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How Tinubu made mincemeat of Obasanjo in 2003,set for same next month

Here is an account by versatile journalist and custodian of History, Alhaji Kehinde Olaosebikan on how Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu defeated Okusegun Obasanjo on all grounds as a sitting, most powerful President in the world at the time with Tinubu, against all odds placed on his path by the Obasanjo federal government, winning a second term in office as Governor of Lagos State.


The article confirms that the New Year’s Day 2023 endorsement by Obasanjo of Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, is indeed worthless as already scientifically explained by Director, Media and Publicity, ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), Bayo Onanuga. Please, enjoy the piece.



By Kehinde Olaosebikan


“Oro Ahmed yi nikan na ni o un ba mi leru” (It is only the issue of Ahmed that is giving me worries).


That was the fear expressed by the now late Alhaji Lam Adesina, a former Governor of Oyo State, on the chances of the then Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, winning the gubernatorial election in 2003.


Out of genuine concern, Alhaji Adesina, a great lover of Tinubu, was bothered that the Lagos Governor might not get a second term because of his repugnance to Obasanjo’s overtures and frolics.


That was at a time when all the other governors in the South West: Chief Bisi Akande of Osun state, Chief Adebayo Adefarati of Ondo, Otunba Niyi Adebayo of Ekiti, Akinrogun Segun Osoba of Ogun and Alhaji Lam Adesina himself were obeying the dictates and dancing to the false-hearted music of the then President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.


The governors were not alone in the travesty; they were goaded by the Pan Yoruba group, Afenifere, under the leadership of the late Pa Abraham Adesanya.


Obasanjo had cajoled the governors and Afenifere into believing that he (Obasanjo) would be “soft” on them and make their victories easy once they supported his election for a second term in office.


The five governors fell for Obasanjo’s antics and openly worked for his second term in office. In fact, the promotion of Obasanjo’s second term bid took precedence far and above campaigns for our governorship and National Assembly candidates in the build-up to the general elections of 2003.


Despite the fact that we were in the Alliance for Democracy (AD), the opposition party, we campaigned vigorously for the second term of Olusegun Obasanjo and indirectly his ruling Peoples Democratic Party’s candidates, who eventually defeated us. I was a victim as the AD candidate for House of Representatives, Oluyole federal constituency,Oyo state


With heavy music and beautiful lyrics, we introduced a new dimension, new lexicon, to our politics: we birthed the splitting of votes; Aremu Oke and Aremu Isale.


Vote one for Aremu at the top (Obasanjo for President) and one for Aremu at the bottom, state level candidate (Alhaji Lam Adesina). But at the end of the day, General Obasanjo trounced us, with the deployment of all the tricks and antics you can think of.


However, in Lagos, Tinubu, in his wisdom, refused to follow either his fellow governors or Afenifere in supporting Obasanjo, and instead answered his father’s name.


He campaigned only for his party, the AD. He asked voters to concentrate all their votes at the top of the ballot paper where the space was for AD, in all the elections.


As we were rollicking to the lovely melody of Aremu Oke and Aremu Isale in the South West, from Ibadan to Saki, Ogbomosho, Tede, Idere and so on, particularly in Oyo State, the people of Lagos State were ‘eating to the top’ (won un jeun soke).


And in the real sense of it, they actually ate well and this is evident till today, in the yawning gap in riches and wealth between the people of Lagos and those in other parts of Yorubaland.


Tinubu, using all in him—wisdom, knowledge, smartness, boldness, exposure, contacts etcetera— turned Lagos around within eight years. Bola Tinubu grew the economy, politics and sociology of Lagos and the stability being enjoyed in Lagos today is as a result of his right leadership. Lagos has become the model for virtually all developmental projects and ideas in Nigeria today.


From Governors Fashola to Ambode to the incumbent Sanwo-Olu, Lagos has continued to progress steadily while sadly, other states in the South West are grappling to survive. Tinubu has established himself as the best and most dynamic leader and politician of this generation.


With the enormous powers of the Presidency, particularly under the leadership of Olusegun Obasanjo, who was touted to have possessed and exercised more powers than the American President at his time, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu crushed Obasanjo in all aspects of governance.


He challenged Obasanjo on legislative matters and won; he contested against Obasanjo’s position on judiciary and made mincemeat of him; and in Obasanjo’s desperate bid to conquer Lagos State along with other Yoruba states, Tinubu triumphed over Obasanjo— and still beating him even today.


For decades now, Nigeria’s major problem has been poor leadership. After the departure of the Balewas, Azikiwes and Awolowos of this world, Nigeria has been largely unlucky with the sets of people that have been ruling us. All these past leaders that we are still praising to date did well because they were well-equipped for the positions they occupied and while serving they got the best persons for all assignments.


Tinubu, in his time as governor of Lagos State, gathered the best brains in Lagos to improve the lot of Lagos socially, economically and politically.


With his team of financial wizards,he raised the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of Lagos from about a billion Naira to over N20billion when leaving office in 2007.


In the socio-political scene, Tinubu took Lagos far ahead of other states in Nigeria, particularly in the South West when it became the center of attraction virtually in all spheres.


Ibadan that was the cynosure of political activities in the South West, was overtaken by Lagos as major actors and leaders of Oyo State started running to Lagos for political directions and handouts.


I know that the children born during and after the governorships of Tinubu , Lam and co, and who are now of age to vote, would not believe it that before the 1999 elections Ibadan was of greater or of the same socio-political standing as Lagos. They won’t also believe that Tinubu used to come to Ibadan for political advice and directions as such history would appear to them like tales by moonlight.


But that is the truth. The story of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the narrative of somebody who is naturally endowed to lead and ceaselessly improving himself and making people leaders and functional with profound results,is the stuff of which best selling books are made.


That the former Governor of Lagos State was able to accomplish all these, including standing boldly with the Lagos people on the creation of local councils, was as a result of the ability of Governor Tinubu to identify and engage the right people for jobs.


Without knowing the incumbent Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Tinubu hunted for him and made the Ogun State-born Osinbajo, the Attorney General of Lagos State. Appointing with precision, Tinubu led Osinbajo to win the legal battles against the all-conquering Olusegun Obasanjo sitting as the President of Nigeria.


It is an open secret that the major problems of the country today bother on lack of adequate knowledge, right policies and directions. Thus, to solve the problems, Nigeria needs a person with adequate knowledge about Nigeria, her challenges and prospects. The country needs that person that knows Nigeria inside out and without any pretenses or any primordial baggage.


 Secondly, Nigeria needs a leader that is educated and versed in all aspects of life to formulate the right policies from economy, education, health, employment to security. Such person must get the best amongst us to engender insightful policies and programs that would generate wealth and reasonable employment for our teeming youths. And thirdly, such person must be bold enough to look IMF and the like in the face and declare that ‘this is the best for my country and it is what I will do’.


Certainly, Tinubu, more than any other Nigerian, is the most suitable for the job. It is not about ‘I can do it’. What Nigeria deserves now is ‘I have done it before and I am ready, more mature, more experienced and obviously more prepared to do it again’. It is not about ‘I worked or learnt under Tinubu’ as it is a well-known fact  that no one can do it as the original person especially, especially if the teacher is still alive, strong and willing.  You can’t beat experience.
*Kehinde Olaosebikan, CEO, Midas Communications Ltd and former Chairman of Oluyole Local Government,Oyo state, also served as Chief Press Secretary to the late former Governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Lam Adesina from 1999 to 2003.


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