From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
A subtle campaign for the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to become president of Nigeria in 2023, began on Monday in Ibadan and Oyo town of Oyo State.
The movement began with visits to the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I; and the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, to seek their royal blessings for the actualisation of the dream.
The team comprises ex-senators, former members of the House of Representatives, and some serving and former political office holders from different states across the six states of South-West.
The group under the aegis of South-West Agenda 2023 (SWAGA ’23), a rainbow coalition of like-minded politicians of southwestern extraction, was led to the two palaces by a former Minister of Works, and former spokesperson of the Nigerian Senate, Prince Dayo Adeyeye.
Prominent Yoruba leaders on the entourage of Adeyeye, who is from Ekiti State, included Senator Adesoji Akanbi from Oyo State. The Secretary-General of the planning committee is Bosun Oladele, a former member of the House of Representatives. Son of a former governor of Lagos State, Kayode Jakande, Jide, and Commissioner for State Audit Service Commission in Lagos State, Kafilat Ogbara.
The entourage also included former federal lawmakers such as Oyetunji Ojo, Rotimi Makinde, Toba Oke, Gboyega Okegbemi and immediate past Secretary to Ondo State Government, Ifedayo Abegunde.
The visits were ahead of the formal launch of SWAGA ’23 in Ibadan tomorrow(Tuesday) with a view to forging a common front, preparatory to the 2023 political dispensation.
The Chairman, SWAGA ’23 Planning Committee, Prince Adeyeye, while speaking in the two palaces stated that the tour was not a political campaign but a sensitisation drive. He said there was an agreement before President Muhammadu Buhari came into power in 2015 that power would come to the South after Buhari, who hails from the North. He stated that it’s important for the agreement or covenant to be respected. The South-West, he said, would have to put its best forward for the 2023 presidency.
He added that Tinubu ‘has not commissioned us to do this for him. What we are doing is voluntary. He did not discuss with me that he wants to become president. We are the ones that sent ourselves on this assignment. He is a highly experienced politician. He is eminently qualified to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
‘Asiwaju Tinubu has been part of the struggle for a better Nigeria for many years. He was part of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO). He has been an exceptional governor of Lagos State. We are ready to sell and market him. We are here to solicit your royal blessing as we embark on this mission. The goal is driven by a desire for a common front to push the Yoruba Agenda for the leadership of Nigeria.’
Both Alaafin and Olubadan gave their royal blessings for the success of the mission. They also noted that they are fathers to all, irrespective of political affiliations.
According to Alaafin, who recounted the history of Nigeria and how the country got into the present socio-economic and political quagmire, said he believes in the mission of SWAGA ’23. He added that the mission was well thought of. He also noted that Nigeria needs a president that will have listening ears, and that knows politics inside out to take Nigeria to prosperity.