IN these convoluted times, there have been challenges of leadership for good governance in Nigeria. For a while, it has been chaotic quantifying and articulating the real value of desirable and pleasing leadership. Many of the theoretical enlightened would hardly consider that being a leader is a choice – and that in a nation of democracy, it is the people that can decide how to make the preferred leadership manifest.
Many believe since they are advanced in age, then they are the best to lead. It is only those in spiritual realms that could know that older age do not essentially make one superlative in leadership. The chosen of the Creator might be the last born of a family who would eventually emerge on top.
Leading indeed is that enigmatic ability that enables one to turn a vision into a reality. It permeates values, approach and actions. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is by no means a saint. Yet, today, the nation’s transformation now being fashioned through electoral victory under his All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership is, without doubt, admirable. He might have been tagged despicable by his adversaries, but they must now in sensibility apprehend the reality that he is neither ridiculous nor dense.
When you do well, it is then you will become acceptable. Tinubu, a former Senator, two-term governor of Lagos State and National Leader of APC has grandly manifested desired goodness on behalf of the Yorubas. Those who before now would not want to see him as the ‘Asiwaju’ should at this instant in humility appreciate he has become, not only an approved Yoruba Asiwaju, but a politically-assigned leader of the nation Nigeria.
One main way to lead is by example. When you turn yourself into an example, then you’ll turn into a leader to be followed. A good leader must have strong convictions, not necessarily muscular charisma.
Last week, the Southwest Chairman, Organisation and Mobilisation Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Senate-elect in Ogun-East, Chief Buruji Kashamu, pronounced Tinubu as his role model. He paid a rare tribute to the same Asiwaju that his party had pointed the finger at severally, tagging him as a true hero that every Nigerian should emulate.
For Kashamu, it has become important to honour those deserving of honour now that the elections were over. In the open letter addressed to Tinubu, he expressed him as the architect of modern Nigeria, who made history by leading an opposition party for 16 years and then taking hold of power at the centre. He surveyed that without Tinubu, the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, would not have won the March 28 election.
“Truth be told, men like you are made up of sterner stuff and are rare to come by in every generation. Little wonder you are called the Asiwaju and Jagaban of Borgu. I doff my hat,” he declared, praying that they that are younger should truly be like him. “Although I now belong to the opposition, your achievements transcend political divides and I am not ashamed to publicly acknowledge them. There is no denying the fact that your place in the history of the Yoruba race in particular, and, in Nigeria in general, is well etched.”
Kashamu’s further admiration of Tinubu: “By your sheer wit and unwavering commitment to democratic ethos, true federalism and economic prosperity, you led the Alliance for Democracy from a one-state party to a regional party and now a national party that is about to form the government at the centre.”
It does not matter who Kashamu is thought to be, he said it all in the right spirit. True leadership is one value a price tag cannot be put on.He proved that only leaders with vision will inspire citizens and mobilize them for nation building.
When people were taking the wrong step, they found it difficult for things to change for good. But now that the choice already made is expected to become decisive to life, majority of Nigeria voters have proved their desire for change in reality for a legacy.
Also last week, United States Financial Times newspaper praised Asiwaju for being behind Buhari’s success. According to the paper on its front page, Tinubu is deeply a master strategist who has astutely put up empire among Yorubas in Lagos and the Southwest, and built a reputation for himself just like that of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
This is a conviction of the brouhaha generated by an article written by Sam Omatseye, our Editorial Board Chairman in his column of June 6, 2011. Entitled ‘Awo Family without Awo,’ he bewailed the absence of members of the Awolowo family at the inauguration ceremonies of the then newly-elected governors of Ogun and Oyo states.
When the article was published, Tinubu’s opposition people, especially those in Awolowo’s clan fumed out condemning the writer, believing he was working on the agenda set by Tinubu to actualise his dream. The Awolowo family was made to consider that the article was prompted by Asiwaju who was then leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), in furtherance of his ambition to become the leader of the Yoruba, apparently vacant since the death of Chief Abraham Adesanya.
Today, the same Afenifere group that endorsed outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan in mouthy essentially to tackle Tinubu and deprecate him as Asiwaju must have now realised the reality of the true leader of Yorubaland widely supported by their own people. The man who they deliberately failed to invite to the meeting of supposed Yoruba leaders organized to discuss the last National Conference has been established to be their leader in truth and in deed. Efforts to push aside the real leaders, particularly those in the APC by the elders have become meaningless. Any Southwest gathering without the Asiwaju and the APC governors with representatives from Ondo and Ekiti states will remain irrelevant to the people.
Indeed, Tinubu did not start his life as an Asiwaju. He battled the challenges of his rather distressing and thorny youth with audacity only workable by the strong-hearted. He laboured courageously and also brilliantly. As sensible, liberal and a grassroots person, he grew up to live meaningfully. He never hesitated to serve with his best contributions and concepts. When he entered politics and was elected a Senator, he distinguished himself as the Chairman of the Senate foremost Committee on Banking, Finance, Appropriation and Currency. With the annulment of the June 12, 1993 Presidential Election and the consequent militarization of the nation’s politics, he became a founding member of the prominent pro-democracy National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) which encountered the military for the very soul of Nigeria. With harassments and threats to his life, he moved abroad to continue agitation for restoration of democratic governance in the country.
Asiwaju eventually emerged in good fundamental performance as the Lagos State Governor for two terms. As a smart political strategist, he survived the colossal storming of the ruling PDP to the Southwest states as the lone re-elected governor of the then Alliance for Democracy (AD). This led him on regular collision course with the PDP-controlled Federal Government, especially on his establishment of additional 37 Local Council Development Areas for Lagos States. A Supreme Court judgment in his favour later stated that the Federal administration should release the seized statutory allocation of the state’s Local Government funds.
Tunubu was actively involved in the formation of the Action Congress (AC) political party as recourse to the devastated AD. In a while, he transformed the new party as the plausible opposition to PDP. His vast legacy today is built on by his successor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), who served as his Chief of Staff and was rightly chosen by his boss against contrary propositions.
Continuation of Tinubu’s outstanding policies makes the outgoing administration of Lagos State an exceptional and prime government in Nigeria. His leadership efforts too are bringing in the competent Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode. If not for what is seen as evident success, PDP’s Jimi Agbaje under its party’s desperation would have snatched Lagos State in the last election. Being a man with vision is making him to excel in politics.
A leader with vision inspires people and mobilizes them for nation building. The one with sparkling motives employ wisdom, foresight, sense of purpose and commitment to stimulate a people towards self-actualisation and propel the national spirit in them. In history, there are few outstanding leaders, true heroes of their time, who set the moral and political tones for their societies. Such people as American George Washington, British Winston Churchill, Indian Mahatma Gandhi, Charles De Gaulle of France, Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore and Nelson Mandela of South Africa, are leaders of repute.
This is the category Buhari whose victory was empowered by Asiwaju who believes another Nigeria is possible might get into if his promises are manifested.
culled from: http://thenationonlineng.net