At 4:10am on Wednesday morning, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under the chairmanship of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu declared Bola Tinubu, a candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of 2023 presidential election held on Saturday, February 25.
This declaration was made hours after the party agents of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) staged a walk-out from the National Coalition Centre over claims that the results from polling units were not electronically transmitted to the server. There were also claims of intimidation of voters, manipulation and violence in some polling units.
The nature of Nigerian politics is very complacent. It permits jabs, insults, blames and sometimes terrible narrations to de-market candidates which has made the politics of this country, Nigeria a pool that one should not try to swim without preparedness.
As dangerous as Nigerian politics can be, it can be very interesting sometimes. Politicians throw silly jabs, make empty promises and sometimes vow to do something serious if a particular candidate they prefer emerge or not. Like many Nigerian politicians who make vows during electioneering, Bode George who is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is not different.
Findings by WITHIN NIGERIA revealed that the political enmity between Bola Tinubu and Bode George started during the days of the former as governor of Lagos State.
Recall that Bode George was not only a chairman of Port Authority in the country but he was also a very prominent voice of opposition with federal government support in Lagos State.
Olabode Ibiyinka George (“Bode George”) is a Nigerian politician who became Military Governor of Ondo State, and later Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority, then national vice-chairman in the southwest zone of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Bode George in an interview once disclosed that he has no personal issues with the former governor of Lagos State but he has continuously threw jabs at the former Lagos governor whenever he’s privileged or opportuned to speak about politics or governance. He accused Bola Tinubu of corruption, conversion of state properties to personal ones and continued exploitation of Lagos vis a vis successive governments.
Over the years, Bode George only threw jabs at Tinubu but in 2015, it took a new dimension after it went viral that Bode George vowed to ‘go on exile’ if the newly-formed conglomerate of opposition parties, APC took over the federal government.
According to reports, the former Port Authority claimed that he would be arrested by Tinubu because Buhari’s running mate, Yemi Osinbajo was his boy. However, Muhammadu Buhari and his running mate, Yemi Osinbajo won the 2015 presidential election under the platform of APC and Bode George, former Port Authority boss did not go on exile.
In a personal interview with PUNCH newspaper, Bode George in February, 202p described the presidential ambition of Bola Tinubu as a “challenge” and the “most illogical and most disruptive issue”.
He then added that “I will disown Nigeria to take the citizenship of Togo or any other country” if Tinubu becomes the president.
“It is a challenge. It would be the most illogical and most disruptive issue to have him (Tinubu) elected as President. If this happens, I will disown Nigeria to take the citizenship of Togo or any other country,” he said.
Again, George during a chat with Arise TV on May 7, 2021 emphasised that he will cease to be a Nigerian should Tinubu get the presidency.
The ex-Port Authority boss further urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate Tinubu’s tenure as Lagos governor and his alleged involvement with Alpha Beta Consulting, a tax firm.
“I’ve talked about it, and I’m still saying publicly that the EFCC should go urgently and investigate Alpha Beta Company owned by him,” he had said.
“We must make sure that they investigate him. He’s junketing all over the place—an insult to the civilised minds who work so hard in this country. If by whatever yardstick, he becomes the head of state, I will cease to be a Nigerian, and I’m not joking.”
Bode George at a press conference on March 19, 2022 stressed that his vow to vacate Nigeria if Tinubu becomes president is no joke.
According to George, he’ll leave the country and “be watching with binoculars from afar”.
In a personal chat with Vanguard barely weeks after Tinubu had announced his presidential bid, Bode George said Tinubu is “not the kind of person we can hand over this massive country to manage”.
“I will move away from Nigeria. I’ll leave because he will be your representative in the international plain. Which investment will he bring here? I am not talking because I have any hatred for him,” he said.
In another interview with Arise TV, George made another vow that he would rather cease to be a Nigerian than see Tinubu become the president.
The Lagos PDP chieftain stated that he would whatever necessary to review and renounce his citizenship if Tinubu becomes president.
Following the declaration of Bola Tinubu as the winner of 2023 presidential election by INEC, some Nigerians are wondering if the Lagos PDP chieftain and former Ports Authority chairman, Bode George would fulfill his vows or not.