The president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been named in the Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2023. The annual list of influential individuals was published on Thursday, April 13, 2023.
The American news magazine described the president-elect of Nigeria as a longtime political power who helped Nigeria restore democracy in 1999 after fighting military rule.
This recognition by Time magazine, comes despite the myriad of protests and narcotics allegations against Tinubu and the election results that proclaimed him winner, is a bit surprising.
Tinubu’s profile as given by Time magazine read, “Winning election in Nigeria is not easy, but Nigeria’s newly elected President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, had nearly two decades to prepare for the position. Popularly known as ‘Jagaban’ (leader of the warriors), by his supporters and close allies, the 71-year-old political warrior ran in a presidential election for the first on February 25. His campaign slogan, ‘It’s my turn’, was a nod, depicting him as a longtime political power broker. Tinubu helped restore the country’s democracy in 1999 after fighting military rule and then served two terms as governor of Lagos state.
“But Tinubu’s win with the ruling All Progressives Congress party came in a controversial election and by a slim margin over Atiku Abubakar of PDP and Peter Obi of the Labour Party.
“It was the first time in political history, Nigerian voters had to contend with a third-party candidate, many young Nigerians who weren’t satisfied with the Ruling party’s administration, and who yearned for a change from the status quo hipped their hopes on Peter Obi. The elections ladened with allegations of voter intimidation and vote rigging, the outcome of the polls is presently being challenged in court.
“Tinubu now has truck load of court cases from opposition parties including deep-rooted corruption, religious insurgencies, shortages of cash, fuel, and power in a crumbling economy. But the President-elect seems aware of all these: ‘Nigeria is one country and we must build it together,’ he said in his acceptance speech.”
Others on the list are US President Joe Biden, King Charles III, US Senator Mitch McConnell, footballer Lionel Messi, Elon Musk, US actor Michael B. Jordan, US singer Beyonce, US actress Angela Bassett, model Bella Hadid, Basketballer Brittney Griner who was jailed in Russia, amongst others.