…Formally introduces ‘BAT Movement’ to participants
Gradually, the ‘rumoured’ presidential aspiration of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is gaining momentum among political gladiators and in the political space as campaign groups across the board are mobilising for the actualization of the ambition in 2023.
Some of the campaign groups are spearheaded by either serving or past political office-holders in various states of the federation.
This week, the aspiration again hit a new high as former and incumbent Speakers of State Houses of Assembly in the South-west geopolitical zone gathered at the political capital of the region, Ibadan, Oyo State on Wednesday and Thursday to drum support for Tinubu’s presidential bid in 2023.
The political gladiators who were up to 20 held a strategic meeting at Carlton Gate Xclusive Hotel, Ibadan, where they agreed on some far-reaching resolutions on how to actualise the presidential aspiration of Tinubu.
During the meeting, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, and Convener of the strategic meeting, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, said despite the fact that Tinubu was yet to make his intention known regarding 2023, there was the need to deliberate on some important issues.
Obasa at the gathering formally introduced the Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) Foundation and Movement, a campaign platform created for the purpose of mobilising for Tinubu’s presidential ambition.
According to him, BAT Movement is meant to break the shackles of poverty in the society and to create a coordinated humanitarian image for Tinubu.
He charged all the South-west Speakers, both current and former at the meeting to go back to their respective states to set up the template that would see to the actualisation of the Tinubu presidential ambition in 2023.
While addressing the participants, the National Coordinator of the BAT Movement, Ambassador Aliyu Saulawa, emphasised on the Movement’s readiness in ensuring power shift to the South-west and to be clinched by Tinubu.
Saulawa lauded Tinubu’s option of embracing principle by supporting President Mohammadu Buhari rather than former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who would have done anything for Tinubu, to win his support.
At the end of the two-day meeting, the Speakers unanimously resolved and decided on how they would work toward the realisation of Tinubu’s presidential ambition.
They agreed that “Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, being a Yoruba man with the capacity, experience and means should be the candidate to be supported to emerge as the next president of Nigeria.
“That Asiwaju Tinubu still needs to do more networking in Yoruba land, especially amongst serving and past governors so that voices of dissent can be reduced to the barest minimum.
“That all stakeholders here present should go back home and start the Asiwaju Tinubu presidential project pending when he will come out publicly to agree to contest.
“And that all speakers present must commence beneficial political interaction with traditional rulers across the southwest.”
Late last year a group of former Senators, House of Representative members and some other politicians across South-west states had launched the idea of drafting Tinubu into the 2023 race.
They started the campaign with visits to the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, and Alaafin of Oyo Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111. They conveyed their agenda to the leading monarchs.
Chaired by former Senator Dayo Adeyeye from Ekiti State, the group christened Southwest Agenda (SWAGA), said members came together to actualise the agenda for the Southwest to produce the next president in 2023.
Other members of the group include Senator Adesoji Akanbi (Vice-Chairman), Bosun Oladele (Secretary), Rotimi Makinde, Otunba Abayomi Ogunnusi. Mrs. Kafilat Ogbara, Oyetunde Ojo, Deji Jakande, and Ifedayo Abegunde (aka Abena).
Adeyeye told the two monarchs that SWAGA was aimed at ensuring that an electable political leader from the Southwest is supported to succeed Buhari in 2023.
He pointed out that Tinubu possesses all the qualities and experience needed to lead Nigeria as the next president. Besides, Adeyeye revealed that there was an agreement among APC leaders during the 2015 election that presidential power will rotate to the South after Buhari’s eight-year tenure.
Also, a few days ago, some students of colleges in the country organised themselves into a support group known as Asiwaju Nationwide College Students Organisation ( ANSSO) with the agenda to canvass and mobilise students across the nation for Tinubu’s presidential ambition.
At a meeting in Lagos, the Nationwide Advisory Council of the group,, constituted nationwide, zonal, and state govt committees for the organisation.