As the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, unveiled his campaign manifesto tagged “Renewed Hope 2023” last Friday in Abuja, it can be rightly posited that, now, the fireworks have been ignited.

Campaigns, to many politicians, is like a youtube war. And everything is said to be fair in war! News and information as well as fake news and misinformation have been deployed by Asiwaju’s opponents since he made public his intention to vie for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria after a consultative visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, January of this year.

Today, Asiwaju Tinubu, who served as Lagos State Governor between 1999 and 2007, is unarguably the most talked-about politician in Nigeria. Not surprisingly too, the APC’s Tinubu/Shettima ticket has the largest number of support groups in the political history of Nigeria. Therefore, whatever Asiwaju does, says, or even gesticulates becomes the trending topic.

Every move of his is watched; speeches quoted and misquoted; proverbs reported and misreported. Like the saying of a popular brand: “Everywhere you go,” it is Asiwaju; negative and positive.

His recent trip outside the country generated so much noise to the extent that some obituary copy-writers were already getting set! As this piece was being written, the presidential flag bearer of a major opposition party was out of the country for whatever reasons, but no one seems to bother. Other presidential candidates move regularly in and out of the country but hardly can you hear people talk about them. In fact, a prominent presidential candidate lives virtually in Dubai and no eyebrow is raised about it.

Even satanic death wishes are not ruled out of the political shenanigans by these desperate opposition politicians and their cheeky supporters. As Asiwaju was meeting with the business community leaders in Kano State last Saturday, the mercenaries of doom, in their wild and weird hallucinations, saw him collapsing in Lagos and being rushed to Abuja!

One needs to wonder too far why all these deliberate, mischievous, unending, willful and vexatious attacks on Asiwaju Tinubu. It is simply because Asiwaju is a ripen orange that attracts the stones. He is the most popular candidate. He is the candidate to beat. He has the best records to showcase among all other leading candidates. In him you have a contender squaring up against pretenders.

The fear of Asiwaju’s electoral victory is so real that electrifying and mumbling shivers have colonized the spines of opposition leaders and their supporters alike. Or, how will you describe a state governor saying on a national television that Nigeria will break up if APC/Asiwaju wins the 2023 elections? This is desperation at its peak! And coming from a state chief executive, you can now wonder why not a few people continue to oppose the idea of creation of state police.

Ironically, Asiwaju is busy contacting, consulting, mobilizing and strategizing. He has urged his supporters not to hurl insults at opponents. He has appealed to followers and voters in general to use their PVCs to vote for him on Election Day. In his statesmanly words: “We shall not be hurling abuses at rival political parties. We don’t need it; we are smarter, we are brilliant, we are courageous. We are not like them. Why do we have to worry about them? But just wait for the calendar, the day of the voting.”

And as one of Asiwaju’s countless mentees and official musician of the APC, King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall (K1), sang instructively: “E ma se ba won ja, ibo ni’e di o (Do not fight with them, just vote).

-Tunde Oladunjoye (oladunjoyelo@gmail.com)
October 25, 2022

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