By Garba Shehu
President Muhammadu Buhari and the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the Presidential elections 16 days ahead, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Thursday took an important message to the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III: “We have come here to ask for your support and blessings; we want to win the coming elections.”
Asiwaju Tinubu, the first to speak and the first to bait the Sultan, said plainly to leader of the Sokoto Caliphate: “I have come to be presented to you as Candidate.
“The President and Commander-in-Chief, Muhammadu Buhari is here in person to do that. I want to win the election. Is there a way you will decline the request of the President?”
Echoing the same line, President Buhari said, “my wish is for your support and blessings; we want to win.”
He went on to narrate the qualities of the candidates, including their common belief and commitment to the unity and progress of every section of the country.
He said he had associated with Asiwaju for more than 20 years and did not have any reservations in supporting him as the candidate of the APC.
The President said Tinubu’s greatest strength was in his effective governance of Lagos, the country’s former Capital, a business hub and home to diverse individuals from all over Nigeria for two terms; his commitment to democracy; as well as his role at the center as a Senator.
He said his message to Nigerians is that they should trust Tinubu with power to succeed him because the APC candidate, supported by Kashim Shettima, the running mate will build on the successes of his administration.
In his response, His Eminence, Sultan Abubakar III, declared that being an apolitical father of all and custodian of culture, he would continue to receive everyone that sought the blessing of the throne, telling President Buhari that many had come before him for the same purpose while many more would still come.
“We will continue to pray for our nation. We cannot be tired of praying and will continue to advocate for peaceful and free elections in our fatherland,” the Sultan further said.
He assured President Buhari that the Caliphate was behind him as he sought to ensure free and fair elections, noting that the President’s commitment to be present at the next signing of the Peace Accord by the political parties underscored his administration’s desire to bequeath to the nation a credible electoral process.
Speaking before an unprecedented crowd at the Giginya Memorial Stadium, Sokoto, the venue of the party’s Presidential and Gubernatorial Campaign rally, President Buhari said that as the party’s Presidential candidate who had been nominated by the party in a free, fair and democratic primary, it was incumbent on all members to work towards the success of the party in the forthcoming elections across the state and at all levels.
He remarked that Senator Tinubu and his Vice, Senator Kashim Shettima were men who understand the problems of Nigeria, having been in politics as two-time Governors in their respective states and would proffer solutions to the challenges facing Nigeria.
Also present at the rally were the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, Speaker, House of Representatives, Right Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, former Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, the party leader who got a great deal of attention at the rally, as well as other party stalwarts.
@views exclusive rights: Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, February 9, 2023.