SaharaReporters has learnt that former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Lagos has demanded that the Lagos State government and various local government councils in the state contribute huge sums of cash to fund his 69th birthday celebration.
Reliable sources told SaharaReporters that Mr. Tinubu, a professed opposition figure and leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), made it compulsory that the chairmen of all local governments under the party contribute cash to give him a birthday that one of his critics has described as “obscene and immoral.” In all, the ACN chieftain has asked the state and local governments to cough up N1 billion.
“The birthday party is being planned as a month-long affair and will be celebrated in phases,” said one source.
In addition to the funds from his state, Mr. Tinubu has also asked that the governors of Oyo, Ekiti, Edo and Ekiti make significant cash donations to the planned events. Our sources revealed that tension may be brewing between Mr. Tinubu and Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State over the latter’s refusal to contribute towards the lavish birthday party.
Mr. Ajimobi recently hosted President Goodluck Jonathan's wife, Patience, during her visit to Oyo State. A source close to the governor told SaharaReporters that Mrs. Jonathan told Mr. Ajimobi not to create enmity with PDP elements in his state. She reportedly described former Governor Tinubu as a closet member of the PDP.
Our source said Mrs. Jonathan, who was piqued by Tinubu’s recent criticisms of her husband’s policies, also revealed that Mr. Tinubu has met secretly with her husband on several occasions. She said that, at one such private meeting last year in France, President Jonathan and Tinubu struck a deal to quash a case against the former governor for violations of Code of Conduct provisions.
After portraying Mr. Tinubu as a selfish politician out for his personal financial interests, Mrs. Jonathan told Ajimobi to contact her directly if he needed anything from Mr. Jonathan.
A source in Oyo stated that Governor Ajimobi’s decision not to bankroll Tinubu’s birthday extravaganza may signal the governor’s determination to escape from under Mr. Tinubu’s tyrannical style of leadership within the ACN political orbit and Ajimobi's move to start a gradual migration back to the PDP. Ajimobi is generally described as a non-performing governor by Oyo indigenes.
Although Mr. Tinubu claims to be 60 years old, a source told us that he is at least 67 years old.