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PRESIDENT Bola Ahmed Tinubu and one of his major opponents in the February 25, 2023 Presidential Election under the Labour Party, Peter Obi won the 2023 Leadership Awards in various categories.

While Obi won the “Politician Of The Year 2023” award, Tinubu was named the “Person Of The Year 2023.”







For a can-do spirit that has marked him out as a quintessential politician, for bracing monumental odds to emerge as the candidate of his party, the APC, and winning the 2023 presidential election; and for a raft of difficult but necessary decisions to reposition the country, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is Person of the Year 2023


Also known as the Jagaban of Borgu Chiefdom, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, BAT for short, is a study in resilience and political sagacity. Easily one of Nigeria’s most strategic politicians, he defied many stripes, remained fiercely focused in the race for Nigeria’s number one political spot. The military will not forget him in a hurry, nor will politicians that have underestimated him.

After serving as governor of Lagos State and surviving the onslaught of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against progressive governors at the time, he stayed out of elective office but not out of politics. He maintained grip over the affairs of Lagos and played a leading role in the coalition that defeated the ruling PDP in 2015.

For nearly eight years, however, he was sidelined and treated like a stranger in the All Progressives Congress in which he was one of the two most significant shareholders. Yet, again, he defied the odds, confounded critics and silenced doubters by cobbling together an electoral machine that produced a winning ticket the like of which was seen in Nigeria three long decades ago.

Tinubu came into national limelight when he emerged as a senator representing Lagos West Senatorial District on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the ill-fated Third Republic. He was the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. When that experiment failed with the annulment of the June 12, 1993, presidential election, which the late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola won, and the overthrow of the interim national government led by Ernest Shonekan, his political trajectory took a dramatic turn. He was one of the kingpins of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), an amalgam of fireeating pro-democratic activists.

As the General Sani Abacha military regime began a clampdown on individuals it considered political dissidents, Tinubu went into self-exile from where he and others of his political persuasion fought the then head of state Abacha to a standstill. With the return to democracy in 1999 in Nigeria, he joined the Alliance for Democracy (AD) on which platform he was nominated the governorship candidate for Lagos State. He won very easily and served two terms as the third civilian governor of the state after Alhaji Lateef Jakande and Chief Michael Otedola. He used that opportunity to reset Lagos — he initiated a master plan that has turned it into a mega city. Thus began the rise and rise of the political behemoth who is today the president and commanderin-chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Bola Tinubu’s enduring quality lies in his uncanny capacity to mould and nurture a diverse political spectrum into a formidable opposition party that set the record in the country for defeating an incumbent ruling party. At age 71, Tinubu is, without a doubt, an icon of democracy, a mobiliser of immeasurable capacity, a thoroughbred grassroots politician, a defender of the masses and a skillful communicator. President Tinubu’s resilience and indomitability in Nigeria’s political firmament became so glaring when he survived the political hurricane of 2003 that swept away the rest five governors elected on the platform of the AD in the South-West to remain the last man standing.


What cannot be taken away from the President are his vision, intelligence, determination, courage, strong sense of purpose, focus, and the tenacity he displays at every level and station of life that he finds himself. The legacies of the man fondly referred to as the good man of Lagos are glaring in the state till date. For eight years as governor, he transformed the face of Lagos State, earning plaudits in the process. He grew the state’s internally generated revenue (IGR) from N600 million monthly to N7 billion by 2007 when he handed over to his illustrious successor, Raji Babatunde Fashola.

Tinubu, once captured by the Financial Times as a “political Sveng a li” has, over the years, remained a dogged fighter, a welfarist, a team player, a revolutionary and a visionary leader. With these virtues he was able to turn Lagos into a benchmark of how an elected public officer should deliver the dividends of democracy to his people.

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LEADERSHIP Awards – The Man, Peter OBI:

For redefining the political calculations in the 2023 presidential election, raising the bar of political consciousness and stirring interest in large swathes of otherwise indifferent voters, especially among young Nigerians; for significantly redrawing the political map, despite entering the race late, Peter Gregory Obi is Politician of the Year 2023.

Peter Obi got the nomination of the Board of Editors as the Politician of the Year following the pleasant shock treatment he administered on the polity as a first-timer in a presidential race. There is no Nigerian whose entrance into the presidential race for the first time changed the calculation as he did.

He caused a tie of 12-state victory each for him and two other major contenders, Bola Ahmed Tinubu (APC) and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (PDP). He was Atiku’s running mate in the 2019 election.

Obi had on March 24, 2022, declared his intention to run for president of Nigeria on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but he later pulled out and announced he would be running on the Labour Party platform instead. Many thought that decision was fatal and gave him no chance. But he went ahead to resign from the PDP on May 24, 2022.

He joined the Labour Party and obtained its presidential ticket. For the first time, a struggling political party drew admiration especially from the youth segment of the population.

The “Obidient movement” emerged from a group of Nigerians mostly under the age of 30 and soon drew the attention of even older members of the electorate. They showed their support via social media and street marches but, within weeks, they formed a big coalition.

The established political class did not take the Obidient movement seriously but day in, day out, the young supporters keep increasing because of Obi’s ideology of “From consumption to production”.


A section of the older citizens and the undecided voters joined the Obidient movement. When the results were announced on March 1, 2023, and Obi received 6.1 million votes from 12 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Nigerians agreed that his stride was unprecedented. As a matter of fact, he was the only presidential candidate who scored the mandatory 25 per cent of the vote in the FCT. Even more baffling was that he won in Lagos of all places. That was the measure of his acceptability.

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