Astute leadership can restore nation’s dream

Saturday June 17 2023

Passengers sit at a bus station beside campaign billiard of President Bola Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima while waiting for a ride at Ojodu Berger bus station in Lagos,Nigeria on June 1, 2023. PHOTO | AFP


In under a month, Tinubu ticks all the right boxes, hits all the right notes like a hurricane as he once did as the restorative Governor of rundown Lagos State

The announcement of the arrest of Nigeria Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele brought unparalleled joy across the Nigerian nation.

In a way, this, coming after he removed fuel subsidies, earned President Bola Tinubu the likeness of a tornado tearing through Nigeria and addressing the things that had seemed impossible.

Emefiele had dabbled in politics and has been on the radar of the State Security Department since 2022 over alleged terrorism financing.

Besides, many believe that his policies derailed Nigeria’s economy.

Nigeria has earned a reputation for its electric power supply, which drives up the cost of business because everyone needs a generator, and this, in turn, drives up the demand for fuel.


Well, Hurricane Tinubu has assented to a bill that makes it possible now for individuals and states to generate their own power, thereby reducing the demand on the national grid. All this, in under a month!

Read: AKINYEMI: Is fuel subsidy scrapping Tinubu's deal-maker?

Where does the audacity to make such bold decisions come from? Can every leader become like this, or is it a special grace on some special people? To answer this, we must first look at antecedents.

He wrestled Lagos State and most of the Southwestern states from the grip of the ruling party with a little-known party that many thought was a regional outfit that could not achieve much.

Tinubu effect

Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s transformative tenure as governor of Lagos State from May 1999 to May 2007 addressed dire challenges across every aspect of the state.

Dilapidated infrastructure, collapsing businesses, a struggling economy, pollution, inadequate healthcare, security concerns, an education sector in crisis, and a disorganised justice system were among the issues he tackled.

Upon assuming office as Lagos State Governor, Tinubu confronted a lack of financial reports spanning two years, leaving accountability and transparency in a shambles.

With a meagre monthly revenue of $600 million for a population exceeding 10 million, the state faced an uphill battle. Undeterred, Tinubu’s visionary leadership ushered in a remarkable resurgence.

By the end of his tenure, monthly revenue had skyrocketed to an unprecedented $15 billion. This monumental transformation propelled Lagos State to international recognition.

And it is worth noting that he did this while at loggerheads with the central government, who had stopped resources flowing into Lagos State. All the money was internally generated from within the state by creative leadership.

The “Tinubu effect” created a solid foundation for subsequent administrations, sustaining the momentum and driving further progress.

Read: AKINYEMI: Reality hits after office race is won to serve a broader public

It is often said that there can be no true leadership success without successors.

Well, since 2007 when Tinubu left office as Lagos State governor, his protégés have been building on his development record, and today, if Lagos were to be a country, it would be among the top 10 economies of Africa.

Support base

The disciples Tinubu pushed forward while he took a back seat include former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who was Tinubu’s attorney general when he was governor, plus a large number of Cabinet ministers under Buhari who served with him as governor.

Let us not forget that Tinubu suspended his presidential ambition to support Buhari’s quest after the latter’s three failed runs. The “Tinubu effect” put Buhari in office.

So, for a man who had lifted others and worked on the dreams of others, it became only natural for him to be the one.

He reminded everyone that it was his turn for president.

A man who patiently waited for his turn and empowered others as he waited has a lot of people in his debt. Tinubu has, over the years, built the necessary ecosystem to support his audacious goals.

As a leader, before you make decisions, what ecosystem is required to support those decisions, and if you have built not this ecosystem, where do you start? Let’s continue along these lines next week.

Wale Akinyemi is the founder of the Street University Email [email protected]