By Adebola Adeyeye
It was indeed a glorious day for the revered National Leader and the All Progressives Congress, Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Saturday at the APC Presidential and Lagos Gubernatorial campaign flag-off.
The campaign venue, the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos was filled to the brim. The mammoth party supporters spilled to the pitch and overflows of the stadium. It was a show of loyalty and love for the man who has done well for Lagos and the people. As early as 7 am, APC members and supporters and Lagosians have begun to converge on the stadium for the mother of all rallies!
Before noon, activities have revved up in the stadium with goodwill messages from notable party stalwarts and nollywood actors endorsing the Tinubu/ Shettima candidature and also all APC candidates. The crowd waited patiently for the arrival of the presidential candidate and his entourage.
Alas, the big masquerade arrived in the company of trusted proteges he had mentored – Former Governor Babatunde Fashola, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Senator representing Lagos East, Tokunbo Abiru, House of Representatives Speaker, Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila and other political associates, including the APC National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, and some state governors.
All clad in white Agbada with the APC insignia and the signature Asiwaju caps, they rode in a double-decker with open roof from Marina enroute Funsho Williams Avenue to Teslim Balogun Stadium, the campaign venue, Lagosians trooped to the streets to cheer the builder of modern Lagos and his entourage.
Asiwaju Tinubu was fulfilled as a statesman, seeing men he mentored in leadership standing with him when it mattered most! And these are not loafers in the polity. They are pace setters, achievers in the national and sub-national governments in Nigeria.
Asiwaju’s successor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, was the litmus test of Tinubu’s leadership recruitment dexterity. He brought Fashola forward as the best man for the job in 2007. BRF, performed excellently to the admiration of Lagosians and all Nigerians. He became a posterboy for good governance which undoubtedly aided his appointment as a super minister in the Buhari government.
The current Lagos State governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, also an alumnus of Asiwaju school of politics and governance is breaking new frontiers in Infrastructure, Health, Education, and others in furtherance of the Lagos Master Plan envisioned by Asiwaju Tinubu.
Tokunbo Abiru, an accomplished accountant and seasoned economist and administrator, is another star that emerged from the Tinubu leadership mill. Abiru, a former Lagos State Commissioner of Finance was head-hunted by Asiwaju Tinubu for the Lagos East Senatorial District assignment in 2020.
Abiru, who is fondly called the #DoingGood Senator is making the Leader, the entire party and Lagos East constituents proud with his outstanding achievements in less than two years in the saddle. He has facilitated many projects within a short period, including 40 bed health facilities in 3 locations across the district.
Every month, Abiru supports over 2500 vulnerable people under his COVID-19 Relief Scheme with stipends, the Senator also facilitated SUKUK funding for Ikorodu/Sagamu Road which is almost completed, he facilitated 960-Capacity Stadium in Epe, and remodelled the popular Oluwo Fish Market. He also facilitated constructions of blocks of classrooms across Lagos East Senatorial District.
The #DoingGood Senator also provided N300 Million(Three Hundred Million Naira) Constituency Intervention Revolving Loan at 6% per annum for MSMEs in the District.
The Senator, who is a core professional in politics, understands the dynamics of the fourth Industrial Revolution which conceptualises rapid change to technology, industries, and societal patterns and processes in the 21st century due to increasing interconnectivity and smart automation. To prepare young people for the enormous opportunities in Innovation, digital and technology, he established Senator Abiru Innovation Lab (SAIL), the first of its kind Innovation Hub in Lagos East.
Rt Hon Olufemi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House is also an exemplary leader who has positively changed legislative narrative in Nigeria. Across Surulere, the imprints of excellence service of Gbajabiamila are very pronounced. He was also on the top of the bus with Asiwaju and the aforementioned achievers.
These illustrious men are part of the members of the great team Asiwaju had assembled for the national assignment of renewed hope project. Fashola, Sanwo-Olu, Abiru, Gbaja, Wale Edun, Dele Alake and many others are great assets to the Asiwaju political family.
Adeyeye writes from New Oko-Oba, Abule Egba