JAGABAN: The heroic return and reception of ‘City Boy’

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Image source: TVC News Nigeria

Since throwing his hat into the ring, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (Jagaban), changed the dynamics of the 2023 presidential election to the point where no serious political discussions are held without his name featuring prominently.

Going into the 2023 elections, new legislations have been made and existing ones amended. All these are calculated attempts by his political foes to whittle down  effect of his political sophistry yet he remains unperturbed and continues to leave political watchers in awe of his deft political moves at every turn.

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In a move alleged to have left the Atiku camp in utter confusion and disarray, Tinubu rather than name his running mate opted for the placeholder option instead. By this ingenious master stroke, he has succeeded in avoiding any crack and maintaining unity in his camp while consultations continue.

Within and outside the confines of his party, he is revered for his ability to make swift political decisions that are known to have turned the tides in his favor. This singular attribute explains why he is considered a threat by opponents. The mere mention of his name sends shivers down the spines of opposition politicians same way thoughts of him are the stuff nightmares are made of for his rivals.

For one who bestrides Lagos state like a colossus, the Jagaban Borgu deservedly earned himself the moniker of the ‘City Boy’.

Loved, dreaded and hated by many Lagosians in equal proportion,Tinubu is without any iota of doubt a phenomenon in the state. Not one given to flippancy, he lets his actions do his talking for him while paying no mind to his traducers.

Being in absolute control of the government machinery of a state like Lagos with a robust economy ranked between fifth and seventh when compared to countries on the continent since 1999, it is safe to conclude that Tinubu has Lagos in his firm grip.


With a huge reputation for being generous that dates back to his NADECO days, it is no surprise the kind of cult followership he enjoys till date. It takes more than sheer luck to enjoy the kind of cult hero status Asiwaju effortlessly commands.

Presently there are a few politicians who can match Asiwaju’s grit and political sagacity… the reason he has continued to maintain his spot at the top of the Lagos political dynasty despite having relinquished executive powers since 2003.

Considering how his Bourdilon home has transformed into a mecca of sorts where people of different class, religion and tribe besiege in their quest for political fortunes  and economic succor; knowing how much goodwill he enjoys from his social capital coupled with an army of foot soldiers willing to do his bidding at the drop of a hat, it is hypocritical for anyone, Lagosians especially to expect anything short of the spectacle that characterized his return to the city after his successful outing at the APC Presidential Primaries.

Grapevine sources have it that his return was deliberately scheduled for the weekend to prevent anticipated chaos and traffic on major roads in the city that could have snowballed into breakdown of law and order between his supporters and residents of the state.

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For the avoidance of doubt, it is pertinent to note that residents were advised to ply alternative routes to avoid being caught up in the traffic that was expected to be experienced on certain routes.

Love or hate him, something no one can take away from Tinubu is the love the streets got for him. Having paid his dues, it will be wrong for anyone to begrudge him of whatever entitlements he presently enjoys.

What happened upon his arrival back to Lagos on Sunday 19th June, 2022 is a snippet of the BAT effect experienced wherever he attends political gatherings. His intimidating arrival at the  Eagle Square grounds, venue of the APC Presidential Primaries further lends credence to what he is capable of.

Capo Di Tutti as he is fondly referred to by members of his inner circle not only calls the shots in Lagos but is also very unapologetic about it. His trademark words including Emi lo kan (it’s my turn), Eleyi (this one), E lo fokan bale (y’all should go and calm down), in spite of how provocative his detractors find them to be currently inspire a trend of calling people’s bluff among his teeming followers in a show of unwavering loyalty.

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The mammoth crowd of supporters who thronged to the airport to receive him, overzealous traffic wardens who shut down an entire stretch of motor way and the attached security aides who enabled the enforcement in saner climes would have been taken in for questioning and held responsible for subjecting commuters to over three hours of psychological torture and lost man hour.

The incident as the entourage made their way out of the Oba’s palace that led to the attack on the vehicle conveying the Press crew from the Governor’s office which left two people seriously injured was allegedly perpetrated by members of a faction of the defunct National Union of Road Transport Workers NURTW after supporters of Asiwaju enraged them with chants of awa lokan (it’s our turn).

Present day Lagos is considered the city Asiwaju built, the streets of the city are his playground. Irrespective of how anyone feels, Tinubu will always get away with whatever he does in Lagos. What’s the point bearing grudges against someone who is most likely oblivious of your existence? If anything, get to work with building your own social capital through human capital development.

Look around you, there’s always somebody to start with.

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