“Memorably, the broom revolution was actually birthed 18 years ago in the early hours of Sunday, July 24, 2005, when President Tinubu, then as the outgoing Lagos governor, along with his supporters of the AD staged a symbolic sweeping of the traces of the PDP out of the State”.


By Abimbola Olaoluwa Makinde

John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006), a Canadian-American economist, diplomat, and public official once said: “All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: It was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.”

Undeniably, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, who on May 29, 2023, at the Eagle Square in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, took the oath of office as the16th President of Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, is one rare leader of the 21st century that is typically obsessed with the trait Galbraith identified in leaders who attained greatness through the heroic defence of their people’s rights. For a study of his 31 years of politicking since 1992, embodies unwavering progression of extraordinary leadership escapades which were consistently directed towards the socioeconomic emancipation of the people. Indeed, there cannot be any other thing as fulfilling to a politician of his calibre than living to witness the glory of his ascension to the highest-ranking political position of his country; or, to be the first President of the country that had made politics to be sexy, for having a better half, Senator Oluremi Tinubu who’d spent twelve years in the Senate beside him in the leadership of the country.

Obviously, lots of the good, the bad, and the ugly have been said and written before now about Bola Tinubu, Asiwaju Tinubu, or Jagaban as Nigeria's 16th President is popularly addressed. Many of these things different classes of people have seen as legendary, rebellious, exploitive, overzealous, overambitious, opportunistic, adventurous, imploring, daring, oppressive, or enigmatic.

President Bola Tinubu GCFR

                                  His Excellency, President Bola Tinubu GCFR Federal Republic of Nigeria

Having built a formidable political machinery over the course of three decades within which he’d fought and won political battles more than any of his contemporaries across the 6 geopolitical zones of the country, the Septuagenarian President can be described as a maverick political leader and more of a revolutionary who is set to bring about a fundamental and relatively transformation of his country’s sociopolitical status in the next four years.


Evidently, before he tossed his hat into the ring for the 2023 presidency which he marvelously won, the once Lagos State governor had taken his time to get himself well prepared through the contrivance of great things one after another to the admiration of his supporters as well as envy of his rivals.

In 1992, he scored the highest number of senatorial votes in the country when he was elected as Senator on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), representing Lagos West, then as a technocrat cum politician with over 13 years of meritorious experience; having worked in big American companies, Arthur Anderson, Deloitte, Haskins & Sells, and GTE Services Corporation after graduating as a Bsc Holder in Accounting from the Chicago State University, US and later as Executive Auditor/Treasurer of Mobil Oil, now Mobil Exxon on his return to Nigeria in 1983.

President Tinubu the First Lady Sen. Remi Tinubu made politics look sexyPresident Tinubu & the First Lady, Sen. Remi Tinubu made politics look s-xy

President Tinubu’s innate leadership prowess and pro-democratic activism can be said to have been passionately actuated by the political storm that the annulment of the results of the June 12, 1993, presidential election, which was won by the late MKO Abiola brought about. With some other compatriots in the fight for the reclamation of the people’s mandate, he became a founding member of a pro-democratic group, the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO). And, like the popular saying that 'he who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day,' he took to his heels on a self-exile in the Western world during the struggle. Yet in the foreign land, he didn’t 'siddon look.’ It was still a no-retreat-no-surrender in the fight for the restoration of democracy all the way. Perhaps, this had actually formed the basis of his conferment with the 'Asiwaju of Lagos' title, by the Oba of Lagos, the late Oba Adeyinka Oyekan II (1911-2003).

Bola and Remi Tinubu dancing 346x349

Victory Dance

After his return to the country in 1998 following the demise of Abacha and transition to civil rule, the NADECO chieftain contested and won the governorship seat of Lagos State in 1999 on the Alliance for Democratic (AD) platform and was reelected in 2003 on the same party’s ticket. Within his 8 year administration, he prudently transformed the fortunes of Lagos.

As an outgoing governor towards the 2007 elections, the Asiwaju of Lagos dumped the AD and moved his supporters to the Action Congress (AC) with the broom as its symbol. The AC was an amalgam of his led AD faction, along with the late Chief Solomon Lar-led faction of the PDP and other parties. The party was launched in September 2006, at Eagle Square, Abuja, as a credible alternative to the then-ruling PDP. Ironically, Atiku Abubarka, the PDP presidential candidate in the just-included 2023 general polls was the party's presidential candidate.

Tinubu 1

Tinubu brandishing the broom

However, from a philosophical point of view, the 'Change' the ruling APC effected in 2015 which swept the PDP out of the centre after 16 years of governance, can be said to mark the beginning of a revolution in the country, a ‘Broom Revolution' to be precise. And the machination, trajectory, unerring logistics, as well as formidability of the revolution, can be pointed out to have been maneouvred by no other political leader than incumbent President Bola Tinubu.

                          Kaylinkz Blog

Memorably, the broom revolution was actually birthed 18 years ago in the early hours of Sunday, July 24, 2005, when President Tinubu, then the outgoing Lagos governor along with his supporters of the AD, staged a symbolic sweeping of the traces of the PDP out of the state. On that Sunday morning, Asiwaju Tinubu led thousands of AD members as warriors with brooms in their hands as weapons to the sweep, from the Ojota area of the state to the end of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.“Today, we join you to sweep out the PDP from Lagos State. We sweep the evil away. It will never come back. PDP will never capture this state.” He vented, brandishing the broom to echoes of cheers.

The symbolic sweeping by the Lagos AD under President Tinubu leadership in 2005 was in swift counter to the Tsunami rally of the then ruling PDP, held in the state the previous day on Saturday, July 23, 2005, at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, along with five sitting governors of the party in the Southwest and other party stalwarts in attendance. That time, President Tinubu was the 'last man standing,' the only 'deviant' AD governor in the 6 Yoruba-speaking states whom the  ‘Operation Capture Southwest' of the PDP failed to seize in the 2003 general elections. Hence the umbrella party rephrased its electioneering towards the 2007 polls to Tsunami and chose Lagos for its launching. But the tsunami failed to dislodge Asiwaju’s hold on the state as his Chief of Staff, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), the immediate past Minister for Works and Housing was elected as his successor on the AC platform in 2007.

After the AC sweeping of Lagos with Fashola in 2007, the revolutionary leader gradually saw to the party’s reclamation of Edo State in 2008, as well as Ekiti and Osun States respectively in 2010 through legal means. Thereafter, in 2011, Ogun and Osun were confidently added to the sweeping at the polls after his leadership had manoeuvred the transformation of the AC to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Ex-Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), now President Tinubu’s National Security Adviser was the broom party's 2011 presidential candidate.

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Asiwaju Tinubu was the major thorn in the flesh of the ruling PDP government from 1999 to 2015. As an opposition leader during this period, he’d raised leaders from different ethnic and partisan backgrounds before joining in the refinement of the broom party to the APC, to prominence in the emergence of Muhammadu Buhari as the President in 2015 and reelection in 2019.

Despite insinuations about his ill health, there’s no other presidential aspirant or a candidate that toured the length and breadth of the country as Bola Tinubu did towards the 2023 presidential election. Neither has there been one presidential candidate in the country’s political history that has displayed his uncommon sportsmanship through courtesy visits to each of the aspirants he’d defeated to win the presidential ticket of the broom party. It isn’t, however, surprising that Nigerians gave him massive support to knock into a cocked hat, the 17 standard bearers of other parties in February 23, 2023, Presidential election with the highest number of votes of 8,794, 726.

Atiku President Tinubu Obi

                                                                                                            Atiku          President Tinubu              Obi

Although the two major contestants that trailed behind him, Atiku of the PDP, who polled 6,984, 520 votes, and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), who scored 6,101,533 votes, have since approached the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) in the separate challenge of the outcome of the results released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), alleging malpractices with each insisting that he is the rightful winner of the race; sooner or later the courts will come out with its final verdict on whether any of these two petitions before it is either well Atikulated or logically Obidient to justifiably upturn the BATified victory. Already, the world had seen that all the agitations for military takeover of the reins of power or establishment of an Interim National Government (ING) as well as allegation of possession of dual citizenship were just mere distractions from the corridors of kindergartens.

Be that as it may. Nobody needs to dispute it, Nigeria is sick and she’s been in that sorry state for decades, much more than half of the 63 years of her Independence. It is quite disheartening that since 1999 when the naturally endowed, multi-ethnic, and culturally diverse nation returned to a democratic government, none of her successive administrations have been able to find lasting solutions to the lack of “Water! Light! Food! House!” Pitiably, as Fela Anikulapo-kuti (1938-1997) resounded in Original Sufferhead, an album he released in 1981 in criticism of the common lot's deficiency of basic social amenities. Since then, it has been a gradual increment in the prices of these essential commodities along with other Sufferheads of insensitivity to security challenges tenure after tenure.

For instance, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in a November 2022 presentation of the country’s Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) survey, “over half of the population of Nigeria are multi-dimensionally poor and cook with dung, wood, charcoal, rather than cleaner energy.” The report further stated that: “High deprivation are also apparent naturally in sanitation, time to healthcare, food insecurity, and housing.”

However, in order not to throw the baby out with the bath water, the immediate past APC administration under the leadership of former President Buhari can beat its chest that it successfully revamped quite a number of critical infrastructures that never saw the light of the day under previous administrations, as well as started and completed new ones in spite of the peculiar challenges it faced in the last 8 years. That, despite the economic recession of 2016 caused by the sudden nosedive of the price of crude oil (the nation’s major source of revenue) in the global market, inherited Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast, adverse effects of COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 #EndSARS protests, including the spread of kidnapping and armed banditry from the North to some parts of the South, and lately the Russian-Ukraine war, its impact on the country’s road and rail infrastructure which cannot be ruled out as being the mainstay of improving the economy has been unprecedented.

Second Niger Bridge Commission by Ex-President Buhari

These infrastructural projects include the construction of the Second Niger Bridge, which is a vital gateway into the South-South and South East regions.  There is also rehabilitation, construction, and expansion of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, including the rehabilitation of Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Dual Carriageway, Section I, II & III, and its transformation to a six-lane configuration, reconstruction of Benin-Ofusu-Ore-Ajebandele-Shagamu Expressway, and the Loko-Oweto Bridge, linking Benue and Nasarawa States to mention but a few. Some of these infrastructural projects were officially commissioned barely six days before the end of the Buhari administration.

Notwithstanding, an hungry, jobless, disappointed, and terrorized man, whose hopes have been raised and dashed times without number will definitely be a furious, frustrated, depressed, and hopeless man. He will not entertain any rhetoric or excuse from any government or its agencies about the challenges confronting it, except to start experiencing access to affordable ‘water, light, food, house' along with lasting solutions to other Sufferhead of the rising unemployment rate, of lecturer strikes and student’s unrests, of depreciated currency, of insecurity of life and property, of brutality and abuse by security agencies, etc.

Meanwhile, as there’s always light at the end of every tunnel, the hope of a better Nigeria can be argued to have been brilliantly renewed by Nigerians themselves on February 23, 2023, through Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu election as Buhari’s successor; likewise was a new dawn of a prosperous Nigeria enkindled right after the master planner of the nascent broom revolution ascended to the office of the President officially on May 30.

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“Every once in a while, I think that history gives us one or two persons who are gifted transformative leaders. I believe strongly that our country has been gifted with this transformative leader, Asiwaju Tinubu. I believe very strongly that this man’s political trajectory has only just begun. He is a man who has tremendous giftings and God has great plans ahead for him.” Former Vice President Osinbajo testified in his remark at the 11th Bola Tinubu Colloquium, themed: Work for People, held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, on Thursday, 28th of March, 2019, in commemoration of the 67th birthday of Jagaban. The former VP also informed the crème de la crème of guests at the Colloquium about some of the rare reforms Asiwaju brought into governance during his governorship tenure as revenue generation, electoral reforms, political appointments, and a cabinet that is devoid of ethnocentrism, etc. “Today, Lagos we know earns more revenue, more IGR than 31 states of Nigeria put together. That itself began in 2001.” The ex-VP had revealed among others.

There are hundreds of diverse testimonies from different classes of people to President Tinubu’s uncommon and remarkable political leadership, detribalized demeanour, benevolent attributes, resourcefulness, and selfless service to humanity before and after he ventured into politics.

Chief Bisi Akande, former Osun State governor, and pioneer National Chairman of the ruling APC, in 2010 described him as an advanced,

Ex VP Yemi Osinbajo

   Ex-VP Osinbajo in a chat with the President

an innovative, politician whose actions of change were seen as an affront by elders within Afenifere, a Pan-Yoruba group. “Bola Tinubu worked abroad in some very reputable companies and is well exposed, but those leaders could not understand what Tinubu was trying to do for the Yoruba nation and we saw it as an affront on us because we elders were not ready to understand that change was imminent and possible.”

                Ex-VP Osinbajo in a chat with the President

The Octogenarian had stated then in an interview with the Vanguard newspaper.

Chief Basorun Reuben Olorunfunmi, the first Secretary to the former Lagos State government under the administration of late Alhaji Lateef Jakande, is another elder statesman whose analysis of the President's leadership a few years back aptly describes the kind of government that Nigerians should be expecting. In a 2020 interview with The Punch, Chief Basorun referred to him as a “clear-sighted visionary” who one can  find

330px Chief A B Akande

“sitting down and talking like a prophet that, look, let us go this way or that way because this might happen.”

The late Emir of Borgu in Niger State, His Royal Highness, Dr. Haliru Dantoro III (1938-2015), while explaining why he honoured him with the title of Jagaban of Borgu in 2006, revealed that it was in appreciation for the advice and legal support he rendered to him during the tussle with the


government over the office of the Emir. “When God made me the Emir,” The late Mai Borgu recounted, “I said this man was there when I was in dire need of help so why can’t I use my position to make him what I feel will help him in future politically. That was why I honoured him with the title of 'Jagaban.’ Jagaban means 'Leader of Warriors.’ The late Emir who was also a politician was in the Senate during the truncated Third Republic. He was elected on the platform of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC).

Ben Akabueze, is from the South East and was the immediate-past Director General of the Budget Office for the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Between 2007 and 2015 he served through Asiwaju’s auspices, as the Lagos State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget. The chartered accountant will always remember the huge financial contribution he received from the political leader to offset the hospital bill for his son’s treatment abroad when both were still working with different private firms. “He wasn’t even into politics yet and he needed nothing from me.” He was quoted by a Dutch investigative journalist, Femke van Zeiji who resides in Lagos.


 Alpha Condé

To Alpha Condé, former Guinean President, President Bola Tinubu is a liberator and the best thing that has ever happened to the African Continent in his time. “Tinubu is the Pan-Africanist I have ever seen. I see him as a 'Lion of Africa' because of his contributions towards the stability and development of Africa. He has always supported African presidents who were Pan-Africanists in disposition and others.” Speaking on the allegation that President Tinubu is in possession of dual citizenship before inauguration day, the Ex-Guinean President who is in exile in Turkey, explained that he’d only conferred him with “Ambassador extraordinaire,” in honour of the role he played during his 2015 election in Guinea. He assured Nigerians of glorious days ahead under his leadership. “I am convinced that Tinubu’s leadership will be good for Nigeria. Nigeria is a country other West African nations look up to.” He stated, adding that Tinubu’s leadership of the country “will be impactful.”

It is, however, laughable that all that his detractors are interested in is nothing but shouts of blue murder over the authenticity of his genetic background, age, education, and the peddling of unsubstantiated allegations of fraud and watery drug baronage. In other words, President Bola Tinubu can proudly tell the world that he’d learned how to climb the political ropes perfectly, thoroughly, and diligently as a ‘City boy’ under the tutelage of his darling mother, the late Alhaja Abibat Mogaji (1916-2013), the Iyaloja-General, Association of Market Women and Men during her lifetime. Alhaja Mogaji was an astute mobilizer for the AG, UPN, and the SDP during the era that the ‘City boy’ was elected to the Senate.  So, he must have acquainted himself with the intrigues and the dynamics of the country’s political terrain while growing up and must have studied the actions of great political thinkers before him in setting forth the parameters of his political direction and machinations toward the actualization of his political aspirations; as Nicolló Machiavelli (1469-1527) had observed in his popular book, The Prince that “the prince ought to read history and study the actions of eminent men, see how they acted in warfare, examine the cause of their victories and defeats in order to imitate the former and avoid the latter.”


“President Tinubu's course of action in the next four years is bound to embark upon a re-examination of the country's existing social order and experiment on it, continually restructuring and improving on any area that he sees to be essential to drive his socio-political transformative agenda. In so doing, however, he will and must step on powerful toes, grapple with serious confrontations and diehard resistances from the fifth columnists who have long been enjoying feeding frenzies on the country’s economy.”


It is so obvious that President Tinubu is very much aware of the herculean task ahead of his administration. He knows the political landscape is and will be full of thorns and thistles and booby traps and he is confident he has the experience and the wherewithal to walk the tightrope and surmount every form of obstacle. “Life is a challenge by itself. You must be ready to confront challenges and overcome those challenges. That is it. I am sure I will face challenges and I am confident I will overcome challenges.” He’d affirmed in January 2022, then as a presidential aspirant during a chat with journalists shortly after paying a condolence visit to former governor Ladoja, in his Ibadan Bodija residence, over the demise of two prominent monarchs in the state and a former governor of the state. He has even pointed out recently not to be pitied when confronted by obstacles, saying he’d asked for it. His swift responses as well as disposition and resolution tendencies to some critical national issues in less than a month since he assumed the Presidential office have been sagacious, aptly attesting to his promise to hit the ground running as soon as his administration comes on board.

At this junction, emphasis needs to be laid on the Broom Revolution that have been started by President Tinubu, and why it is projected as unstoppable in Africa's most populous nation.

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In politics, revolution is usually considered a fundamental socio-political transformation of a society which can either be brought about through violent or nonviolent means. In this regard, President Tinubu’s revolution is of the latter strand with the broom as its symbol. As defined by political theorists and philosophers, a non-violent revolution is a kind conducted primarily by unarmed civilians using tactics of civil resistance, including various forms of non-violent protests to bring about the departure of a government seen as anti-people, undemocratic, or authoritarian. This strand of politico-philosophical thought on revolution is seen to be characterized by a strong emphasis on simultaneous advocacy of democracy, legal means, human rights, and national Independence in the country concerned.  In most cases, its leaders usually understand that the process of bringing about a fundamental transformation is more of a continuing project or task that cannot reach a point of completion and satisfaction. Etienne Balibar, a French philosopher suggests an understanding of revolution as a progressive power that operates from within the democratic system, whereby instead of aiming at the radical overthrow of the system, democratic citizens assume the role of the revolutionary subject by advocating the constant additions to and revision of the existing order and its institutions.


The Broom

Non-violent revolutions obviously came to the international forefront in the 20th century through the Independent movement of India under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), with civil disobedience being the tool of non-violent resistance.  Noticeably, some of the non-violent revolutions in mainly post-communist states, have been known to use symbols of colour or a particular item to represent the advancement of their strands of non-violent fundamental change. For instance, the People Power Revolution or February Revolution in the Philippines (February 22-26, 1986), the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia (November 17-28, 1989), and the Orange Revolution in Ukraine between 2004 and 2005.  In a similar vein, the broom was apparently the symbol of the non-violent revolution which was identifiablylaunched18 years ago in Nigeria by the leadership of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu when he was outgoing Lagos State governor, till he swept the board nationally to the exalted office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

It is, however, imperative to point out that the Broom Revolution of President Tinubu had only just begun. That, it is no longer going to be business as usual, and that the foundation of the sweeping out of the country, lack of ‘water, light, food, house,’ corruption, insecurity, unemployment, religious crisis as well as ethnoreligious crisis, cry of

as well as the threat of secession, plus every undesirable condition, is presently being laid.

President Tinubu's course of action in the next four years is bound to embark upon are-examination of the country's existing social order and experiment on it, continually restructuring and improving on any area that he sees to be essential to drive his socio-political transformative agenda. In so doing, however, he will and must step on powerful toes, and grapple with serious confrontations and diehard resistances from the fifth columnists who have long been enjoying feeding frenzies on the country’s economy. But with his supreme acumen, industriousness, vast political experience, versatility, and awesome magnanimity, he is poised to overcome the obstacles in a row and achieve big time in his political leadership of the country.  “Because one who creates themselves,” says Robin S. Baker “is remarkably unstoppable.”

It wouldn’t also be illogical to say that 71-year-old President Bola Tinubu has fulfilled the dreams of his mentors and predecessors within the Oduduwa Progressives clan, like Chief Obafemi Awolowo the Sage (1909-1987), Chief MKO Abiola (1937-1998) and Chief Bola Ige (1930-2001). It wouldn’t also be out of sense to predict that guided by Providence, the 16th President of Nigeria will in no time, enter into the league of famous world leaders like Pericles of Athens, Gandhi of India, Vladimir Lenin of Russia, Winston Churchill of UK, Franklin Delano Roosevelt of US and others that are forever revered in history for being great orators, risk-takers, visionaries and masterminds of the progressive transformation of their countries.


President Tinubu donning his trademark logo-broken shackle 

Nigerians need nothing else at this period of the wake of the President Tinubu-led Broom Revolution than to have patience as well as wish and pray for his hale and heartiness, more and more wisdom and vigour as he steers the rudder of the country's political ship on a voyage towards the shores of liberation. “Philosophically, it is my belief and faith in education, freedom fighting. On my cap is a broken shackle. It is freedom. The shackle is broken and you cannot put us in bondage anymore. You have broken the shackle of poverty, ignorance, and disease. You develop the capacity to improve the quality of lives of the people. It has been my philosophy and it will remain my philosophy.”  The City boy had asserted years back during his days as a Senator while explaining the meaning of his cap logo which he has been used to wearing.

Abimbola Olaoluwa Makinde. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Last modified on Thursday, 15 June 2023 16:21
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