13 years after leaving office as Governor of Lagos, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu prepares to fully join the race for the 2023 presidency. Over the last few months, Nigerians have watched how the noise of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s candidacy for 2023 Presidency has spread across the country, from Kano to Kastsina, Kaduna down to the South-West. All over Nigeria, he has enjoyed tremendous support from a lot of stakeholders, community leaders and traditional rulers who many had assumed will not support his aspiration.
He has a political group working for his ambition, and members of the group have embarked on a visitation tour of all the big names in the South-West, especially the 1st Class kings in Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti and Ondo and they have all embraced the candidacy of Tinubu. Even Afenifere leaders have supported the choice of Tinubu as the South West candidacy. Chief Fasoranti has come out to speak. Chief Ayo Adebanjo has embraced him.
All these accolades have come as a big shock to many who never imagined that Tinubu will garner the support of key Yoruba leaders like he has done.
This is also coming against the backdrop of a man who many had written off as politically dead, as a result of the reverses he suffered during the ENDSARS protest, when the Mafia organised for his properties and assets to be burnt and all the crisis at the Lekki Tollgate heaped on him.
But surprisingly, Tinub has bounced back and he has now become the main issue in Nigeria today. It is either you are for him or you are against him.
How did Tinubu achieve this feat? City People can tell you how he did. According to inside sources, shorthy after the ENDSARS crisis, Tinubu called his aides and went into a brainstorming session. And at one of the sessions, Tinubu asked them where his biggest challenge will come from. Many argued that his biggest challenge will come from the North
where the Fulani Mafia have taken a position to pick another acceptable candidate other than Tinubu come 2023. City People gathered that the Fulani Mafia, many of whom are close to the President believe that even if the Presidency is going to go to the South-West, as being suggested, they will prefer an acceptable candidate who they have implicit trust in. They feel Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is too smart for them.
They feel he is to crafty for them to handle. They see in him another M.K.O. Abiola who was light years ahead of his peers. They feel if he wins, it will be difficult for them to control him, or push him around. They prefer a Yoruba candidate who they can dictate to and who will do their bidding.
But Asiwaju has assured them that he will carry them along in the scheme of things. He has always reminded them that he is the most loyal associate of Pres. Buhari, in the South-West. Everywhere he has visited in the North he has repeatedly assured them that they have nothing to fear.
One strategy Asiwaju adopted that has worked for him was to visit key Northern leaders and Emirs across the key Northern states.
Unknown to many, Asiwaju has close associates in the North who are working for him. One of them is Kano Governor, who is a close ally of Tinubu. Both have been friends for years. He it was who organised for Tinubu to meet all the major Emirs and Muslim clerics to enable Tinubu talk to them.
Many political analyst always talk about the 3 K states up North that anybody who wants to be President of Nigeria must win. This is because of the huge votes they command in the scheme of things. These Kano, Katsina and Kaduna. Asiwaju also agrees with that theory. That is why he has been doing a lot of work in those 3 K Northern states. He has met with so many political stakeholders in those states. He has also been reaching out to the masses of the people in these areas. He has embarked on massive empowerment projects to help those in the North.
All these moves shocked the Fulani Mafia who thought Tinubu won’t get
the support of his people in the South West not to talk of making in roads into the North.
An insider revealed how someone sold them a dummy that Tinubu is not liked in the South West and so he was not likely to get substantial support from the South-West. But that is not the situation right now. As it is now Tinubu has emerged the candidate to beat in the race which is yet to start.
Why is Tinubu going the whole hog? We would tell you why. Ordinarily, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s ambition should have been an easy ride, since Tinubu was one of the key men who ensured Buhari’s victory at the polls in 2015. Recall that Asiwaju was one of those who believed that if you backed Buhari’s proverbial 19 million votes mainly from the North with votes from South West, South-East and South-South, the Katsina born General would defeat whoever contested with him. The permutation worked. So, ordinarily 2023 ought to have been pay back time for Buhari. But politics is not played that way. Anything can happen. There are no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, only permanent interests. So, the Asiwaju camp is not leaving anything to chance.
The fact that Buhari is not your seasoned politician who can mobilise votes for Asiwaju has been noted as a possible weakness. So that has made Tinubu not to bank on him to deliver votes for him. While not discountenancing Buhari’s votes, he also has his plan B. One of it is not to depend on Buhari.
The President himself has not hidden the fact that he is not ready to work for anybody. All he wants to do is to complete his term and move on. The fact that one of the President’s key men is also running is one of the hurdles Tinubu has to scale.
An insider told City People that Asiwaju has taken all of these into consideration and has carved out his own master plan to accomodate all these tendencies. Is Asiwaju depending on Buhari to help him to power? No, says the source. Does Asiwaju think the race will be easy and swift? No, says the source. Recall Asiwaju’s favourite phrase that Power is not served Alacarte. You must always fight for it. Don’t forget that Asiwaju is a master strategist who constantly weighs his options. He knows the game of Politics is like football, you can never say which way the game will go until the referee blows the final whistle. Insiders in the Tinubu camp say he is not relying on Buhari. But he has a deal with the President, which is if you won’t support me, don’t work against me. Some call it a Gentleman’s agreement.
The Asiwaju team are also not relying on the APC alone as the platform to use to actualise the project. Their mindset is simple. Yes, the APC is a good vehicle to actualise the agenda if things go according to plan. But if some mischievous elements decide to playout Asiwaju he is most likely to play a new joker he is keeping close to his chest.
That is vintage Asiwaju. What every plan he comes up with there is always Plan B, C and D. As it is, a lot of underground work is on going to win more support for Asiwaju across the country. The South West is secured for him. And the South-East is no problem. So also South-South. He has also made great in roads into the North. He has loyal friends in the North. He is seriously working on the 3 K States of Kano, Kaduna & Katsina. He has great allies. The general believe is that for anyone to win the Presidential elections, the 3 K States are vital.
An insider has revealed that if Politics is a game of numbers, Asiwaju will garner the Numbers. In all of these, he has kept a firm grip of the South West. He has huge loyalists in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo. He has been closing ranks with his enemies in this zone. His hold on Lagos remains firm.
What will also help is his mastery of the political terrain. He also has a Warchest that is huge. He is one politician who can command huge funding for such a mega project. What will also help Asiwaju is the huge followship he has. He has made so many politicians and they are all prepared to work for him. As things stand right now, Tinubu is the candidate to beat. He also has a robust profile to back up his brand.
The biggest asset that Tinubu has going for him is his political structure, which he has built since 1999 when he became Governor. With the result that today there is no politician who is active in the game of politics that has an awesome political structure like Tinubu. He has a solid structure right across the South-West and beyond. He is known as a bridge-builder. He has friends across the 36 states. He also has loyalists in all the federal parastatals and institutions.
Over the last few years he has helped many people to actualise their dream in their various spheres of influence.
By nature, he is a Philantropist, and a great one at that. Only very few politicians can beat Tinubu when it comes to helping people in need. He spends heavily on human capital. He has also helped so many politicians actualise their political ambition. Through the help of Tinubu many have become Lawmakers in the different states and at the Federal level. Many have become Senators and even Governors of States. How about Commissioners? He has made many. That is why today everywhere you turn to Tinubu has die hard supporters.