BAYO AGBOOLA from Ibadan writes that the visits of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the Alaafin of Oyo and the OluIbadan designate are historic, signalling respect and reverence to the thrones.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader and former governor of Lagos state, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is for now leaving no one in doubt in his determination to become Nigeria number one citizen, come May 29, 2023.
In one of his moves towards making his 2023 presidential ambition a reality, Asiwaju stormed the ancient city of Oyo Alaafin to seek royal blessings and commune with the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola and later in the day with the Olubadan designate, Oba Moshood Lekan Balogun on the same mission.
Tinubu while at Oyo, Tinubu made it abundantly clear that he was ready for the 2023 presidential election when he jokingly asked the ” youths to be calm in the pursuit of their ambition for the presidential slot, and allow him serve his own term first.
“I greet you all my leaders. You, the youth 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 the town? I pray for all of you our youths, you all will also grow old and you will be presidents but you will allow me to do my own first.
On his arrival at the Alaafin palace in Oyo town amidst thousands of his admirers shouting “Jagaban for President”, “Here comes the next Nigeria President”, the Jagaban Borgu on his part acknowledged their greetings through the waving of hands as he disembarked from the helicopter that flew him into the Alaafin’s palace complex.
Seated, the Lagos strongman minced no words in saying his visit to the Alaafin was to seek his blessing for his presidential ambition.
Asiwaju Tinubu emphasised that he can’t become Nigeria’s president without the support of the Alaafin, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, adding, ” all I came for today is to seek for your blessing, cooperation and prayers for me to become the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
He noted that the royal father has been his royal special adviser who tells him the truth all the time on any matter and that he would not make any move about his presidential ambition without coming to officially inform Oba Adeyemi and seek his royal blessings and advice as always.
“Why I came here today, Kabiyesi, you are always my special adviser, many times when you call me inside to talk to me, you tell me the truth, and I cannot make move in my bid to become the president of Nigeria without coming to pay homage and receive royal blessing from you. All I came for today is to seek your blessing, your cooperation your prayers for me to become the president of the federal republic of Nigeria.”
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi while welcoming Asiwaju Tinubu into his palace prayed for the success of the intentions and efforts of Bola Tinubu.
The royal monarch prayed that he should emerge victorious in his bid to rule the country and that the ancestors of Yorubaland would help him in his desire to become Nigeria’s next president.
“All of you dignitaries in his entourage who have been here since morning ahead of Tinubu from across the country, we thank you for honouring us with your presence. As you have come to inform us, we are happy and always proud of you. All you elders who owns Yorubaland, help your son who have come to you to seek your support.
“You traditional rulers what have you said, endorse his request with a yes.We have given you our real prayers because you came first and my ancestors have heard this today. The desire of your heart come 2023 will be realised. He said our prayers are needed. All the ancestors in Yorubaland, get up and assist your son.”
At the Alarere residence of the Olubadan designate, Oba Lekan Balogun, Asiwaju Tinubu said, ” I came here to request for your prayer for me and the Yoruba race. We are at a crossroad, people are volunteering to confront me when they were asked who would confront the lion of Bourdiilon?
“I’m out to become President of Nigeria. No intimidation, no blackmail can stop me. 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”.
Asiwaju Tinubu while describing this period as an historical moment and a reminder of history said, “each time a Yoruba wants to be President, issues are raised, questions are asked and all sorts of hang-up are encountered”
He said that the purpose of his coming was to beg the Olubadan designate and Ibadan people to pray for him in his quest to become the country’s president, saying, ” I came here to request for your prayer for me and the Yoruba race. We are at a crossroad, people are volunteering to confront me when they were asked that who would confront the lion of Bourdilon”?
To political observers, the visit of Asiwaju Tinubu to the Alaafin of Oyo and the Olubadan designate is so significant and historic considering the position of Oyo Town and Ibadan in the development of political history of Yorubaland and Nigeria in general.
For Ibadan, there is this widely belief in the political circle that Ibadan otherwise referred to as the political headquarters of the Yorubas placed a significant advantage to the political aspiration of any Nigerian politician be it of Yoruba origin or not.
Whenever it comes to politics in Nigeria, the importance of Ibadan cannot be underrated. Notable Nigerian politicians including the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the Zik of Africa, Dr Nnamdi Azikwe, Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola, Chief Remi Fani Kayode in their political careers understood this and never undermined Oyo and its political significance.
Many Nigerians have interpreted the visit of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to Oyo town and Ibadan that Sunday, as informed wisdom and respect to the throne.
According to one analyst, this time around, the visit is no doubt unique. “Tinubu being the first among the Yoruba politicians eyeing the nation’s number one seat come May 29, 2023, signals better days ahead for him.”
However, as Asiwaju requested, all hands should be on the deck to actualise his aspiration.
But now that Tinubu has set the ball rolling through his visit to the traditional institution, political observers said they await what other presidential hopefuls of Yoruba stock, particularly, those known to belong to the Tinubu school of politics who until recently have have equally indicated interest and have their eyes on the ball.
The salient question is; Can they with their superior political savvy outsmart and relegate their political lord (Tinubu) who has been their benefactor and through whose assistance and domineering influence they occupy their present offices and positions in their respective domains?
Will they follow suit to make similar consultations or would they give up their aspirations to pave way for the emergence of the Jagaban of Borgu? The answer lies only in the belly of time.
Picture Caption: Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu with the Olubadan designate Oba Moshood Lekan Balogun in Ibadan