On Tinubu’s Age, Name and Impending Presidency ~ By Bolaji Aluko
A lot has been done in recent times leading to and since the emergence of Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT), of rumors surrounding his name and age. Let me say from the very beginning, in case you don’t need to read me any further: all of it is too much muckraking bad-belle, in pidgin vernacular, balderdash in cockney.
I have known BAT since 1993. A viral picture is currently circulating with some of us Yoruba PDM June 12 “rascals” in the Washington DC area prominently featured, with BAT humbly in it. I will be 68 years old in two days’ time – and I know that BAT is older than me! But when I knew him, like a good Omoluabi that he was and is, he deferred then to many people who were older than himself, and who were nowhere more than 10 years older than myself. That is why all this nonsense about his age being 80, 87 is just that: plain nonsense.
He claims to be 71, and I agree with him, but at the most, he cannot be older than 75, natural born. Like most Nigerians born in the 40s and 50s, like most of six billion people in the world, he may have no original birth certificate, so what? Early 50s were 73 years ago downwards. Imagine early 40s – or 83 years ago downwards.
I hear that he was born at Iragbiji in Osun State, allegedly with a name Yekini Amoda Ogunlere, different from Bola Ahmed Tinubu. And so? Can a man not change his name – for whatever reason? Is it illegal? Did anyone hear that he killed someone and adopted that person’s identity? Yes, his biological mother is alleged to be from Iragbiji. But remember that we are a paternalistic society. Every other name of his at birth is speculative, and stands to be corrected whenever he discovers his real roots.
In any case, all these are elitist demands from a man who pulled himself from the bootstraps. I was born to a university academic and I have all my birth certificates, and have not had to be adopted by any other peoples’ parents but I cannot expect everybody to be like me.
No matter what, BAT is our President-elect now, and we will have to live with his Presidency come May 29. He is a worthy “rascal”, an original “ipata”.
Unlike most of our other presidents, Tinubu comes fully prepared for the job, and will be a fantastic president because of his humble beginnings, strivings in life, bad belle by so many people – ethnic propagandists, Afenifere bad-belle-ers, wide-eyed youth neo-ENDSArists – and his pro-democracy credentials. He needs our prayers and willingness to assist him to lead this nation aright.
Please come and join us.
There you have it.
By Bolaji Aluko