Asiwaju Bola Tinubu: The Presidential Candidate With The Highest Demonstrated Capacity—Olatunji
In this interview with Ayobami Agboola, ahead of Saturday’s election, the Chief Whip of Osun State House of Assembly, Hon Tunde Olatunji speaks on why the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu remains the best for Nigeria
Can you please tell us one important attribute you think the next president of Nigeria must posses?
For this nation to move forward, we need a president with an outstanding leadership ability and skill set to deliver good governance. If you take a look at the oath of office contained in the 7th schedule of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, the Nigerian constitution recognizes that a President’s ability is critical to his performance. The term “best of my ability” reflect twice in the President’s oath of office to proof that in leadership and public service delivery, nobody, regardless of his/her good intentions, desires or utterances will perform beyond the best of his abilities.
What should be the difference between past Nigerian leaders and the new one?
When you have a problem, the suitability and quality of solution(s) you proffer will determine the success or otherwise of the intervention. Any society that is serious about growth and development must give room for leaders with the appropriate solution to the problems it’s confronting at a particular time.
Let’s take a look at history. Winston Churchill was appointed the Prime Minister of United Kingdom in 1940 to replace PM Chamberlain because the country needed a leader that combines both military and administrative competence to lead Britain to victory during the second world war. Owning to Churchill’s military background, his ability to inspire citizens; strong will and avowed capacity to manage a country at the war, he led his country and people to victory. After the world war, Britain knew it was time for economic recovery and rebuilding and the country opted for another leader who could fulfill that purpose, a development which resulted in Churchill’s replacement at the polls in 1945.
That is why capacity, track record and creativity are non-negotiable critical assessment factors in choosing the next Nigerian president
Why do you think the candidate of the APC Is the best for Nigeria at this point in her history?
Having established that ability is key to performance, the situation of our country calls for a leader with the best demonstrated capacity to proffer practical solutions to our national problems and unlock the huge socio-economic potential of this country for the benefit of all.
For a crucial assignment like the presidency of Nigeria, the question of eligibility and qualification must go beyond mere capacity to demonstrated capacity. In other words, we must look go beyond what a presidential candidate has the ability to do to what he has been able to do. Looking at the track record of all the major candidates going for the February 25th presidential election, the one that ranks first on the metrics of demonstrated capacity is Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
He governed Lagos and developed an economic blue print that transformed the state to become the largest sub-national economy in Nigeria and top five in Africa today. That is a classic example of demonstrated capacity in governance. It is a critical factor in leadership that evaluates what a leader intends to do based on what he has been able to do. This is where Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu stands tall among others.
Looking at other candidates, particularly those who have at one time or the other served at the level Asiwaju Bola Tinubu served, what makes you conclude that he has the best demonstrated capacity?
The beauty of this coming election is that all the major contenders has been opportune to occupy one position of leadership or the other, we have a former Vice president, former Governors and so on. None of them is new to public service and that gives us a very good basis to evaluate their performances and delivery while in office.
Nigeria today can be likened to what Lagos was in 1999 when Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu took over. From revenue generation to security, from urban development to infrastructure which is the bed rock of modern development and economy, Lagos was a state performing below its vast potential. Asiwaju Tinubu took the mantle of leadership in 1999 and assembled an A team that midwife the birth of a new Lagos.
Within the space of eight years, he pioneered what could be described as the best of ingenuity, innovation and creativity in governance and leadership by any sub-national government in modern history of Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.
But others also did in their right, so what in concrete terms did he do that made the difference in Lagos?
Absolutely! Every of the candidates no doubt served their states and Nigeria to the best of their abilities. I am only saying Asiwaju’s “best of ability” is the best of all the best of abilities being offered to Nigeria in the coming election. Lagos is one state that can be described as a mini Nigeria. It a perfect model of the Nigerian ecosystem. Therefore, anyone that can successfully pilot the affairs of a state that is as diverse, complex, heterogeneous and populated as Lagos with outstanding achievements, will no doubt manage Nigeria successfully.
Asiwaju developed functional solutions to societal problems, by creating structures, agencies and institutions to address them. He repositioned Lagos Internal revenue services and moved the states IGR from 600 million naira per month to about 7 billion naira monthly. He created LASTMA to address traffic management, LAWMA to address waste management, He pioneered the creation of LCDAs to strengthen local government administration, he reformed the, he reformed the judiciary in Lagos, he paid WAEC fees for all secondary school students. The list is endless and unique because they are novel initiatives in the history of Nigeria. That is the power of vision, that is the power of ‘demonstrated Capacity’.
Nigeria obviously requires not just a leader that can improve it’s economy but one that can also unite the diverse Nigerian people that appears divided. Would you say Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu fits in this category?
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a unifier par excellence. He has proved over the years that he has capacity to unite Nigerian to build the country of their dreams. Asiwaju Tinubu has demonstrated convincingly that he is a detribalised Nigerian leader. He once offered Alhaji Atiku Abubakar the opportunity to contest for presidency on the platform of the defunct ACN, he played unassailable role in the formation of the APC as a national party and the emergence of the incumbent as the candidate of the party. If you measure the overwhelming support given him by the Governors of the APC controlled northern and Southern states during the primary that produced him, you will be convinced that he is a figure that represents the unity in diversity of Nigeria.
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