President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was at the weekend declared MAN OF THE YEAR 2023 by IROHINOODUA.
Making the announcement at the weekend, the online news medium said Tinubu was chosen after due consideration and extensive debate.
The choice of Tinubu, according to IrohinOodua, was informed by his dominant and overwhelming impact in the politics of Nigeria.
The media group had earlier named the Ekiti State governor, Abiodun Oyebanji, Governor of the Year 2023.
A statement issued in Lagos and signed by Omolade Adegbuyi and Babatunde Samson on behalf of Irohinoodua Editorial Board said Tinubu was picked among array of leaders across the country who featured in the poll.
“So many names came up for consideration, but none compared with the vigour and flame generated by Tinubu across Nigeria throughout the year 2023. A man taken for dead, but emerged from bitter condemnation to sweet celebration”, it said, adding “the selection of his name by the board members was without any dissenting opinion.”
“President Tinubu emerged after considering his grim journey of life through thorns and iron cast cobwebs in Nigeria’s most diverse and separatist election. He was the most vilified and debated personality in the Nigerian political space in the year 2023.
“He encountered the toughest roadblocks mounted by principalities and powers and rulers of darkness in high and low places, yet he emerged to win the bitterly contested presidential election”, the editorial board said.
Irohinoodua stated that the Nigerian electoral contest had a primordial historical charter which content since the 1960s had been determined by a few top military brass, who either ruled the country by themselves or through their hand-picked proxies.
It, however, noted that in 2023, a new force that broke half a century grip on the political system by a few military cabal emerged in Tinubu.
“It was the first time in Nigeria’s post-independence history that the President was not the candidate of the known and only hegemony that had held the country in firm grip for 50 years.
Tinubu was the subject of nasty scorn of political enemies who made futile attempts to dump him in a pit and cover him with garbage. He stood and fought every stage of the battle with vigour and energy, both physical and spiritual.
“Tinubu was caught between apriori enemies, who wanted him dead without trial, but a bullied and subdued population of Nigerians, saw hope in him and worked silently for his victory at the poll.
In his birthplace, the traditional political forces spat on him and fought with brawl, but their efforts became a fleeting grain in the dust.” IrohinOodua noted.
The group observed that 2023 was the first time a Presidential candidate rejected by the most powerful forces in his own ruling party, including the Presidency, managed to win the election in the fullness of time and in the most dramatic manner.
The online news medium said it considered the fact that his appearance on the ballot compelled a drastic, sudden change in state economic policy redesigned to muzzle and suppress his ambition, and even lay mines along his path if he eventually won.
The policy, it added, had disastrous consequences on the political economy of Nigeria to the delight of his foes, but to the peril of millions of Nigerians and people of the West African sub-region.
Tinubu, it said, fought through a thick smoke of treachery, betrayal and dagger wielding adversaries, within and without, to emerge as the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, (APC) and battled an unprecedented race that many thought he would never win.
“The melting of the cake was at the point that other Presidential candidates of his party stepped down in the most humble manner to allow him achieve his objective. Many thought his choice of fellow Muslim Vice-Presidential candidate was a blunder, but he turned out to be smarter. Tinubu worked against powerful forces at home and within the international community who were used to determining the swing of the political pendulum in Nigeria.
“Since 1959, the imperialist colonial forces have always determined who won Presidential elections in Nigeria. In 2023, they had their own candidate supported by an array of integrated media blitz at home and abroad, backed with global propaganda. How President Tinubu managed to defeat the local and international conspiracy remains a mystery to his sworn enemies”, Irohinoodua said.
The news medium said tons of social media debates, about 60 percent of such political issues, centered on the name Tinubu, adding “His name became the most used acronym in the social media across Africa, either for good or for bad.
Ironically, he has been the most continuous phenomenon in Nigerian politics since 1999.”
Irohinoodua noted that the former Lagos State governor set out his Presidential mission as far back as 1992, some thirty years later, his dream came to fruition.
It noted that President Tinubu came from a humble background to conquer the world around him.
The year 2023, it said, was tumultous in many respect as it was a year of political and economic difficulties which threatened the foundation of Nigeria, stirring a whirlwind that almost swept away the foundation of the country.
It, however, stated that the wind subsided miraculously to the surprise of many people across the world as soon as the election was over and Tinubu won.
Irohinoodua said Tinubu inherited the broken pieces of a country factionalized along tribal, religious and cultural divides and took over a state nearing a failed destiny coupled with stunted economy, social and economic downturn under the leadership of his own party, who deliberated isolated him and threw him to Siberia, in the preceding eight years.
“Since he came to power, he has fought with rare determination to turn around a comatose structure, put asunder by years of misrule, corruption, favouritism and ineptitude that had been the lot of Nigeria since the post-independence years.
“Since he assumed leadership, he has demonstrated rare candour, after putting in place a clear goal of economic and social recovery. His courageous steps taken to probe the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) is remarkable. The CBN is the ‘central nervous system’ of Nigeria’s political-economy, which probe successive administrations have ignored.
The probe of the CBN has opened up a significant historic rot that has been the familiar Nigerian plague”, IrohinOodua said, noting “The immediate suspension of a Federal Minister remains an historic intervention in the drive for good governance.”
The news medium posited that by slashing cost of governance travels by 60 percent, Tinubu had rekindled hope, though faintly, but added “Yet, as it is, the prices of food stuff go up without coming down. The value of the naira crashed down. Poverty has increased. Terrorism is yet to subside. Life is becoming tougher. Access to money owned by the people has become even more difficult. Nigeria currently services debt with about 90% of income. The economic slowdown is real.”
However, in context, it stated that this reflected the consequences of landmines laid ahead of the 2023 Presidential election through high-level technical manoeuvres aimed at blackmailing former President Mohammadu Buhari’s inevitable successor.
IrohinOodua concluded that while it was too early to judge Tinubu, he had a very short period to give hope to a despairing, weak and increasingly frustrated population of 200million people.