An Igbo adage goes that, “When a mad man walks naked, it is his relatives who feel the shame, not the mad man himself.” It is no wonder then that Bola Ahmed Tinubu never fails to foment mess wherever he goes.
Such morbid audacity explains why the Nigerian president is going everywhere, seeking praises for embarrassing failures. Instead of doing the work he swore to do, Tinubu has suddenly wrapped himself in a toga of mundane excuses. Instead of cleaning the mess he created from day one in office, he has resorted back to his familiar mélange of propaganda and profligacy. The former Lagos governor is continuing to squander Nigeria’s scarce resources, shuttling around the globe, portraying himself as a hero, and lobbying why he deserves to be listed in Guinness World Records for reforms—the very reckless reforms that have pushed Nigeria to the brink of total collapse.
Imagine the implications of the very statement made by Mr. Tinubu during his latest trip to Germany on November 20, 2023:
“Nigeria voted for me for reforms, and from day one of my inauguration, I started the reforms. To me, if you didn’t mention me in the Guinness Book of Records, I’d thrive to find a way to insert myself because I did it without expectation, my inaugural speech disclosed what I would do.”
A fitting response is simply: There he goes again… Like in the case of Nigerian elections, where he snatched the presidency against the wishes of the majority of Nigerian people, Mr. Tinubu is already boasting how he will “find a way to insert” himself in the Guinness World Books, regardless.
Make no mistake about this: Bola Ahmed Tinubu belongs in Guinness World Books, for sure—but at the shadiest categories:
Shady Ancestry: The book ought to have listed Tinubu as the first president in human history whose entire biodata—from his name, age, parents, family, relatives, to state and country of origin—remains unknown. No Nigerian can state for certain who this man truly is—whether he is truly a Nigerian or whether he is an illegal alien from the Republic of Benin, Togo, Ghana; or more likely, Equatorial Guinea, where he still maintains citizenship.
Dubious Education: If there is a place in the Guinness World Records that Tinubu is most deserving, it is the area of dubious academic records. This is a man whose place of primary or secondary education is unknown. Besides, he has no authentic certificates to show, yet he faked his way into an American university. Moreover, it remains a mystery whether he attended the university as a male or female.
Immorality: The history of World Records will lose credibility without a special place for Tinubu in the area of corruption. Not only is he the shadiest politician ever to be nominated by a major political party, but he will also be remembered for creating a regime where immorality is a badge of honor.
The Book is sadly aware that every high-profile appointment he has endorsed is tainted with a stark stench of shadiness. Consider, for instance, the profiles of Tinubu’s Vice-President, Kashim Shettima; Senate President and Head of Legislature, Godswill Akpabio; George Akume, the Secretary to the Federal Government of Nigeria; and Chairman of the ruling party, Abdullahi Ganduje. Needless to mention Olukayode Ariwoola, being the shameless head of the Nigerian courts that have become a cash-n-carry-puppet of the Executive branch.
Further, Tinubu is the first self-professed multi-billionaire public official without any credible source of income. Worse still, he holds the record as the first civilian ever to gain presidential power, despite having forfeited a huge sum of money for international illicit drug trafficking.
To cap it off, there is no better testimony than the fact that the president’s very own National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, as the Chairman of Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), had alerted the world that Mr. Tinubu is “a looter of international dimensions.”
Reckless Economic Reforms: Among the plethora of failures where Alhaji Tinubu has no close second, none is more embarrassing than his attempt at economic reforms. Of course, he is on record for having initiated reckless economic reforms, which have done nothing but lead to the highest misery index ever recorded within the first six months of any regime. Within this period, Nigeria has seen the highest inflation rates in decades. The country is also saddled with the highest unemployment and poverty rates in its history. The most telling is the value of the country’s currency to the dollar which plunged by over 100% barely six months into the Tinubu regime.
Clearly, Bola Ahmed Tinubu is at it again. He is employing the same deceptive script that he used to wangle himself to power. Clearly clueless about what it takes to govern Nigeria, he has remained busy doing something close to nothing. He is either seeking to manufacture success where none exists, or he is busy indicting himself by denouncing the very Buhari policies that he (Tinubu) had championed not only as the National Leader of the All-Progressives Congress (APC) but also while he was scheming for power. What a guy!
Frankly, Tinubu’s presidential conduct is beyond the pale. The fact of the matter is that he is taking the patience of the Nigerian masses for granted. But he must resist the temptation to push his luck too far. Patience has limits….
SKC Ogbonnia, a former APC presidential aspirant, writes from Houston, Texas.