By Otunba TJ Abass
It is 3 a.m. here in Nigeria. I just woke up with the feeling of butterflies in my stomach, a nervous wreck, just to put it bluntly. It’s hardly a surprise, as it’s intricately linked to the current state of our cherished nation and the challenges that threaten its very existence, particularly the election that is considered to be the most consequential in the development of our democratic sojourn.
Any patriotic Nigerian with a stake in the country will feel this way. I am one of those Nigerians beaming with optimism and hope about our beloved country and my state, the Center of Excellence.
While acknowledging the current challenges facing our nation, I hold onto a glimmer of optimism that Nigeria’s brightest moments are still ahead of us. It’s imperative that we each take responsibility and embrace a fresh approach, leaving behind old habits in favor of a transformative shift that will propel us toward a future of greatness. So, if you go out there to vote today, you have played a role in catapulting our great country into a solid potion of eminence in the comity of nations
Having said that, I can’t just fathom what those that have presented themselves to scrutiny, abuse, a campaign of calumny and abuse, and personal destruction to be part of the effort to steer our nation on the path to stardom (regardless of their intention) are going through. Whether their affection for our nation is heartfelt or not, they have won my admiration and esteem.
They all deserve our applause and commendation for their courageous act. I doff my hat in reverence to them all.
While I cannot extend my well wishes to all of them, there is one individual whose exceptional wisdom, bravery, compassionate spirit, love for country, and unwavering commitment to reshaping the narrative of our nation sets him apart – Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
I approached him in 2001 at his Isaac John Residence with a list of 50 Lagosians seeking employment in the Lagos State Civil Service during my time as the President of Eko Club International (USA, Canada, and Europe).
It was a period of employment freeze in the state; I took on a formidable challenge. Although it wasn’t an insurmountable task, I couldn’t help feeling uneasy. However, my faith in him gave me the courage to push.
At the stroke of 2 a.m., I approached him while clutching the list tightly. As expected, he greeted me with his customary pleasantries before welcoming me inside.
“TJ Bawo ni [TJ, How are you]? Kilo wa lowo eyi [What do you have in your hands]?”
“Your Excellency, I have a list of employment seekers.”
He asked again, “How many of them?”
“50,” I said.
‘Yeh! O fe pa mi ni [Ye, you want to kill me]?”
“Asiwaju, you will not die but live long enough to achieve whatever your heart desires,” I prayed. This is the time.
In a nutshell, the names were given the stamp of approval without delay, and he called Chief Sunny Ajose, the HOS then, that I would be coming to Alausa with the list in the morning.
The sun was barely peeking over the horizon when I arrived at Alausa, Asiwaju was already in his office. This is testament of the patriotism and unwavering commitment of a man who keeps nocturnal appointments and burn the midnight oil for the sake of the people he is called to serve. This leaves me to wonder what incredible feat he is capable of achieving, if given the chance to occupy the highest office in the land and steer the wheels of our nation to promised land.
Those he graciously employed then have today risen to different top-tier cadres – Directors, Permanent secretaries.
This singular gesture of his and his tireless efforts to uplift the lives of Lagosians in the Diaspora have stirred an eternal flame of gratitude within me. It is this flame that fuels my unwavering commitment to throw the weight of my support behind his noble ambition.
Despite their widespread recognitions, I can’t help but feel like an outsider looking at the candidacies of Atiku and Obi, as I have never had the pleasure of meeting either of them in person. I, therefore, admit that I have limited knowledge of their true capabilities and prospects in the election.
Let’s go out and vote.
Otunba TJ Abass is the Publisher of Eko Hot Blog. His opinions in this article do not represent the views of the organisation.
Click to watch our video of the week
Advertise or Publish a Story on EkoHot Blog:
Kindly contact us at [email protected]. Breaking stories should be sent to the above email and substantiated with pictorial evidence.
Citizen journalists will receive a token as data incentive.
Call or Whatsapp: 0803 561 7233, 0703 414 5611