There is no politician from the Southern part of Nigeria alive today who wields the kind of influence that Bola Ahmed Tinubu wields. It could be said that only President Mohammadu Buhari wields more cult followership that Tinubu popularly known as Jagaban. Tinubu was a Governor of Lagos State between 1999 to 2007 and he was the only South Western opposition governor who was not swept away by President Obasanjo’s ruling PDP at the time. From the Action Congress of Nigeria to the All Progressives Congress, Tinubu has grown more powerful by the day and he literally determines who becomes anything not only in Lagos State but in the entire South West.
When the former Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Oyegun had problems with Tinubu, everyone knew he would not last as the Chairman. Tinubu brought his influence to bear on both President Buhari who had already sanctioned the Chairman for a second term and the APC governors. John Oyegun had to go and was replaced with Tinubu’s choice, Adams Oshiomhole. Everyone knows how President Buhari became president in 2015 and that it would have not been possible had he not gone into an alliance with Tinubu and his party. Tinubu singlehandedly picked the President’s Vice and the rest is history.
2023 beckons and for Ahmed Tinubu, it is now or never. BY 2023, the North would have enjoyed eight (8) uninterrupted years as head of government and power is expected to shift to the South. Within the South, some are of the opinion, that it should go to the South East, who are the only group in the South not to have produced a democratically elected President. Others are of the opinion that the South West should go for it having shown more “loyalty” to the present ruling party. There are rumors however that the North is not planning to lose power. They want to hold onto it as long as they can and that would not go down well with many Southerners.
Jagaban’s acolytes and supporters are not hiding the fact that their principal will take a shot at the presidency come 2023. For keen followers of politics, the politics of 2023 has begun. As the years go by, there will be movements and alliances here and there depending on the interests involved. However, seeing that Tinubu is a Southern Christian, how he will go about the choice of his Vice should he become the APC’s presidential candidate will be interesting. Will he go for a Christian northerner? How will the majority Muslim North view that? Will he go for a Northern Muslim? How will the Southerners view a Muslim-Muslim ticket in a deeply divided Nigeria? It will not be an easy task for him whichever route he takes.
The man has the deep pockets. He has the influence. He has the followers and he literally controls a chunk of the media in Nigeria today. The question now is whether the powers that be including the current president would be disposed to supporting his candidacy. There are early signs that some powerful forces especially in the North do not want Tinubu. We can only watch on to see how it all ends for the man and for our country.