Home Interview Tinubu has never been a religious bigot, means well for Nigeria – ex-aide

Tinubu has never been a religious bigot, means well for Nigeria – ex-aide

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For eight years, Dr Dapo Thomas served as Special Assistant to the then Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. An international scholar, writer, teacher, Thomas has a deep understanding of Nigerian and international politics. In this interview, he brings his knowledge to bear on contemporary issues including the Muslim-Muslim ticket and the politics of 2023.

Interview conducted by Efemena Onodjae

How did you meet Bola Ahmed Tinubu?

I met him in 1991 through my uncle, Dr Frederick Fasegun Machado, who was a big politician in Lagos State before he died. The two of them were in the same Dapo Sarumi faction of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Besides, Bola Tinubu’s campaign office was right opposite my house in Otigba Street, now known as Computer Village, Ikeja. At that time, the young members of the SDP rebelled against Alhaji Lateef Jakande for what they called: “Oga s’ope” (The leader’s endorsement). The rebellion was led by Sarumi, Kola Oseni, Machado, Hakeem Giwa, Bola Tinubu, Sunbo Onitiri, Ademola Adeniji-Adele, Yomi Edu, Rahman Owokoniran, Omolayo Thomas and AA in Alimosho. Most of the “rebels” were from Lagos Island. The Jakande faction was led by Muniru Baruwa, Olatunji Hamzat, (father of the present Deputy Governor of Lagos State), Prof. (Femi) Agbalajobi and others.

It was an exciting rebellion that saw the two factions presenting two gubernatorial candidates against the NRC’s (National Republican Convention) sole candidate, Sir Michael Otedola, Femi Otedola’s father. Eventually, the National Executive Committee of the SDP disqualified both Sarumi and Agbalajobi and settled for Yomi Edu as the governorship candidate and my uncle, Machado as his deputy. In the general election, the SDP lost to Otedola because the Jakande faction decided to vote for NRC against the SDP. I was a journalist then with the Daily Times. It was in the course of reporting all these events that I got so close to the group in general and Tinubu in particular. All my exclusive reports then were as a result of this closeness and connection to the Sarumi group.

What year did your uncle introduce you to Tinubu?

It was in 1991, during the NRC and SDP election. I was on the campaign trail for the group, so that I could get exclusive gist from them. As a result of this involvement, I got so close to all of them. One day while preparing to go out for campaign, my uncle just said it casually to Tinubu: “Bola, this is my brother. He lives opposite you. He is a journalist. Please take care of him”. That house belongs to Kafaru Tinubu. His children, Wale and Deji Tinubu were like my brothers because they were friends to my younger brother who died in February this year. Bola Tinubu was using the top floor of the three-storey building as his campaign office, while Kafaru Tinubu and his family were on the second floor. He was contesting for the Lagos West Senatorial seat. That’s how we started our relationship.

Since 1999 that you worked with him as Special Adviser, have you ever had any disagreement with him?

Yes, we had one that was very serious. I thank God that it happened. It happened on 25 May 2007, four days to (Babatunde Raji) Fashola’s swearing-in ceremony. I was the Chairman of all the Special Assistants. I was directly responsible to the Governor. Most of the other SAs were resident in different ministries, either working directly with the commissioners or overseeing the ministries for the Governor. There were three other colleagues that had been with him before he became the Governor. They were also integrated into the system as Special Assistants . As the Chairman, I got to know that severance package had been given to commissioners and permanent secretaries. I took up the case of the SAs with the Governor in one of our normal morning discussions /meetings but he didn’t take me seriously. On 25 May 2007, a send forth ceremony was organised for Tinubu by the state government. The creme de la creme of the state were invited – judges, magistrates, legislators, the in-coming Governor and his wife, business monguls, bankers, entrepreneurs, and government officials including members of the dissolved Executive Council (EXCO), which had been dissolved by 22 May.

One of the anchors of the event came to inform me that I had been selected as one of the three people that would speak about Tinubu. When it was time to talk, instead of eulogising and praising him for a job well done, I veered off completely from what people expected me to say by raising the issue of the exclusion of the SAs in the severance package arrangements. In fact, to the shock of so many of the guests, I called the act “Use and Dump”. The two other speakers, Tunji Bello, one of the commissioners; and Mrs Damọla Akran, a Permanent Secretary, placated him with sweet exhortations. After the ceremony, I went straight to my house. I was reflecting on the incident when my phone rang. It was Mr Sunny Àjọṣe, Special Adviser to the Governor. He said oga (Tinubu) would like to see me and that I should come with the list of all the special assistants. I was stunned. Do you know that after the ceremony, instead of going to his house, because it was late, Tinubu reconstituted the EXCO, summoned all the members to an emergency meeting and approved all the prayers I put in the protest letter written earlier. Two things here: his humility and his respect for due diligence. Only a humble leader would overlook my indulgent exuberance and still accede to all my demands. Two, the approval was what he could do executively but he still went through the trouble of reconstituting the EXCO for that purpose. Since that day, my respect for him grew by leaps and bounds, as Shakespeare would say. The interesting part of the story is that I thought he would never forgive me. So, I stayed away from him for about one year after we left office. I didn’t go to him until September 2008. The first thing he said was: “Dapo Thomas, where have you been”? As I was about to explain myself, he gave me an invite to represent him at the 70th anniversary of Ikoyi Club. Since then, the relationship between us has been very good and respectfully cordial.

There is a growing fear that Tinubu is an ethnic bigot who hates the Igbo with passion. First, they said he never went to the South East to campaign during the primary and that there is no South East person on his campaign team, according to a list that has gone viral.

Let me first admit that I saw the list and I am not happy with the composition of the campaign team. But that is if the list is true because people post all manner of things in the social media these days. We are in a season of propaganda. The reason I am not happy is because of the exclusion of people from the SE. One of my friends who is from the South East had called my attention to the fact that he (Tinubu) did not visit the  South East during the primary – an accusation that I later confirmed to be true. All these are unfortunate. However, I want to disagree with you on some of the things you said about him.

You called him an ethnic bigot and that he hates the Igbo. On the first issue, I disagree with you that he is an ethnic bigot. In the whole of South West when he was Governor of Lagos State, Tinubu was the only Governor who appointed two notable Igbo sons into his cabinet. These guys are still in government at the state and federal levels. I am talking about Joe Igbokwe and Ben Akabueze. I will want you to help me find out if we had or have any Igbo Governor who appointed two Yoruba sons into their cabinets between 1999 and 2007.

Secondly, we employed 2,000 graduates in 2000 to usher in the millennium. As the Special Assistant, I was given some slots. Through one of my Igbo friends and my younger sister, two Igbo people were on my list. The then Head of Service wanted to remove them from the list because he said they are Igbo. I reported to Tinubu and he summoned the HoS and scolded him in my presence. He told the HoS: “Are Igbo not Nigerians? My instruction was clear: let us employ 2,000 Nigerians to usher in the new millennium. I didn’t say Lagosians”. The two of them are directors in the Lagos State Civil Service today. Another Igbo that I got into LASU (Lagos State University) through Tinubu is the Secretary to the Vice Chancellor as of today. Please go and ask for Mrs Onwordi in LASU. With the little facts I gave you, I am sure you will agree with me that Tinubu doesn’t hate the Igbo.

Dr Dapo Thomas

What is your position on his Muslim-Muslim ticket?

This is one of the evil backlash of Ibrahim Babangida’s eight-year maradonic reign as Nigeria’s President. You know, because of his desperation to hang on to power, there was no evil shrine that Babangida did not visit for communion service with power deities. It must have been during one of such communion services or consultations with his fraternal ghommids that he was told to tinker with the peace of the nation. One peaceful morning, the man woke up to inform the nation that Nigeria has joined the Organisation of Islamic countries. Some of us thought it was a ceramic joke that was uttered by a man who considered everyday as April fool’s day. Though we were told that we had withdrawn from the organisation officially after so much national hoopla, the nation has already inhaled the stench of this religious putrefaction with its attendant eternal contamination.

Having given you the background to this fragile insanity, let me submit that as a social scientist, there is no way I can condemn a political party which prioritises electoral victory above religious mollification. My position hinges on the belief that politicians, regardless of their operational territories, invest in the enterprise called politics with one sole objective: to win power. The strategy is to always place a premium on expediency rather than impropriety. How do you go for an arrangement that pacifies a section of your party members but guarantees you no electoral victory? What is the cost or consequence of an arrangement that makes a section of your membership happy in the short run but leaves the entire party spectrum in quandary in the long run? I am so sure that all relevant variables, both dependent and independent, must have been evaluated and interrogated before the final decision was made. Already, I can see that churches have turned themselves to campaign grounds. I think we are unwittingly sliding into faith politics thus encouraging spiritual opportunism. Our focus should be how to invest in a perceptive individual with the potential for good governance as Nigeria’s next President after eight years of a marabout Fulani presidency. By the way, we should always remember that whoever eventually emerges the President, the Vice President, the Governor or Deputy Governor ceases to be a Christian or a Moslem as he is now the father of the nation or father of the state, as the case may be. When you vote for a candidate as the President and another one as the Vice President and you expect them to be operating in their different religious modes, you are calling for anarchy. By doing this, we are helping to fester Babangida’s concentric anomaly thereby engendering the polity. How much protection has Buhari given the Muslims that are being slaughtered by blood-thirsty bandits and kidnappers that sprawl our territorial space? Ditto Yemi Osinbajo.

Honestly, if Tinubu is going to lose the election, it should not be for this tendentious hyphenated combo tagged Muslim-Muslim ticket. During his tenure as Governor of Lagos State, he was more sympathetic and sentimental towards the Christians. He was very close to Wilson Badejo, former General Overseer of Foursquare Gospel Church; Primate Sunday Mbang, and Pastor E. A. Adeboye. He was the one who initiated the January Thanksgiving in Lagos State. This has been on since 2001 till date. In fact, Pastor Adeboye presides over it year in, year out. It was during his time that LASTMA (Lagos State Traffic Management Authority) was drafted to Redemption Camp to control traffic. I know they are still being used for traffic purposes till today. I supervised the deployment in 2002 in conjunction with Pastor Fola Aboaba who sent us the request letter.

I don’t think any of these three pastors I have mentioned earlier will tell their members not to vote for Tinubu. Tinubu, like any Lagos boy, is very liberal when it comes to religion and that’s the way we do it in Lagos. Hardly can you find a family in Lagos that doesn’t have this religious amalgam. I am a pentecostal Christian, for instance, and my mother and some of my siblings are Muslims. I never made any attempt to convert them because it is the way we do it in Lagos. So, the fear that Tinubu will subscribe to an Islamisation agenda is unfounded. Let one person come forward with incontrovertible evidence to show that he had that tendency when he was Lagos State Governor for eight years.

Let’s talk about the certificate saga…

It is still part of the whole scheme of “let’s rattle him”. Is there any university in the world that will admit a student into a degree programme without a secondary school certificate? Thank God, Chicago State University is a reputable institution, not one of your run-of-the-mill universities. We said he had worked in several transnational and multinational companies for so many years. Thousands of Nigerians have paid US$15 to verify and confirm the genuineness of his Chicago State University certificate. The school has confirmed it. So, what more? Since he has fulfilled one of the requirements in the electoral law, what is the furore about?

They said because he is seeking the highest office in the land, he should give them the reasons for the non-disclosure of his primary and secondary schools.

Do you really think that will end the campaign against him? He is a politician. He knows when people are being mischievous. He has given the names of his university and all the companies he worked for. Obviously, these people have his records. But come to think of it, at this level, should we not be talking about issues like insecurity, the sick economy, infrastructural development, health, housing, unemployment, education, living conditions of the citizens, inflation, youth and women empowerment? Methinks these are the things that should engage our attention not the name of the primary school a 70-year-old man attended. How does that put food on the common man’s table?

What was Tinubu’s role in National Democratic Coalition (NADECO)?

NADECO was a movement founded by some activists to help restore and promote democracy, which we lost in 1983 when the Buhari-Idiagbon government removed Shehu Shagari from office in a bloodless coup. We were almost regaining it when Babaginda truncated it in 1993. NADECO was thus formed in May 1994 after Sani Abacha removed Ernest Shonekan as Interim National Chairman and declared himself the new Head of State. MKO Abiola, who won the election, was arrested and killed in jail. Most of the human rights activists and politicians including Tinubu, operating within the Nigerian space went into exile when they saw the spate of assassinations going on in the country. Tinubu was the major financier of NADECO movement The international community recognised NADECO as the mouthpiece for Nigeria’s democratic struggle. Consequent upon NADECO’s campaign, most countries did not recognise Abacha’s government. A lot of things happened during that time. So, by the time Abacha died, Abubakar Abdulsalam. who succeeded him, quickly came up with a transition programme to usher in the present Republic. As they say, the rest is history.

With his health challenge, how can he lead a country like Nigeria?

Your question reminds me of what Ayo Fayose said when Buhari won the 2015 presidential election. He said Buhari would not live long in power because of his health. But because Fayose is not God, look at Buhari, he is still kicking. He did the first term, he didn’t fall. He is almost completing his second term and he is still standing. So, what health challenge does Tinubu have? He did knee surgery, so what? Knee surgery is not a terminal disease. People are saying that his hands are shaking and therefore he cannot hold the flag. Some even said he cannot hold a biro. I have some documents that he minuted on with his own hand in my library. The only difference between the two of us is that what will take me five minutes to write may take him six minutes. Even with all of that, he still performed well as Lagos State Governor. Did you know that since Tinubu came back from London in June 2021, he has only travelled out once and that was before the primary? He only spent one or two weeks. That was when he went to London to meet with members of  All Progressives Congress (APC), London. Since then, he has been traveling all over the country moving to the north and south, east and west. The man was not relenting in his campaign and this showed in the results of the primary when he defeated his opponents with a landslide.

So , I don’t think there’s any health challenge with Tinubu. It’s unfair for people to talk about what they don’t know. Before the Primary, he was moving to every nook and cranny of Nigeria, meeting with traditional rulers and delegates. If you know him very well, he does not joke with his campaign at all. Look at the result of his campaign in 2003. He was the only Governor in the South West that won his election. The PDP took all the South West states except Lagos. He was then referred to as the last man standing.

He is believed to be too old…

There’s nothing wrong with his age. He is 70. He looks older than his age possibly because of his intense involvement in political struggle since he got involved in politics more than three decades ago. Besides, when you are a politician, everything about your anatomy comes under public interrogation. Your opponents, for public entertainment, take delight in creating controversies around you as a way of distracting you from the things that are of more of strategic importance. He has been into so many things at the same time since I knew him in 1991. It started with his Senatorial campaign in 1991. Because I covered the campaign as a journalist, I can tell you confidently that Tinubu ran the campaign like a gubernatorial race. Meanwhile, he was just a Senatorial candidate for Lagos West. Then, he won the election, went to the Senate. He was one of the most active Senators. From there, he went into exile to found the NADECO with other activists abroad in May 1994. He was in the struggle till 1999 when he contested for the governorship position in Lagos State. As his Special Assistant for eight years, I can tell you that those eight years were years of enormous physical stress. When he left office in 2007, you would think that he was going to rest but he never did. That was the time he decided to undertake the expansion of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which along with other parties coalesced into the APC. Since the APC was formed till he won the primary in May this year, he has never rested. Now tell me, who will not age under those kinds of circumstances? I still believe that he is not looking bad at 70. All he needs to do is to find time to rest, but I doubt if he can create that time for himself. He is an RPM meaning restless political machine.

On emi lo kan

He said emi lo kan to articulate a fact of Nigeria’s political reality. And what is this reality? Since the progressive machinery had been established right from the time of AD (Alliance for Democracy), ACN and APC, he had been a recurring phenomenon in the entire transitioning. I think the proper thing is to even take the metamorphosis from the period of NADECO. When you take NADECO as the take-off point for the progressive movement, you will appreciate the emi lo kan mantra. First, he was the brain behind the formation of NADECO. Not only that, he was more or less the sole financier of NADECO. Secondly, he was one of the major financiers of the AD, ACN and APC all through their transitional phases. Third, he has never at any point left the progressive clan like some politicians who had flirted circumferentially between APC and PDP, entering and exiting the two parties like nocturnal scavengers . At different times, he had sponsored, supported and financed the presidential projects of people like Olu Falae, Atiku Abubakar, Nuhu Ribadu, Fola Adeọla, Muhammadu Buhari. So, if you look at his trajectory as an activist, politician and as Governor of Lagos State, you will realise the emotions behind emi lo kan. From whatever perspective or sentiment you appraise the emi lo kan mantra, you will see the truism of its realism. In essence, the emi lo kan mantra is a patriotic invocation inspired by genuine legitimation for “service voluntarism” after a sequential gestation of selfless apprenticeship and serial concessions. Let’s be fair, all those who had been Presidents of this country from (Olusegun) Obasanjo to Buhari, what were their contributions to the struggle for democracy? Let me leave it like that.

You have worked with him for eight years. What are Tinubu’s achievements?

Let me just mention few of his achievements in Lagos. The light rail project was his initiative. I can tell you confidently that the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) was his baby. We had bought in the buses. We had commenced the BRT corridors before we left. The famous Lekki-Osborne bridge was his idea. In fact, he was the one who obtained the permit to build the bridge across the waters from Presidnt Umaru Yar Adua. But it was built by Fashola. He dualised the LASU-Iba Road to reduce the high rate of accidents on that route. He started the expansion of the Mile 2-Badagry Expressway. He upgraded most of, if not all, the health centres in Lagos State to General Hospitals. He upgraded the Ikeja General Hospital to a teaching hospital, now known as LASUTH (Lagos State University Teaching Hospital). Tinubu is known as pathfinder because he was the person that rejuvenated governance in Lagos. He was the first governor in Nigeria to introduce the office of Chief of Staff.

So when he came, he made governance very dynamic.

As a pathfinder, Tinubu was the one that increased the state IGR (Internally Generated Revenue) from N600 millon to over N10 billon. He created the Ministry of Establishment, Training and Job Creation. He also created the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation. All these ministries were created to expand the scope of governance to the grassroots in Lagos State. He was the one that created the Drain Ducks to tackle the issue of flooding in the state. We don’t see much flooding in Lagos now as before. What we have now is flash flooding. That is expected because Lagos is about two metres, that’s six feet above sea level.

He did something that first of its kind in any part of the world. He employed 2,000 graduates to usher in the new millennium. You know what that means in terms of salaries and wages. We are talking of injecting 2,000 middle level manpower into a workforce that was already considered bloated. Mind you, we did not do any retrenchment exercise to accommodate the new ones. The only retrenchment that was done was in 2001 when Obasanjo unilaterally increased the minimum wage without carrying all the states along. And you know that right from Day One of his administration, he had started advocating for true fiscal federalism. Honestly, the introduction of those 2,000 graduates called Millennium Staff could only have been done by an economic genius. Not only that. The creation of agencies like LASTMA, KAI Kick Against Indiscipline), LAMATA (Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority), Drain Ducks, etc opened up job opportunities for thousands of low-cadre personnel in the state. He modernised waste management which is LAWMA (The Lagos Waste Management Authority). He introduced an Oracle-driven pay system to address the issue of ghost workers. That’s another novel achievement of Tinubu’s administration, the introduction of Oracle. No state government or even the Federal Government ever did that. He opened up most of the rural areas through massive construction of roads and dualisation of existing ones. I can go on and on. But one thing that is clear is that there was no part of humanity and geography that Tinubu never touched when he was the governor of Lagos State.

Corruption allegations levelled against him…

First, let me say that there is a prevailing weird perception of politicians in Nigeria. I am not sure if it is primordial or experiential. It is a stigma that anyone in government inherits as a medal the moment he/she is elected or appointed. The moment you come into politics, you have been stigmatised as a corrupt person. I don’t know the explanation for this but that’s the truth. For instance, if you were working on a business proposal or a project and probably the business was stalling due to some bureaucracy or unfathomable logistics. While waiting for the business to cut the mustard, you got a political appointment. Two weeks or three weeks in government, the business you had been working on before your appointment now came through. And then you had to resign your appointment in order to concentrate on the business. You eventually made millions from the deal. Tragically, these millions will be linked to your three weeks sojourn in power. Meanwhile, during your three weeks in government, maybe they were still searching for an office for you. Can you imagine the tragic linkage? Talking about Tinubu, all I can say is that a man who worked at the executive cadre in multinational and transnational companies like Arthur Anderson, Deloitte, Haskins & Sells, GTE Services Corporation and Mobil Oil Nigeria; a man who financed almost 65/70 percent of the NADECO struggle – the philosophical and operational machinery of Nigeria’s democracy – for almost six years; a man who personally funded his election in 1999 (I am sure you know what it takes to contest for governorship seat in Lagos, it’s a mini presidential election) should be indulged with some providential believability. I won’t say more than that. I have already established a theoretical premise for my position. I wish you could research into his NADECO years and see if anybody was talking about Tinubu being corrupt. I will be glad if you can show me a single publication between 1993 and 1998 talking about Tinubu being corrupt. I wish you knew what it means to fight a government from abroad for 6 years spending hard currency. Meanwhile, he was only in the Senate for just one year, 1992/1993. He was not even the Senate President. So, why did people not ask him then where he got his money from? They are asking him now because power is involved. Some people only know how to spend money to seek power but they don’t know how to spend money to grade the road to power. There is nothing more to add. But if we sustain this perception that every politician is a thief, good and rich men who want to genuinely serve will be scared of coming into politics.

Secondly, I think the only incontrovertible way you can say that a person is corrupt without putting yourself in trouble is if the person had been indicted or convicted for corruption by a Tribunal or a court of competent jurisdiction. Former Governors that I know that were convicted for corruption include James Ngilari of Adamawa State (five years), Joshua Dariye of Plateau State (13 years), Jolly Nyame of Taraba State (14 years), Lucky Igbinedion of Edo State (six months), James Ibori of Delta State (14 years), Orji Uzor Kanu of Abia State (12 years). Tinubu was tried for corruption but was found not guilty. So, as at now, if indictment and conviction remain the two indices to determine if someone is corrupt or not, then we can safely say that Tinubu is not corrupt since he has never been indicted or convicted in any part of the world for corruption.

The third side to corruption is the Social Media Parliamentary Assembly. In this assembly, anything goes. All politicians are thieves. None of them is clean. Woe betide anyone who says a politician is not corrupt when the assembly says he is. This is the beauty of democracy.

How did you become Tinubu’s Special Assistant?

That takes me to our reunion. Like I told you, we have been together since 1991 and he takes me as his brother. I was not around when his government was inaugurated in May 1999 . Sometime in October 1999, there was a controversy about him, so, I wrote an article titled, The Only Wise One. Somehow, he heard about me from my friends, Femi Falana, Femi Ojudu and Bayo Onanuga. Well, through Falana, he invited me to Governor’s office, Alausa. At the meeting, he offered me the position of Director of Information, which I rejected immediately and I gave him my reasons. I respectfully told him that I would not accept anything short of reporting directly to him. He then asked me to write whatever position I wanted except Personal Assistant as he already had one. He also told me to outline the functions of the position. Eventually, I demanded for the position of Special Assistant to the Governor in the memo (I still have a copy in my library). As they say, the rest is history.

What do you think about the outcome of the Osun State governorship election?

The first thing we have to understand is that local politics has its own peculiarities. The outcome of election at the local level is determined by a menu of factors. In this instance, let me try and identify some of the factors in this order: incumbent’s performance rating, cellular reprobates, Ede-Osogbo terminal reunion, family pedigrees and Serubawon renaissance, Davido’s flex, Portable’s nuances, general economic conditions and Tinubu’s campaign gaffes.

Initially, I thought the incumbent, Alhaji Isiaka Oyetola didn’t perform well but I later learnt that he actually performed better than his predecessor, Rauf Aregbesola in the last four years. What now happened? Cellular reprobates at work, or what Yoruba will call, iku ile. This is a very strong factor in that those working against you are people who know all your moves and secrets. They are in different cells. They may be disgruntled party members who want more attention paid to stomach infrastructure. Some may be those who had dined with you before. Some may even be dining with you at the moment, yet, they are working against you. They are former and present “insiders” whose egos and interests had been circumvented and are bent on bringing you down using their knowledge of you to achieve their objective. If an incumbent is losing election in his unit/ward, it means your killers are within your premises.

Besides, in a very unexpected move, Ede and Osogbo people made a very rare reunion just for the purpose of bringing down a “common enemy”. They may go back to their primordial rivalry anytime soon, but for now, Oyetola is out. In addition, the Adeleke family haa an unquestionable pedigree in philanthropy while one of them, Isiaka Adeleke, popularly known as Serubawon, who was a Governor of Osun State, was credited with remarkable accomplishments during his tenure. Furthermore, the influence of Davido on the youths in the state also worked for his “dancing uncle”. His fame and name combined to galvanise and energise youth mobilisation for his uncle’s installation. Conversely, the nuances and uncharismatic malfeasance of his counterpart (Portable) in the Oyetola’s camp spelt disaster for the incumbent and now, o ti zeh. Finally, the APC’s style of governance, the economic conditions and some of the gaffes made by Tinubu also played disastrous role in Oyetola’s ousting.

The question now is: what will be the implication of this outcome on the presidential election in 2023? Nothing as far as I am concerned. It happened in Lagos State in 1992 when the Jakande faction voted for the NRC’s candidate, Otedola in the governorship election but still went ahead to vote for MKO Abiola in the 1993 presidential election. However, this should be a wake up call for the APC to put its house in order before the presidential election next year. There is still time for that.

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