Jagaban, as Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) is fondly called by his army of admirers declared the 2023 presidency as his turn in the now famous Yoruba phrase emi lokan which…
●21st October 2022
BAT is poised to make history in the political landscape of Nigeria as the Kingmaker who becomes the King. Here is a SWOT analysis of BAT’s candidacy for the 2023 presidential elections. By a SWOT analysis, we hope to evaluate his Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat.
BAT served as a two-term governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007. Lagos is not just any other state in Nigeria, it is the powerhouse of Nigeria. Lagos is Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre, cultural capital, and the 9th largest economy in Africa with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that stands at US$75.965 billion. Its economy is larger than those of Niger, Benin, Togo, Chad, Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Gambia combined. Having overseen this important state, there is no gainsaying that he will have the capacity to throw his weight around the country, and leverage on the popularity of Lagos.
BAT has built considerable political goodwill over the years. He is responsible for/played a role in the rise to prominence of very important people in government today, including the present president of the Federal republic of Nigeria. In the cabinet of president Buhari is the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who was a commissioner for Works and Infrastructure in Lagos in the government of BAT. The current Minister of Works and Housing (who was Minister of Works, Housing and Power in the first tenure of President Buhari), Babatunde Fashola, served as a two-term governor in Lagos from 2007 to 2015, after the governorship of BAT, but in the administration of BAT, he served as Chief of Staff, and has given Tinubu credit for “discovering” him.
The stability in his political affiliations – of the three leading contenders for the presidency, he is the only one who has remained in one political party, even as the party has metamorphosed over the years.
There is a perception in public that he is not healthy enough to run for the presidency of Nigeria, and that he is too old to run for the office. He spent three months abroad on health grounds in 2021. If perception is anything to go by in the 2023 general elections, then this may throw a spanner in the works of his intentions to clinch the presidency.
BAT is perceived as corrupt, with questions around the source of his wealth. There have been several reports about his investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), fighting a lawsuit in the US on laundering proceeds from trafficked heroin, the sighting of two armoured bank vans entering his home just before the 2019 elections
With his immense political connections and reach, he can rally newly registered voters to his side, including the voters who are undecided. He can easily set his political machinery in motion to convince these newly registered voters about being the best choice.
A lot of Nigerians are in support of the presidency coming to Southern Nigeria, after the North has enjoyed eight years of uninterrupted leadership through the presidency of Muhammadu Buhari. The push for a southern succession to the presidency of Buhari is even coming from the APC northern governors themselves. Being a politically connected southern presidential candidate, and with the wide support for such ceding the presidency to the south, BAT may be able to realize his dream of governing Nigeria.
His presidential bid may be threatened by the fact that his running mate is a northern Muslim, while he is also a Muslim. This has become an issue in Nigeria following the unwritten agreement among the Nigerian political class to vary the choices they make to reflect the tribal and religious heterogeneity in the country. The last time the country had a presidential candidate and his running mate from the same religion was in 1993 when the late MKO Abiola contested the presidency and won with Baba Gana Kingibe as his running mate (the result of that election was later annulled by the government of Ibrahim Babangida, on June 24 1993). The country at that time was not as divided as what it has become presently.