Ibadan-born businessman and publisher of Ireland-based journal, The Street Journal Magazine, Mogaji Bowale Oluwole Arisekola has stated reasons he is supporting the ambition of the National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and frontline presidential aspirant, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to become Nigeria’s next President.
He told some selected senior journalists at his Abuja office on Friday that Asiwaju Tinubu had got what it takes to provide the quality and desirous leadership Nigeria needs at a time like this.
“Those who know me will attest to the fact that I am ever loyal to my friends, loyal to a political cause I believe in and on no account will I comprise my moral rectitude, that is me and nothing can change that. I am making a bold statement today that my unalloyed support for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Presidential ambition is 100% and I can assure you that he is going to emerge as President Buhari’s successor in 2023 through the merit and strength of the ballot.
“The former Lagos Governor brought innovations into governance of the State during his eight years in power, I can assure anyone who cares to listen that he will replicate similar feats when he eventually becomes Nigeria’s President. I have not denied him of my support and I have not pretended about my open support for him either.
“My father-son’s relationship with Tinubu is not in contention and is something I never pretended about and even several of those who are contesting from the South-West also have their own relationships with him as well.
“This is because he had been there for a lot of us in the past and he is still there. He has the clouth, mien, the charisma, velvety and suave dispositions that the number one office deserve. Asiwaju is simply the best man for the job.
“ I believe both on moral ground as well as out of conviction that he has got what it takes to provide the kind of quality leadership this country needs at a precarious moment like this.”
He continued, “You will recall that Tinubu declared his intention to run for president on the APC ticket in January 2022. Subsequently other aspirants in the party including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Yahaya Bello, the Kogi State Governor; Rochas Okorocha, a Senator and former Imo State Governor; Rotimi Amaechi former Rivers Governor; Dave Umahi, Governor of Ebonyi State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, and Governor Kayode Fayemi, among others are no match with Asiwaju at all, and I didn’t mean to disparage or treat them with disdain and don’t quote me out of context please.”
Arisekola added, “In supporting Asiwaju Tinubu, of course we cannot use that as a parameter not to respect the rights of others who want to aspire, and in fairness to them its good to be ambitious as a politician. But one thing is certain that office is for competent hands with requisite experience and qualifications, it is not meant for a neophyte. But I believe that part of the essence of democracy is that there will be constructive engagement.
“I’m sure everybody is talking to somebody and before the date of this election, there will be some realignment of forces. But the right of everyone to contest is inalienable, and it has to be respected.”
While referencing one of Asiwaju’s gesture of kindness he said:
“Gentlemen of the press, without sounding immodest and I wouldn’t also want to embarrass anyone, but for the prize we owe posterity permit me to add that, one of my former editors who is now a serving Governor in South West once had a challenge to cater to his child’s naming ceremonies, he had no money to foot the bills, Asiwaju stood for him and sent N6 million through Kemi Nelson to support him, the rest is now history. Asiwaju’s benevolence knows no bounds. There is no region in Nigeria that his gesture of kindness and benevolence have not reached. He is a pan Nigerian, a patriot with class, humility and forgiving spirit, this is rare in our political clime” Arisekola disclosed.
Speaking on how CPC and ACN alignment became fruitful and successful Mogaji said;
“The first meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Tinubu in Kaduna was facilitated by me. Saliu Mustapha, then National Chairman of defunct CPC called me that the General want to meet with Asiwaju and some CPC officials, that I should please talk to Asiwaju. I asked him to come to Lagos, I lodged him at Marple hotel, Lekki phase 1 and drove him to Asiwaju the following day. That’s how they started CPC/ACN alignment. You can ask Alhaji Buba Galadima and Mustapha, they are all alive. I don’t book appointment to see Asiwaju, I have unfettered access to him. If I go to his house and he is free, he definitely will see me and that is Asiwaju for you.”
Arisekola added that Tinubu is not a greenhorn in politics, and that he is a committed and patriotic party man, a consummate professional, a respected nationalist, a trailblazer, a committed philanthropist and a true family man who can proactively restore the fortunes of Nigeria socio-economically without bias or lapses.
When asked about his political ambition Wole Arisekola quickly cut in and said:
“My Parents were never political office holders. They died as businessman and businesswoman. Meanwhile, they warned me never to play active politics or accept any political office, but that I could support my friends who are aspiring to get to the pinnacle of their career as long as it is lawful.
“To my people asking me to contest elections in this country, I’m so sorry, I will never hold any political office in my life. The former Czech President and public intellectual, Dr Vaclav Havel said people are driven into politics and I quote, “by ideas about a better way to organize society, by faith in certain values or ideals, be they impeccable or dubious, and the irresistible desire to fight for those ideas and turn them into reality” end of quote. From what we are witnessing, that may not be true of our country. I can humbly say that is my feedback to those asking me, Mogaji Wole Arisekola to contest election in 2027.”