National Leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and former Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who, on March 29 clocked 67 years of age, reminisced his times as a struggling boy in the United States of America during his early life.
According to him, “One experience I will not forget was when I over-charged a naval officer, who was returning to the country. It was not intentional. Apparently, I didn’t know the direction; there was no GPRS in those days to locate directions. So, he gave me the direction to his house in a Virginia suburb. I gave him the price and the man responded with a slap to my face. He said I should know the correct fare to charge to the location he mentioned. He slapped me and gave me the money.
“Another experience was when I took a guy whom I didn’t know was drunk. When I drove to his house, he pointed a gun at me instead of paying the fare. He took my leather jacket and said: ‘Get into your car and get lost.’ He did not pay”, Asiwaju recounted.
Paying through his education abroad was also tough. He had to do menial jobs to survive. He was on one when he had another unforgettable encounter.
“I was taking the third Accounting class and equally working as a security guard at a construction site. They were very serious with their kind of security. There were about six points with six clocks at the site which the security man must wind every hour and with a dog in hand. So, there was never a chance of trying to catch a nap. As I was doing my accounting assignment, I fell asleep. I was dead asleep! The inspector came to the site and found me sleeping, with my head on my books. He simply pulled the register and wrote: ‘I have been here. You were sound asleep. So, see me tomorrow’. When I woke up, I found that Skiddo (the dog’s name) was gone, and then the register. I just went to a corner, cleaned my face and concentrated on my assignment because I knew the job was already gone. You can’t lose two things. I ensured that I read well for my test and passed the next day. I opted to post their uniform and cap to them, but suddenly ran into the man and he handed me my cheque and said the job was gone. I told him I knew and we said goodbye to each other! I had to start looking for another job.”
Many more of his childhood and adulthood experiences, including his university years at the Chicago State University; how he was sought after by big companies in America, after graduating with his name on the Dean’s list as the overall Best in Accounting of his set; his corporate years in Deloitte, Haskins and Sells (now Deloitte and Touche Consulting Group), and later as Auditor and Treasurer in oil giant, Mobil; his journey into politics; relationship with the late Chief M.K.O Abiola (G.C.F.R); life in exile as a NADECO activist; his pro-democracy struggles and crusades for a just and an egalitarian society; his account of stewardship as Lagos State Governor between 1999 and 2007, and verdicts of many eminent personalities across strata of life on him are exclusively revealed in a hard copy special publication of TheNEWS entitled, ‘ASIWAJU: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE LEADER’, published on the Jagaban of the Borgu Kingdom when he clocked sixty years of age in 2012. The timeless publication remains a collector’s item.