Seyi Tinubu: Victim of his own Selflessness

In the last couple of days, Seyi Tinubu, the son of the president, has been bashed online for a comment he made on the state of the nation. Like every other Nigerian, he has the right to provide opinions on national matters. In this very comment, he was even on the side of the people, unless my understanding is alien to the interpretations of the rest of the people. Surely, Nigerians are going through hard times, and people have every right to turn to their government for succor and relief. But it has to be within the ambit of civility and constructive discourse.

Aside from his father’s accomplishments, Seyi is an entrepreneur par excellence with a long vision and astuteness in consolidating the wealth of his father. There are more spoiled wealthy brats who squander their parents’ wealth rather than build on it; Seyi was not that type. He was born with a silver spoon but is not bereft of the issues at the grassroots. During the pandemic, his NGO was all about distributing reliefs to people. He has always supported different non-for-profit initiatives for a while now; the insinuations from some quarters were that he was nursing an ambition to become a Governor. I do not know Seyi personally, but it appears to me that his foray into politics was more because of affiliation than intentionality.

He prides himself as an entrepreneur, and I have watched as he carries himself more in that regard. Without a doubt, the spotlight on him was inherently a result of his father’s popularity, and this was further amplified by his success as a businessman. He strives to level the ground for the downtrodden so that they can also have a real shot at heights they only imagine through support for young budding entrepreneurs. He cemented his place in people’s hearts during the pandemic, when people are isolated and behind closed walls.

He broke the fences to be accessible to the masses, packing and distributing foodstuffs while also nursing a knee injury at the time. How many children of men of his father’s caliber did you see during those times?

These trolls and hateful comments are not taking anything away from the grace and altruism of his numerous charitable endeavors. His selflessness has always been the opening through which some ill-advised people or attention seekers use to get at him. The President encourages dissent and criticism so does his son. When we do it, let’s do it not because of self-hate or jealousy but within civil construct. It is then we can expect outcomes geared towards progress.

The President is not bereft of the situation, and it is the fatherly-son conversation that might have warranted Seyi to speak. If we close the door for him to provide his opinions on national issues, we are closing the window to the mind of the president. While we know the pulse of the nation, that of the president is equally important for us so that we can adopt the right approach to fulfilling our civic responsibilities.

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