The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has recounted the struggle to emerge as the flagbearer of the ruling party in the 2023 general elections.
Recalling that his victory at the party’s presidential primary did not come easy, he said he fought a hard battle to clinch the ticket.
Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos, relived his experience on Sunday when he paid a visit to the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, at his palace to receive royal blessings shortly after he returned to the state.
“There is no Lagos indigene that has had the opportunity to become President of Nigeria, despite the contribution of the state to the national stability and progress,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by Mr Gboyega Akosile, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State.
“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 APC presidential candidate added, “The task ahead is to galvanise our people to get their voter’s 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.”
Akiolu, in his response, described Tinubu as his “stubborn son”, saying it was time for political leaders in South West to close ranks and work for the victory of Tinubu at the 2023 presidential election.
He stressed that the massive support received by the APC chieftain across the country must be complemented by politicians in the region.
“Your emergence as the presidential candidate of your party is the beginning of another journey in your political career,” the monarch said. “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 some APC governors led by the chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum, Atiku Bagudu, were waiting to receive him.
Earlier, all roads leading to the presidential wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) were a beehive of activities as supporters trooped to the airport to receive Tinubu.
Tinubu’s arrival in the state is the first since he won the APC presidential ticket. His aircraft touched down in Lagos in the company of some notable APC leaders.
Various groups of artisans, women, and youth among others were among those who welcomed Tinubu back to his base, alongside cultural troupes and musical bands.
Those on his entourage included the Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State; Senator Kashim Ibrahim; former APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole; and Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, among others.
Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State; Senator Solomon Adeola; Senator Tokunbo Abiru; Lagos APC chairman, Cornelius Ojelabi; and members of the Lagos Executive Council led by Governor Sanwo-Olu joined the dignitaries who received the APC presidential flagbearer at the airport.