One of Nigeria’s top 2023 presidential hopefuls, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has reportedly left the country to rest after holding consultations with prominent Nigerians on his presidential bid, which he once described as his lifelong ambition.
This, nonetheless, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has insisted that Tinubu was the most qualified Nigerian to be president in 2023.
Tinubu on Thursday, was absent at the inauguration of the working committees of a new movement in support of his ambition, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (ABAT), in GRA, Ikeja, Lagos.
The movement was conceived and set up by members of the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) in Lagos for the actualisation of Tinubu’s presidential ambition.
The event that was graced by some of the known political heavyweights in Lagos, including Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, GAC members, APC leaders across the state’s 57 local councils and a large number of party supporters, did not feature the principal actor, Tinubu, and thus raised concerns about his whereabouts.
The self-styled national leader of the APC, though a non-existent party position, had first met with President Muhammadu Buhari a couple of weeks ago, to intimate him of his intention to give the presidential run a shot in 2023, after which he held a press conference within the Villa precinct to further dwell on his mission.
He also recently met with former Military President and annuller of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, General Ibrahim Babangida, from whom he told the media, he had gone to “seek his blessing” over his presidential ambition.
The former Lagos State governor and now presidential hopeful, who had also visited some northern states, including Niger and Katsina, under the guise of commiserating with the governors and the people, over recent incidences of insecurity and killings, further used the platform to sell the idea of his presidential bid.
However, believed to have been tired from the trips, Tinubu was said to have seen the need to quickly take a break, rest and also see his doctors outside the country.
Although some sources hinted he travelled to London, others were not particularly sure of his destination but could confirm he had since left the country to rest and also run some medical check-ups.
But Sanwo-Olu on Thursday, said Tinubu’s indisputable capability to effectively manage human and material resources for visible progress stood him out as the most qualified to be president next year.
A statement quoted Sanwo-Olu as saying Tinubu’s qualification rested on his demonstrated capacity in deploying a mix of genius and statecraft to nurture a city on the brink to a flourishing economy, noting that the progress in Lagos remained a visible experiment initiated by the APC National Leader.
Sanwo-Olu, had drummed support for the Tinubu candidacy during the formal inauguration of ABAT movement’s working committees in Ikeja, GRA.
The governor was in company of his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, and all members of the State Executive Council.
Sanwo-Olu said Nigeria had continued to shoulder the burden of the black race, stressing that the country’s transformation into a stable economy, would be a source of pride to the black man.
In 2023, the governor said, the country was in need of a capable leader with progressive ideas to succeed President Buhari and build on the progress recorded by the current administration.
Tinubu’s practicable ideas in governance, Sanwo-Olu added, made him the most qualified successor and salable choice for the job.
According to him, “Our country is the most populous black nation in the world and the responsibility that comes with that is enormous. No doubt that the destiny of the entire black race is tied to the greatness of Nigeria.
“If our country must be great, we have the responsibility to choose the leadership that will bring about true transformation across every facet of our national life. Who is that rallying figure that should lead us in this journey?
“The answer is deeply connected to our mission and purpose here today. That person must be a detribalised Nigerian and a bridge builder, who has been tested and trusted. A thinker, who must sustain the legacy our current president is leaving behind.
“That person is the reason we are inaugurating this movement for the actualisation of his presidential ambition. That person is our great leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“Let us tell the naysayers and those, who are still in doubt that we are ready to work for the realisation of this ambition, because Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the number one salable candidate for president.
“We will preach this gospel with diligence, dedication and high sense of commitment. Asiwaju is an unfolding success story our nation deserves at this time.”
Sanwo-Olu said Tinubu’s name was synonymous with growth and development, noting that he possessed a midas touch to positively turn around the resources of the country for general good.
“We must see ourselves in line with Asiwaju’s political ideals. To be open to all, tolerate various interests and embrace everyone. We must reflect those ideas of our leader in our utterances and actions. You cannot afford to disappoint us on this mission,” Sanwo-Olu said.
An APC stalwart, James Odumbaku, otherwise known as Baba Eto, said the forthcoming general election presented another opportunity for Nigerians to make the right choice to keep the country on the path of development.
He said: “Tinubu is a tested leader to lead Nigeria out of the woods. We will work with passion to ensure he emerges as our party’s candidate and also win the presidential election.”