The emergence of Bola Tinubu as president will lead to the return of Nigerians in the diaspora, who fled the country due to political and economic reasons, Alex Kabba, a journalist.
Mr Kabba, a former Abuja Bureau Chief of The News Magazine, fled the country during the brutal media suppression by the then-military regime of late Sani Abacha.
During an interaction with journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, he said some Nigerians in the diaspora attended the swearing-in of Mr Tinubu because they identify with him as a former exile.
Mr Kabba explained that sound economic policies, combined with the shared history between the old exiles and Mr Tinubu, will spur the mass return. He added that he has concluded plans to return to Nigeria now that Mr Tinubu is in charge of the country.
“Many Nigerians are scattered around the world, not only the political exiles but economic exiles. Some of the policies of this government are going to give many the impetus to relocate back. Like me, who is also planning to relocate back because I know that Nigeria is in the hands of President Tinubu, the country is going to laugh.
“It is very rare for those who fought or fight for democracy to come and reap the reward. Most times, they are never recognised. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they are killed,” Mr Kabba said.
He said the former Lagos State governor was the first president in the Fourth Republic that participated in the fight against military rule.
He said: “While many who are enjoying this democracy were hiding under their mother’s bed, Asiwaju (Mr Tinubu) was in the forefront of the NADECO movement along with some journalists that they called guerrilla journalists—I was one of those journalists – who were giving the military sleepless night. That is the man Asiwaju Tinubu. He was a general in that field when we were fighting the military.
“Since 1999, of all the presidents that we have had, none had been part of the struggle for Nigeria’s democracy. This is the first president that we have had that was in the trenches, fought the military government and has been deservingly rewarded with the number one citizens. So of us came from New York for the inauguration.”
Mr Tinubu, a leading member of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), fled Nigeria in 1994 but returned after the death of Mr Abacha in 1998. From 1999 to 2007, he served as the governor of Lagos State.
On 29 May, he was sworn-in as the president after winning the February presidential election.
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