President Tinubu Biography, Political Career, Business, Controversy, Lifestyle And Net Worth

Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu is a Nigerian politician and businessman who currently serve as the 16th president of Nigeria. He was born on 29th March 1952 in Lagos, Nigeria. He is a Muslim by religion. He was the governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007 and senator for Lagos West in the Third Republic.

Tinubu spent his early life in the southwestern Nigeria and later moved to the United States of America where he studied Accounting at Chicago State University. He returned to Nigeria in the early 1990s and was employed by Mobil Nigeria as an accountant, before entering politics as a Lagos West senatorial candidate in 1992 under the Social Democratic Party.

After dictator Sani Abacha dissolved the Senate in 1993, Tinubu became an activist campaigning for the return of democracy as a part of the National Democratic Coalition movement. In the first post-transition Lagos State gubernatorial election, Tinubu won by a wide margin as a member of the Alliance For Democracy. Four years later, he won re-election to a second term. After leaving office in 2007, he played a key role in the formation of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in 2013. In 2023, he was elected President of Nigeria.

Tinubu was born in Lagos into the merchant family of Abibatu Mogaji, Iyaloja of Lagos. He claimed to be born in 1952 but many of his political opponent claim he is much older than that age. Some reliable sources noted that his age has not been verified.

Tinubu attended St. John’s Primary School, Aroloya, Lagos before proceeding to Children Home School in Ibadan. He completed undergraduate studies in the United States of America, first at Richard J. Daley College in Chicago and then at Chicago State University. He graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting.

Tinubu worked as an accountant for the following American companies namely Arthur Andersen, Deloitte, and GTE Services Corporation. After returning to Nigeria in 1983, he joined Mobil Oil Nigeria and later became a company executive.

Tinubu’s political career began in 1991, when he joined the Social Democratic Party. In 1992, he was elected to the Senate, representing the Lagos West constituency in the short-lived Nigerian Third Republic.

After the results of the 12 June 1993 presidential elections were annulled by General Ibrahim Babangida, Tinubu became a founding member of the pro-democracy National Democratic Coalition, a group which mobilized support for the restoration of democracy and recognition of MKO Abiola as winner of the 12 June 1993 election.

Following the seizure of power as military head of state by General Sani Abacha, Tinubu went into exile in 1994 and returned to the country in 1998 after the death of the military dictator, which ushered in the transition to the Fourth Nigerian Republic.

In the run-up to the 1999 elections, Bola Tinubu was an active member of Alliance For Democracy (AD). He went on to win the AD primaries for the Lagos State governorship elections. In January 1999, he stood for the position of Lagos State Governor on the AD ticket and was elected governor.

During his 8 years in government, Tinubu initiated new road construction, required to meet the needs of the fast-growing population of the state. Tinubu, alongside a new deputy governor, Femi Pedro, won re-election into office as governor in April 2003. All other states in the South West fell to the People’s Democratic Party in those elections. He was involved in a struggle with the Olusegun Obasanjo controlled Federal Government over whether Lagos State had the right to create new Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) to meet the needs of its large population. The controversy led to the federal government seizing funds meant for local councils in the state.

In March 2009, there were reports that a plot had been identified to assassinate Tinubu. In February 2013, Tinubu was among several politicians who created a mega opposition party with the merger of Nigeria’s three biggest opposition parties, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). With the merging of this powerful three opposition party Tinubu formed the All Progressive Congress (APC).

In 2014, Tinubu supported Nigerian former military head of state, Major General Muhammadu Buhari for 2015 presidential election. Tinubu initially wanted to become Buhari’s vice presidential candidate but later conceded for Yemi Osibanjo, his former commissioner of justice in Lagos. In 2015, Buhari defeated Goodluck Jonathan and rode the APC to victory, ending the 16-year rule of the PDP, and marking the first time an incumbent Nigerian president lost to an opposition candidate.

Tinubu went on to play an important role in the Buhari administration, supporting government policies and holding onto the internal party reins, in lieu of his long-held rumored presidential aspiration. In 2019, he supported Buhari’s re-election campaign defeating the PDP candidate Atiku Abubakar.

On 10th January 2022, Tinubu made his formal announcement of becoming Nigeria president. On 1st March 2023, INEC declared Tinubu winner of the 2023 presidential election. He was declared president-elect after he polled 8,794,726 votes to defeat his opponents.  Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party.

Tinubu constitutionally began his presidency on 29th May 2023. He was sworn in as President of Nigeria by the Chief Justice of Nigeria Olukayode Ariwoola at an inauguration ceremony held in Eagle Square in Abuja. Tinubu was conferred with the highest national honour of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR) by his predecessor Muhammadu Buhari on 25th May 2023.

Tinubu in his inaugural address promulgated the removal of the government subsidy on fuel. The statement in his inaugural address caused panic which later led the increase in price at fuel pump stations in Nigeria and automatically increasing living condition and causing heavy inflation in Nigeria.

Tinubu has been widely perceived as the Godfather of Lagos.” His role in pulling the strings of the mega city-state was exposed in The Lion of Bourdillon, a 2015 documentary film highlighting Tinubu’s political and financial grip on the city-state by AIT. Tinubu filed a ₦150 billion libel suit against the producers of Africa Independent Television (AIT). The documentary ceased airing on 6th March 2015. In 2011, he removed Lagos state Governor Fashola and replaced him with Akinwummi Ambode as Governor of Lagos state. In 2015, he removed Lagos state Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and replaced him with Babajide Sanwo Olu as Governor of Lagos state.

In 1993, his assets were frozen by the United States government as a result of a court case asserting that the American government confirmed that Tinubu’s American bank accounts held the proceeds of heroin dealing. He settled with the U.S. government and forfeited about $460,000 later that year. Court documents and later reporting on the case suggested that he worked in league with two Chicago heroin dealers. During the 2019 election, a bullion van was seen entering Tinubu’s residence on Bourdillion Road in Ikoyi, which caused him to later exclaim: “I keep money anywhere I want.”

In 1987, Tinubu got married to Oluremi Tinubu, who is a former senator representing the Lagos Central Senatorial Districts. They have 3 children. He also fathered 3 children from his previous relationships. On 15th June 2013, Tinubu lost his mother Abibatu Mogaji who died at the age of 96 years old. On 31st October 2017, his son, Jide Tinubu, died in London.

Tinubu holds two traditional chieftaincies titles. He is the Asiwaju of Lagos and the Jagaban of Lagos. Tinubu is currently the richest politician in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $5 billion. He is the owner of Oriental hotel, Mobil Oil, TVC News, TVC Radio Continental, Tollgate Lagos, Nation Newspaper, and other conglomerates in Lagos. He has a mansion in Ikoyi, Lagos worth over $5 million and has luxury cars worth over $2 million.

Austine Ikeru
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