By Tony Ogunlowo
When Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is sworn in as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the 29th of May 2023 he will have his work cut out for him: not only will he be inheriting a morally and financially bankrupt nation questions will, continually, be asked about his checkered past and his ability to run the country.
How old is he really? What are his true educational qualifications? Does he really have dual-nationality? What’s the true source of his mega-wealth? Also, questions will be asked about whether he’s medically-fit to run the country and the continual questions about his alleged drug smuggling/peddling convictions in the United States about three decades ago.
He may not have been everybody’s best choice for the job but he allegedly won the election fair and square, something that has already been confirmed by INEC and congratulatory messages have been pouring in from World Leaders across the globe. If you elect even a goat to be your President the intentional community will respect that as your choice as being the best you have to offer.
Nigeria is in shambles and despite the efforts of his predecessor, and fellow APC compatriot, Mohammadu Buhari, who was in power from 2015, things are still going downhill with seemingly no light at the end of the tunnel. Are we going to see the emergence of a ‘Super-Hero’ Tinubu who’s going to come in guns blazing tackling corruption, cronyism, insecurity and consigning all the nations woes to the dustbin or is he just going to engage himself with doing ‘Naija-politics’ – turning a blind eye to all that’s going on, pardon all his corrupt mates while he sits out his term – like his predecessor.
The nation is fed up of leaders giving excuses for their incompetence. Recently Femi Adeshina, defending his boss, claimed Buhari was “..not aware of promises made to Nigerians by support groups in 2015..”. A good excuse to cover up incompetence but when you send out your supporters to canvas for votes don’t they read and have a copy of the [agreed] party manifesto? They could have easily have sent out Basketmouth or Mr Macaroni to tell a few jokes if they couldn’t tell the truth!
President Tinubu is in whether anybody likes it or not and everybody will be watching what he gets up to. I don’t want to sound like a Prophet of Doom here but APC winning a third consecutive Presidential term is pushing the country in the direction of being a one-party state: PDP is in trouble leadership-wise and unless they can bring in a suitable candidate to rival Atiku Abubakar they are dead in the water. Peter Obi’s Labour Party movement still has a long way to go to break the APC/PDP domination. And this is not good for development since the same party manifesto will just be re-cycled over and over again. To dispel the notion of the country turning into a one-party state is he (Tinubu) going to sack all current Buhari-appointed ministers and political appointees and appoint fresh new ones or is he just going to re-cycle the old and re-appoint them?
Then there is the question of his health. Being the leader of a nation, anywhere in the world, is a 24/7/365 job and it can take its toll even on the fittest of men (- and women). Tinubu’s true state of health has always been a subject of debate and he hasn’t come clean about it. During his tenure as President, Buhari was notoriously famous for going AWOL, on numerous occasions, on medical-check-up trips to the UK that King Charles, jokingly, once asked him if he had a house in London. Will incoming President Tinubu, a known perennial health-check-up tourist in the London medical circles, also be running the country from the UK? And will he be flying to the UK frequently in his own private jet or the Presidential jet?
The there is the question of him ‘going-youth’. The Youths of Nigeria, predominantly the under-35s, have always been excluded from the affairs of state almost as if they don’t exist. How is he going to connect with them in an effort to make his tenure more ‘youth-friendly’? At the end of the day its their future nation he will be managing. All these old Babas seem to forget that one day they’ll pass and the young people [ they are ignoring today] will inherit the mess they have left behind.
And about his checkered past? Well, we all tell the odd fib or white-lie or two (-or few!) from time to time, so now he’s going to be President perhaps he’ll tell us all as it is before we read about it in his unauthorized biography!
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