Every step he takes in his ascent to higher realms in the current political affairs of Nigeria reveals a personality properly schooled in the traditions of the political juggernauts of the first and second republics.
With stunning clout, he fishes out men, the real men among men, and deploys them in suitable locations in terms of public cum political offices to facilitate his dexterous steering of political affairs at both the South-West and national levels according to the imperatives of the current times for the genuine growth of the polity.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu: The Talent Hunter
Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s political conducts and feats in the country’s current political experience display a fabulous entwinement of cleverness and skills; steadfast commitment to the sustenance of unity and indivisibility of the country, and its true nationhood; and a systematic alignment of all these with the critical needs of current global affairs, in which Nigeria very strategically operates.
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s mastery of calculations on the political compass of the country has, by historic providence, built his personality into a most potent instrument of political consensus to build a prosperous nation that is able to surmount all the epochal challenges of its current times.
Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu finely built his political personality to its current enviable state most notably during the National Republican Convention (NRC)/Social Democratic Party (SDP) politics of the aborted third republic when he became senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the ticket of the SDP, climaxing with his eight-year gubernatorial tenure in Lagos State from 1999 to 2007 on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD).
When most of his aborted third republic and even the fourth republic contemporaries had sunk into political obscurity, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu towered in the political affairs of the South-West region, which he astutely steered from the AD to the Action Congress (AC) and, subsequently, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), on which platform he bestrode the region like a colossus, as the main determinant of the electoral victories of most governorship, national and state assemblies’ candidates.
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is, indeed, incontrovertibly, the most intelligent and most precious political cum public office talent hunter in the country’s current political dispensation. As the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), he steered the country from its most epochal accident of history when the nation sailed towards hitting the rock of its dreadful challenges and disintegration, 101 years after its unification.
It is said that if the APC, which he has so skillfully and purposefully led, had not fielded Muhammadu Buhari to win the presidency of the country in the 2015 elections, the country would have faced further threats of disintegration, which could have portended hefty dangers in global affairs. He is, undoubtedly, the highest investor in the APC in terms of resources and the required machinery for a standard political party.
The choice of retired General Muhammadu Buhari (now President Muhammadu Buhari) as the presidential candidate of the APC revealed the exceptional intelligence of Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu in hunting for the desired personalities for political office in the broad gamut of purposeful scheming for national consensus towards genuine prosperity. The personalities he hunts, who he gathers in an ever widening pool, are tested and trusted men of proven integrity in terms of credibility of character and impeccability in terms of the required competence for the purposeful administration of the affairs of the polity at whatever level. They are talented personalities of no mean feat.
Indeed, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is incontrovertibly the most precious political cum public office Talent Hunter in the country’s current political dispensation. On the basis of that, we at THINKERS MAGAZINE, are happy to announce him as our Man of the Year 2015.
THE PROMINENT TINUBU PRODUCTS
Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN
The London School of Economics-trained Professor of Law and legal luminary was Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice during his governorship tenure in Lagos State.
The clergyman of repute is revered for his immense richness of character; his observance of strict discipline with regard to the noble principles of legality, legitimacy and lawfulness in terms of what the polity needs for salvation and genuine growth; as well as his low-profile mien to fit his personality of a perfect exemplar, in strict adherence to the principles and practice of morality.
His sterling qualities, coupled with his prodigious intelligence and practical competence in terms of the tedious task of the purposeful administration of the polity and his unflinching loyalty built his towering political personae as a perfect candidate for a presidential responsibility in Nigeria of the current times. He is, today, the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was the Commissioner for Works in Lagos State during the Asiwaju’s governorship tenure.
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s impeccable record of performance as the aide in charge of the execution of the desired public development projects, coupled with his unblemished functional loyalty built his political personae to the height of the perfect qualification for the governorship of a state.
Today he is serving his second tenure as the Governor of Osun state.
Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
The long-standing legal luminary and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) was Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Chief of Staff when he was Lagos State governor. So righteous was he in character, and impeccable his competence in the discharge of his duties and responsibilities in his assigned capacity that his boss would settle for no one else to succeed him as governor but Fashola.
The governorship tenure of Babatunde Raji Fashola was marvelously instrumental to the epochal regeneration and quantum leap of ‘the Centre of Excellence’ in terms of development and prosperity. As Governor of Lagos state, Fashola ensured that the state indeed worked, unprecedentedly.
Little wonder, President Muhammadu Buhari not only appointed him a Minister of the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but entrusted him with the most challenging responsibilities of Power, Works and Housing, constituting the single vastest responsibility for any Minister.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed
This Barrister-at-law, who hails from Kwara State, was also at one time Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu’s Chief of Staff.
Since the propaganda days of the late Senator Uche Chukwumerije as the salesman of the secessionist Biafra of the late 1960s, there has, perhaps, never been a more talented propagandist than Lai Mohammed.
With his fascinating competence in information management, publicity engineering and molding and a fast-lane method of propaganda and counter-propaganda as the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Lai Mohammed battled all the Goliath-stature public and private information and publicity machineries of the now opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to a humiliating defeat at the 2015 polls.
For Lai Mohammed, being a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in charge of Information and Culture is just handling the usual easy work he is properly milled in for the salvation and prosperity of his fatherland.
Dr Kayode Fayemi
Another sound product of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is Kayode Fayemi. A former governor of Ekiti state, Kayode Fayemi is one of the best brains in the country.
Kayode Fayemi’s allotted period of study at Christ’s School in Ado Ekiti and Universities of Lagos and Ife where he received degrees in History, Politics and International Relations adequately prepared him for leadership position.
Little wonder, his tenure as governor of Ekiti state represents the most progressive years in the history of governance in the state. It is on record that Kayode Fayemi was the first governor in Nigeria to sign into law the Freedom of Information Act. Today this former lecturer is the Minister of Solid Minerals.
Mr. Babatunde Fowler
This revenue generation expert was Chairman of the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service when Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was governor.
The talented and most trustworthy tax collector was instrumental to Lagos State attaining the enviable height of collecting ‘more-than-enough’ cash to finance its enviable accomplishments in terms of successful implementation of programmes and execution of projects to the point that at a time, the state virtually ceased to rely on the statutory allocation from the federation account to function.
As the current Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, there could never have been, in the country’s prevailing circumstances, a more brilliant and competent person to be entrusted with its revenue collection than Mr. Fowler.
Senator Oluremi Tinubu
It is said that charity begins at home. For Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, politics and leadership begin at home. Greatness they say is infectious. It is, therefore, difficult if not impossible for someone to be married to a great man for decades without tapping from his abundant wealth of talents.
Aside being one of the most effective First Ladies of her generation with her initiative, New Era Foundation, the delectable Lady also followed the footsteps of her hubby into the murky waters of politics by contesting a legislative seat in 2011. She is right now in her second term in the Senate representing Lagos Central and she is doing very well to make her family proud.
Senator Olorunimbe Mamora
Senator Adeleke Olorunimbe Mamora is not only one of the best medical practitioners around, he is also one of the most accomplished politicians in Tinubu’s camp. He was the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly before his sojourn into the Senate to represent Lagos East. The well-read and cerebral lawmaker is seen as one of the most versatile men in Asiwaju’s group, and his ability to tackle just any topic under the sun is one of the reasons Tinubu deserves the title of foremost talent hunter.
Mamora’s brilliance was so much that when David Mark was the Senate President, anytime there was a thorny issue on any topic that no one had a solution, he would publicly call on him to intervene. He was the intellectual box of the Senate. His records of achievements in the Senate are impressive. He once served as the chairman of Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions. He sponsored bills on Tenure of Office, Surgeon-General of Nigeria and the amendment of the Tobacco Control Act. He also co-sponsored motions including one to amend Senate rule 111 to bring it into conformity with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Mamora was described as a master of parliamentary procedures.
Senator Ganiyu Solomon
Senator Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon is another proud product of the Tinubu School of Politics. A dogged and rugged politician, Solomon was the chairman of Mushin local government, one of the most turbulent parts of Lagos state; and one time member of the Lagos State House of Assembly before his sojourn into the Senate to represent Lagos West. His father, Alhaji Rafiu Ishola Solomon was also a prominent politician in the second republic. He studied political science at the University of Lagos before venturing into IT and property business.
While in the Senate, he served as chairman of the Committee on Capital Market. He has also sponsored many bills on amendment of the National Directorate of Employment Act and Institute of Capital Market Registrars, among others.
Senator Gbenga Ashafa
Senator Gbenga Bareeu Ashafa is another protege of Asiwaju who presently represents Lagos East in the Senate.
Before his legislative career, he was the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Lands and Bureau and Director of Planning in the Lagos State Government House.
As one of the most trusted allies of Asiwaju, the ex-governor’s land and local government reforms were attributed to his brilliant ideas.
Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi
Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi is one of the earliest political associates of Asiwaju. He was a Senator who represented Lagos West between 1999 and 2007.
He was a member of the House of Representatives in the botched third republic. He also served as commissioner in Lagos state.
Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila
Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila is one of the highly placed political associates of Asiwaju in this dispensation.
He is presently the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives who narrowly lost out from being elected Speaker.
He was elected in 2003 to the House of Representatives and has remained in the House till now.
He is also the immediate past Minority Leader of the House. He represents Surulere 1 federal constituency of Lagos State.
Honourable Abike Dabiri-Erewa
Honourable Abike Dabiri-Erewa is one of the most vibrant lawmakers that was elected into the National Assembly, and a proud product of the Tinubu School of Politics. She had a successful journalism career with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) before joining politics.
She represented Ikorodu federal constituency in the House of Representatives until 2015.
She also played a key role in the media and publicity unit of the All Progressives Congress (APC) campaigns for the 2015 elections. She headed the media and diaspora committees of the House of Representatives during her legislative years.
Honourable James Faleke
Honourable James Abiodun Faleke is another product of Asiwaju who was on the verge of becoming Deputy Governor in Kogi state in November before the sudden death of the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress ( APC), Prince Abubakar Audu. Though born in his native Kogi state, Faleke was educated in Kaduna Polytechnic after which he did his youth service in Lagos in the late 80s. He stayed back in Lagos where he later cut his political teeth with the help of Asiwaju.
He served as the pioneer executive secretary of Ojodu local government development area from November 2003 to April 2004. In 2004, he was elected as the executive chairman of Ojodu local government development area and served for two consecutive terms from 2004 to 2011. During his time as a council boss in Lagos, Faleke was the chairman of Forum 57, a forum of LGA and LCDA bosses in Lagos state.
In 2011, he was elected the federal legislator representing Ikeja federal constituency in the House of Representatives and he won re-election in March 2015. In December 2014 Faleke was appointed as the Lagos state campaign coordinator for the Buhari/ Osinbajo campaign group. Based on the controversial end to the Kogi gubernatorial election, Faleke may well be the next governor of the state if the judiciary finds merit in his case.
His story has already shown Tinubu’s ambition to extend his tentacles beyond the southwest.
Honourable Opeyemi Bamidele
Honourable Michael Opeyemi Bamidele is another prominent politician who cut his teeth under the tutelage of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Though an indigene of Ekiti state, he served under Tinubu as a commissioner before his sojourn in the House of Representatives where he presently represents Ado-Ekiti/Irepodun-Ifelodun federal constituency.
He contested the last governorship election in the state after falling out with Tinubu and incumbent Governor Fayemi but lost. He, however, returned to the APC in the run up to the last general elections after making up with Asiwaju.
Akinwunmi Ambode is the second successive governor that Asiwaju single- handedly installed in Alausa. In fact, it was Ambode’s success at the last gubernatorial poll against perennial contestant, Jimi Agbaje that confirmed Tinubu’s position as the undisputed kingmaker in the richest and most viable state in Nigeria. Ambode is a first class brain and financial expert of repute who worked in the Lagos state civil service for over two decades. He also worked under Tinubu in different capacities when he was governor.
Ambode was the permanent secretary of the State Ministry of Finance. He was later the accountant general of the state. Under his watch, the State Treasury Office (STO) revolutionized the way Lagos State finances were raised, budgeted, managed and planned. In his six years as the Lagos State accountant general, the state’s financial performance improved visibly with the budget performing at a remarkable average of 85% annually.
Dele Alake is one of the brightest minds in Tinubu’s camp who served in his star-studded cabinet in Lagos. A journalist of repute, Alake was one of the most influential commissioners in Lagos state when Tinubu held sway. He served as Commissioner for Information and Strategy for 8 years under Tinubu.
He was also in the media and strategy committees of the All Progressive Congress Presidential Campaign Organization in the run up to the last election.
Muiz Banire, SAN
Dr Muiz Adeyemi Banire is another brilliant and critical member of the Tinubu camp. He was arguably the most powerful member of the state executive council when Tunubu was governor, manning two ministries at the same time- Environment and Transportation.
Banire is fondly called 3-term former commissioner because after serving with Tinubu for 8 years, Fashola also retained him as Commissioner for Special Duties for 4 years. Banire, who holds a phd in Law, later served as National Legal Adviser to the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). He is presently the National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Dr Leke Pitan is a first rate medical doctor and a long standing associate of Asiwaju.
He was Commissioner for Health from 1999 to 2006 and Commissioner for Education from 2006 to 2007 when Tinubu was governor of Lagos state.
Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa is another long term political ally of Asiwaju.
He has been in the Lagos State House of Assembly since 2003 and he is presently the Speaker, being on his 4th term in the House.
Desmond Oluwashola Elliot is an award winning Nollywood actor, director and producer. He is one of the most successful thespians in the history of the country’s film industry. Among the Nollywood veterans who showed interest in politics during the last elections, Elliot was about the only one who won his election.
With the full support of Asiwaju, Elliot won election to represent Surulere 1 constituency in the Lagos State House of Assembly even though his father hails from Lagos Island, his mother from Delta state and he himself was bred in Jos.
Others Too Numerous to Mention
There are many members of National Assembly (NASS) and State Houses of Assembly as well as technocrats and businessmen and women across the country that are also products of Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Tinubu is no doubt a rare Nigerian who deserves more accolades than he is getting for his contribution to our democracy and his talent hunting ingenuity. He is a self- made politician who has made several others. The only other politician who did what Tinubu has done in the history of the country was the Late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. By successfully installing the present Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we can safely say that Asiwaju has surpassed the records of the Ikenne-born nationalist in the area of talent hunting.