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Tinubu and the echo of Ambode’s self-inflicted nemesis, By Akin Fadeyi

Tinubu and the echo of Ambode’s self-inflicted nemesis, By Akin Fadeyi
Bola Ahmed Tinubu (Photo Credit: @OfficialBAT)

Leadership requires the capacity for conquering the self in the face of physical, psychological and emotional pressure. It requires seizing every moment as an opportunity to step forward and make STATEMENTS that are measured and tempered with grace.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has earned his epaulets as a political field commander. Positioning the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) of old as a bloc and factor to reckon with until the presidential power that General Buhari (rtd.) had sought for 11 years was finally gained, was no mean feat.

Standing up to President Obasanjo for eight years and generating revenue for Lagos independent of federal support was no mean feat either. He deserves respect.

Asiwaju’s desire to distill all of these as catalyst to propel him into presidential power is his constitutional right.

However, when you point at as sitting governor and describe him as “ELEYI”, in Yoruba meaning “This one” is derogatory. It could pass for “This oponu (fool)”. It could pass for “this alaimoore (this ingrate)”. When you say this to Dapo Abiodun, you’re saying it to the entire citizenry of Ogun State who handed their governor the mandate to lead them.

When you insist that people you have been supportive of in their life’s trajectory must return the favour to you at all cost, you’re unmistakably telling the world that your help to them was essentially transactional, and it required a consummation they probably weren’t initally aware of. If they choose other paths in navigating their subsequent political compasses and you must now literal insult them for these, you’re reducing your exalted status and graphing yourself down from the height of honour.

It’s also clear that Asiwaju played a role in the installation of the president in power in 2015. However, only Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) seems to knows if stepping out to deal ingratitude-insinuating tirades against a sitting president, a few days to a presidential primary that will determine his own fate as a candidate, will ultimately suit his purpose. After all, what we pontificate about on social media is usually clearly different from what obtains in the dark theatres of political intrigues. BAT may still surprise us all. I am willing to risk a guess, in relation to those who are in consternation and also those who are in fantasised hope.

At the juncture we are now as a nation though, our president-to-be must be decorous, broad-minded, didactic in words, yet cautious in approach. He must jettison the praise-singing, pugilistic ingratiation of physical and virtual hoodlums. Once any support given to a supposed leader becomes laced with the acerbic tongue or pen, then we are hardly better than bottle-breaking thugs. The potential leader must be above board and never at anytime crave power like a spoil of war meant for capturing.

…I thought he should have elected to be above board and exhibit the demeanour of the leadership that he has been keen on attaining, and not turn situations into a verbal boxing scenario. The outing in Ogun State ought to have been for making a grand STATEMENT, while speaking to issues in a manner that are timeless and inspiring, like words on marble.

In a fair and critical appraisal of Tinubu’s outing in Ogun State a few days to the primary election of his party, which he is contesting for that matter, I thought he should have elected to be above board and exhibit the demeanour of the leadership that he has been keen on attaining, and not turn situations into a verbal boxing scenario. The outing in Ogun State ought to have been for making a grand STATEMENT, while speaking to issues in a manner that are timeless and inspiring, like words on marble.

That was a monumental opportunity lost to a momentary impulse and unprovoked outburst, which could be considered an embrace of narcissism.

On September 29, 2018, while the nation and indeed the Nigerian media gathered in Alausa to listen to Governor Akinwumi Ambode as he battled for a second term ticket, the entire political space and general public were shell-shocked as Ambode unleashed a volley of spurious attacks at an aspirant, Jide Sanwoolu, who is now the current governor. Then, Ambode had said: “He (Sanwoolu) has been arrested for spending fake US dollars in an American night club. He lacks competence and health wise, he has gone through mental rehabilitation”.

I wrote a piece on October 2, 2018 in PREMIUM TIMES declaring that Ambode’s gaffe emanated from a complete lack of self-control, to become a self-inflicted tragedy.

Leadership requires the capacity for conquering the self in the face of physical, psychological and emotional pressure. It requires seizing every moment as an opportunity to step forward and make STATEMENTS that are measured and tempered with grace.

If service to the people were the real raison-d-etre for seeking power, then the words of Jack Abramoff comes to mind….”If you make the choice to serve the public…then serve the public, not yourself”.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s declaration in Ogun State was characteristically full of guts, what I struggle with is if it was full of wisdom.

Akin Fadeyi is the founder of Akin Fadeyi Foundation.


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