While campaigning ahead of the 2015 presidential elections, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, came up with this notion that retired generals are usually the saving grace for any nation on the brink of collapse.
He said when France was in a precarious state, that it was to Charles De Gaulle that it turned to and that that UK did same with Winston Churchill and the US with Dwight Eisenhower and maintained on that basis, that Muhammad Buhari should be allowed to president Nigeria so as to rescue it from the brink of collapse.
Well, after nearly eight years of president Buhari and the APC, it is obvious that Nigeria has not been rescued and that the nation deserves a better leadership other than to continue on this path of despair.
Just like Tinubu counseled Nigerians on the need to emulate other nations on the choice leadership, there is the need to also caution the APC presidential candidate on the need to emulate other world leaders who had shown patriotism by putting the interest of their nations above theirs.
This is necessary because Tinubu’s claim to the leadership of Nigeria is not borne out of the belief that he has something to offer but because he feels he has helped others into that position and needs to be compensated.
This is what he meant by his emilokan claim which denied people like Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Gov. Kayode Fayemi and others previously in his camp the right to fly the flag of the APC.
While Tinubu could be said to have done well as governor of Lagos State, there is so much that has gone out from since the past 15 years that will hinder his performance if voted into office
His age and health have taken a toll on him so much that he cannot be said to posses the agility and state of mind that he had 15 years ago when he left as governor to rule a vast country like Nigeria.
From all indications, what Tinubu needs now is medical attention and rest as the task of governance is way beyond his mental capacity as revealed through the various embarrassing slips during campaigns.
He should therefore follow the examples of Mahatma Gandhi of India, Gamel Abdel Nasser of Egypt and Nelson Mandela of South Africa who were not selfish but put the interests of their nations above theirs when it mattered most.
Gandhi, referred to as the father of India was the one that led the nation into independence through selfless struggles and defying all forms of oppression by the British government.
He groomed leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and others but on attaining independence for India, though he was the most popular politician of that era, he did not say it was his turn to take over the leadership having fought for the independence of India but allowed Nehru, whom he groomed to carry the torch of leadership. That helped in stabilizing India and for the nation to produce new crop of leaders like Indira and Rajiv Ghandi and others.
Gandhi saw that at 78, he may not be able to give India the best it deserved hence allowed the interest of the country to take preeminence by allowing his political protege, Nehru to assume leadership of the country.
Nasser on the other hand was young and agile but when he got embarrassed by the reaction that greeted the defeat of the Egyptian Army the Six-Day War with Israel and bearing the full responsibility for the loss offered to resign as prime minister.
He did not insist that after taking Egypt to a new height that only him could lead the nation.
His offer to resign was an admission that he was human and prone to make mistakes.
Nelson Mandela on his part knew the toll presiding over South Africa would have on him and pulled out after one term.
He was 75 at the time he took his first oath of office and woujd have been 80 if he had run for a second term.
Though he was the most popular to retain the ANC ticket he felt a younger man would do the job and handed over to Thabo Mbeki.
This is what people world leaders who are patriotic and have passion to lead their countries do and this is what is expected of Tinubu if he has any sense of patriotism in him.
Nigeria is yet to move away from the brink and the challenges for moving it forward are far from what an ailing and ageing president could handle.
With wobbly steps, shaky hands and cognitive dissonance, it is not fair for Tinubu to insist on mounting the saddle of leadership. He should learn from these world leaders and do the right thing by withdrawing from the presidential race.
Olusola, a Public Affairs Analyst Wrote From Ijanikin, Lagos