Time to heal: Asiwaju’s approach
Time to heal: In his victory speech as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu declared the stiff competition over, ushering the party into a new phase, that of reconciliation, fence-mending and unity against the real ‘enemy’, the Poverty Development Party, as he rechristened the opposition party.
“The competition is now over. Those who did not support me, you have nothing to fear. I hold no grudges. Let us join hands to beat the PDP and beat back their retrogressive understanding of Nigeria,” he said. Almost a week after his victory, he has made good his vow, displaying the large-hearted, generous, and mature brand of politics responsible for his extensive structure and popular support in all regions of the country.
He was at the residence of the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, one of his main challengers for the ticket whose ambition caused the ripples and generated heated debate, given the circumstances of his rise and the role of Tinubu in it.
Many had expected Tinubu, having prevailed, to extract a pound of flesh and conclusively put “the disciple who tried to outshine his master” in his place for good. But he took the high road, extending a handshake of peace and collaboration to the Vice President, personally inviting him to join his push to keep the APC in Aso Rock beyond 2023.
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To him, Vice President Osinbajo’s run, in spite of popular opinion, was a legitimate choice in a democracy and he holds no grudges. The party must turn the corner, it must heal. Asiwaju Tinubu also extended the olive branch to the man who came a distant second at the primary, former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi. He had mounted a serious challenge for the ticket, beginning with a theatrical sprint, but ultimately fell short.
Other aspirants such as Ibikunle Amosun, Godswill Akpabio, and Governor Kayode Fayemi, three heroes on the night whose announcement of a step down for Asiwaju Tinubu began a momentum that indicated his march to victory, also received the candidate and paid audience to his rallying call — even though it could be argued that they require no further convincing; Asiwaju preached to the choir! Governors Yahaya Bello and David Umahi, Senate President Ahmad Lawan also took him as a guest.
Governor Bello donated his campaign office in a clear demonstration of support. Asiwaju can place Kogi in the “secure” column. Jack Rich and Rochas Okorocha, two aspirants whose appeal didn’t quite move the delegates, were not overlooked; Asiwaju reached out to them in true leader fashion. All hands are required on deck.
With the deftness and maturity of a veteran, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has begun the work of healing the divides and uniting the party behind the agenda that matters the most — bringing the APC over the finish line and preventing a reversal set to occur if the Poverty Development Party, as he calls them, is allowed to seize power.
- Mayaki is a journalist, historian, diplomat, archivist, documentalist, communication, culture and media expert and consultant.