Politics: Why Tinubu is the right choice for 2023 Daily Parrot

The nation is on the march again to produce new leaders. By next February 2023, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will be conducting elections into the various political offices beginning from the presidential election.  The contest will, all things being equal, definitely be among today’s four frontline presidential candidates, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) and Alhaji Rabiu  Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party(NNPP).

Judging by the credentials of all these candidates,  Tinubu appears to me as the most  qualified. He is the man I believe can take Nigerians to the promised land by making the country great again.

The nation’s most daunting challenges today centre around  the economy,  insecurity and disunity.

The economy is in the doldrums. Most of our   industries are either dead or  not performing. The Naira is weak. A dollar exchanges for more than  N700 in the black market. One of the basic reasons for this is the fact that we are relying on the export of one product- crude oil to earn foreign exchange.  Another factor is that we import virtually all that we consume in this country.  How can such an economy grow strong?

We need to diversify our economy , revive our industries to  engage in the local production of goods and services.  This is the way forward.  Tinubu as a man with sound knowledge of economics and finance is in the best position  to handle this.

Just like he made Lagos a business -friendly destination while he was governor between 1999 and 2007, he can do same for the nation by implementing policies that can  revive the nation’s   economy

As governor, he digitalised the collection of taxes through the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS).

He expanded the revenue base and raised the internally generated revenue by some 468.63 percent during his tenure without imposing extra tax burden on the citizens. His economic template is still in use in Lagos today.

He can replicate this at the national level.

Another major challenge the nation is facing today is disunity. There are agitations all over the country. Many Nigerians are crying of marginalisation in the scheme of things

Some want to break away from this nation. Others say they want devolution of powers to the states or geo-political zones as the case may be. Like some Nigerians have advocated, I believe this can be taken care of by restructuring the country in such a way that every part of the country is given some measure of autonomy to produce the mineral resources available in its area and pay royalties to the federal government.  There is no state in Nigeria that has no mineral resources.  Our state governments have been made to be lazy because they are being spoon – fed from the centre.  This should stop.

We need a man of conviction and courage like Tinubu to do this. He has done similar things at the state level when he was governor of Lagos.

We are aware that other presidential candidates have said they will do it. We know they will not do it. We need a leader who can actualise what he says. That leader is Tinubu.

As governor of Lagos State, he ensured governance was taken to the grassroots by the decentralization of Local Government administration through the creation of 37 Local Council Development Authorities (LCDAs) in 2003 in addition to the 20 Local Government Areas recognised by the 1999 Constitution (as amended). For this, he incurred the wrath of the federal government under President Olusegun Obasanjo, who denied Lagos the usual monthly allocation from Abuja. He fought his way through the courts and got a judgement. These LCDAs are still functioning today.

Most importantly, we need to fix the problem of insecurity.  Many Nigerians are being killed or kidnapped on daily basis as a result of the activities of terrorists, bandits and kidnappers. To tackle this issue, most state governments have been forced to form their security outfits. These outfits do not have the power of the police.  They can only assist in arresting suspects and handing them over to the police. Our police force is inadequate in terms of men and equipment.

Read Also: Lagos women: we’ll ensure Tinubu’s, Sanwo-Olu’s victory

One way to do this is decentralisation of the security apparatus of the country.

As at today, virtually all our security agencies are under the control of the central government.  A state governor does not have the authority to handle security issues in his state without recourse to the centre. The police commissioner in the state takes instructions from the Inspector General of Police. This does not augur well for effective and efficient policing. We will therefore need a leader who will cooperate with the legislature to work towards the creation of state police. This will help to improve on the security situation in the country.

Tinubu has been an advocate of decentralisation of powers to promote good governance.  He will be in a good position to champion this cause.

Tinubu has over the years, proved to everyone that he is a democrat.

He was one of the strong pillars of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO). He worked tirelessly for the recognition of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election result and the restoration of democracy.  While democracy was restored in 1999, the June 12, 1993 election was eventually recognised by the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari on June 6, 2018. Today, June 12 is our Democracy Day.

Tinubu’s legacy as governor has prevailed in Lagos till date.

It must be noted that because of the influence of Tinubu, Lagos was the only state in the Southwest that was able to consistently survive the onslaught of the PDP especially under the Presidency of Obasanjo. It has remained the only Southwest state that has been governed by the progressives since the return of democracy in 1999.

Tinubu is a bridge builder, who has made friends across all the geo-political zones of the country. He also does not discriminate when it comes to picking his aides. His major consideration is competence, not where you come from.

He is a talent hunter.  He demonstrated this while he was governor by recruiting his aides considered not to be indigenes of the state. There are many examples including Lai Mohammed, Rauf Aregbesola, Ben Akabueze and Joe Igbokwe. .

By all parameters, Tinubu performed well in all the tasks he handled. He is an accomplished technocrat and politician.

I am aware that the issue of his choice of running mate in the person of Alhaji Kashim Shettima did not go well with some of our Christian brothers in the northern part of the country.  As a listening leader, he has already taken steps to assuage their feelings through dialogue.  I do not believe religion should play a role in deciding on the leaders that can bring good governance to the country.

Like it was during the aborted Third Republic, when MKO Abiola and Babagana Kingibe ran on the ticket of the then SDP, the issue of Muslim/Muslim ticket should not be an obstacle to the realisation of a Tinubu/ Shettima Presidency. The Tinubu that we all know is not a religious zealot. He has demonstrated that right from his private affairs. He is married to a Christian, who has risen to the position of a senior pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God.

The nation needs a well-rounded leader like Tinubu. He has the education, experience and courage to take decisions. The problem with the country is not that of lack of resources but that of incapacity to harness our resources. There is no doubt that the country is not where it ought to be today despite our enormous resources. If we truly need a leader that can take the country to its deserved destination, that leader is Tinubu.

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