Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, urged the Yoruba people to see the aspiration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as their priority to enable him actualise his dream of becoming Nigeria’s president in 2023.
This is as President Muhammadu Buhari, at a meeting with governors of his party, yesterday, in Daura, Katsina State, pacified the aggrieved state chief executives over the manner Tinubu, announced his running mate, Kashim Shettima, on Sunday, saying the leakage of his plan to a section of the media forced Tinubu to take the initiative.
The governors, who had met Buhari, first to celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir with him and also register their displeasure with Tinubu over the manner he announced Shettima, a former governor of Borno State, as his partner, however, lamented to the president that they would have wanted one of them as a sitting governor to pair with Tinubu.
This, nonetheless, lawmakers from the North East geo-political zone in the National Assembly, led by the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, have congratulated Shettima over his choice as the vice-presidential candidate of the party.
In the same vein, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has equally commended the choice of Shettima as Tinubu’s running mate, saying, it was a wise option.
On his part, a human rights activist and senator in the eighth National Assembly, Shehu Sani, has faulted those linking Shettima to the dreaded Boko Haram sect, saying the idea of it was mischievous.
At the same time, the Christian Association of Nigeria in the 19 Northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (Northern CAN), has said it was not bothered about the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the ruling APC as there are other political parties contesting for the 2023 elections.
Conversely, the Council of Church Leaders and Ministers, yesterday, expressed disappointment in the choice of a Muslim-Muslim ticket by the APC.
However, Sanwo-Olu, who made the plea while speaking as a special guest of honour at the grand finale of the 2022 edition of Ojude-Oba Festival, held in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, said there was more to benefit by Nigeria and Nigerians if Tinubu becomes the next president in 2023.
According to him, “Let me use this opportunity to make this rallying call on all true sons and daughters of the Yoruba race and pronounce that in the unifying spirit of the Ojude Oba celebration, it is my firm hope and belief that the Yoruba race will unite as one behind the momentous candidature of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a proud son of the race and one of the most formidable and experienced politicians to have ever emerged from Africa. Yoruba lo’ kan! Asiwaju lo’ kan!”
On the importance of the festival and many collaborations between Lagos and Ogun States, Sanwo-Olu said, “It is noteworthy that the Ojude Oba Festival, has while staying true to its Islamic roots, also expanded to become a unifying symbol and occasion for people of all faiths, tribes, and tongues,as well as a global celebration of Ijebu heritage and culture.
“We must never lose sight of this unifying element, at a time, when the forces of division seem to be working so actively to undermine all that we cherish as a people. Celebrations like Ojude Oba remind us that evil will never triumph over good. As a proud son of Lagos, it is personally very pleasing to be in this colourful ceremony among my Ijebu brothers and sisters.
“We, the people of Lagos and Ogun, share a long history and cultural bond, shaped by the same forces and experiences, nourished by the same waterways, and living up to the same Omoluabi standards and ideals.
“This was what spurred my brother Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun and I to, in 2021, establish the Lagos-Ogun Joint Development Commission, to collaborate on key areas of mutual benefit and development, and accelerate socio-economic growth for all our communities and our people.
“The road network linking Ijebu-Ode, Epe and Lekki is yet another concrete manifestation of our collaboration. Ogun State has completed their own stretch, while we will complete our own end this year, opening up new commercial and logistics opportunities in that axis, and positively impacting the lives of our people, many of whose daily lives cross our joint borders.”