Former Governor of Lagos State and presidential aspirant, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said, on Thursday, that Nigeria needed a competent leader who could unite the people, tackle insecurity and rejig the debilitating economy and as well benefit the masses this time around.
Tinubu, who was in Ekiti State as part of the ongoing consultation for the 2023 presidential election, said that he decided to consult with the traditional rulers before declaring because of the enormous respect he placed on culture and tradition.
He said, “I’m contesting this race to renew the hope and make the future great for our children. For Nigeria to stand united and develop, we require patience and wisdom. We have to be united, that is the only way we can be great.”
It was carnival-like at the palace of the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Adeyemo Adejugbe, as people gathered for hours singing, dancing and praising the All Progressives Congress National Leader to the high heavens, as they awaited his arrival to meet with the revered monarch.
Tinubu, accompanied by the Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Bisi Egbeyemi, who said he represented Governor Kayode Fayemi, and top brass of the Southwest Agenda for Tinubu 2023, led by Senator Dayo Adeyeye, earlier met with the Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers at their chambers in the capital city.
He said, “We have struggled for democracy and today, we have democracy, but we are not stable yet. There is insecurity, hopelessness, lack of education and suffering in the land. By now, we should have a good farming system and opportunities to produce for other nations to buy.
“We are here to answer the call of our children by educating them the right way so that we can leave a Nigeria that is united, prosperous and abundant for them. We chose democracy and we must not fail in this task.
“That was why we formed the APC based on principles. I want to tell you that Nigeria needs serious change. I knew how Lagos was when I took over and we have never failed any election. There must be continuity in governance for progress to be attained.
“I was the first governor in Nigeria to start paying the WAEC fee of secondary school students. I shall do it again as a President.”
Tinubu, who said he had been on Nigeria’s project since the 70s, said, “I was with MKO Abiola in Social Democratic Party. I was a Senator before he came out. I was the youngest Senator of that era. I was about becoming Director of Finance of ExxonMobil, but I rejected it.
“I said I wanted to serve Nigeria. They gave me leave of absence to go and do politics for four years and come back, but I only spent two years as a senator when the military came and terminated our tenure. I had an option, which was to go back and enjoy at ExxonMobil, but I decided that I would fight for Nigeria.
“We believed that there must be democracy in Nigeria, there must be freedom and there must be opportunities. We joined hands with Professor Wole Soyinka, Chief Anthony Enahoro and others. Governor Kayode Fayemi was in the University of London then, brilliant and he joined the struggle. He worked so hard, in fact, he is an excellent man. So, looking at all these, we should all know that this democracy must not fail.
“We have to collaborate, unite and promote ourselves, instead of fighting. We all see what is happening in Ukraine today, we don’t need such experience here. We must elevate our technology and make use of available opportunities to develop Nigeria and that is what we are coming to do,” he said.
SWAGA National Chairman, Senator Adeyeye, who said Tinubu had made great investment to the development of Ekiti State in terms of human resources, said, “That APC is in Ekiti today is traceable to God and Tinubu. He struggled for it and restored progressive politics here.
“He had made many Ekiti people commissioners, Special Advisers, and local government chairmen in Lagos. Tinubu honoured our own hero in Ekiti, Adekunle Fajuyi, by building a house for him. He had helped so many people including myself.
“Tinubu brought a paradigm shift to Lagos governance, in fact, he is a miracle worker. As a governor of Lagos State, he was ranked first and no wonder he remained the last man standing when the then Alliance for Democracy lost grip of the Southwest.
“That was why many of us dragged him into the presidential race to replicate what he had done in Lagos at the national level. Nobody can stand shoulder to shoulder out of all the presidential aspirants across party lines with him. He is the best builder of men in the history of Nigeria. This is the best man at this moment to rule Nigeria,” Adeyeye said.
The Traditional Council Chairman and the Onisan of Isan Ekiti, Oba Ayodele Adejuwon, who said there was nothing wrong with Tinubu’s aspiration to be president, said the constitution permitted every qualified Nigerian to aspire for any position, saying, “God will help you realise your ambition.”
Speaking at his palace, the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Adeyemo, who appreciated Tinubu for teaching people how to fish and for his exploits in Lagos State, said, “That is why I believe you (Tinubu) when you said you would turn the situation of Nigeria around for good.”