By Akeem Abas
The Olubadan of Ibadan-designate, Dr Lekan Balogun said Nigeria needs a strong leader that will further strengthen its unity from 2023.
Balogun said this on Sunday in Ibadan while receiving Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a presidential aspirant and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in his Alarere residence.
Tinubu, a former Governor of Lagos State, had visited the traditional ruler to seek his blessings and support of the Ibadan people on his presidential ambition.
Balogun, who spoke through his brother, Sen. Kola Balogun (PDP-Oyo South), said that the situation in the country currently, called for a leader that would further strengthen its unity.
“We have known you and we know your antecedent. We know your antecedents as a progressive. You laid the foundation of today’s Lagos. You are the leading light of Nigeria. You contributed to making Nigeria what it is today.
“Without Yoruba, Nigeria will not be what it is today. Nigeria is badly divided. We are looking forward to a Yoruba president who will unite this country. We need a leader that will have a national focus and national acceptability. The road may be rough but by His grace, you will triumph.”
“But, it is very sad to note the ‘to your tent oh Israel’ that has of recent become the sing-song of the people.
“We are looking forward to a Yoruba president that will further strengthen and unite the country comes 2023.
“We need a leader that has national focus and acceptability; the road may be rough, but, by God’s grace, you will triumph,” he said.
Earlier, Tinubu expressed strong determination in his quest to become the nation’s president comes 2023.
The former Lagos State Governor said he was honoured to be in Ibadan to solicit the support of Olubadan and the people of Ibadan, and therefore, called for their prayers on his presidential ambition.
According to him, this period is historic and a reminder of history.
“Each time a Yoruba wants to be president, issues are raised, questions are asked and all sorts of hang-ups are encountered.
“We are at a crossroad, people are volunteering to confront me when they were asked that who would confront the Lion of Bourdillon,” he said.
Tinubu expressed his readiness and determination, saying no intimidation or blackmail could stop him from pursuing his quest for the presidency.
“I’m out to become President of Nigeria. No intimidation, no blackmail can stop me.
“I have read about a Greek Philosopher that if you want to fight a pig, you must be ready to be smeared and I’m ready to be dirty,” he said.
Tinubu, however, congratulated the new Olubadan for the grace to ascend the throne, which he said, would give the ancient city a new outlook.
He said that this was in consideration of the robust background of Balogun as an educationist, politician of progressive-leaning and a humanist.
Among those who joined Balogun to receive Tinubu were his wife, Olori Olufunmilayo, Otun Balogun of Ibadanland, High Chief Tajudeen Ajibola and Ekaarun Olubadan, High Chief Hamidu Ajibade.
Others are former Minister of Industries, Chief (Mrs) Onikepo Akande and Mutiat, wife of former Gov. Rashidi Ladoja.