here is no need to introduce these two powerful leaders. They are well-known throughout the political terrain in Nigeria. One is in charge of Africa’s richest and most populous country, as well as the world’s black people. The other was (still is) in charge of West Africa’s financial capital. He was chosen to run Africa’s sixth-largest economy just 22 years ago. He was in control in the major nation (Lagos State) inside our country from 1999 to 2007, and since 2007, he has been pulling the political strings of who, what, where, from the local to state levels especially, in the Southwest. And, about 6 years ago, he “singlehandedly” (of course, with the help of gullible money-hungry Nigerians and some high-end electoral rigging) make a “messiah of doom” the President of our great nation, Nigeria.
Yes, he is the ruler of the commercial capital, which is home to the country’s only two operational sea ports, that serves a population of over 200 million people spread over six geopolitical areas. Before 2015, when he took some political talent from the other more prominent national leader of the ruling party — that year (2015), the more powerful leader of our country had run for the job three times and failed. Those who were privy to the deception that propelled Muhammadu Buhari to power in 2015 maintain that Bola Tinubu teamed up with another wise investor from Rivers State and an Artful Dodger from Kwara State, among other resourceful risk-takers, to invest heavily in the man they marketed to us as the only solution to all our corrupt tendencies.
This is not a post blaming the ‘Three Musketeers’ for their wise investment in 2015, when they saw men’s gullibility and enforced what was three times a hard sale. It is not the time to bemoan those who sparked the nation’s consciousness in 2015 by causing the rain that has been pelting us ever since. This is just a remark to analyze the significance, or should I say the repercussions, of a coincidental meeting last week in London between the two ‘wonderful’ leaders I have been raving about — Buhari and Tinubu. They are wonderful leaders, are the not? That is why they are in a wonderful country where their illness as little as body aches are being examined by some of the best physicians so that they can continue their wonderful work in their wonderful ‘nations’ while waiting for the grandeur, even Mandela predicted before flying away to yonder.
It is disheartening to learn that our elected leader, on whose table the buck should truly stop, and, more importantly, the leader of Africa’s largest economy, has been flying to London for medical check-ups and treatment more than 60 years after the United Kingdom granted us independence and republican status. Some brash and unchiseled digital critics even said the other day that our leader’s trip to London for a medical check-up was not good enough for us. His lone son was airlifted to Germany for proper treatment after he fell off his motorbike. When his wife is feeling a bit under the weather, she always flies to the UAE, where another prominent man, Atiku Abubakar, our Former Vice President, loves to live as his Plan-B residence. The charity of great men should always begin on the other side of the globe.
At the recent Sallah Festival celebration, the second great figure, whose cognomen is Oba l’ola, Yoruba people’s metaphor for “future king,” was not present in his territory. He was also absent from his kingdom when the key local government council elections were held a few weeks ago. His absence, however, was unnoticed because they, as usual, won all of the Council seats. That was how his followers and, indeed, his people confirmed his suspected medical issue, which was just confirmed to be nothing to worry about. The rumour of his purported health woes was finally debunked when he was spotted with the ‘General Overseer’ of Lagos he helped reclaim power in 2015.
Despite the secret pact that so many eyewitnesses have hinted at, the lanky beneficiary of his 2015 stratagem would not honor the covenant to hand over to him. After all, it can now be seen by all of us who have been circulating some dangerous intelligence ever since. We have all seen the wonderful friends, political mentor, and mentee reunited in London, where it is believed they have always met periodically in a coven similar to witchcraft practice so as to renew their commitment to each other on the #Covenant-2023. All skeptics have now witnessed that the two pals are as fit as a fiddle. Don’t be fooled by the walking stick you think you saw: it’s a symbol of knowledge that comes with age. In the historic Western area, it is also a regal emblem for Oba l’ola (Future King). In the UK, you shouldn’t read their body language anyway. They are wonderful men, and it has been wonderful to see them all together in such good spirits. As Nigeria’s leader returned home over the weekend, they need our prayers for good health and indeed healing for our wonderful country. Oba l’ola may or may not have returned home over the weekend.
As our wonderful leader returns to his country following the Great Summit on Education and examination of his wellbeing in the UK, he should listen to the voices of wisdom and reason, which most of us have been echoing since 2017. That Nigeria’s President should use his Summits and health-care experiences in London to invest strategically in even a few facilities where our leaders, people, and Africans can be treated. Remember how the late Nelson Mandela said that Africa, and the black race, in particular, will wait for Nigeria to take the lead. Do I have to cite Nelson Mandela once more?
“Until Nigeria gets the respect of the rest of the world, Africa will not be respected. Nigeria must be great as a source of pride and confidence for the world’s black people.”
One thing is evident from Mandela’s thought: the world will not respect Nigeria, and the world’s black people will not need Nigeria as a source of pride and confidence if Nigerian leaders at all levels are unable to invest robustly in social services, particularly education and health and human services. Instead of investing in superior institutions, Nigerian politicians are strangely investing in more rudimentary universities that could not create even a department of computer science capable of managing Google’s West African artificial intelligence center. That is how the tech behemoth discovered one in Ghana, which has better but fewer universities than Ogun State. Before Nigeria launched its battle on the #Twitter business, the company had chosen Ghana as the best location in West Africa for its operations center, leaving Africa’s behemoth out in the cold.
Despite Mark Zuckerberg’s prediction that Yaba, Lagos would be a technology hub when he was in Lagos in August 2016, I believe our wonderful Asiwaju of Lagos needs to reflect deeply on why Lagos, our economic capital, which he has been shaping for over 22 years, has failed to impress the big data firms, Google, and Twitter corporations.
On his first trip to Africa, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited the Yaba technological cluster in Lagos, spoke with developers and partners, and went on a tour of Nollywood.
According to reports at the time, Zuckerberg was in Nigeria to “listen and learn” and bring back suggestions on how Facebook could better promote technology development and entrepreneurship in Africa to California. A ‘Summer of Code Camp’ at the CcHub (Co-Creation Hub) in Yaba, Nigeria’s Silicon Valley, was one of his first stops on the journey. CcHub began operations in 2011 with no physical location. When the CEO of Facebook came calling five years later, the building had three floors and the roof. CcHub is a place where anyone can learn to code, developers can obtain assistance with launching their first products, and mentors and funding can be found.
In 2016, at CcHub, Zuckerberg spoke with developers such as Temi Giwa, the founder of the ‘Life Bank’ platform. Life Bank saves lives by mobilizing blood donations, inventorying all available blood in the country, and distributing blood in the best possible condition to where it is needed.
“This is my first trip to sub-Saharan Africa,” Zuckerberg stated after visiting CcHub. “I’ll meet with engineers and entrepreneurs to learn more about Nigeria’s startup environment… I’m excited to learn as much as I can because the spirit here is incredible… The Co-creation Hub (CcHUB) Nigeria in Yaba was the first place I got to go. I had the opportunity to speak with children attending a summer coding camp as well as entrepreneurs who come to CcHub to develop and market their apps. “I’m excited to meeting more people in Nigeria.”
Zuckerberg visited Andela, an African engineering group dedicated to developing the next generation of technical leaders. Andela is a company that recruits Africa’s best engineers and molds them into world-class developers over the course of a four-year technical leadership program. His visit confirmed not only his support for Andela’s objective, but also his conviction that the next generation of great technological leaders would emerge from Lagos, Nigeria, and other African cities.
The presence of Mark Zuckerberg proves to all Nigerian developers and entrepreneurs that they have captured the attention of the tech world and that they are capable of global success. Since Zuckerberg’s departure from Nigeria in 2016, what has happened to that Hub? Tinubu, who has produced governors and political leaders for Lagos and most of the Southwest states, should not let the answer to that question pass him by.
So the important duty before Buhari and Tinubu, who control Nigeria from Abuja and Lagos, is that we would like to see them after their medical inspection in a Nigerian hospital the next time they visit. As they return home, the two great men should be aware that their grandeur will be harmed by their reluctance to invest even in two British-class hospitals in Abuja and Lagos, where they dominate Nigeria. We do not want to see them together overseas again for health reasons. At the very least, they should pay attention to LASUTH (Lagos State University Teaching Hospital), LUTH (University of Lagos Teaching Hospital), UATH (University of Abuja Teaching Hospital), and NHA (National Hospital Abuja). They may readily invest in these low-hanging fruits to avoid the embarrassment of a great nation whose great leaders often fly over ill-equipped hospitals to be treated at wonderful facilities elsewhere.