“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.”

—Emily Dickinson


By Cosmas Omegoh

Tell it on the mountain. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has assumed office as the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Tinubu was sworn-in on May 29, as Nigeria’s 16th president. This came as legal battles rage in court over his “victory.” However, if things stay the way they are now, he looks good to be Nigeria’s president for the next four years.

For the Jagaban of Borgu, the chain of events on May 29, captured the magic moment he had been waiting for. For him, it has been a long walk to a goal he set for himself, which has taken him long years of meticulous scheming, planning, plotting and more to realise.

Those who knew  how President Tinubu arrived at where he is now say he doesn’t just move, he powers on; he doesn’t just walk, he goosesteps to the goal.

The former Lagos State governor is believed to be a master of the game. His acolytes revealed that while other mortals snore at night, he is up gazing at the stars, pondering what they hold for him. They added that he is a bridge builder, a strategic thinker with uncommon bent for building alliances.

But President Tinubu’s many traducers see him differently. They will have none of his praises. In their own eyes, Tinubu is a man with an opaque life, so shrouded in secrecy. They say even as president and a politically-exposed person, he allows very little to be known about him, his wealth and his ways. That there is just very little about him in the public space. And he provides no window through which anyone can have assess him. What is there to hide, they wonder.

The President Tinubu many know gets full marks for constructing the All Progressive Congress (APC) skeleton which many have enriched and ridden to power. The outgone President Muhammadu Buhari mounted the platform to victory in 2015 after his years of futile attempts at being president.

President Tinubu’s horde of admirers dub him the “King maker.” Now, more than anything, he is the kingmaker that has become the king himself. What a feat!

Those who had worked closely with him say he is a headhunter, affirming that he played the role well while he held sway as Lagos State governor. But whether he will replicate the same at the centre remains to be seen.

At the moment, not everyone is happy that Tinubu was sworn in while his “victory” is being challenged in court. People see that move as a sleight of hand, while some insist the move is constitutional.

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While President Tinubu savoured the air on his swearing in day, he acted the “tough guy” in his inaugural speech which sat well with his many listeners up to some point when the rhythm seemingly changed. The president pulled the trigger, firing into the crowd:  “Subsidy on petrol is gone!” he thundered.

The Tinubu declaration came with such a seismic bang. Nothing less! Its effects are still resonating and reverberating in the land.

At the moment, many are reminding the president that petrol in Nigeria ranks next to oxygen, insisting that it is the more reason he has to treat issues regarding it with utmost caution.

Following the president’s speech, petrol now sells between N500 and N1,000 everywhere in the country depending on one’s location. Worse still, it is becoming scarcer. Nigerians are returning to the days of anguish because the ripple effects of petrol on life and living are monumental. That cannot be over-emphasised.

But some individuals who stand with Mr President on the vexing subsidy on petrol removal matter are not amused. They contend that his announcement minutes before taking over power was untimely. That he ought to have approached the subsidy withdrawal in phases. That way, he would buy time and ensure that at least one or two government refineries come alive – or allow the Dangote refinery to begin operation before going full blast. That he ought to have brought a human face to the debacle which will likely trigger social upheaval in the land.

At the same time, some of the president’s staunch supporters are excited that he had “hit the ground running,” after all he said so clearly during his electioneering. They remind everyone who cares to listen that removal of the subsidy on fuel is one of such tough decisions he must take to succeed.

Already an aggrieved mob, including President Tinubu’s supporters is building up. Labour too is gearing for a showdown after its meeting with the government to discuss   the issues ended in a deadlock.

President Tinubu’s next move on the chess board is the monetary policy that focuses on collapsing the parallel and official foreign exchange windows. That too is having its own ripple effects.

Those in position to know interpret the move as one smart way of further devaluing the ailing naira.

But the Central Bank of Nigeria has denied the insinuation, even when operators say currently, the naira is exchanging for N630 to the dollar at the official rate, as against N450 in the past days.

Now, where this new exchange regime leads Nigeria and Nigerians is one huge source of concern to those knowledgeable enough in financial matters.

Meanwhile, President Tinubu is being reminded that what every Nigerian needs most now are food, security and improved life, having come through long torturous Buhari days. That anything to make the citizenry recall that their past – as it is   sometimes said – is often better than the present should be avoided.

Already, analysts are urging the president to quickly reunite a fractured country and close the charms which continue to gape after the rancorous elections. That choosing those to work with him based on their “character, competence and capacity” and the dictates of equity rather than political patronage is key. Indeed, President Tinubu must realise that this is the way to go as the country and its people head out with renewed hope,  searching for a prosperous future.