Asiwaju: The Tireless Talent Hunter Nigeria Needs
By Pius Obansa
“I am openly begging Nasir El-Rufai not to run away for additional degree after his tenure as governor. We are not going to let you run away. I want you to make that promise today because we have a job to do together after this time. We will not let you run away from this country…”
That was vintage Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu doing what he knows how to do best – hunting talents. When Tinubu is hunting talents, he is as daring and as efficient as lion hunting antelope in the jungle. But unlike the king of the jungle who hunts for the selfish desire of feeding himself fat, Asiwaju hunts for the selfless determination to improve governance and boost the economy.
If a man achieves a feat once or twice, we can say it is luck or coincidence. But if a man does same extraordinary things over and over again for many years, we should concede to him that it is a talent and a calling.
Since 1999, Tinubu has consistently recruited the best administrative brains, the best hands with the requisite experience to support his determination for robust governance. Asiwaju doesn’t just hunt for these talented administrators, he nurtures them and give them the free hand and opportunity to excel.
What stands Tinubu out from the crowd of politicians we have in the country is his ability to spot a talent and go for that talent. He is widely known as the biggest talent hunter in the country who has over the years assembled an army of performers in governance irrespective of their ethnicity or religious leaning. The products of the Tinubu’s school of politics are too numerous, He is a political colossus who will continue to straddle the Nigerian political landscape for many years to come.
The list of the talented administrators Asiwaju has spotted and nurtured to limelight are endless, from the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Dele Alake, Kayode Fayemi, Ben Akabueze, Sunday Dare, Ade Ipaye, Leke Pitan, Muiz Banire, Joe Igbokwe, Babatunde Sanwo-Olu, James Abiodun Faleke, Opeyemi Bamidele etc.
As Governor in 1999, Asiwaju appointed Mr Wale Edun from Ogun State as finance commissioner; Rauf Aregbesola from Osun as Commissioner for Works; Fola Arthur-Worrey from Delta State as Commissioner for Lands; Ben Akabueze from Anambra State as Commissioner for Budget and Planning; Lai Mohammed, who was then Chief of Staff, from Kwara State; and Yemi Osinbajo, from Ogun State, as Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice. Tinubu’s mastery of the plurality and diversity of Nigeria is top-notch.
Asiwaju personifies courage, forthrightness, and diligence in providing exemplary and broadminded leadership in Nigeria political space. He has inspired great leadership in Lagos, which is the commercial nerve centre of the country, and extended his large-heartedness to other states and the legislature, steadily providing a ladder for promising leaders to grow and contribute to national development.
Asiwaju’s greatest strength lies in his ability to look beyond religious, ethnic, and political stereotyping. He embraces the reality of Nigeria as one entity, and extends his warmth, acumen, experience, and political sagacity to other parts of the country. Tinubu’s belief in democratic tenets is unparalleled, and his democratic credentials are unprecedented and un¬rivaled.
Asiwaju can be described as a quintessential politician, leaders’ leader, nation builder, reputable entrepreneur, astute manager, visionary, emeritus governor, board¬room guru, distinguished accountant, talent hunter and a political fighter.
When the history of the first two decades of the Fourth Republic is written, much space will be given to the master thinker, hunter of talents, and political strategist, whose mobilisation prowess, organisational ability and doggedness helped sustain opposition politics between 2003 and 2007 when Lagos State was the only state that survived the rampaging rigging machine and ‘do or die’ politics of then President Olusegun Obasanjo. His sacrifices heralded the miracle of the defeat of the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 and continuity and consolidation in 2019.
As we approach the crucial election year of 2023, Tinubu has displayed the calibre of persons that will form government with him when he is sworn-in unlike other candidates who have neither identity nor quality team.
Tinubu has the team and he would identify the best talents from across the country to help fix the country’s economy and put the nation on the path of prosperity as he did in Lagos.
No doubt, Tinubu is the best man for the job.
Pius Obansa, a member of pro-Tinubu Support Platform, BATTIMA Reporters, writes from Abuja.