By Jimmy Abia
Babatunde is a Yoruba name that means “father has returned“. This name and its meaning seem to have been most influential in the life of Muhammadu Buhari. Knowing the circumstances in which Buhari, popularly called “baba” returned to power after 30 years, it is not in doubt that the name really came true for him.
Accounts of his first stint as head of state told that Babatunde Idiagbon actually invited him to lead that administration. Again, any success attributed to that regime could also be traced to Tunde. Even his popular anti corruption stance is traceable to Tunde. Thus it could be said that Tunde made him. Indeed he was ousted at the time Tunde traveled out.
Fast forward to 2011. He had been contesting presidency but always lacked a southern appeal and hardly excited Christian voters. It was not until Tunde Bakare opted to run with him that all that began to change. Though he lost that election, things never remained the same.
Then comes Babatunde Fashola the oft acclaimed “golden boy of Lagos“. When all hopes seemed lost for Baba (not Baba go slow. Lol). Babatunde and co. went to beg baba to re-contest. His primary election was held in Babatunde’s territory – the first time he got candidacy outside Abuja. Babatunde then funded his election “with all abandon”. He was the choice of Baba for vice presidency but religious tensions in the country at the time didn’t make such option expedient, yet it did not deter Babatunde from doing his very best to actualise the Buhari mandate. For the first time after 3 attempts, 30 years after his first stint and with the involvement of the 3rd Tunde, Buhari won. For the first time a sitting president and a ruling party was defeated at the center and Baba came back “baba tunde” Surprisingly, this Babatunde is of same ethnic group and religion as the first Tunde. The second tunde only differs in one area because he changed religion.
It is therefore not surprising that Baba chose Babatunde to be his “prime minister” and to head the 3 humongous ministers fused into one. This automatically gives you an idea of the policy thrust of his administration – that it will be focused on these areas. Therefore since “his luck shines” with Babatunde, baba chose him for that onerous task. Something tells me he will succeed in these areas. I don’t know if baba will return once more after this term but one thing is sure that he no longer plays with Babatunde.
To many, names don’t matter but to Buhari it seems to matter a lot now.
Written by Jimmy Abia
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