National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Saturday paid a courtesy call on the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo in continuation of a nationwide consultation towards actualisation of his ambition to lead the country in 2023.
Tinubu who arrived at the palace of Oba Gbadebo, at 4:30p.m. told the paramount ruler and his chiefs that he elected to first visit President Muhammadu Buhari and intimate him of his presidential ambition as a necessary decision and in order not to step on toes.
He disclosed that the President afterwards advised him to also let the world – Nigerians know about his 2023 presidential aspiration.
The former Lagos State governor said he was at the palace to seek the support and blessings of the monarch towards his 2023 presidential ambition.
He was accompanied by Prof. Tunde Samuel, chief Kemi Nelson, former deputy governor Femi Pedro, James Odunbaku, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, Senator Gbenga Obadara, Senator Anthony Afuye as well as a host of leaders and coordinators of various groups singing ‘Tinubu for President in 2023’.
Tinubu had earlier stopped over in Ijebu – Ode, the royal home of Awujale and headquarters of Ijebu – Ode Local Government Area where he informed Oba Sikiru Adetona of his political ambition and sought the support as well as blessings of the revered monarch.
While in Ijebu Ode, he was welcomed to the palace of Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Adetona, by a crowd of enthusiastic supporters.
At the Alake’s palace, Abeokuta, Tinubu said it was the people who asked him to make himself available for the number one office in Nigeria come 2023, recalling that he had contested for a senatorial seat and governorship office in Lagos and won in all the instances.
“I contested the Senate at the youngest age ever, I won. I contested for the governorship, I won twice. Before that, I was part of the struggle for the return of democracy in Nigeria. We supported several persons for several positions, the Governor, Senate, House of Representatives, House of Assembly, chairmen of councils, councillors and helped people in several political positions in the country.
“This time, it is the people that asked me to contest for the presidency of Nigeria. When they started, I was not there and they had moved to several places.
“I have told the President, Muhammadu Buhari, that I want to step into his shoes and not his toes. When I told him, he said I should tell the world. That is what I am doing now. I need your prayers for the project.
“I am here to seek the support of Kabiyesi and the people of Egbaland not only to be the candidate of the APC but to win the presidential election and govern the country.”
Speaking on behalf of the Ogun State government, Mr Shuaibu Salisu, the Chief of Staff to Governor Dapo Abiodun, said the Alake palace was reputed for producing presidents of the country dating back to the colonial days.
Salisu said the governor would have graced the courtesy call on Alake, but for his travel abroad and had sent a state delegation, including commissioners and party leaders in the state.
He said: “This palace is a presidential palace. In the colonial days, a president of Nigeria sat here. In 2011, you were here, in 2015, you were here, in 2015, you were also here and you succeeded.
“Egba Nation, would play her role in Nigeria. This state serves as the Gateway to Nigeria. Nobody can enter Lagos, which is the economic nerve centre of Nigeria without entering Ogun State. This state therefore, is a Gateway to fulfilment of destiny.”
Responding to the request of Tinubu, Oba Gbadebo prayed God to grant his request. The monarch also prayed that it shall be well for Ogun State and Nigeria in general.
Tinubu thereafter left Abeokuta for Ilaro to visit the Paramount Ruler of Yewaland and Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle for similar consultation on his ambition.
Meanwhile, Cross River State governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, has stated that Tinubu deserves to contest for the 2023 presidency because he worked and fought hard for the party.
Speaking with BBC pidgin, monitored by The Nation, Ayade said: “Anybody that has come to contest from the South is in his/her right to do so. More people will still come out.
“If you ask me about Tinubu, I would say it is correct that he came out, because he fought and worked hard and supported Buhari to put this government that is in place. Such a man will expect that since we are talking about a southern presidency, let him try to contest.
“Anyone that is saying he is not supposed to declare his intention is not doing the right thing. He should try his best. I cannot say it is not good. I can’t say that. I belong to a party, and the party will calculate. If the party says it is Tinubu, I will support him.
“If the party decides to go with someone else, I will lead the convoy that will go and beg Tinubu about the party’s decision. This is because I know that the man has worked hard for this party, and I have a conscience.
“I am waiting for the party. If the party makes the calculation and says it should not be Tinubu for any reason, everyone deserves respect on their own level. He (Tinubu) deserves special respect. We must go and convince him. He is not a bad person. He is a good person. If he sees that he is given a good reason that convinces him, then we can go ahead. That is my position,” he said.
Credit: The Nation