8th March, 2011
On Monday 28 February 2011 Ijeoma Nwogwugwu, a columnist and the big lady of Thisday Newspapers told the nation that our leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is playing God in Lagos and Nigerian politics. According to Ijeoma, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has made himself the Leviathan, the hippopotamus, the omnipotent, the omniscience, the ominipresence and the octopus of Lagos and Nigerian politics. For Ijeoma, Bola Ahmed Tinubu should â€œget off his high horse and stop pushing his luck. Otherwise he will wake up one day to discover that the emperor has been stripped bareâ€
Now, before I go on to educate Ijeoma on the phenomenon called Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, I will like Ijeoma Nwogwugwu to go and speak to Comrade Kayode Komolafe, another columnist with Thisday and a bosom friend of our own Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and she will learn that the biggest lesson that Rome was not built in a day. If Kayode Komolafe will be frank enough to open up to her on Asiwaju complex kingdom, his huge networks, his teeming associates, and followers, Ijeoma will run 40-40 to go and make friends with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Since Asiwaju made in roads into the tortuous and murky waters of Nigerian politics in the early 90s, I have been a committed and ardent follower of this Nigeria patriot, sage, colossus and I have not been disappointed for once. Asiwaju may have made some mistakes as a mortal but his good works far outweigh his mistakes a million times. I have met leaders in my life but Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu remains a different person with an infinite capacity to provide leadership even in difficult situations. Leaders that can match Asiwaju in actions but deeds are rare to be found.
For twelve years now, I have been crying that if we have one replica of Asiwaju in the North and the East, this country will sit up. Over the years it has been very difficult for me to find out what is in this man that pushes him to try to break his back for Nigerians and Nigeria . What will make a man to devote his life time, all his energy, all his money to work for humanity? What is it in the world that will make Nigeriaâ€™s greatest minds to sit around the Asiwaju of Africa anywhere he finds himself? What in the world will make the poorest of the poor to find solace in Asiwajuâ€™s house or his office without molestation? Some people think Asiwaju is a Yoruba leader alone but go to his house on a certain day to see things for yourself.
I have been privileged on several occasions to wine and dine with this leader and to my utmost surprise he eats little and drinks little. Over the years, I have discovered that what gives Asiwaju peace of mind is the people around him, more especially when they are people with cerebral minds, people with huge brains, the bean counters, the great thinkers. For Asiwaju, attitude is the magic word. He treats every person as the most important person on earth. In his small book titled: Lead The Field, Earl Nightingale says that â€œpeople doing an outstanding job and getting outstanding results are outstanding people and that is because of an outstanding attitudeâ€ The truth is that you do not just show up accidentally in the world series. The price of leadership must be paid to the letter. Hear Earl Nightingale again: â€œThe outstanding leader in any field is societies most valued person. Every organization needs leadership. You do not raise morale; it filters down from the top. People will always reflect the attitude of the leader. Behind every success is an outstanding leader. This leader works early and late and when not working is thinking and planningâ€. Ijeoma may not know this: Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu lays too much emphasis on ideas and values and has very deep organized focus on goals and objectives.
One of the greatest achievements I have recorded in life is the fact that I am at peace with my Creator. The second achievement is the family God gave me and the third is the day God brought me in contact with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. I have been trained, I have been taught the nitty gritty of leadership and he has opened the byways, highways, subways, and super ways to mix with the right people. In 2009 when busy bodies like Ijeoma Nwogwugwu tried to knock Governor Fasholaâ€™s head with that of Asiwaju the way she did it on February 28 2011, a seasoned writer, Jimanze Ego-Alowes shouted from the mountain top that Asiwaju remains the greatest living politician of our time and rebuked the interlopers thus: â€œwe have to forgive Tinubuâ€™s critics because there is a failure of mathematical or better statistical imagination. Their handicap is a fallout of what statisticians call survivorship bias. That is why they use and assume the real life outcome as the only possible universe. They are thus forgetting that with life as a game, all options are open and remain so. If for instance one bothered to think of a second line scenario, where Tinubu handed over to Fashola and flew away to Monaco or Mecca , it beholds on one to think out the matter fully. If Tinubu did, for instance and left Fashola alone the question or issue is not that he left Fashola alone but what would have followedâ€.
This writer has been in Lagos for more than 30 years and without sounding immodest, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu commands the type of respect Chief Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu commands in Igboland today. Just like there are people who can lay down their lives for Ojukwu in Igboland there are people who can lay down their lives for Asiwaju in Southwest and beyond Southwest. Asiwajuâ€™s loyalists and committed associates are Heads of States in Africa, Governors in Nigeria and beyond, Ministers in Nigeria and beyond, super rich men and women, professionals, intellectuals, young people etc.
Success breeds envy but those who know better tells us that envy will not only turn you green, but it will kill you. The late Chief Bola Ige of the blessed memory told us shortly before he died that â€œin every field of human endeavour, he that is first must perpetually live in the white light of publicity. Whether the leadership is vested in a man or in a manufactured product, emulation and envy are ever at work. In art, in literature, in music, in industry, the reward and the punishment are always the same. The reward is widespread recognition, the punishment fierce denial and detractionâ€. General Collin Powell, former US Chief of Joint Staff once warned us that â€œorganisation does not really accomplish anything. Plans donâ€™t accomplish anything either. Theories of Management donâ€™t matter. Endeavours succeed or fall because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best will you accomplish great deedsâ€. Asiwaju knows how to attract the best people around him and that is his strength. This is where his greatness emanates from
Finally Ijeoma may not like this but this Asiwaju I know remains â€œin the lofty peak, towering above a thousand mountains and hills, he is the sun in whose presence a million stars of heaven lose their scintillating brillianceâ€ Thanks to Mati, the Chinese logician. Over to you Ijeoma Nwogwugwu.
â€¢Joe Igbokwe, Publicity Secretary, ACN, writes from Lagos