The presidential aspiration of All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart Asiwaju Bola Tinubu got a boost yesterday with prayers and pledge of support from the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III and the Olubadan-designate, High Chief Lekan Balogun.
The former Lagos governor has being on a consultation tour to traditional rulers.
Last weekend, Tinubu was at the palaces of the Alake, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo III; the Awujale of Ijebu-Ode, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona and the Olu of Ilaro Oba Kehinde Olugbenle.
He was also in Sokoto State, where he held talks with Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar III.
At the Alaafin’s palace, Oba Adeyemi prayed for the realisation of Tinubu’s ambition, expressing confidence that the Yoruba ancestors would back him.
The foremost royal father said: “If I check my list now, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the first presidential aspirant to visit me.
“All you the chiefs and traditional rulers, you have heard what our visitor said. He said our prayers are needed. All the ancestors in Yoruba land get up and assist your son,” the Alaafin prayed
Explaining his mission, Tinubu said his visit was to seek the monarch’s blessing, cooperation and prayers on his ambition.
The APC chieftain said: “I am happy to see you. You have done 51st anniversary on the throne and you are still looking fine. We thank you as you are leading us and caring for us.
“I thank all of you, leaders from other parts of the state. I thank you, the Oyomesi and other traditional leaders. I also thank you, Bishop Ayo Ladigbolu.
”If you read Bishop Ladigbolu’s book, he didn’t only speak about June 12, but he spoke louder about MKO Abiola. He spoke and the world listened,” he said.
He lauded the monarch for the support extended to him over the years, pointing out that the Alaafin had been his special royal adviser, telling him the truth all the time on any matter.
Tinubu said he considered it proper to inform the monarch, seek his royal blessings and advice on his presidential ambition.
He said: “We are still using the wisdom you taught us. We are still applying the same wisdom you gave us and that is what brought us to where we are today.”
On the quest by youths to take over power, Tinubu, speaking in a jocular manner, said: “You youths must take things easy. You said you want to be president, you didn’t allow the elders to have a way to pass, without being president yet. What will now happen when you become the president, will you chase us away from town?
“I pray for all you our youths, you all will also grow old and you will be presidents but you will allow me to do my own first.
Scores of his supporters, loyalists and political associates, who had converged on the palace burst into solidarity songs to pledge their loyalty and commitment.
In Ibadan, Balogun lamented the unsavoury state of the nation’s unity, calling for a leader that would pull back the country from the brink come 2023.
He spoke through his brother and Senator representing Oyo South Senatorial District, Dr. Kola Balogun at his Alarere residence.
Tinubu said he came to the Olubadan-elect and by extension to Ibadan people to solicit their support.
He described this period as historic, recalling that each time a Yoruba wants to be President, issues are raised, questions are asked and all sorts of hang-ups are encountered.
Tinubu said: “I came here to request for your prayer for me and the Yoruba race. We are at the crossroads; people are volunteering to confront me when they were asked that who would confront the Lion of Bourdillon?” Tinubu stated.
Expressing his readiness and determination, the APC aspirant said: “I’m contesting for President of Nigeria. I will not succumb to intimidation and blackmail. I have read about a Greek philosopher that if you want to fight a pig, you must be ready to be smeared and I’m ready to be dirty”.
He congratulated the new Olubadan for the grace to ascend the throne which he said would give the ancient city a new outlook, considering the robust background of Dr. Balogun as an educationist, politician of progressive leaning and a humanist.