Senator Remi Tinubu cuts a picture of that unassuming woman of moderate ambition. Her pious mien and self-effacing demeanour, however, enshroud a Machiavellian and avaricious desire for power. No sooner had she got re-elected for a third term in the last general election than she made it known that her sight is set on the Deputy Senate President seat.
In an interview earlier in the week, Senator Tinubu said, “As it is, women have not been given their fair share and to be the first leader to be re-elected for a third term consecutively, the first woman in Nigeria, I think they have to consider what they would give to the woman. I believe that I have represented the women folk for over twenty years and they can trust me, my office would be open and then we can move the agenda of the women further and I’m looking forward to that.”
Perhaps banking on her husband, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s influence in the All Progressives Congress (APC), Remi has been scheming overtly and covertly for the seat. She is reportedly in consort with a group pushing for the Senate Presidency to be zoned to the North East, thus giving room for a Yoruba ranking senator to be Deputy. President Muhammadu Buhari lost in the south-east and south-south and the ranking senators are in the opposition.
So, being the dominant party in the National Assembly, Mrs Tinubu reckons that if the North-east APC gets the senate presidency, the southwest which overwhelmingly voted for the president deserves the deputy, as a contrary arrangement will work against her interest.
However, a source said some days ago that at a gathering of politicians at the Tinubus’ Bourdillon residence after the governorship elections, newly elected senator, Hon Bayo Osinowo, openly called Remi ‘My Deputy Senate President’. Asiwaju was reported to have reacted angrily, saying, “Please, don’t say that here again because nothing of such would happen.” Mrs Tinubu swiftly recoiled into her shell while the hailer went cold. Yet, the former First Lady of Lagos State has been vocal and vivacious about her ambition and already carrying herself like the seat is already hers.
Similarly, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has never hidden his ambition to become Speaker of the House of Representatives, a position he narrowly lost to the incumbent, Yakubu Dogara, in 2015. Gbajabiamila, who has been in the House since 2003, has been rallying the APC top guns to zone the Speakership to the South West, as was the case in 2015 before Senate President Bukola Saraki and Dogara selfishly scuttled the arrangement.
While Remi and Femi’s qualification for the seats they aspire is not in doubt, observers are miffed at their desperate tactics. Remi is the Senator representing Lagos Central district while Femi represents Surulere Federal Constituency under the same Lagos Central. Also, both are Yoruba and from the same Tinubu political family where Vice President Yemi Osinbajo also emanated from.
Without a doubt, Asiwaju’s next battle will take place at the National Assembly as the party moves to exorcise the ghosts of 2015. Contrary to insinuations that his political dynasty might implode given the treatment meted out to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode who was denied a second term ticket, and seeming dominance of Nigerian politics among other shenanigans, Asiwaju, like a cat with nine lives, emerged victorious and even stronger as all the 67 legislative seats in Lagos State (Senate, House of Representatives and House of Assembly) went to the APC, except three.
Not for him was the tsunami that swept away Saraki in Kwara State which his family had held by the jugular for decades. However, will other leading politicians sit back and watch Asiwaju’s people dominate the leadership of the next National Assembly leadership? This is the impending battle royal that Asiwaju has foreseen but which his wife has turned a blind eye to so far her own ambition is realised.