June 7, 2023
Bola Tinubu TIME100 Emmanuel Osodi—AP

Influential Drug Baron

Read Time:2 Minute, 34 Second

Time magazine unwittingly names Nigeria’s “President-Elect” Bola Tinubu as one of its 100 most influential people of 2023

US publication Time on Thursday unveiled controversial “President-Elect” Bola Tinubu as one of its most influential people of 2023.

TIME100 first published in 1999 as the result of a debate among American academics, politicians, and journalists, the list is now a highly publicised annual event. Appearing on the list is often seen as an honour, and Time notes that entrants are recognised for changing the world, regardless of the consequences of their actions.

Named by the American magazine as one of the influential people of 2023, the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential candidate Bola Tinubu is currently defending his electoral “victory” in court after it was challenged by the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi.

In the last few days, his lawyers have been explaining his sordid role in the drug trade in 1980s Chicago. In 1993 he forfeited $460,000 to an Illinois court, proceeds from trading in heroin, the court was told.

Many in the APC camp see it as a glowing tribute to Tinubu who has not been seen in public since March 21,

“Our own ASIWAJU ⁦@officialABAT⁩ is one of the 100 most influential People in the world by Time magazine. He made it under the category of LEADERS. Enormous respect. Let the wailing of losers begin TIME100: The Most Influential People of 2023 | TIME.” Festus Keyamo Minister of State Labour and Employment tweeted.

“Winning an election in Africa’s most populous country is no easy feat. But Nigeria’s newly elected President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has had nearly two decades to prepare. Called Jagaban, or “leader of the warriors,” by his supporters, the now 71-year-old ran in a presidential election for the first time this March. His campaign slogan, “It’s my turn,” was a nod to his role as a longtime political power broker.” Ashta Rajvanshi wrote.

“Tinubu helped restore the country’s democracy in 1999 after fighting military rule and then served two consecutive terms as governor of Lagos.” Time noted.

It pointed out that Tinubu had no mandate as he was being challenged in court.

“But Tinubu’s win with the ruling All Progressives Congress Party came in a fraught election and by a slim margin over Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi. It was the first time Nigerian voters contended with a third-party candidate, and many discontented young Nigerians yearning for change pinned their hopes on Obi. Marred by allegations of intimidation and vote rigging, the outcome of the ballot is being challenged in court.” Rajvanshi wrote ignoring the allegations of drug dealing in Chicago.

Time admits that “Tinubu now faces a litany of crises in a fractured nation, including deep-rooted corruption, religious insurgencies, and shortages of cash, fuel, and power in a crumbling economy.”

“But the President-elect seems aware of his inheritance: “[Nigeria] is one country and we must build it together,” he said in his acceptance speech.” The magazine added.

Akowe with materials from Time

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