Tinubu and his chances in 2023 compared to those of Buhari in 2015.By Wumi Akintide

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If Tinubu, as the flag bearer of the ruling Party, runs as flawless a campaign in the general elections like he had done in the just concluded Primaries of the APC, his chances of winning cannot be foreclosed simply because of his few shortcomings which have continued to receive public scrutiny and debate and rightly so.

Tinubu has so far run a very credible and formidable campaign in my opinion compared to all of his competitors in the race and despite all of the doubts being raised about whether or not he ever went to school or have a certificate to show fir it. If he remembers the schools he attended in Chicago that got him a job at Mobil Oil Company and when, that should be easy to verify and authenticate.

I do know that he was an Accountant in Mobil in Lagos and was a contemporary to few of my friends in that Company namely Solomon Oladunni, Sawyer, Bode Fadase, Toyin Obe and Olawumi Omotosho.

We therefore should not make a mountain out of that. The guy did have a formal education. I am less concerned about his educational qualifications at this point but others may not be. That’s their prerogative not mine.

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Tinubu had run in the Primaries not so much on the track record of his Party which is nothing to write home about left to me alone, but on his own record as a NADECO Chieftain, as a former Senator of Lagos State and later on as Governor for 8 years and as the strong man of Yoruba Politics and as the king maker of the ACN which had engineered the merger with the CPC led by Buhari to form the APC which eventually decapitated the PDP to make APC the ruling Party of the country from 2015 till now. That is not a resume to be taken lightly.

There is no doubt at all that Tinubu has remained a major player in Nigerian Politics and he understands it better than some of his competitors. We have got to give him credit for that. He may yet succeed where more popular Yoruba politicians like Pa Obafemi Awolowo and MKO have come up short.

It was a smart move for him to run on his own personal record, and he had done it without being overtly critical of the APC and Buhari and Yemi Osinbajo who as Vice President and candidate cannot run away from running on the track record of his boss as President of Nigeria. Tinubu apparently did not carry the same burden or baggage as Osinbajo as the number 2 to Buhari. Tinubu was smart enough to make that judgment and distinction and it served him well when it mattered the most.

Quite apart from serving as the National Chairman of the Party, he, Tinubu had made it clear he did not take any ministerial job or ask for any position in the Parastatals. He could therefore distance himself from some of the failings of the ruling Party with some justification.

He had focused all his energy on running for President abd it has so far paid off big time if you ask me. He has just won a highly contested Primaries to become the flag bearer of the APC by winning a landslide victory and by beating his runner-up by more than 900 delegates.

He had done it without ostracizing President Buhari and Chairman Abdullah’s Adamu and the initial consensus candidate in Ahmad Lawan. He had done it without ostracizing the great majority of the APC Governors who had made his victory possible to begin with by insisting the position had to be zoned to the South and that picking a consensus candidate must be quickly abandoned or shelved and it was to the awkward position or emba of Lawan as it it became clear to all including Buhari and Adamu that Tinubu was unstoppable.

The President and Chairman Adamu quickly went along with the decision of the majority and Tinubu did not waste time blaming anyone for prematurely announcing a consensus candidate.

It was a masterful display of political maturity on his part but he acknowledged and praised the Governors for their wisdom in beckoning the Party to do the right thing

Tinubu had shown himself to be a consummate politician and strategist who knew precisely where to focus all of his energy and investment and when.

You can tell how successful he was from how many of his challengers or rivals for the job have had to withdraw or suspend their campaign to transfer their delegates and support to him once they were able to correctly read the handwriting on the wall that he was unstoppable at that point in time.

He had shown himself to be the best prepared and the most ready to run a successful campaign where his track record as the leading politician in the most sophisticated State in Nigeria cannot be matched by any of the major candidates running against him like Atiku Abubakar and even Peter Obi and Kwankwaso to mention a few. Atiku must have his job cut out for him by running against Tinubu. Nobody knows that better than Atiku.

I therefore totally disagree with Dino Melaye when he described Tinubu as the eaglet and Atiku as the father eagle in Nigerian Politics. That was a hyperbolic distortion of facts to say the least.

With Tinubu’s Campaign team working in tandem with most of the 22 Governors of the APC in all of the 36 States and inheriting their organizational structure and reservoir of good will and patronage, he has put himself and his Campaign in an impregnable position to win in most of the states controlled by those Governors if the push comes to shove.

Tinubu has the financial viability and capacity to assist the Governors to work for him and the APC which has raised a whopping amount of money never before raised by any Party in Nigeria. Tinubu is by far the best organized Presidential Aspirant in Nigeria today with Atiku coming a distant second, all things considered.

All the talk about a youth movement for any candidate is grossly exaggerated and a hyperbole. Some of the Nigerian youths we talk about are a lot more corrupt and feckless than the older politicians.

The great majority of the youths are bread and butter politicians who make vote buying in Nigeria Politics a viable business as we speak.

A sizable majority of them would still work for Tinubu and Atiku. You can write it down. They clearly lack ideological convictions in my opinion.

Tinubu as the candidate and flag bearer must avoid causing traffic hold-up for hours on end in Abuja and Lagos and in much of the urban centers of Nigeria when he goes out to campaign.

People are already complaining about that development and criticism and they are right to do so. He probably can solve that problem and perception by using helicopter to get around wherever possible and advisable.

All I am saying with this write-up is not an endorsement. I am not there yet because Tinubu still has a long way to go between now and 2023.

There is no question in my mind that Tinubu still remains a formidable candidate and those already writing or predicting his obituary are making a huge and horrendous mistake. The guy still has a lot working for him despite his age and physical health which is not worse than that of Buhari during much of his first term and even up till now.

His settling for a Muslim/ Muslim ticket is a mistake that could hurt his chances in a few states in the Southeast and the South/South but not so much in the Southwest in particular where the Muslims and the Christians have long learned to live together and to co- exist and not become enemies to themselves. Most of such Christians would point to the fact that his wife and First Lady- to -be, if he wins, is a Christian and a honorary Pastor in Redeem for that matter.

The Election is still a long time away and I agree that a day in Politics could be Eternity. A lot can still happen between now and then to muddy the waters and our views can change. I would be the first to say that.

I remain an independent thinker who reserves the right to speak my mind without fear or favor. Those who already pick their favorite candidate and are not for Tinubu, may not like what I am saying here but I reserve the right to say it nonetheless for whatever it may be worth and without prejudice to the chances of other candidates to win.

We all cannot see things the same way in a country of 200 million people because we are not robots. I stand ready to take the slings and arrows of people who are opposed to Tinubu for very legitimate reasons.

All I am doing is looking at the pros and cons of his candidature compared to those of his competitors I have also written about. Why not if not?

I rest my case.

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