This week, Tuesday March 29, 2022, the national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, will turn 70. As you read this, different programmes have been lined up to celebrate this landmark birthday of the Jagaban Borgu. There is palpable excitement within the APC Camp. Expectedly the celebrations will showball into a full fledged political rally to rev up momentum for Tinubu’s Presidential aspirations come 2023.
The man regarded as the most intimidating Presidential aspirant will be celebrated by friends, political associates, followers and loyalists. Even some of his most discerning political adversaries will celebrate him as well.
But how well do people know the man called Asiwaju Bola Tinubu? What are some of the intriguing things about him people rarely know about? What makes this political juggernant tick? City People has dug into the man’s life and we can now reveal to you 70 shocking things about Asiwaju many may not know about.
(1) He graduated from Richard Daley College, Chicago, on the Honours list of Richard Daley College and even worked as a Student Lecturer at the Institution for about 2 years.
(2) He was a Cab driver in Chicago for many years. He was able to raise funds to pay his tuition through cab driving.
(3)Some of his closest childhood friends are Tunde Badejo, Bolaji Agaba, Rasheed Abina, Tunde Adeyemo, late Sola Popoola, Folabi Salami and Tokunbo Maxwell.
(4) Tinubu narrowly escaped death in Ikenne as a young boy when some bullets were fired in his direction, killing the boy standing right next to him.
(5) He once worked as a dish washer in a hotel in Chicago.
(6) Some of the African Americans he interacted with while at school were Danny Kay Davies, a congressman Rev. Jesse Jackson, Costello Joe, Richard Daley III who later became the Mayor of Chicago.
(7) He is a degree holder in Accounting from Chicago State University.
(8) Asiwaju doesn’t bear grudges. Most of his loyalists who have left him at one time or the other confirmed how he reaches out to them from time to time despite the media attack they launched against him. He will keep in touch as ask about family.
(9) He’s a mediator. Whenever there is political clash among top politicians and it seems to be tarrying for months, Asiwaju will organize a meeting between both parties and ensure that the meeting ends only when both conflicting factions have completely settled and buried their differences.
(10) He’s a servant. Many people do not not know that Asiwaju does not make decisions unilaterally without his people. City People, can tell you authoritatively that Asiwaju consults many people on every matter before actions are taken based on the demand of his people. He is a servant-leader.
(11) Asiwaju may have enemies but he doesn’t see any. Asiwaju doesn’t hold enmity with anyone. His philosophy holds that ones greatest enemy may be his best ally, when relationship is properly managed. This is why you will see Asiwaju still rolling with people that have at some point left him.
(12) He is a father to all. He doesn’t separate a group from the other based on benefits. He believes whatever is good for the goose is also good for the gander. He treats people equaly.
(13) Asiwaju doesn’t undermine anyone. He sees beyond what others may see in individuals. This is why Asiwaju has been able to sustain the systemic progress in Lagos. He has been able to identify leadership skills in people and will recommend them for offices that suits their personality.
(14) For as many people that don’t know, Asiwaju can’t be caught offguard in any situation. He prepares for dark days from the very day he decided to work with anyone. He knows human beings cannot be predicted scientifically and therefore gives room for imperfections
(15) He’s a good listener. Those who have met him will testify that Asiwaju is not the person who will cut you off when you are expressing yourself. He will give you utmost attention and ensure that you conclude your thought before he speaks. You will be shocked that he will cite every point you mentioned and pick all the ones he sees practicable.
(16) Asiwaju doesn’t forget a name. Yes. Asiwaju has a tremendous memory. Meet him today and introduce yourself. He will see you in 5 years’ time and call you by your name
(17) He’s a friend to all opposition parties. Asiwaju sees beyond political enmity. He doesn’t see other parties as mortal enemies. He would attend their birthdays, weddings and symposia.
(18) Asiwaju is a peacemaker.
(19) Asiwaju always thinks 10 years ahead
(20) Asiwaju likes being a pace setter
(21) Asiwaju has been in politics for over 40 years
(22) Asiwaju started all the projects we see in Lagos today
(23) For his academic prowess, he was awarded the prestigious Sumna cum laude (a latin phrase meaning “with highest honor.”) for scoring 3.54 out of possible 4.0 GP.
(24) With his successful academic profile, young Tinubu contested and won his first political election as President of the Accounting Society of the institution in his final year at the University.
(25) He worked with Arthur Anderson, Deloitte and Sells and GTE Services Corporation. He joined Mobil Oil, Nigeria in 1983 after returning to Nigeria.
(26) He holds the titles of Asiwaju of Lagos and the Jagaban of the Borgu Kingdom in Niger State, Nigeria.
(27) During his eight-year rule as Lagos Governor, he made large investments in education and also returned many schools to the original owners.
(28) Many don’t know he is close to former VP Atiku Abubakar. They have come a long way, since the days of late Shehu Musa Yar Adua.
(29) On March 28, 2021, Tinubu visited Emir of Kano, in his advocacy towards national integration for growth and development.
(30) His love for books. Asiwaju’s love for books cannot be overemphasized. He loves books so much there is no time he’s travelling without going with books. When asked about what he missed most during his time in exile, he said he missed his library.
(31) He’s always on time. Unlike many big men of his category, Asiwaju never comes late to events or meetings. He’s always around before the event kicks off. He is a time-conscious fellow who doesn’t believe in the Nigerian time. Once Asiwaju tells you 4 am, he means 4 am.
(32) He loves those that will engage him mentally that’s why you will find intellectual people around him. He loves people to take him on, he likes to be surrounded by great minds that will take a second consideration of his opinion and compare.
(33) Asiwaju is a philanthropist by nature. He helps people and places no conditions on his offers. There are many proofs regarding his kind gestures which he has extended beyond his family and party loyalists. In fact, you do not have to tell him about your problems. Once he finds out from someone else, be sure that he will reach out.
(34). Once he falls out with you, he would look for a way to make up. Asiwaju looks beyond betrayal or grudge. However low anyone may be to him, once there is a fallout, he never lets it pass. He will work out a way for resolution before he moves on.
(35) He has had his links with the north since the days of MKO. He was MKO’s right-hand man and personal adviser.
(36) He leaves his bedroom 10 am to attend to visitors and businesses and doesn’t go back to bed until 4 am the following day. He’s been repeating this routine for over 20 years
(37) He loves the media. He’s been linked to the success of media houses
(38) He’s a grassroots person. He understands the language and dialect of the grassroots supporters.
(39) He doesn’t eat much. He eats food as though it’s his medication
(40) He doesn’t forget the faces he meets. Asiwaju will remember your face anytime once he has once met you and he will sufficiently place the face. That’s one rare thing he has.
(41) He has friends across all the geographical zones
(42) His sense of humour is infectious
(43) He prefers hanging out with the youths
(44) Shockingly, Asjiwaji knows all the nooks and crannies of Lagos. He will tell you all the Amala joints in Lagos
(46) His love for meetings. He enjoys gathering people together to solve problems. He’s usually in meetings either for politics or business.
(47) Asiwaju once walked like a cripple to escape an impending arrest by Abacha’s boys
(48) He attended the Democratic Party’s National Convention in the United State when Obama was picked as the presidential candidate
(49) He once squatted in a one-room apartment with a friend, Tunde Badejo during his school days.
(50) Asiwaju is very fluent in the pidgin language. Of course, he has a mastery of the English language, also.
(51) He’s one of the most detribalised Nigeria. From his domestic staff to his appointees while in government, you will notice he picks his workers from all geographical areas.
(52) He once survived an assassination attempt during his term as governor, around Onikan in Lagos, barely a year in his government in 1999.
(53) Asiwaju’s oratory prowess is superb. Asiwaju makes life out of words like potters make shapes out of clay.
(54) He is a simple but powerful dresser.
(55) The symbol of Asiwaju’s cap is breaking shaft, he once said break the shaft of poverty, ignorance.
(56) He flows with time
(57) He is a gender-sensitive leader. He advocates and shows by example how to ensure there is balance in the process of political appointment.
(58) He is religiously tolerant.
(59) Asiwaju drives people to achieve more than they could ever think they can.
(60) Asiwaju has raised more leaders than any politician living or dead.
(61) Asiwaju is an emotional person. He empathises with people who are down. When he sees people suffering, he places himself in their position and fashions out emergency rescue for them by all means.
(62) Asiwaju enjoys the company of children. At some point, some people who have studied his personality would want to bring young children to get his attention.
(63) Asiwaju keeps old friend. You will be surprised that Asiwaju keeps his circle from very young age up till today. He doesn’t joke with his old friends, because he believes those are the people who have been with him when he was not influential.
(64) Asiwaju is the only politician so far who has not decamped to any party and yet remains relevant in the scheme of things. He’d rather join forces with other like minds to start a new party and take it to the top. He’s done that with Alliance for Democracy, AD, Action Congress, AC, Action Congress of Nigeria, and the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC.
(65) Asiwaju is the only governor who retained his seat in the southwest in 2003 after all the southwestern state lost out to the PDP during Obasanjo’s scoop of the southwest.
(66) Asiwaju was the first to win Best Governor of the year since the 4th republic. He won the best governor exactly in year into his first administration as Lagos Governor
(67) Asiwaju remains the only governor who has ever taken on a President without romancing Aso Rock for Favour. He fought and won all the battles he engaged the federal government in his time and Lagos is benefiting from his bravery.
(68) Asiwaju carries all his people along as he progresses politically. Those who started with him as aides and assistants have progressed to become Governors, Kings, Commissioner, Ministers, Vice Presidents and many more.
(69) Do you know Asiwaju knows the price of almost everything you can imagine in the market? Believe it or not, Asiwaju will update you on the current price of a Derica of rice, bottle of palm oil, can of egusi and even vegetable
(70) Asiwaju is the most betrayed political leader in Nigeria’s history who still stands and shockingly forgives and accepts his adversaries. Record shows that about 50 percent of his boys have once deserted him and have come back as prodigal sons into his fold.
(71) Asiwaju is a vast custodian of History. He keeps date, place and time of events in the last 50 years and more. He will give you accurate account as you can ever imagine concerning Nigeria political development.
(72) Asiwaju reads all the newspapers, from dailies, weeklies and quarterlies. He reads softsells too. No wonder he has a strong understanding of the modern society. He equally believes in the media and has invested so much in the industry.
(73) When Asiwaju is behind you, you can go to bed. Asiwaju deploys all his itinerary to back whoever he’s supporting to attain any position once he believes in you.
(74) Many don’t know he is also close to Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, the current PDP National Chairman. They have both come a long way.
(75) He is a ranking Senator. He was elected Senator for the Lagos West Constituency in Lagos State in 1993.
He is a 1979 graduate of Chicago State University, Illinois where he got his Bachelor degree in Business Admin (Accounting & Management).
(76) He won 3 Awards as a student. During his undergraduate years, he was honoured with The Outstanding Student’s Award, The University Scholar’s Award & The Certificate of Merit in Accounting & Finance. He was also awarded the prestigious Sumna Cumlande for scoring 3.54 out of possible 4.0GP.
(77) Many don’t know he taught his colleagues as a student of Chicago State University. During his 1st year in Chicago State University, young Bola was given the rare privilege to partly teach other students of his Faculty Remedial tutorial classes. Most of his colleagues and contemporaries at the University attributed their improved grades to his tutorial lectures.
(78) Throughout his Undergrad years, he was on the Dean’s List.
(79) Many don’t know as a student, Young Bola contested and won his first political election as the President of the Accounting Society of the Institution, in his final year at the University.
(80) Many don’t know he cut his professional teeth at the American based Arthur Anderson, Deloitte Haskins and Sells (now GTE Service Corporation, the largest Communication & Utility Company in the US.
(81) Many don’t know he participated in the Auditing and Management Consultancy Services of General Motors, First National Bank of Chicago, Procter and Gamble, International Harvester, GEC & other Fortune 500 firms.
(82) Before he went into Politics in 1992, he worked with MOBIL, which he joined as a Senior Auditor before he retired as the company’s Treasurer.
(83) He was a founding member of the defunct SDP and in 1992 he became a Senator.
(84) He is a founding member of NADECO, the pro-democracy group.
|(85) After the June 12, 1993 annulment of elections, he went on exile for his personal safety. And he returned to Nigeria from exile in 1998.
Joseph Seun Emmanuel