Tinubu: 30 days in Aso Villa by Femi OGUNLANA
Today marks the 30th day of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Aso Villa, the seat of Nigeria’s government. It has no doubt been 30 days of terrific activities, never witnessed in the history of Nigeria spanning the period of independence.
One thing remarkable is that the 30 days have filled Nigerians with harrowing experience occasioned by the hike in the price of premium motor spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol as a result of the president’s unilateral removal of fuel subsidy. However, the new government evinces hope and inspires confidence making the citizens to painstakingly endure the ensuing difficulty and hardship.
Apparently, President Tinubu has demonstrated diligence, determination, grit and commitment to the task of revamping a country deeply cocooned in the dungeons of hopelessness.
Many were skeptical about his ability prior the election; he was vilified, castigated, drenched in hatred and slammed as a sick, demented man, only out to fulfill an inordinate ambition and to further rapaciously bleed Nigeria. Many orchestrations were concocted against him; videos were maliciously photo-shopped, edited to amplify his perceived unworthiness such as one in which he was shown as uncontrollably drooling. All this worked but he constantly was steps ahead and so able to fend off the malevolent attacks.
Though there were those who perceived him differently like this writer, based on his track record. From being a Senator in 1992, subsequently going on exile owing to his becoming a marked man on account of his leading role in the struggle to revalidate Chief MKO Abiola’s victory in the scuttled June 12, 1993 Presidential Election, but later rising to sit on the governorship seat of Lagos state, the economic hub of the nation, and going ahead to not only install his successors but also not less than 10 other governors in the southwest and beyond, capping it with facilitation of the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari, who previously had failed, on three different occasions. He is a survivor of several “nights of the long knives,” prior his emergence as presidential candidate of his party, All Progressives Congress (APC), and towards the election proper; only a brilliant, strategic man could survive all those and would thus be an asset.
In 30 days, he has not disappointed though it is still early to give him thumb up or be overtly overwhelmed by a sense of renewed hope for a better Nigeria. Someone posited he surpassed in about four weeks what Buhari accomplished in eight years, yes, in some respect. Furthermore, most of his traducers have currently gone on retreat holding their breath and currently refraining from trolling him watching with bated breath as he unravels encouragingly. He is even receiving accolades from some former enemies. He is definitely inspiring hope though people face excruciating pain measuring up with what could be described as modicum of living. Cost of living has gone up astronomically generally, arising from the hike in fuel price. But people endure unalterably motivated that his reformations will turn things around positively in a short while.
President Tinubu has seen it all, traversed both ends of the economic ladder, he has lived poverty and prosperity in his life trajectory. He said last week while interacting with Nigerians in France that he worked as security guard and doorman in the US in his years of hustling to make his life worthwhile. But he broke the barriers to rise to his current status. Perhaps the reason he appears to be demystifying the position unfazed by the glitz and glamour of office. He has been more of action than talk, it has indeed been 30 of action! He has been busy with governance, “hitting the ground running” as they say, from day one, holding off a predilection for prevarication, brutally decisive, appearing to be working tirelessly, meeting critical stakeholders, uncluttered in his ways, un-tethered by propagandic illusions, not hooked on a feeling of imperiousness, uncomplicated, showing commitment as a true servant leader. He is unfettered, he once told state governors audaciously that the enormity of the task stacked against them has always been there and so they had no reason stoking up complaints, that work they must to ease the savage burden in the land. Such spirit of can-do, spurs him incessantly. A man of strong faith, this he demonstrated exceedingly during his struggle for the exalted seat.
He understands the nitty-gritty of government by the speed with which he glides, he dispatches issues with alacrity, which appears to align with the expectation of the people and so soothing to them. The manner he handled NLC and TUC to dissipate their anger and jettison their planned strike over removal of fuel subsidy without allowing the matter to drag gratuitously further alludes to his efficiency as a leader. A “crook” in government is doing what a “saint,” a “clueless,” an “overbearing,” an “overtly meekly” president could not nick. Moreover, he is the first urbanized president that ever straddled our government house. He is the most prepared for the job, unregulated by irreversible commitment to serve the whims and caprices of a cold-blooded cabal – after all, his rise to the throne was due more to his efforts and so, not beholden excessively to hidden godfathers bearing down on him.
He has shown flashes of a czar propelled to fight the monster that is corruption, he appears to be waging the battle without noise nonetheless, it is unclear however whether this is vendetta or a genuine fight against corruption. If he must succeed, corruption must be pummeled to submission. He generally gives a picture of seriousness; his appointments have reflected a pattern – competency, equity, fairness, sensitivity and equality. He is treading guidedly, guardedly and cautiously, avoiding brazen actions.
Nonetheless, how all this affects the common man on the street is the paramount thing; if these actions do not attenuate the suffering of the people in good time then he will be deemed another failure. But so far so good, he raises hope. This hope must translate to a better living in all ramifications. Living condition must improve, prices of good must come down, inflation must be beaten down, government officers of all shades must not live in affluence while the common people straddle abject poverty and penury. If life stubbornly remains brutish, suffering escalates, it is inescapable, people’s anger will boil over and venom vented against him.