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Tinubu and Obasanjo - both very wealthy from their time in office

Why Tinubu remains more influential than Obasanjo in Yorubaland

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo and the former governor of Lagos State Bola Tinubu have hardly ever seen eye to eye politically.  Although both men backed Muhammadu Buhari’s presidential bid about three years ago, they were at loggerheads when both were in office as Tinubu helped to prevent Obasanjo’s Peoples Democratic Party secure dominance in Western Nigeria – both men’s home region.

Obasanjo has since fallen out with Buhari and is dead against the president’s reelection in 2019, writing a couple of letters complaining about Buhari’s failures in office.  Tinubu termed Obasanjo’s anti-Buhari epistles as “bad belle” (sour grapes).  Many Nigerian observers wonder how both men with claims to dominance in western Nigeria politics would affect voting for Buhari in that region in 2019.

Naijiant.com put this question to a source that knows both men well.  He said Tinubu would win any popularity contest with Obasanjo in the west “hands down”.  According to him, if you went to see Tinubu with a problem, he was always ready to help.  If your father died and you were struggling with funeral costs, Tinubu would give you about 5m naira ($13,800).  The source said “you would get something unless if you don’t see him”.

Obasanjo, on the other hand, “was not free with money”.  If you went to see Obasanjo with a problem and you were not another powerful Nigerian or connected to one, and he didn’t think there was anything he could gain from you, the ex-president was more likely to “throw you into his crocodile farm”.  When questioned further about this “crocodile farm”, the source said that Obasanjo bred crocodiles in Ota, Ogun State and speculated that he “harvested their skins”.

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