Tongues wag. Lips beat. Pens bled. They wanted to chop him raw - into insignificant bits. He's old, weak, insipid. He slurs words. He's unfit. " Harshly-agog 'obidients' - many of whom were in the bellies of their genitors - when Asiwaju was at the forefront of nationalism struggles, wanted to cast a stone of criminality at him. They praised their candidates to the high heavens but wanted to maim Asiwaju to pulp level. Even when their masters are the pitfalls Nigeria should avoid.
Yesterday, they wailed under the aegis of a self-agitation body in the Eastern part. Today, they still maintain their unpatriotic notions. They only faked mantra and opted for a new appellation, 'obidients'; while seeking support from the South West, a region that housed their "betrayals" and the North, whose inhabitants they once besmirched with unprintable names like "illiterates" and "beggars". Their camp is a cornucopia of intolerant supporters and political narcissists who bully and beguile supporters of other candidates.
They claim to be obedient to a man with a stench of decomposed certificates, who has no idea of what good governance entails. A confused jobber who had his secret laid bare by Pandoras Paper and dented by journalists in their hundreds, to have engaged in secret and unlawful investments with state-owned funds. A man under whose administration civil servants embarked on strikes - an administration defined by tribal and religious tensions. Sadly, he spent his political days on the rust side of the track and did not have the interests of the masses at heart. No, he didn't. He only pretends he does at interviews where he crams and slurs words like a weak generator.
Their counterparts with umbrellas, in their unrealistic struggles, are obedient to a man who has been vying for the Nigerian presidency since before the birth of some of his wokè supporters. A man with weak political influence who even lost at his own polling unit in the last general elections. A man whose principal tagged "very corrupt", yelling that God wouldn't forgive him if he supports him after knowing of his various bribery and corruption scandals at the local and international levels.
These mint-fresh supporters who are obedient to a half-Biafran and those who are obedient to a half-Cameroonian should rather be obedient to a full Nigerian who understands the plight of his fellow Nigerians better. We all should rather be obedient to Tinubu, whose name is just another six-letter word for "genius". A political don who has made successful men and technocrats like himself. We should all pitch our tents with a man with a laudable track record—a successful man who skyrocketed Lagos' internally generated revenue from 600m in 1999 to 51b today. His unforgettable footprints in Lagos have made the country richer than 50 out of the 55 countries on the continent of Africa. None of his counterparts can boast of this.
During his reign as Lagos state governor, 442 road projects were signed, with 308 of them completed in five years, among other mammoth infrastructural strides he took. The Asiwaju we should be obedient to, recognized that a good economy and infrastructure are meaningless when citizens' lives are jeopardized, so he established the Rapid Response Squad (RRS), which has and continues to be one of the best police units in the country. He outperformed himself so much that he even completed projects that were not even on the exclusive list. Many Lagosians wouldn't believe they weren't in abroad with stable electricity, all thanks to his Independent Power Project (IPP) which, at inception, had generated 90 megawatts!
The Jagaban to whom we should all be obedient is free of corruption and embezzlement; even Obasanjo, who despised him so much that he withheld Lagos state allocation when he was the President could not trace any mess to his feet with the EFCC, which he created and sometimes used to witch-haunt opposition. Not even Nuhu Ribadu who was arguably the best EFCC chairman till date, could trace any corruption to Asiwaju, but rather gave credence to him.
Tinubu understands beyond words that education is a tool to combat poverty and guarantee the younger ones a better tomorrow. He activated the provision of free education in all public primary and secondary schools, and also paid WAEC/NECO fees as well as all internal examinations, ensuring that indigent children do not drop out of school—irrespective of their states of origin. A stride which totalled 1.4 Billion - for eight consecutive years. Does one even mention the N127 million he disbursed as bursary/scholarship awards to over 4,000 students in tertiary institutions?
The Asiwaju we should rather be obedient to, completed general health projects that were abandoned. He implemented public health care facilities per ward—one general hospital per local government. He turned LASUTH into one of the leading teaching hospitals in the country and also increased primary healthcare facilities from 160 to 210. Adding about 60 or 50 extra PHC in different wards. Who among their principals can beat their chests with these extraordinary feats?
The Tinubu we should rather be obedient to is a tolerantist and unifier, who worked with people of diversed religion and ethnicity. Despite being a Muslim, his own wife is a pentecostal pastor, with his children opting for the religions of their choices. He worked with men from diverse faiths, states, and ethnic groups. A Ben Akabueze, who hails from Anambra, where the 'obedients' principal hails from was made a commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget during Tinubu's reign as the governor. Can the 'obedients' principal boast of same? Even men from North where the 'Mikano' man hails from enjoyed rare privilege from Asiwaju. Lai Mohammed, a northern man was even Tinubu's Chief of Staff. This is the unifier we should rather be obedient to. He will surely unify us regardless of our indifferences. Do one even talk of many people whose lives he has touched positively, or many he had set free from the schackles of health, life and financial challenges? How many do one mention in unrivaled achievement and personality of Asiwaju? How many do one count in Adipele's multilayered dentition?
They turned blind eyes to all these but rather submerged Asiwaju in a gale of mockery because of his physical strength. Yes, his physical strength is gradually answering the call of nature as a result of his old age, which many of those who mock him should rather pray to live. But regardless of his physical weakness, Asiwaju is ever good without guile; he's neither going to Aso-Rock to run a marathon nor throw punches. He's going there to lead us with his mental strength, which has continued to get better with age like wine; and his intelligence, which got him a first class degree from Chicago University. He's going there to rule us with the same brain he used to turn Lagos' story from bad to good; the same brain he used to take First National Bank of Chicago, General Motors, GRC, Delloite and other companies he has worked with to the peak of excellence.
Their emotional chants about his old age and health challenge will not pull a hair from informed citizens; Michael Aoun, the current president of Lebanon is 88; Salman Abdul Aziz, leader of Saudi is currently 86, Joe Biden of USA is currently 79, all officially older than Tinubu. Health wise, Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of USA had alzheimer disease while he was the president. Yet, his administration is regarded as one of the best till date. Or do one mention John F Kennedy who had digestive issues, chronic back conditions, hypoadrenalism and anemia, yet his impact was seriously felt during and after the World war II; Dwight Eisenhower, the 34th American president, also had serious abdominal adhesions, yet money rained when he reigned. How many do one continue to mention from the long list of great world leaders who defied health challenges to lead their people to prosperity? As informed patriots, we'll rather block ears from their chants of hate and be focused on the main deal: getting Asiwau to the helm of Nigeria's affairs, come 2023.
In the best interest of Nigeria, we should rather be obedient to Tinubu as Nigeria's next president; for only he can drive Nigeria to the shores of grace. In the lyrical rendition of musical maestro, K1 De Ultimate, "Eeyan to mọn ibi ti bata tin tawa lẹsẹ, o un ni ka ran ni ṣe la'n sọ. Asiwaju lo lese" (Only he who understands where shoes pinch us should be allowed to rule us. And only Asiwaju does). We should all be obedient to Asiwaju, who understands our ordeals and would relieve us from these woes.
Hashim Yussuf Amao writes from Ibadan