Asiwaju Tinubu: The Bourdillon Declaration! By Ozodinukwe Okenwa
Dear Nigerians, This is a special day in the turbulent history of our dear nation. I come before you humbly as a servant and not as a ‘kabiyesi’. I come before you fully aware of the enormous responsibility I bear as national leader of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC). I come before you with a patriotic heart having no malice or grudge against anyone, friend or foe! As a tested and trusted leader, I know that leadership involves doing good and making tough decisions. What is paramount, however, should be the general interest of the people, the security of their life and property.
I agree that politics in Nigeria is a dirty game, but it is played not only by “dirty” men and women, but also by clean and honest gentlemen and women. Among Us you can find Forsaken but I dare say Paragons could also be found among us. In the world of politics all over the world, there are no permanent enemies or friends but permanent interests. Nigeria is no exception. Today, I officially announce my candidacy for the presidential election of 2023 under the banner of my party, the APC. I had informed our President, Muhammadu Buhari, of my intention to succeed him on May 29 next year. And he gave me his blessing! Whatever the insinuation conveyed, it is none of my business.
From that Presidential visit to Aso Rock and down to Minna where I met and chatted with ‘Maradona’ at his stately country home, many commentators, some uninformed and some ignorant, had been initiating the ‘Asiwaju bashing’ as if they could do anything to prevent me from ascending the throne when the old soldier retired to his cows in Daura.
I’ve endured enough vituperation, innuendo and gossip because I’m still the man to beat by 2023. It’s always forward, never backward for me.
Dear compatriots, you will agree with me that I have paid my contribution to the greatness of this nation. If the measure I have given so far must necessarily be the measure I will receive, then normally I should be crowned president. Without my support and mobilization, especially in the South West, Buhari would not have become President! President Buhari has indeed given his best in a complex and complex situation over the past seven years. Those who repeat its failure or inability to tame insecurity or improve the lot of Nigerians do not know how governance works. A leader can only do his best and leave the rest to God. This is why leadership is described as a continuum.
No leader can solve all the problems of our country and our people alone, even if that leader happens to be a messiah or a dictator. My fellow countrymen and women, Nigeria remains a work in progress. Given our diversity and huge population, it takes strong decisions and smart leadership to pull our country back from the brink, reclaiming its soul from the forces of separation and disunity. Together, we can make Nigeria the giant of Africa we all dream of. Its greatness is in our hands as patriots and workers! Now that I’ve officially thrown my “Jagaban” hat into the presidential ring, discussions around my ambition should be about my competence, abilities, or what quality I possess rather than my personal life and questions about my age, my training and my background. . Non-speakers can go to hell! I have what it takes to govern Nigeria like I did when I was Governor of Lagos State. Lagos, under my command, has changed for good. With vision and dedication to duty, nothing is impossible to achieve. At the risk of sounding immodest or blowing my own trumpet, I can honestly say that Lagos is doing well thanks to the solid foundations I have laid as CEO over eight turbulent years.
My successors and my successors have done a great job of positioning and repositioning Lagos for the benefit of all. From Babatunde Fashola to Akinwunmi Ambode via Babajide Sanwo-Olu Lagos remains a reference in Nigeria in terms of the quality of leadership of governors. No state among the 36 could boast of a better scorecard! As I assume national leadership of the country (after your massive votes, of course), I promise to fight corruption without compromise. I promise to control the excesses of bandits and kidnappers. And marauding Fulani herders. Boko Haram and other northern terrorists would be wiped out within six months! Fraud in public or private companies would be dealt with. Merit, the reward of excellence and the promotion of core traditional values would be our ruling cardinal principles.
Compatriots, I promise as soon as I am elected to work diligently to provide public goods and services; basic education, health, rule of law, security, electricity, roads and other infrastructure. I will build on the solid achievements of the Buhari administration.
As a detribalized Nigerian with friends and foes in every nook and cranny of our federation, I believe I am a bridge builder, a leader capable of uniting instead of dividing, achieving growth instead of diverting what has already been done. Your vote for me is a vote for a new Nigeria, a nation bound together by our collective love for her and our faith in her ability to lead the black race! Critics still talk about bullion van and other nonsense. I don’t care less! Apart from the late Obafemi Awolowo, our political father, no leader of Yorubaland can claim any popularity with my profile. Not even “Baba” OBJ! I challenge anyone (including the talkative Ayo Fayose or Babafemi Ojudu) who says otherwise to run in an election contest. Jagaban is never associated with failure anywhere. My determination to clinch my party’s ticket to next year’s presidential election should never be in doubt. The one proposed by the opposition as a challenger would be beaten, believe me! If the PDP makes the terrible mistake of fielding Atiku Abubakar, then the coast would be clearer.
Alhaji Atiku has more political background than me. Perhaps a nationally televised debate would expose the baggage and our line of defense. I recognize that I am not all in strength. I also have my weaknesses!
It is not only the money that would speak Hausa, Fulfude, Igbo, Yoruba, Efik or Ijaw but the ability to mobilize and organize your winning strategy.
With all due respect to the President and Commander-in-Chief of our Armed Forces, I’m healthier and not as old as him yet, for God’s sake. The matter of life and death is in the hands of the Almighty. I can die tomorrow and I might as well live another twenty or thirty years!
A kingmaker, I dare say, can be the king! And I intend to achieve this with all the power at my disposal.
Please prepare your PVCs and get ready for a Jagaban “revolution” in 2023. With God on our side, victory is well assured in advance. You can take my word for it in the bank if you want.
Thank you for your time. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!