BOLA TINUBU: Former senator, ex-governor, political icon, now President of Nigeria

NewsroomApril 4, 20242 min

In this piece in our EX-NASS MEMBERS SERIES, Esther Adedoyin provides a short profile of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a former senator whose political trajectory may be likened to the growth of a cub to a lion

Bola Tinubu

Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a towering figure in Nigeria’s politics. He was born on March 29, 1952, in Lagos State, according to his official biography. Although records of his early years have been marked with controversy, he attained higher education up to a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Chicago State University, USA.

Tinubu has records of work and service in both the corporate world and politics, gaining tremendous capital in the latter. His foray into politics is traceable to the early 1990s, during Nigeria’s turbulent transition to democracy from military rule. He emerged as a prominent voice advocating for a return to civilian rule.

He was at the centre of the Third Republic, characterised by the historic presidential election that saw the victory of Chief Moshood Abiola. However, the republic’s promise was short-lived, as a military coup swiftly quashed hopes of democratic governance. Despite this setback, Tinubu remained steadfast in his commitment to democratic ideals and actively participated in the political landscape of the time.

Notably, in 1992, Tinubu secured a seat in the Senate, representing the Lagos West constituency during the transient tenure of that short-lived republic. However, the full realisation of democratic governance was hindered by the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election results. Undeterred by the challenges posed by the military regime, Tinubu played a pivotal role as a founding member of the pro-democracy National Democratic Coalition (NADECO). This coalition galvanised support for the reinstatement of democracy and the recognition of Abiola as the winner of the election, underscoring Tinubu’s unwavering commitment to democratic principles.

Despite facing adversity at various times, Tinubu’s resilience and strategic acumen propelled him to prominence in Nigerian politics. He served as the Governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007, overseeing transformative initiatives that positioned Lagos as an economic powerhouse. Tinubu’s leadership extended beyond regional boundaries, as he played a pivotal role in the formation and success of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the ruling party in Nigeria.

In 2023, Tinubu ascended to the presidency, cementing his place in Nigeria’s political history. Widely known as the Jagaban of Bogu and ‘lion of Bourdillon,’ he continues to shape political alliances and influence the nation’s trajectory. Tinubu’s journey, from his humble beginnings in Lagos to becoming a key figure in Nigerian politics, exemplifies his enduring commitment to democratic values and his vision for a prosperous Nigeria.


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