Today, May 29, 2023, President Muhammadu Buhari passes the leadership baton to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Nigeria is in the midst of a mixture of anticipation and trepidation.
With Tinubu assuming the Nigerian presidency, a sense of anticipation, intrigue and anxiety pervades the nation.
Tinubu’s run for the presidency was not without its challenges and controversy, making his victory on February 25, 2023 a significant milestone in the country’s political landscape.
DAILY POST reports that ahead of the June 7, 2022 All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential primary, Tinubu faced numerous odds against his candidacy.
Nicknamed the “Jagaban of Borgu”, Tinubu’s victory in the party’s primary election defied all odds and automatically set the stage for President Buhari’s transfer of power.
This unexpected turn of events ignited anxiety and excitement across the country.
Critics argued that he was too old and might not possess the requisite health and stamina to govern Nigeria effectively.
Furthermore, one of the main contenders for the APC ticket was Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who enjoyed great popularity among party members and youth.
Some within the party advocated Osinbajo’s candidacy, seeing him as a worthy successor to President Buhari. However, Tinubu’s pervasive influence and his skillful politicking allowed him to outmaneuver his opponents and emerge as the party’s nominee, beating out prominent contenders such as Osinbajo, Rotimi Amaechi, Tunde Bakare, among others.
Road to victory: factors and strategies
Bola Tinubu’s path to victory in the presidential election was marked by various campaign strategies and rallying cries that resonated with the Nigerian electorate.
Among these tactics, the use of the term “Emilokan” played an important role in mobilizing support for Tinubu’s candidacy.
During one of his public appearances leading up to the APC presidential primary, Tinubu emphasized the reasons why he should be the next president of Nigeria.
He highlighted his pivotal role in securing President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory in the 2015 election, despite Buhari’s three previous failed attempts.
Tinubu’s claim to have worked tirelessly to support Buhari’s successful campaign formed the basis of his outburst, Emilokan, which translates to “it’s my turn” in Yoruba, stating that he deserved the chance to lead the nation.
This simple yet powerful phrase encapsulated the longing for Tinubu to assume the presidency, symbolizing the belief that his time had come.
The term Emilokan quickly gained traction as a campaign chant among the Yoruba population and Tinubu supporters.
Yoruba-speaking Nigerians identified with the sentiment behind Emilokan as it encapsulated a desire for a fair chance for Tinubu to lead the nation.
The muslim-muslim banknote
Undoubtedly, several factors worked in Tinubu’s favor throughout his electoral campaign. In particular, the strategic choice of Kashim Shettima, a northerner and also a Muslim, as his running mate.
This decision, however, aroused controversy among Christians who opposed the idea of a ticket made up of people of the same faith.
In the run-up to Nigeria’s February 25 presidential election, political analysts and observers widely predicted the impossibility of Tinubu’s victory.
However, the dynamics of the political landscape took an unexpected turn with the participation of Peter Obi, Atiku Abubakar and Rabiu Kwankwaso.
These influential figures evidently played pivotal roles that ultimately contributed to the success of Tinubu’s bid for the presidency.
The Obedient Movement
Peter Obi, former Governor of Anambra State, created a significant impact on the political scene when he joined the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, Labor Party.
His decision resonated with the young population, starting a revolutionary movement known as “Obidients”. This move quickly gained popularity across the country, bolstering Obi’s influence and capturing the attention of political observers.
However, Obi, who is now in court, came third in the election.
During the 2019 general election, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) emerged victorious across the southeastern region of Nigeria. However, the presidential election held in February 2023 saw a significant change in voting patterns.
Peter Obi, with his new appeal and broad base support, successfully rallied voters in the south-east, south-south and parts of the north-central away from the PDP.
This wave of support played a crucial role in diverting votes that were traditionally destined for the PDP, ultimately benefiting Tinubu’s All Progressives Congress (APC) campaign.
Kwankwaso’s impact on Kano
Another influential figure in the electoral landscape was Rabiu Kwankwaso, who founded the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP).
Kwankwaso, a former governor of Kano state, garnered significant support in the region. During the presidential elections, the NNPP emerged victorious in Kano, securing an impressive 997,279 votes.
APC’s Tinubu came in second with 517,341 votes, while PDP’s Atiku Abubakar got 131,716 votes. Kwankwaso’s popularity and the success of his party in Kano had a direct impact on the overall election result and contributed to Tinubu’s victory.
Split support of Atiku PDP
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) decision to nominate Atiku, another northerner, as its candidate played an unintended role in Tinubu’s triumph.
Despite being a leading contender, Atiku’s campaign faced challenges, resulting in a divided support base.
This was due to a political agreement between various factions to transfer power to the southern region of Nigeria.
As a result, some of his would-be supporters leaned towards alternative candidates, including Tinubu. This fragmentation of support inadvertently worked in Tinubu’s favor, allowing him to secure a significant number of votes that might otherwise have gone to Atiku.
The rise of the G5 coalition also impacted the political landscape.
Atiku’s selection of Ifeanyi Okowa as his deputy irritated certain governors within the PDP, leading them to split off and form the G5.
Samuel Ortom of Benue, Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, Seyi Makinde of Oyo, and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu were among these governors.
Unsurprisingly, their states suffered defeat in the presidential elections held on February 25, weakening their influence.
The Northern Alliance
Tinubu’s alliance with the northern region played an important role in gaining votes. Although he lost in Buhari’s home state of Katsina to the PDP, he managed to secure a substantial number of votes, securing second place. This support from the far north proved crucial in his campaign.
Tinubu polled a total of 8,794,726 votes, beating out his closest rivals Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who polled 6,984,520 votes to secure second place and youth favorite Peter Obi of the Labor Party , who came third with 6,101,533 votes.
The top three candidates each won 12 states, leaving Kwankwaso with Kano State.
This result marks a major turning point in the Nigerian political landscape and underscores the resilience and determination exhibited by the Tinubu campaign.
not yet uhuru
As Bola Tinubu prepares to assume the presidency of Nigeria, he is faced with a series of formidable challenges that demand his attention and strategic decision-making.
While his victory in the 2023 presidential election was a remarkable achievement, it is crucial to recognize the obstacles ahead.
One of the immediate challenges Tinubu faces is the legal battles launched by his opponents. Both Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar have filed court cases to challenge the election result.
Tinubu must navigate these legal proceedings and ensure that his victory stands up to the scrutiny of the court system.
While history shows that no Nigerian president has ever been removed from office by a court, the litigation process can still create political tensions and divert attention from pressing national issues.
Nigeria faces significant economic challenges, including high unemployment rates, inflation, and an overreliance on oil revenues. Tinubu must formulate sound economic policies and strategies to drive sustainable growth, diversify the economy and create employment opportunities.
Tinubu will inherit the ongoing security challenges plaguing Nigeria, including the Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east, the herder/farmer crisis in the north-central, particularly in Benue state, the unrest in the south-east and communal clashes in various regions.
Tinubu, a portrait
Born on March 29, 1952 in Lagos State, Nigeria, he comes from the Tinubu family, renowned for its historical importance in Lagos politics.
He completed his primary and secondary education in Lagos before continuing his higher studies abroad. Tinubu holds a Bachelor of Accounting from Chicago State University, Illinois, USA, and an MBA from the same institution.
Tinubu’s political journey began in the early 1990s when he became active in the pro-democracy movement that fought against military rule in Nigeria.
As the first elected executive governor of Lagos State under the Fourth Republic of Nigeria, Tinubu served two consecutive terms from 1999 to 2007 on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy.
Tinubu’s political influence extends beyond Lagos State. He played a pivotal role in the formation of the All Progressives Congress (APC), a merger of various opposition parties, which ultimately led to the incumbent government’s historic defeat in the 2015 presidential election.
Citizens expect effective governance, economic stability, improved security, and progress in addressing pressing problems like corruption and infrastructure development.
They look forward to the implementation of Tinubu’s Renewed Hope agenda and its ability to guide Nigeria towards a better future.
With excitement and concerns in the air, the nation awaits the actions and policies of its new leader, hoping for a positive and transformative era for Nigeria.
Dear Nigerians, it is Jagaban hours.