…Sanwo-Olu, party leaders, cabinet members receive APC presidential candidate
The 2023 presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Sunday returned to a tumultuous reception in Lagos after winning the party’s primary election in Abuja 11 days ago.
Tinubu won by pulling 1,271 delegate votes (over 60 percent) in a field of 13 other aspirants, including Vice President Yemi Osibanjo (third); Senate President Ahmad Lawan (fourth); former Rivers State Governor and ex-Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi (second); and three other sitting governors – Yaya Bello (Kogi), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi) and Ben Ayade (Cross River).
All roads leading to the presidential wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) were a beehive of activities on Sunday as residents of Lagos State trooped to the airport to receive Tinubu.
The party’s National Leader touched down in company of notable leaders of the party.
Various groups of artisans, women and youth joined thousands of APC faithful in Lagos for the reception. There were also various cultural troupes and musical bands, entertaining the massive crowd.
At 3:40 pm, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in company of his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, received Tinubu and his entourage, which included Kano State Governor, Dr Umar Abdullahi Ganduje, former Borno State Governor, Senator Kashim Ibrahim; former APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; and former Presidential Liaison Officer to the Senate, Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, among others.
Imo State Governor, Senator Uzodinmma; Senators Solomon Adeola and Tokunbo Abiru, both representing Lagos West and Lagos East respectively in the Senate; Lagos State APC Chairman, Pastor Cornelius Ojelabi, and members of state Executive Council were among dignitaries who received the APC presidential flag-bearer at the airport.
Tinubu’s homecoming turned to a carnival immediately his motorcade rolled into the town. Crowd of residents lined up along the convoy’s route, with the presidential candidate acknowledging cheers and waving his broom from the window.
The convoy moved to the palace of the Oba of Lagos, Alayeluwa Rilwan Akiolu, where the APC presidential candidate received royal blessings.
Tinubu recalled that his victory at the party’s presidential primary did not come easy, noting that he fought a hard battle to clinch the ticket.
He said: “There is no Lagos indigene that has had the opportunity to become President of the Nigeria, despite the contribution of the state to national stability and progress. The highest position attained by any Lagosian in national leadership is the position of Chief Judge of the Federation.
“I took up the fight to break this jinx. The battle to secure the APC ticket was hard. When I was almost fed up, I resorted to prayers. I also poured out my mind when I felt there was a gang up against my person. Thank God that I have brought home the presidential ticket.
“The task ahead is to galvanise our people to get their voters’ cards and vote to enable us realise this ambition. Getting our people to vote is the most important task before all of us. We need to take this message to our people across communities and sensitise them on the need to vote in the general elections”.
Oba Akiolu, who described Tinubu as his “stubborn son”, said it was time for political leaders in the Southwest region to close ranks and work for Tinubu’s victory at the 2023 presidential election, saying the massive support received by the APC National Leader across the country must be complemented by politicians in the region.
The monarch said: “Your emergence as presidential candidate of your party is the beginning of another journey in your political career. All Yoruba ancestors shall be with you on this journey to make our fatherland a better place”.
Tinubu left the palace to his house on Bourdillon Road in Ikoyi, where the APC Governors, led by Chairman of Progressives Governors Forum, AAtiku Bagudu, were waiting to receive him.
Other dignitaries who received Tinubu at his Bourdillon home included Jigawa State Governor, Muhammed Abubakar Badaru; Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq; Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule; Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni; Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun; and former Governor Gbenga Daniel, among others.