The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, on Sunday, met with the leaders of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, at the residence of its National Leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
However, some members of the group, including the group’s leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo and the Secretary-General of the association, Chief Sola Ebiseni, were not at the meeting.
Speaking on why he visited Fasoranti, the APC presidential flagbearer said he was in the Afenifere’s leader’s house to present his presidential action plan to the nonagenarian Yoruba leader.
Tinubu said he had earlier visited Chief Fasoranti before the presidential primary and the Afenifere prayed for him to win the election.
Tinubu said, “Baba has prayed for me and I said once I got it I will come back. I thank God Almighty that the dream of that time has come to reality. The battle was much. There are many of them that wanted Buhari to anoint another person but he (Buhari) said no. Some of the northern governors came together and resolved that it (power) has to go to South.
“One thing that is certain, no Yoruba men and women opposed this ticket. They support this ticket. I want to tell you that I will bring the trophy home. It is not just a Yoruba thing. It is a Nigeria project.
“The North proved to me that Nigeria can survive its unity. Some people want President Muhammadu Buhari to announce someone but the President said No. He insisted the process must go on democratically. The president said anyone that would mess up the APC process would see the other side of his eyes. He remained upright and saw to the process to the end.
“Northern APC Governors resolved that the Presidency must go to the South and especially South-West. Governor Nasir El-Rufai, Abdullahi Ganduje and others supported me to the end. The battle was tough and at a point I was in doubt. There were many rumours and I became confused of what to believe.”
Speaking further, Tinubu stressed that he enjoyed the support of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), who had affirmed his full support to make sure he (Tinubu) wins the election.
“President Buhari told me I promoted his name with the way I won the primary election because the process was clean and transparent and nobody can accuse him of manipulating the process. President Buhari said I gave him credibility and I deserved to be President.
“When I asked him to nominate the VP candidate for me, he said I should pick whoever I want and it is the reason I chose a competent man in Kashim Shettima who never lost any election and protected Christians in time of trouble in his state,” he stated.
In his response, Pa Fasoranti, who briefly prayed for the APC candidate, simply declared, “Tinubu will win the election”.
The Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, while welcoming the visitor and his delegation on behalf of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu said Ondo people were Afenifere and would support Tinubu to win.
“Asiwaju has the reach, the competence to lead Nigeria,” Aiyedatiwa declared.
In his remark, Ekiti State Governor Biodun Oyebanji assured the Yoruba leaders that all the governors of South-West and Ekiti people are solidly behind Tinubu.
He said, “We are happy to receive our leader, Asiwaju Tinubu, today (Sunday). I want to assure him and our fathers that we will support him to the end.”
Also speaking at the meeting, the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Chief Bayo Lawal, who represented Governor Seyi Makinde said Makinde was invited by Pa Fasoranti to the meeting and he would abide by what decision made on Yoruba matters.
Lawal said, “Baba invited him (Governor) but he could not reject the call of baba. Second, it is a Yoruba matter that was being discussed. In Yoruba land if you are doing things without inviting Oyo, it is not complete. He (Makinde) doesn’t joke with Yoruba matter even though we are not united by the party, but region united us and everything discussed on Yoruba, he would support. If he has not supported Amotekun project, it would not have succeeded.”