? I think he can free us because we are almost like slaves in our own land.
“Jagaban has courage and can do it,” he said.
Yet, a middle-aged man who said it’s not anyone’s turn and that “if it is, it should be a younger person’s turn; it should be the turn of the South East,” explained that he has been living on the street for 20 years.
“My experience here is not pleasant,” he said pleading anonymity, revealing that he’s from Ogun State but would be voting in Ikoyi.
“They have taken over everywhere in Ikoyi, in Victoria Island, in Lekki; the entire Lagos.
“Tinubu owned the whole of Lagos,” he said and when pressed to justify his wild claim, he challenged our Correspondent that, “As a press man, don’t you read papers? Would you hear from my mouth?
“Don’t you know his companies and his son’s? He is not the type that should lead this country. I won’t vote for him,” he said, frowning.
It is not the first time residents would claim that Tinubu owns Lagos but they have failed to prove it.
“His decision in everything that affects Ikoyi is our decision. We have no say. He owns Lagos! He would own Nigeria too,” warned a resident who said he is from Oyo State and has been living on the adjoining street for 17 years.
Walking with our Correspondent towards the road that houses the APC candidate’s residence, he pointed at his house, noting that, “Every decision that affects Lagos, is discussed and ordered from there! That’s how Nigeria would be.
“I fear him. Everyone here fears that man.”
Another resident at Moor road close to the APC candidate’s house simply warned, “You want to put me in trouble. Only those who don’t fear that man talk about him.
“Did he send you? I know you are a press man but I can’t talk about him. All I know is I am not voting for him on Saturday. Most people here are not going to” he said.
A female resident at McDonald Road asked, “Don’t you fear when you get to his house? Don’t you hear what he does in Lagos? That is how Nigeria would be, go to his house and ask them, not me.”
On the other side of Bourdillon road opposite the residence of the APC presidential candidate, sat two beggars while the third one strayed a few meters away sleeping.
When our Correspondent spoke with one of them, a man in his 60s, said, “We are here for help. We come here every day, we need money but the security men keep pursuing us. That’s why we are on this side of the road.”
The second beggar, a woman in her 50s interjected saying, “They have money to campaign but they can’t help us.”
Asked who the middle-aged man lying on leaves and flowers was, the woman said, “He’s hungry and has no food. He had to go and sleep there. We are hungry too.
“We came to tell Asiwaju (Tinubu’s local title) that he should help us. Hunger wants to kill us.”
Asked if they had seen him, they both responded no “but the people inside can help us with food but they are very wicked, they don’t want to,” the woman added.