Bola Tinubu: Another 4 years’ Presidency of setback and obscurity

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Regrettably, the citizens of Nigeria have elected yet another problematic leader, despite the arduous struggle of eight years to remove the previous power-abusing figure. The newly elected individual has a notorious history of drug peddling, dishonesty, and thievery. Furthermore, this leader employs thuggish tactics to intimidate citizens in Lagos.

The President-elect of Nigeria has left the country for a second term to seek quality medical care in another nation, despite the country’s health system being in a state of disrepair.

Peter Obi at the Election Tribunal
Peter Obi at the Election Tribunal

It’s heart-wrenching to witness the sheer number of educated Nigerians who actively support the invisible chains of oppression and live in a state of utter subjugation. It’s a truly baffling phenomenon, and one can’t help but wonder if these individuals are simply too afraid to speak out against the corruption and decay that plagues their society or if they’ve become so accustomed to their own privilege that they’re willing to turn a blind eye to the suffering of their fellow citizens. Whatever the reason maybe, it’s a genuinely tragic situation that leaves one feeling helpless and hopeless.

The 25 February general election in Nigeria was highly controversial. Mr Tinubu, a candidate from the All Progressives Congress (APC), emerged as the winner amidst accusations from the Nigerian people that the Independent National Electoral Commission had rigged the results in his favour. The election results were met with widespread dissatisfaction and concern from the public.

Atiku Abubakar
Atiku Abubakar

As the election season came to a close, two candidates found themselves locked in a heated battle for the presidency. Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party had both made it clear that they would not back down until the truth was revealed. They filed a case with the election tribunal, providing evidence of malpractice and even claiming that Tinubu, the opposing candidate, was not eligible to run for the election in the first place. The entire nation watched with bated breath as the trial unfolded, waiting for the final verdict that would determine the future of their beloved country.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Mr Tinubu the winner of the election with 8,794,726 votes, to defeat his closest challenger, Atiku, who polled 6,984,520 votes.

Atiku Abubakar firmly accused Tinubu of drug peddling, citing his involvement in past drug and identity scandals. This allegation formed a crucial aspect of Atiku’s petition against Tinubu.

During the conduct of the 25 February election, Atiku accused INEC and Mr Tinubu of fraud and substantial non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act and the Constitution. In response to Atiku’s petition, Mr Tinubu called the former Nigeria’s vice president a “serial loser” without addressing the allegations.

While visiting Chatham House in the UK, Mr Tinubu was given opportunities to address allegations of drug involvement during his sit-down with the BBC. However, instead of responding directly, he claimed that his wealth was obtained through real estate and suggested that he was being targeted unfairly due to his financial status.

Bola Tinubu – The Drug Lord President

If Tinubu, 71, becomes President, Nigeria’s already poor reputation abroad would further deteriorate. To have a leader associated with drug-related activities is not a positive image for a country that was once referred to as “absolutely corrupt” by a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson.

Some supporters of Tinubu tried to dispute the truth, but there are concrete evidence and court records showing that Tinubu surrendered thousands of drug-related funds to the government of the United States.

The spokesperson for President-elect Bola Tinubu, Bayo Onanuga, defended Tinubu by stating that although he was accused of drug dealing, it occurred over a decade ago and should not be used to invalidate his election win.

Tinubu Newspaper Headline
Tinubu Newspaper Headline

When Tinubu was announced the winner, an Australian Newspaper in Germany published the headline, “Oil billionaire Bola Tinubu, who has also been linked to drug trafficking in the past, won Nigeria’s presidential election.”

It is possible that Mr Bayo’s confidence in the statement was based on Section 137 (1)e) of the country’s Constitution, which states, “A person shall not be qualified for election to the office of President if within a period of less than ten years before the date of the election to the office of President he has been convicted and sentenced for an offence involving dishonesty or he has been found guilty of the contravention of the Code of Conduct.”

Section 137 (1)(d) of the Constitution disqualifies individuals with a past conviction from becoming President. This includes Mr Tinubu, who forfeited over $460,000 due to drug crimes in Chicago in 1993. However, the Constitution does not specify a timeline for when a convict can be released to run for the Nigerian presidency.

Atiku Abubakar, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Peter Obi, Asiwaju Tinubu
Atiku Abubakar, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Peter Obi, Asiwaju Tinubu

It states, “A person shall not be qualified for election to the office of President if he is under a sentence of death imposed by any competent court of law or tribunal in Nigeria or a sentence of imprisonment or fine for any offence involving dishonesty or fraud (by whatever name called) or for any other offence, imposed on him by any court or tribunal or substituted by a competent authority for any other sentence imposed on him by such a court or tribunal.”

There are concerns about Tinubu’s health, as he has been reported to be seriously ill and occasionally slurs his words. This has led to a lot of video comedy among Nigerians during his presidential campaign.

The President-elect has denied the claim, and no one has provided any medical information to support it. However, Tinubu’s frequent trips out of the country, especially without providing details, have raised concerns.

Poverty in Nigeria
Poverty in Nigeria

Nigeria, a country with a population of over 200 million, has encountered various difficulties. According to KPMG, a global audit and tax advisory firm, Nigeria’s unemployment rate is predicted to increase to 40.6% from 37.7% in 2022, compared to 13.9% in 2016.

According to a report by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), poverty in Nigeria is expected to increase to 45% by 2023. The report, titled “Nigeria in Transition: Recipes for Shared Prosperity,” was launched in Lagos on Wednesday.

The 2022 Multidimensional Poverty Index survey shows that 63% of Nigeria’s population (133 million people) is living in multidimensional poverty. The National MPI score is 0.257, which means that poor individuals in Nigeria are experiencing slightly more than one-quarter of all potential deprivations.

Job Interview
Job Interview

If MR Tinubu is sworn in, he will have a significant amount of work to complete. However, there are concerns about his health, and if it deteriorates further, it may result in his passing. This could lead to his vice president, Kashim Shettima, 56, who is also from the northern region, assuming the position of power.

To be the President of Nigeria, one must possess physical and mental fitness and be willing to sacrifice for the country’s growth. However, Mr Tinubu’s selection of a Muslim/Muslim running mate suggests he may be a religious bigot, which could make achieving these requirements challenging.

Many Nigerians, including President Muhammadu Buhari, are eagerly anticipating the end of the current administration. The past eight years have been a period of great suffering for Nigerians, and there are concerns that Tinubu’s government may only prolong the frustration and despair with another four years of setbacks and obscurity.

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