26th March, 2012
The head of the Tinubu family in Lagos, Rafiu Olubodun Tinubu, has disclosed that while growing up, former Governor of Lagos, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, was stubborn.
This may have given him an advantage in the radical strategies he has adopted so far in the struggle for a better society for Nigerians.
Mr. Rafiu said this after a walking exercise that was held in Bola Tinubu’s honour on Sunday, despite the heavy rains, to mark his 60th birthday.
Asked to describe the man that has become a rallying point in Yoruba land, Mr. Rafiu said: “I don’t even know what to say about him other than to thank God for bringing him out of the family. He is a pride to all of us.
“Even though the name, Tinubu, connoted respect and dignity when we were young, it has expanded with more honour and increased in popularity.
“Now, when we mention our name as Tinubu, the first question people ask is: are you a brother to the Asiwaju? It is a pride. We pray that he enjoys many more years in good health and in wisdom to be able to achieve more than he has achieved so far.”
According to him, like most people at their early stages of life, “Bola was stubborn, like every growing up child; he played on the streets, though the streets were not like they are now.
“But despite this stubbornness, he had an attitude to assist people wherever the opportunity called. Even now, if you meet him and tell him you want something, he may say he cannot do it, but just persist and he would get it done for you.
“When he was still in office, if he came out and saw people waiting to see him he would say ‘haa! I can’t see anybody right now oh! I am tired’ and everybody would go and sit down, but when he would come out later, he would attend to them all.”
He said Asiwaju showed characteristics of greatness right from his childhood as he was always looking for opportunities to assist people. Bintu Tinubu, the most senior wife in the Tinubu family and organizer of the walk, called the former Governor a darling husband and caring father, who one could rely on.
“When you have Asiwaju, you have everything one can have in life,” she said, adding that she decided to organize the walk for medical practitioners to educate the people about their health and ways to preserve their lives.
A member of the state House of Assembly, Abdulbaq Ladi-Balogun expressed delight at the turnout of participants in the exercise, noting that it showed how great the former governor is perceived by the people.
“We are very impressed with the turnout because we have been able to see that Asiwaju is someone everyone wants to associate with. We have taken a walk from Awolowo Road down to City Hall, and people have had access to screening of their eyes and their blood pressure. I must tell you that the turnout is very impressive,” Ladi Balogun said.
He described Tinubu as one who believes that constitutional democracy must thrive.
Gbolahan Yishawu, another Lagos lawmaker, said the walk which Tinubu partook in had negated the rumour peddled recently about his health, adding, “you can see how agile he still is at that age.
“I am happy to be part of the walk today and for people who don’t exercise regularly; this is an opportunity to see the advantages of doing exercises.
“He has done more than people in the age bracket could have done. Which other political icon is a rallying point that other people can look up to the way people do with Asiwaju?”
He said he wished Tinubu would become a President to take the country to the promised land even though he is sure that such position would take its toll on him.
“We have been missing it for many years, but with people like Asiwaju, we would get it once and for all.
Tinubu, while thanking those who participated, including Abimbola Fashola and Shefat Aregbesola, First Ladies of Lagos and Osun states respectively, urged the Federal Government to come to the aid of the aged in the society.He decried a situation where the budget of the health sector of the country is smaller than the amount allocated to the Niger Delta Ministry, saying this is a challenge.
He also admonished Local Government chairmen in the Lagos state to support the state government with infrastructure and provision of basic dividends to the people who voted for them.
Other Lagosians who attended the event included Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Deputy Speaker Taiwo Kolawole, members of the state House of Assembly and members of the state Executive Council.
Tinubu said the rain was a blessing as it was common for the sky to ‘release its blessings’ every time any member of the Tinubu family was celebrating.
Meanwhile, two grand events have been scheduled to honour the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) this week.
As announced by the planning committee of the birthday, there would be a parliamentary session for him by members of the state Assembly on Wednesday and a colloquium and presentation of a book titled: Asiwaju: Leader In Troubled Times.
On Thursday, there would be prayers and tributes for him at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere.