…As Alaafin publicly canvasses for APC
By Bode Akinbode, Ibadan
The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has called on the electorate to vote for leaders who would transform visions to reality as the 2019 general elections approach.
The former Lagos State Governor made the call in Ibadan on Saturday at round table organised by Governor Abiola Ajimobi as part of activities lined up to commemorate the governor’s 69th birthday anniversary holding on Sunday, held at the Ibadan Civic Center.
The round table tagged: “The Imperatives of Building Institutions of Lasting Legacies,” was basically organised on the need to and urgency of evolving strong institutions that could stand the test of time.
Added that Nigeria could not afford to back to the era of lawlessness, focus less governance, Tinubu noted that corruption of the immediate past administration in the country was a serious battled that must be fought by all and sundry, by not allowing bad and corrupt leadership to return again in 2019.
“Corruption and the titanic battles against this cankerworm is another critical task that must be won.
“As commonly agreed, there is indeed and a grand and ineluctable nexus between probity and institutional growth,” Tinubu added.
He maintained that as these issues are analysed and discussed, the enduring concern must remain the establishment and nurturing of governance institutions propelled by values and traditions that are capable of sustaining the ongoing infrastructural developments and moral rearmament programme of the current transformational leadership in the country.
He warned that failure of a leader to develop a capable successor who would carry on the legacies left behind, such successor would crumble the empire built by the leader.
“You can be successful as a leader and have capacity to build infrastructure, but the house may end up crumbling without you developing a worthy successor, while congratulating Ajimobi on his birthday celebration, describing him as a worthy ambassador of the party.”
The former Nigeria’s Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (retd.) stressed the need for reforms of the civil service, describing it as the engine room of any government.
The former head of state called on prominent Nigerians to support such forum, aimed at galvanising thoughts useful for the nation building.
“I enjoyed the roles of civil servants in Nigeria during my time. But I really regretted what happened to them almost a year after that. They were virtually decimated.
“That was one of the greatest harm that was done to Nigeria’s future because we had a plan of development that would have taken Nigeria beyond the level of developing countries. But what happened. They were all removed. And they are the custodians of any government works and doing. What happened?
“The plan was abandoned. And what has happened to Nigeria since then? We are only tinkering on this. Thanks to the advice that we have heard today. I hope things will do better for the future if we really respect all these institutions, and make them to serve the interest of not only the rulers, but the serve interest of the people.”
Gowon, who was the chairman of the occasion, described Ajimobi as an amiable and focused individual who he said, has served well as a senator, governor and manager of men.
Either as Governor or senator, he has left the people in no doubt that he truly offered himself for service and has done well,” Gowon averred.
The immediate past Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola also corroborated the earlier speakers on the need to ensure responsible, responsive and worthy successor to sustain legacies.
He used the medium to advocate the revamping of the social, religious, educational, economic and political institutions in the country towards nation building.
Similarly, he called on Ajimobi to be mentally and physically prepared for his exit in office, adding that by so doing, his exit would become rancorous.
Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III in his remarks, described the process of choosing q successor as tedious, however canvassed vote for the All Progressives Congress candidates in the 2019 general elections if they wanted continuity and progress.
“I led a team of 30 traditional rulers to you in the heat of this selection process of who will succeed you. We asked you who did you have in mind? You said, ‘Kabiyesi'(king), go and find somebody for me. And I said I am not a politician.
“I told you that with the phenomenon of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, you must choose somebody who will learn under your feat to succeed you, otherwise, the impressive and monumental achievements you have recorded for Oyo State will go to pieces.
“He said we should pray to God, and that if we had anyone in mind, I should let you know. The process of choosing a successor, is a very tedious one. All the nice things people have said about you, the institutional foundations you have laid, but remember that whatever you do, you have people who are very loyal to you. They are many.
“In anything we want to do in the state, whether on taxation, environmental renewal, I submit my memoranda to you. I am the only traditional ruler that I know has done that consistently. I have been using my brain to support the progressive government of Oyo State.
“Now, ladies and gentlemen, do we want continuity? Do we want what this man (Ajimobi) has done for Oyo State to continue? Then, vote for APC,” Alaafin declared.
While responding to all the eulogies, Gov. Ajimobi, who said he templated his administration style with Asiwaju Tinubu, dispelled insinuations that the former Lagos State Governor was instrumental to the nomination of his successor, Chief Bayo Adelabu, as the party’s governorship candidate in the state.
He maintained that even if Tinubu was instrumental to his nomination, it was better than that of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) whose governorship candidate was nominated by the national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus an Igbo man.
The Governor recalled that since his assumption of office in 2011, he had taken some specific actions aimed at reanimating governance in the state.
“Prior to 2011, the story was not at all edifying; it was an era characterised by gross institutional indiscipline which inevitably and negatively impacted these government structures with concomitant low productivity.
“Now the story has significantly changed for the better: our institutions have gradually woken up to their responsibilities, the executive arm of government is now responsible and responsive,” the Governor boasted.