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Who is Bola Tinubu? Meet Nigerian Political Godfather & Presidential Candidate

Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has promised to end the petrol prices subsidy if elected.

Key Facts About Bola Tinubu

  • He is an accountant and politician from Nigeria.
  • He served as governor and a senator from Lagos.
  • He is the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
  • He is the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for president.
  • He is a parent of six children.
  • He adheres to the Islamic religion.
  • His spouse’s name is Oluremi Tinubu.
  • He comes from a long line of Yoruba people.
  • His estimated wealth is $4 billion.

Who is Bola Tinubu?

Bola Tinubu is a well-known figure in Nigerian politics and works as an accountant. From 1999 until 2007, he was Lagos State’s governor; before that, he represented Lagos West as a senator during the short-lived Third Republic. Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu is his full name; he was born on March 29, 1952. He was nominated as the All Progressives Congress nominee for the 2023 Nigerian presidential election in June 2022.

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Bola Tinubu was born in southwestern Nigeria and grew up there before moving to the United States to attend Chicago State University and major in accounting. After moving back to Nigeria in the early 1980s, he worked as an accountant for Mobil Nigeria until 1992, when he ran for the Senate as a Social Democratic Party candidate from Lagos West. Bola Tinubu joined the National Democratic Coalition’s effort to restore democracy when dictator Sani Abacha disbanded the Senate in 1993. Bola Tinubu was forced to leave Nigeria in 1994, but he returned after Abacha’s death in 1998, marking the Fourth Republic’s beginning.

Bola Tinubu, a member of the Alliance for Democracy, easily defeated Dapo Sarumi of the Peoples Democratic Party and Nosirudeen Kekere-Ekun of the All Peoples Party in the first gubernatorial election held in Lagos State after the country transitioned to democracy. He was re-elected for a second term four years later, narrowly defeating Funsho Williams of the PDP. During his two stints as governor of Lagos, Bola Tinubu fought with the federal government, controlled by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and made measures to modernise the city. He served as a crucial figure in the creation of the All Progressives Congress in 2013 after leaving office in 2007. Bola Tinubu’s long and contentious career has been dogged by allegations of corruption and scepticism regarding the accuracy of his biographical details.

Bola Tinubu adheres to Islam as a religion. Oluremi Tinubu, the incumbent senator for Nigeria’s Lagos Central constituency, is his wife. The mother of Bola Tinubu, Abibatu Mogaji, passed away on June 15, 2013, at 96. It was confirmed on October 31 2017, that his son, Jide Bola Tinubu, had died of a heart attack in London. To his name, Bola Tinubu is not only the Asiwaju of Lagos but also the Jagaban of Borgu in the Nigerian state of Niger.

Bola Tinubu Early Life

Bola Tinubu was born on March 29, 1952, according to affidavits. His mother, Abibatu Mogaji, was a businessman who rose to become the Iyaloja of Lagos State. Bola Tinubu has been involved in controversy due to inconsistencies in the documentation he provided to the Independent National Electoral Commission; nevertheless, there have been unconfirmed rumours that he was born with a different name to another family in what is now Osun State. Bola Tinubu’s contradictory records and claims fueled the controversy around his age, education, and identity throughout his political career. Bola Tinubu alleged that then-senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi mistakenly fabricated the 1999 submission and that Chicago State University records listed his birth year as 1954, not 1952, to help him win the governorship. The documents he presented at the time said that he had attended Government College, Ibadan, for secondary school, and the university’s records gave his birth year as 1954. The documents Bola Tinubu presented to INEC for the 2022 presidential election were made public. They revealed that, contrary to earlier sworn paperwork and public declarations, he had not stated the primary or secondary school he attended.

Bola Tinubu Education

Bola Tinubu went to St. John’s Primary School in Aroloya, Lagos, and the Children’s Home School in Ibadan. In 1975, Bola Tinubu left Nigeria for the United States, where he attended Richard J. Daley College and later Chicago State University. In 1979, he completed his Bachelor of Science in Accounting programme and graduated.

Bola Tinubu Career

Bola Tinubu worked for Arthur Andersen, Deloitte, Haskins & Sells, and GTE Services Corporation, all of which are American companies. Bola Tinubu returned to Nigeria in 1983 and quickly rose through the ranks at Mobil Oil Nigeria, where he eventually became an executive. In 1992, he joined the Social Democratic Party. He became a part of the Peoples Front faction, along with other prominent politicians like Umaru Yar’Adua, Atiku Abubakar, Baba Gana Kingibe, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila, Magaji Abdullahi, Dapo Sarumi, and Yomi Edu. In Nigeria’s short-lived Third Republic, he was elected to the Senate to represent Lagos West.

After General Sani Abacha’s 1994 coup as military head of state, he was forced into exile but eventually returned to Nigeria in 1998, during the Fourth Nigerian Republic’s transition period. Following the nullification of the results from the presidential elections held on June 12, 1993, Bola Tinubu helped create the pro-democracy National Democratic Coalition, which campaigned for the return of democracy and the official acknowledgement of Moshood Abiola as the victor. Alliance for Democracy (AD) leaders Abraham Adesanya and Ayo Adebanjo groomed Bola Tinubu in the run-up to the 1999 elections. After defeating Funsho Williams and Wahab Dosunmu, a former Minister of Works and Housing, he won the AD primary for the governorship elections in Lagos State. He ran for Governor of Lagos State on the AD platform in January 1999 and was elected governor.

In the months following his election as governor in May 1999, Bola Tinubu built many affordable homes in Lagos for the city’s low-income residents. During his eight years in government, he made substantial investments in the state’s educational system. He returned several schools to their previously settled owners, reducing the number of schools in the state. He also began constructing brand-new roadways to benefit the state’s rapidly expanding population. In April 2003, Bola Tinubu was re-elected as governor, with Femi Pedro as his deputy. In those elections, the People’s Democratic Party won every state in the southwestern states. He was embroiled in a fight with the Olusegun Obasanjo-controlled federal administration over whether Lagos State had the right to develop new Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) to address the requirements of its vast population. The incident led to the federal government seizing cash earmarked for municipal governments in the state. His battles with PDP heavyweights like former Lagos State senator turned minister of works Adeseye Ogunlewe and southwest PDP chairman Bode George raged on during the latter part of his time in office.

When Femi Pedro, the deputy governor, announced his intention to run for governor, it strained relations between Bola Tinubu and Pedro. Although Pedro had hoped to be the Action Congress (AC) candidate for governor in the 2007 elections, he withdrew his bid on the eve of the party’s nomination. He switched parties but remained deputy governor after joining the Labour Party. Bola Tinubu’s time as governor of Lagos State ended on May 29, 2007, when his successor, Action Congress member Babatunde Fashola, took office. Bola Tinubu worked hard in 2006 to get the former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, to run for his party, the Action Congress. Atiku, a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at the time, had a falling out with his principal, Olusegun Obasanjo, over his desire to succeed the latter as president. Bola Tinubu gave Atiku a chance to switch parties by giving him a spot on his party’s presidential ticket on the condition that he would be Atiku’s running mate. Atiku turned down the offer, instead selecting Ben Obi as his running mate from the South East. But even with Atiku running for president on Bola Tinubu’s platform in the upcoming elections, the PDP still won, proving that Tinubu was barking up the wrong tree.

After the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) won a sweeping victory in national elections in April 2007, Bola Tinubu began facilitating talks amongst the disparate opposition parties in 2009 to form a “mega-party” to take on the PDP. In February 2013, Bola Tinubu and other politicians merged Nigeria’s three most prominent opposition groups into the All Progressives Congress, coining the term “mega opposition.” These parties were the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), a section of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), and the new PDP (nPDP), a faction of the then-ruling People’s Democratic Party (APC). During the 2014 election cycle, Bola Tinubu backed General Muhammadu Buhari, a former military leader and the then leader of the CPC. Buhari has enormous popularity in Northern Nigeria and ran for president on the CPC ticket in 2003, 2007, and 2011. Bola Tinubu at first wanted to be Buhari’s running mate for vice president. Still, he later gave up on that idea in favour of Yemi Osibanjo, a friend and former justice commissioner. It was the first time in Nigeria’s history that an incumbent president lost to an opposition candidate when Buhari rode the APC to victory in 2015. The PDP had ruled the country for sixteen years before Buhari’s triumph.

Despite his long-held alleged presidential aspirations, Bola Tinubu has played a significant role in the Buhari administration, supporting government programmes and maintaining control of the internal party reins. He backed Buhari’s re-election bid in 2019, helping the president to overcome the PDP’s Atiku Abubakar. It is widely believed that the ouster of Bola Tinubu’s ally and party chairman Adams Oshiomole in 2020, which followed an internal party conflict, was an attempt to derail Bola Tinubu’s presidential ambitions in advance of the 2023 election. The formal form of the announcement came from Bola Tinubu on January 10, 2022, when he informed President Buhari of his desire to run for president of Nigeria. This was the first time that Tinubu had made such a declaration. Bola Tinubu defeated Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Rotimi Amaechi to win the presidential primary of the ruling All Progressive Congress on June 8, 2022. Tinubu received 1,271 votes, while Osinbajo and Amaechi received 235 and 316, respectively.

Bola Tinubu Controversies

A court action filed in 1993 claimed that the United States government had “probable cause” to think that Bola Tinubu’s American bank accounts stored the proceeds of the heroin trade, prompting an investigation into his finances by federal officials. Later that year, he agreed to a settlement with the authorities in which he forfeited around $460,000. In the early 1990s, court filings and subsequent reporting on the case revealed that Bola Tinubu had worked as a bagman for two heroin dealers in Chicago. These revelations came to light due to an investigation into the matter. The Federal Government brought Bola Tinubu to trial before the Code of Conduct Bureau in April 2007 for the alleged illegal operation of 16 distinct offshore accounts. This occurred after the general elections but before the governor-elect Babatunde Fashola took office. During the 2019 election, a bullion van was spotted pulling up to Bola Tinubu’s home on Bourdillion Road in Ikoyi, with Bola Tinubu boasting, “I keep money anywhere I want.”

After being accused of conspiracy, money laundering, abuse of authority, and official corruption in connection with the 2004 sale of V-mobile network shares, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission exonerated Bola Tinubu, Governor James Ibori of Delta State, and Obong Victor Attah of Akwa Ibom State in January 2009. There were rumours in March 2009 that Bola Tinubu was the target of a plan to assassinate him. The Alliance for Democracy had requested that Mike Okiro, Inspector General of Police, look into the matter. On the other hand, in September 2009, it was reported that the British Metropolitan Police were looking into a deal in which the government of Lagos State invested in Econet (now Airtel). After the deal was finalised, Bola Tinubu proclaimed it simple, beneficial, and without any middlemen. Britain asked the Federal Government Government to give them the evidence they needed to continue their investigation and bring charges against the three former governors of Nigeria in a London court. The Nigerian government said no.

The title of “Godfather of Lagos” has been given to Bola Tinubu by many people. A 2015 documentary called The Lion of Bourdillon shed light on Bola Tinubu’s political and financial control over the giant city-state by exposing his involvement in its administration. After Bola Tinubu sued the documentary’s producers, AIT, for libel in the amount of 150 billion, broadcasts of the show were halted on March 6, 2015. The fact remains, however, that he has a history of being authoritarian against his successors, as seen by rumours of a rift between Bola Tinubu and Fashola in December 2009 over whether or not Fashola should be re-elected in 2011 and Bola Tinubu’s preference for Muiz Banire, the commissioner for the environment. Akinwunmi Ambode, who followed Fashola, was himself driven from office by Bola Tinubu, who replaced him with incumbent Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in a fight reminiscent of the one that occurred in 2015 over Fashola’s successor.

Bola Tinubu Ethnicity

The ancestry of Bola Tinubu can be traced to the Yoruba people.

Bola Tinubu Parents

Abibatu Mogaji was the name of Bola Tinubu’s mother. There is a limited amount of information available regarding Bola Tinubu’s father.

Bola Tinubu Siblings

Although information regarding Bola Tinubu’s family is still being compiled, we know that he has a brother named Rafiu Olubodun Tinubu.

Bola Tinubu Religion

While Bola Tinubu is a practising Muslim, his wife serves as a pastor in the Christian faith.

Bola Tinubu Wife

Oluremi Tinubu (nee Oluremi Odugbesan Ikusebiala) is the wife of Bola Tinubu.

Bola Tinubu Children

Bola Tinubu’s offspring include six people: Olajide Tinubu, Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, Seyi Tinubu, Zainab Abisola Tinubu, Habibat Tinubu, and Olayinka Tinubu. On October 31, 2017, Olajide suffered a fatal heart attack and passed away.

Bola Tinubu Social Media

On Instagram, Bola Tinubu can be found by searching for the handle @officialasiwajubat. In addition to that, you can find him on Twitter under the handle @officialABAT.

Bola Tinubu Net Worth

The estimated value of Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s wealth is $4 billion.