The question of whether Bola Tinubu, Nigerian president elect-should be considered the president of Nigeria has sparked heated debates and divergent opinions among the Nigerian populace. While some individuals support his potential candidacy, there are significant numbers of Nigerians who adamantly assert that Tinubu is not their president.
This perspective is shaped by a range of factors, including concerns about the democratic process and procedures during the just concluded elections which declared Tinubu the winner and set to inaugurate him on the 29th of May. Also, the difference in views of those who challenged Tinubu’s presidency depicts diversity in perspectives within Nigerian society regarding the political leadership of the country.
However, as these opinions do not necessarily represent the views of all Nigerians, we would explore the reasons why some Nigerians say Bola Tinubu is not their president.
Flaws in claiming the electoral mandate
The February presidential election that saw Bola Tinubu as the winner according to the Independent electoral commission (INEC), was allegedly marred with several violence and voter intimidation, amongst others. Some Nigerians argue that this has not made Tinubu be elected as president through a democratic process. They contend that the presidency should be obtained through a democratic process where citizens have the opportunity to cast their votes and select their preferred candidate and not based on political influence or maneuvering.
Having argued that Tinubu has not gone through a direct presidential election and therefore lacks the necessary popular mandate to assume the presidency, these Nigerians believe Tinubu’s lack of a direct electoral mandate disqualifies him from the presidency. They point out that while Tinubu has played a significant role in Nigerian politics, having held a substantial influence, this does not automatically confer him to become the nation’s president.
Several alleged corruption cases
Nigerians who assert that Tinubu is not their president have tied their accusations to several cases of alleged corruption. They claim that he and his political associates have been involved in corrupt practices, and this raises doubts about his suitability for the highest office in the country. Bola Tinubu and his associates were linked to 20 properties bought in the United Kingdom while he was the governor of Lagos State as reported by Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).
Also, he was charged with running ten foreign accounts between 1999 and 2007, the time he served as governor, and the present. The US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois also recently released copies of investigations related to Tinubu’s alleged involvement in narcotics and money laundering about 30 years ago. This led to Tinubu’s forfeiture of $460,000 in one of the accounts linked to him.
These concerns surrounding alleged corruption contribute to the skepticism regarding Tinubu’s presidential aspirations and his ability to address the pressing socio economic issues facing Nigeria.
Concentration of power
The concentration of power is a key argument put forth by Nigerians who contend that Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not their president. They raise concerns about the extent of Tinubu’s political influence and control, particularly in the southwest region of Nigeria where he has held considerable control. Also that this concentration of power is undemocratic and undermines the principles of fair representation.
Right from when he became the governor of Lagos state and his wife holding the senatorial seats for several years, including the ability to influence candidate selections and political appointments all considered to create an imbalance in power dynamics.
In the eyes of those who contest Tinubu’s presidency, the concentration of power undermines the principles of fairness, inclusivity, and equitable representation that are essential for a functioning democratic system.
Health and age concerns
One additional reason that some Nigerians cite for saying that Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not their president relates to his age and health. Critics argue that Tinubu’s advanced age and potential health concerns could impact his ability to effectively govern the country.
He is being perceived by some as being at an age where the physical and mental demands of the presidency may pose challenges which include his stamina, endurance, and cognitive abilities, which are crucial for making sound decisions and effectively leading a nation as diverse and complex as Nigeria.
Due to several video clips of the president-elect’s imbalance while campaigning, these Nigerians worry about the potential for health issues to hinder Tinubu’s capacity to carry out his presidential duties. Age-related ailments or unexpected health complications could disrupt governance, impede decision-making processes, and undermine stability within the country.
Nigerians preferred candidates
Some Nigerians have the belief that there are other candidates or political figures who possess the qualities, experience, and vision necessary to lead the country more effectively, leading them to reject Tinubu’s claim to the presidency.
They argue that these individuals may have demonstrated strong leadership abilities, a clearer policy agenda, or a better track record in governance, which leads them to reject Tinubu’s claim to the presidency. This perspective reflects the diversity of opinions and the desire for a range of options when considering potential leaders for Nigeria.