Asiwaju Goes to Charlotte By Pius Adesanmi

Bola Tinubu clapping at the US Democratic convention in Charlotte, NC
Pius Adesanmi

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was at the just-concluded convention of the Democratic Party held in Charlotte. Glossy pictures are already circulating in social media. There is one of him clapping excitedly in the audience. There is another of him in an outside pose with one of his men Friday, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti state. On the surface, this is a good development. When a man of such enormous influence decides to come and observe and learn from the best democratic practices, the idea – only the idea – should be lauded. But observing and learning from the best practices in the world is an area in which Nigerian leaders and socio-political élite are not in good standing. Therefore, we need to know what Asiwaju and his entourage saw, heard, and learnt in Charlotte.  

Indeed, Nigerians are eternally perplexed that the reproduction of modernity and postmodernity has remained rocket science for our political and social élite. Let me explain. If your understanding of the concrete expression of modernity and postmodernity lies in democracy, 21st century infrastructure, advancements in science and technology, and the creation of opportunities and a level playing field for the pursuit of happiness for the citizenry, you will discover that most non-Western societies – Japan, China, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Dubai – that have achieved parity with or surpassed the West (especially in modern and postmodern infrastructure) have done so in great part by observing and copying.

Indeed, the spread of the developmental and infrastructural aspects of modernity and postmodernity beyond the West is a study in the ability of the excluded to observe, copy, and adapt the end product to local-cultural conditions and circumstances. Aware of the existence of such things in the West, the élite of these societies spent much of the 19th and 20th centuries copying and reproducing them for their own peoples.

A Japanese official sees the French TGV or German ICE (super rapid trains) and begins to think of how to out-perform the French and the Germans by producing a more modern Japanese version of the trains but a Nigerian official sees the same trains in Germany or France and begins to think of how to buy homes in Germany or France in order to spend summer enjoying those trains; a Dubai crown prince sees an architectural wonder in New York (it could be a mall) and rushes back home to the task of constructing something bigger for the people of Dubai but a Nigerian official sees the same mall in New York and hurries home to steal money to come and shop in that mall next summer; a Chinese official sees the German autobahn and hurries home in nationalistic anticipation because better roads must be constructed in China but a Nigerian Governor sees the same autobahn in Germany and begins to make discreet inquiries into how to buy shares in the German company that constructed the said autobahn. If German financial regulations allow him, he will return to Berlin next year with his entire security vote to buy shares in that German company.

The Nigerian élite is incapable of replicating anything they see abroad. What they take back to Nigeria are the worst aspects of Western behaviour. Hence they return to Asokoro or Lekki with their fake amala, akpu, or gworo-coated accents, supercilious airs, and acquired Western consumption patterns. I’ve been in high-end restaurants in Lagos while folks who don’t know the difference between Merlot and Rosé would come in, order wine and cuisine from a menu they can barely read, and discuss their last European vacation loud enough for everybody to hear.

This is all our élite take back to Nigeria when they come here and that is why Nigerians should be very interested in what Asiwaju saw in Charlotte and what he took back home. What did he learn about internal party democracy? What did he learn about the power of ideas over money? What did he learn from the zero violence in back to back conventions? What are his concrete plans to translate such lessons into concrete, verifiable results in his southwest fief in particular and in Nigeria at large? In the same vein, Nigerians should also be interested in the things Asiwaju did not see and did not hear in Charlotte. The list is endless but I’ll limit myself to three:

1. Asiwaju did not hear that any Governor of the states controlled by the Democratic Party is in permanent financial bondage to Bill Clinton.

2. Asiwaju did not hear that Governors of the Democratic Party have ever collectively used taxpayers’ money to fund Bill Clinton’s birthday celebrations.

3. Asiwaju did not hear that companies owned by Bill Clinton or in which Bill Clinton has substantial interest somehow manage to corner most of the contracts in states controlled by Governors of the Democratic Party. He did not hear that Bill Clinton’s companies are operating concessions and toll gates in any state controlled by the Democrats.

Now, over to you. What else do you think Asiwaju did not see or hear in Charlotte?

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Tundemess go some where else

Tundemess go some where else with your criminal mind-set-In the USA where Tinubu was alleged to have have attended the said convention, he would have been forced to resign- Quit as his job as head of ACN. The issue at stake here is that, Tinubu lied to the nation state of 9ja that, he was invited by Obama. Whereas he was not-Instead he was alleged to have his way to the convention-how can we have man whose first and second name is Liar and Mr lie! as the leader of the opposition party-Tinubu has by his action told us he personifies lies-if Jonathan had done this to the nation u tunde mess would have called for his head to be cut by the nation assembly

Let me first state that i

Let me first state that i have never met the Asiwaju before, not affiliated to any political party nor condone corruption in any form especially as stated here, but i must say that that the writer of this piece shows some symptoms of slave mentality by suggesting that no form of corruption or even the slightest hint of corporate patronage from political affiliations occurs in America. Cheney's Halliburton and other republican corporate sponsor were the main beneficiaries of the Iraq war. e.g. Halliburton was made to refund over $27m for food over-billings on food served to American soldiers in Iraq in 2004. If the writer has deadlines to meet, please think your articles through before posting online

....and so what?

I wonder what this story is all about... Are you saying Tinubu does not deserve to attend the conference, Democrats Party is corrupt, Bill Clinton is corrupt, Tinubu is corrupt.

I don't know who wrote this story, but I sure know that the writer is paid by some PDP LOOTERS.

Reading through this story, I can say without doubt that the writer knows nothing about USA.

Advice to honest nigerians, beware of ALL present day politicians - even the writer of this article.

The PDPs first, then maybe ACNs etc.

Wetin Tinubu wan learn for here biko?

After reading this article. I had a good laugh. Why laugh? Well, because you guys already know how stupid Nigerian politicians are. Did this man see how USA respects its people and how everyone has a right? Is he not standing among regular Americans? How many big men walked in there with soldiers bodyguards in camo flaunting AKs? Did he see how real Police work? How many people used sirened vehicles to get there? Did he hear generators buzzing or ever experience power failure while there? Did he hear how the speeches were organised? Highlighting achievements and explanations as to why promises were not kept? Did he see how chop-belle-full americans looked? Did he see kids hawking bread/pure water on the streets? Did he see the airports, roads, rail services? Did he see hospitals and other infrastructure? Naah, Tinubu didn't see all these cos he was very busy thinking of how to steal more money, change citizenship and enjoy these benefits here in USA.hahaha.Yeye Nigerian politicians.

Learn what?

This is how we just keep throwing meaningless words around - learn what exactly? Somehow, the news coverage provided by all the media as well as the live broadcast of all the events is not sufficient for him to learn in his parlour abi? With all the emptiness in his hollow soul that must be aching after the senseless pillaging of public funds they all are a part of, and a total waste of an opportunity to write his name in history in stone, he must have some sort of need to feel that he is part of something great or forward moving. Unfortunately he will never be,and shall perish and pass away, as just one of the many theives that came and went, doing nothing, and leaving nothing lasting for posterity to build upon.

The Picture is a

The Picture is a Phoney...Fake. Was Tinubu FLOATING IN THE AIR above the other Standing delegates when the picture was taken. its obvious that his picture was super-imposed on that of the delegates.WHAT A FRAUD LIKE THE MAN.

@ a party or club?

what would u have said if d man went 2 us 4 party, merry making etc? his record or detrowning 6 govns in nig politics is still unprecedented. Asiwaju xpand ur domain 2 other part of thecountry.

You are standing the TRUTH on its head!!!

Nay,please tell me,what gives you the impression dt Tinubu is willing to learn & change? Bola Tinubu is has much part of d problems dt is weighing dis great nation down as much as d khaki boys u loathe so much. His attendance at d DNC in d USA is at most for show/publicity,...d ACN wud continue as it as always bin,....a party dt does not understand d simply & elementary tenents of 'Internal Party Democracy.' The fact dt ACN controls d South West 2day is not bcos the party is popular or better dan d PDP,its simply bcos our people av ad enuf of PDP and we don't really av several better alternatives to choose from,its either d PDP or d ACN! (except of course in Ondo State wia d Labour Party swells d rank of alternate Parties to vote for). And u can be sure,...dt jamboree of a trip was fully paid for by taxpayers in d SW states,....pls read Prof. Adesanmi more thoroughly next time

I admire him

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu: He is willing to learn. He is ready to learn and he is learning by being at the Democratic National Convention that took place during the week in Charlotte to enrich the leadership of his party and prosper its style of governance. He deserves our encouragement and appreciation.

Its funny to see how some

Its funny to see how some morons cant tell right from wrong ,so all those supporting tinubu cant see all the daylight stealing he has been doing especially in lagos and to make matters worse he started a media lie about being invited to this event when he actually bought his ticket to it ,shame on him

If Asiwaju clears the air of his PDP accusations, then he learnt

It is good to see our Asiwaju excited at the democrats convention. But has he learnt anything? Is a million question worthy of investigation. If he so admires Obama, then he should follow Obama's tenacity of confronting accusations on his birth certificate and place, by clearing the air to the Americans in the social media, and at a state dinner, where he disgraced his accussers in a heroic power point presentation of the "Lion King" children's cartoon. I expect Asiwaju to do the same on the PDP accusation of him not attending Government College Ibadan,and not graduating from University of Toronto. Asiwaju should or need to address the accusations. If he does that, then we can see he has learnt 'clean' Obama and dem's politics. Over your excellency Asiwaju!!

If ACN members are crooks ,

If ACN members are crooks , then what will u have to say of your PDP people who have exploited Nigeria with wicked and senseless leadership since 1999? Pls stop writing rubbish. ACN is far better than PDP. Check out the states ruled by both parties. The difference is very clear. ACN states are far more better. Pls take note !

Here we go again!

Here we go again .... shallow minds with the same thinking! So what if Tinubu did not get a personal invitation from Obama? Why not ask him why he went there? Other politicians who can afford it would rather spend that time with their girlfriends and concubines. Some of the commentators here would do themselves some good like Tinubu to further their education by finding their way to America as well to learn! Alas the visa-wielding officers would not oblige them. Even to ensure their English is at least polished to the point where they can be understood! If I could ask, what is the author seeking in America and what has he seen and learnt and how much has he planted back home? asy to see the speck in another person's eyes and unable to see the log in one's own!

Money buys influence and

Money buys influence and access even for Drug Lords and even in America and the DNC Convention for that matter.
Donate money to the DNC via Chicago connections and have even your US entry restriction lifted. So much for US govt fighting Corruption.!

The big Deal

.... the big deal is that he would come out there learning a thing or two....

Your write up is a

Your write up is a masterpiece !
Asiwaju and the likes will always come out of our society as long as we continue to operate under the current system we are in.Our system will always produce corrupt and inept leaders.
What we need in Nigeria is a change of system.We need a new constitution,period.

Tribal fools

Sahara team and their soft reporting for yorubas. Tinubu onwer of tollgates in Lagos, a religious fanatic linked to boko haram. The idol of ACN, after stealing Lagos dry to meet his drug and hemp addiction is in the usual Nigerian culture receiving praises, Farouk Lawal will really be laughing.

Progress is slow but

Progress is slow but meanwhile Asiwaju's pocket gets filled. Talking about slow progress, people get detained at LUTH for not paying their medical bills

Tinubu & Co Plc.

My brother you have hit the nail on the head. We are absolutely faced with the same devil. PDP & ACN are one and the same in terms of corruption. I pray God to deliver us from the hands of these THIEVES who called themselves Democrats.


What if he saw that thieves are there? (there4 he is welcom). What if he saw the opposite Obama's electoral promise? In fact he was blind when he was there, although he saw beautiful houses,cars etc that wish to own soon! Click here and ave yourself of this opportunity!!

Asiwaju did not see......

or hear that Bill Clinton's children, in-laws, cousins, nephews, nieces, personal assistants and even domestic servants occupy elective and appointive political posts in Democratic Party states.

Olu, I agree with you!

@Olu. I agree with you, except the generalisation that all those writing against Asiwaju are Ibos.

We'r all looking at the news

We'r all looking at the news and the source in one way and not in other way round. Where did got the news from? was it from DNC spoke person or from Obama himself? I could not find such a news on yahoo news or CNN. Why do we like to mock people around? How possible is it to buy just a card and traveled with 4 guests? All Obama supporters donated and some of them got special invitation for dinner with Obama on diff occasions? Have you ever heard that it is not possible for a person of questionable character to donate to any political party in USA. So tell me, how could Tinubu donate $5000 to DNC when it is known that such funds cannot be accepted? Let's leave Tinubu alone and fight for better Nigeria. We only fight on pages of paper and on facebook. Lets take the fight to the street.

@Toyin Adekunle: Re: Is Tinubu Wrong on This?????

@Toyin Adekunle

What is your problem ? Is it that you can't read and is that you can't comprehend what you read ?
Where in this article was Tinubu blamed for attending the Democratic Convention ? Is attending the convention an achievement to you ? How many of such conventions as Tinubu attended and yet it is all about godfatherism in ACN?
With your submission, the article even becomes more relevant; the most important thing is what did Tinubu learn there ? Did he see that candidates are not imposed by "consensus" ? Did he see that "Ghana must go bags" were not used to distribute money ? Did he see Obama lay his programmes bare to everyone to see ? Did he see the power of ideas over money ?
Read and comprehend before you respond.

@Toyin Adekunle: Re: Is Tinubu Wrong on This?????

@Toyin Adekunle

What is your problem ? Is it that you can't read and is that you can't comprehend what you read ?
Where in this article was Tinubu blamed for attending the Democratic Convention ? Is attending the convention an achievement to you ? How many of such conventions as Tinubu attended and yet it is all about godfatherism in ACN?
With your submission, the article even becomes more relevant; the most important thing is what did Tinubu learn there ? Did he see that candidates are not imposed by "consensus" ? Did he see that "Ghana must go bags" were not used to distribute money ? Did he see Obama lay his programmes bare to everyone to see ? Did he see the power of ideas over money ?

we have to begin reformation one day and go forward

What Pius Adesanmi penned is factually true and represents one aspect of the perceptual contexts of the implications of DNC convention presence of Mr Tinubu. There are other perceptions. Could it also be that we now have a team of leaders eager to learn the best political practices from the foremost nation in the world ? Since we cannot read minds , we do not know the take home message of the ACN delegation. Exposure is the first step in conversion to reformation. Reformation is a immanent in every human and society. Awolowo government brought TV to Africa, who says we can't replicate and innovate with the right team of leaders. We have a duty as citizens to make them serve our interest and not the converse. Yes, we have many rivers to cross and we shall cross them all, if we choose to.

What Tinubu did not hear???

@ akeebaba...I am stunned at our statements. Nigerians are very intelligent people, but permit me to say they have some really daft and unthinking folks, obviously a group to which you belong. I know Nigeria is perhaps one of the most corrupt countries on earth, but to insinuate Bill Clinton was bribed is the height of ignorance. In America, things do not work that way.


As a leader what did he learn about politics in usa, what did he emulate from barack obama as the number citizen of united states,what are his ambitions for his followers? Now,N5000 has been introduced.God save us, a country that has gotten independent years ago are still battling with same ol people in this government since 1960, let's stop deceiving ourselves,we are drinking from an empty bottles this people left behind.We are no fools.We see whenever we go outside 9ja.Check into other amenities of usa & what it offers the citizens. All of this we can handle in 9ja if this ppl (asiwaju&co)ignores been self centered. The rich& big political icons in 9ja dtamines the economic growth of nigeria while its different in UK & usa. We call it government of the people by the people & for the people but its the government of this idiots.

tinubu cannot be trusted @ d centre-he is a trickster

9jas are not annoyed with Tinubu 4 attending the Democratic Party Convention in the USA. But to attempt to score cheap political point over his visit with the help of Pius, is what we detest here! Again the issue which Pius and co are trying to unpatriotic-cally hide from the eyes of the citizenry is the fact that tinubu alleged that he was invited to the convention by (Obama) Whereas dat was not the case! Tinubu a co founders of (project kill Jonah) and who tried to reduce GEJ and his wife to nothing when they visited Obama at the White House-is now trying to rebrand himself via Obama. Tinubu bought the invite for 5,000 dollars! From which account did he pay the money-what are the moral lessons 4 d citizenry-most especially the youths of tomorrow? That its OK to cheat and lie? 9ja will be in trouble should the ACN win the centre-if ACN cannot tell us d truth about invitation cards-Is it d future of the nation that we can entrust into their hand in 2015?


The above picture is a fraud. The worst case of photoshop I have seen in a while. What did Asiwaju learned at this convention? You tell me. A picture is worth a million words. The joke is on us.