From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, groups of traditional rulers as well as socio-cultural and pro-democracy groups in Oyo State have endorsed the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, for president.
The endorsement was given by the village heads (Baales), compound heads (Mogajis), some kings, as well as Fredrick Fasheun’s faction of Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), the Agbekoyas, Irorun Oodua, and non-indigenes.
The groups and individuals made the endorsement at a rally, hosted by a business tycoon, Chief Dotun Sanusi, at a mini-stadium at his expansive Ilaji Hotels and Sports Resorts, Akanran, in Ona Area Local Government Area of Oyo State.
The rally was organised under the auspices of Rontex for BAT Political Signature, being convened by Otunba (Dr.) Ronke Kolade Carew. Sanusi is the patron of the group in Oyo State.
The event was graced by the Otun Balogun of Ibadanland, Tajudeen Ajibola; President-General, Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), Prince Yemisi Adeaga; the convener of South West Agenda Group for Asiwaju (SWAGA), Oyetunde Ojo, who is a former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Communication; as well as another former federal lawmaker, Bosun Oladele, who is the National Secretary of SWAGA), factional president of OPC, Wasiu Afolabi and the Oyo State coordinator of the group, Akeem Onaolapo, among other dignitaries, including Alajia of Ajia, and Oniladuntan of Laduntan.
The billionaire chief host on the occasion, Dotun Sanusi, who is regarded as the most influential Mogaji in Ibadanland, said: “When Asiwaju was governor in Lagos State, the interests of Christians were protected. I was born a Muslim. But today, I am a Christian. I had quranic education. So, we should not allow anybody to use religion to deceive us. The thing is about who can actually do it among all the presidential candidates.
“I have never taken a contract from the government. I have not taken anything from anybody. But I do accept destiny and the will of God… But it should be said everywhere that the person I have confidence in, who will end our suffering in Ibadan and Oyo State is Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. We are talking of presidential polls, not governorship, national assembly, and the House of Assembly elections. We stand on the mandate of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”
Mogaji Abass Oloko also said: “I am a member of PDP (People’s Democratic Party). My vote and those of my followers and associates are for Asiwaju Tinubu. We are not bastards. We are bonafide children of Yorubaland. A Fulani man cannot complete eight years as president of this country, and he will still hand over to another Fulani. We own this country together. May God let it be the turn of Asiwaju.”
The Baale of Ekotedo, Ibadan, Elder Taiye Ayorinde, who spoke on behalf of all the village heads in Ibadanland, said the baales are behind the candidature of Tinubu. He also presented a compendium signed by 10,000 mogajis and baales in Ibadanland in support of Tinubu to the convener of SWAGA, Oyetunde Ojo, for delivery to Tinubu.
The national chairman and convener of Rontex for BAT Political Signature, Otunba Ronke Carew, assured the people that Tinubu would do whatever he promises and that support groups have been working assiduously to mobilise 15 million votes for him in the South West.
The convener of SWAGA, Oyetunde Ojo, noted that the body language of the Baales, Mogajis, obas, Agbekoya, OPC of Fasheun’s faction, Irorun Oodua, and non-indigenes showed that they are in support of Tinubu for president. The National Secretary of SWAGA, Bosun Oladele, described the endorsement of Tinubu as a mark of acceptability and a new beginning of good things to come from 2023.
The President-General, CCII, Prince Adeaga, stated that the council and the palace of Olubadan of Ibadanland have always been working together, adding that the Ibadans are staying the situation in the county and at the appropriate, the Ibadan would make a pronouncement. But he said Ibadan would support the candidate that would meet the critical stakeholders and answer pertinent questions on the creation of Ibadan State, appointment into public offices at the federal level, and what the candidate has done for the progress of Ibadan as a city and the people of Ibadan, among other things.