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Why Tinubu's 2023 victory reminds you of MKO Abiola in 1993

The victory of Tinubu in the 2023 presidential election has evoked memories of the historic 1993 mandate of Bashorun MKO Abiola that was tragically annulled.

HOPE 93, the campaign slogan of MKO Abiola, and Bola Tinubu's 2023 campaign slogan, RENEWED HOPE, are more than mere nomenclatures

This latest election shares striking similarities with its 1993 predecessor, as both Abiola and Tinubu hail from Southwest Nigeria and belong to the same political family. Additionally, they are accomplished accountants and share the religion of Islam.

Both candidates even chose their Muslim running mates from the Kanuri lineage of Borno State. To top it all off, MKO had 8.3 million votes, while BAT scored 8.7 million to secure his victory.

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HOPE 93, the campaign slogan of MKO Abiola, and Tinubu's 2023 campaign slogan, RENEWED HOPE, are more than mere nomenclatures. They represent thoughtfully-crafted ideologies simple and clear enough for the masses to connect with.

Unfortunately, Nigeria missed out on the transformative opportunities Abiola's presidency would have brought, depriving the nation of a leader who excelled in corporate and street politics.

Corporate politicking involves circumventing formal organisational structures, understanding informal networking, building connections, developing people's skills, and exhibiting bravery to neutralise negative politics. Abiola and Tinubu reached their respective heights in the corporate world with these attributes.

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Street politics can be likened to the famous "amala politics" phrase popularised by the late Ibadan politician, Lamidi Adedibu. It encompasses unbridled generosity, ensuring unwavering loyalty from followers by meeting their financial needs, and ensuring their inclusion in the leader's journey to stardom.

Street politics can sometimes get dirty and dangerous, employing raw and unethical means and methodologies. Politicians rooted in this style never shut their doors to reconciliation with estranged mentees, friends, loyalists, and rival colleagues.

Abiola rode on the wave of street popularity to amass a cult-like following, earning him an electoral victory that was unjustly taken away from him. His success in the business world was a testament to his mastery of corporate politics. President Bola Tinubu seems to be cut from the same cloth.

*Pulse Editor's Opinion is the viewpoint of an editor at Pulse. It does not represent the opinion of the organisation Pulse.

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