By Bode Akinbode, Ibadan
The National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has vowed not to allow blackmail and intimidation make him drop his presidential ambition.
The frontline politician, who spoke on Sunday during his visit to the Alarere residence of the Olubadan designate, Dr. Lekan Balogun, explained that he came to solicit for support, urging the monarch and his people to pray for his victory in the quest to become the country’s president.
Tinubu, who was accompanied by top members of his campaign group, described this period as a historical moment recalling that each time a Yoruba man wants to be President, issues were usually raised and all sorts of gang-up were usually encountered.
“I come here to request for your prayer for me and the Yoruba race. We are at the crossroads; people are volunteering to confront me when asked that who would confront the lion of Bourdilon?
“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.”
Tinubu congratulated the Olubadan designate for the grace to ascend the throne, saying that Balogun’s ascension would give the ancient city a new outlook considering his robust background as an educationist, politician of progressive-leaning, and a humanist.
The Olubadan designate lamented the unsavoury state of the nation’s unity and called for a leader that would rescue the country from the brink.
Speaking through the representative of the Oyo South Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Dr. Kola Balogun, the incoming monarch noted that the country had been badly divided.
Balogun said that the Olubadan designate “has known you for a long time as a progressive politician as well as your antecedents as the governor that laid the foundation of the present Lagos.
“Yoruba are the leading light of Nigeria; our people contributed a lot to make Nigeria what it is. Without the Yoruba, Nigeria cannot be where it is today. But, it is very sad to note the ‘to your tent oh Israel’ that has of recent become the sing-song of the people.
“Nigeria is badly divided today and we are looking forward to a Yoruba president that will unite the country, come 2023. We need a leader that has a national focus and acceptability. The road may be rough, but by God’s grace, you will triumph,” he said.
The leader of Tinubu’s campaign group, Prince Tajudeen Olusi, in his opening remark traced the historical linkage between Ibadan and Lagos and stated that it would not be out of place for a Lagosian to seek the support of the Ibadan people.
“We both own Ibadan; we have been working together. We bring Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to you. It would be a great thing for Ibadan and the Yoruba race if we can produce the country’s president in 2023,” he enunciated.
In attendance on the occasion were Olori Olufunmilayo, Otun Balogun of Ibadanland, High Chief Tajudeen Ajibola; Ekarun Olubadan, High Chief Hamidu Ajibade; former Minister of Industries, Chief Onikepo Akande; and former First Lady of Oyo State, Chief Mutiat Ladoja, among others.