What Is Tinubu Really After?
By Tunde Asaju
Bola Ahmed Tinubu the BAT is on the road. Twenty years
after positioning himself as governor before transforming
into the Babasàlẹ̀ of Lagos and western Nigeria politics,
Tinubu is pregnant with higher ambitions. On the surface, he
seems on speaking engagement missions doling out money
to groups and causes likely to favour his political
calculations. It is not for fun standing in Arewa House to
deliver the Ahmadu Bello Memorial Lecture, He was in Kano
to mark his questionable‘69th’birthday anniversary. He has
hobnobbed with Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar and politically
romanced Governor Zulum. He made donations to Aisha
Buhari’s book launch and put victims of the Katsina fire
disaster over and above those of Shasa in his home base.
Tinubu is a maverick politician. Weeks ago, Wikipedia had
to lock his account after it was edited a whopping 84 times,
a record for the Guinness Book of Infamy.
Nothing about Tinubu’s life adds up. From his background to
his meteoric rise to fame and uncommon fortune. Tinubu
would have to keep adjusting records to erase the gossips
about his life. As Nigeria’s former capital and now its most
viable commercial hub, Lagos retains its cosmopolitan
outlook. Except for a brief moment under Babatunde
Fashola, Lagos has welcomed every tribe, tongue, region
and religion. But Lagosians are asking, how did Tinubu
become the quintessential Lagosian?
Those who know will tell you he was born in Iragbiji in Osun
State. Even in the era of DNA tests, our culture and tradition
permit natural adoption, no questions asked. If Tinubu had
been adopted into the Abibatu Mogaji clan, it would have
been okay that he retains his purported natural name –
Lamidi Amoda Sangodere. What bothers many is why
today’s Tinubu wants the natural part of his life history
wiped off the records. Did he change his name, as the law
permits or did he assume the identity of a dead person? Is
that why his age did not seem to match the personae he
wants to present?
Tinubu’s attempt to write a resume of the schools he
attended is another mystery his PR managers would find
hard to explain. The schools he purportedly attended had a
record of a Bola Ahmed Tinubu, but his supposed peers
swear they have no recollection matching the current
Jagaban Borgu. They have excluded him from alumni
meetings except with proof of a facial surgery. Basically,
none of them remembers him.
People change names everyday, but they hardly change
face. It wouldn’t be the first time a ‘famous’ politician would
attempt to wipe clean their questionable records. James
Onanefe Ibori tried to wipe clean, records of theft and
conviction in London as well as robbery in Nigeria when he
presented himself and went on to win two terms as
governor of Delta State. As he discovered, records could
always be altered with affidavits, but altering character is a
harder task. Ibori’s itchy fingers did not abate when he
became the most powerful man in Asaba. Not even his
purchase of traditional titles could wipe the trait of theft. As
the past came knocking, Ibori attempted to run but ended
up an ex-con, albeit a powerful one.
Experience confirms that where there is one deliberate
attempt to falsify records, there is more hidden muck. We
have not always kept clean records as a nation. Many
almajirai have no birth records. They share the same
misfortune with Olusegun Obasanjo and Umaru Musa
Yar’Adua both of who have no birth records. Both made it
official and the heavens have not fallen as a result. Why is
this BAT so bent on fixing his with remarkable sloppiness?
The world is filled with scam artists who tried to con the
universe into believing they are what they are not. From
Charles Ponzi to Frank Abagnale and our own Salisu Buhari.
Most fix their ignoble records and walk the road to
redemption rather than try to edit their past.
It is obvious that Tinubu eyes the biggest office in the land,
knowing that the Nigerian presidency is the most powerful
in the world; it allows its occupant to get away with blue
murder. Buhari edited his lack of elementary certificate with
Why is Tinubu simply not content with his acquired status as
the godfather of Western Nigerian politics? At such a time
when the survival of our nation hinges on true federalism
and finding a unifying candidate, why is another Yoruba
power monger gunning for the presidency? Any
conscientious Yoruba or Hausa/Fulani should steer clear of
the 2023 presidential contest. From military adventurism to
transmogrifying into the civilian voting space, these two
powerful ethnic groups have had their fair share of ruining
The only exception is the Igbo of the South East. Fifty years
after plunging the nation into civil war in which we declared
no victor nor vanquished, the Yoruba and the Hausa/Fulani
have vanquished every attempt by a candidate of Igbo
extraction to show us what they have to offer.
While it is true that there are elements in Igboland bent on
re-plunging Nigeria back to its war past, the majority of the
Igbo are peaceful citizens settled everywhere moving the
nation forward. Don’t tell that to Tinubu’s wife, Oluremi who
said on tape that the Igbo could not be trusted. She is a
senator of the federal republic.
Tinubu has had ample chances to erase the inconsistencies
of his life. From buying out a whole edition of a news
magazine that exposed him to his latest tiff with Wikipedia,
he should content himself with being the Emir of Bourdillon.
While life and death are in the hands of the divine, Tinubu
does not have enough fuel left in the tank to beat Salisu
Buhari’s road to redemption. His control of media outlets
and his large financial war chest notwithstanding nor should
his manipulation of his closeness to certain religious
persons. Pastor Tunde Bakare, who staked the dregs of his
ecclesiastical integrity on him, staked the substance of that
integrity on Buhari. The results are obvious for all.
Instead of acting as celestial seer behind Tinubu’s
candidacy, methinks Bakare should send him some verses
of St. Paul’s first letter to Timothy. In the sixth verse, of the
sixth chapter, Paul reminded his friend that ‘Godliness with
contentment is great gain.’Tinubu should steer clear of
further political ambition, for his and all our sakes.