- President-Elect Sir, our dear Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, I am writing you this open letter because today, in Oyo State, a rallying figure in the mould of a strong voice is lacking to push forward the needs of our great people. We recently lost our foremost traditional rulers, two of our former governors and the rest, they say, is history. The State governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde, though a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader, never hid his preference for you as a co-Southerner to balance the political equation of our country, as the outgoing president, General Muhammadu Buhari (Retd), is a Northerner. Makinde’s subtle but clearly loud and spectacular ‘style of campaign’ for you paid-off with the outcome of the poll in our dear state. His role can never be forgotten and history will be kind to him. Also prominent is an illustrious son of the city of Ibadan, Chief Dotun Sanusi, who rallied notable traditional rulers, Magajis, market men and women and all segments of the society to organise rallies through his hard-earned money and influenced thousands to support your aspiration, otherwise the State would have again gone the way of the PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who in 2019 won the state against an incumbent President Buhari.
The billionaire businessman, Dotun Sanusi, flung open his vast business empire, Ilaji Hotels and Resorts, including three stadiums in the resort, for several state and southwest rallies for your aspiration. Apart from the moral and logistic support, to say that he spent several millions of naira to mobilise people from across Ibadan, Oyo, Ogbomoso, Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun zones of the state and occasionally from across the southwest states for ‘Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for President’ while the campaign lasted, would an understatement. Few men of his ilk and standing in the society would dare all odds to stake business, reputation and integrity to rally people for a Tinubu project which in the beginning looked forlorn to naysayers. The recently concluded 2023 election was a different ball game altogether as our pointsmen (Makinde, Sanusi, Zacch Adedeji, Florence Ajimobi, et al) worked vigorously to secure victory for you and the APC.
Adedeji, a former Finance Commissioner under the late Abiola Ajimobi administration, remained a strong advocate for Tinubu’s presidential ambition. He gave his all to you and also mobilised people in the days leading to the election. This young, energetic and charismatic personality is a blessing to Oyo State and indeed the Nigerian nation. Mrs. Florence Abiola Ajimobi, wife of the late Abiola Ajimobi, was a greater mobiliser while the election lasted. She deployed all the political tendencies left by her husband and also gave a good account of herself. Such an individual deserves a pat on the back for her a great contributions. The list of our A-list pro-Asiwaju supporters from Oyo State are inexhaustible. The Islamic group; MUSWEN; League of Alfas and Imams in the state; some notable traditional rulers and a host of others are the real change-makers who made this victory attainable for us. According to the results announced by the collation officer, Prof. Olusola Babatunde, Tinubu polled 449,884 to win the state, Atiku polled 182,977, Obi polled 99,110, while Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigerian Peoples Party polled 4,095 to come fourth.
The result shows total votes cast across all the 33 Local Government Areas with Tinubu’s APC winning a landslide. Oyo State people are therefore deserving of recognition and must be accorded a great deal in the comity of states, especially in the Southwest geopolitical zone under your presidency. We are beginning to wonder why an invitation hasn’t been extended to these great people and individuals to represent Oyo State to physically congratulate you since after your declaration as President-elect and consequent return from overseas ‘vacation’ to Nigeria.
Of all the states in Yorubaland , it was only our state, the Pacesetter, that won all the 33 local governments with a landslide victory for the APC. Before they begin to rewrite history and change the narratives, it is incumbent on Mr President and his ‘men of power’ to always remember the contributions made to Asiwaju’s victory by our people. Permit me to remind the president-elect and his handlers to note that while Oyo State people gave their all to Asiwaju, other states which on many occasions usurped our leading role in the politics of Yorubaland did not give our level of support to the Jagaban Borgu. The APC candidate polled a total of 201,494 votes across the state to defeat candidates of other parties, a far cry to Oyo’s 449,884 votes. It is instructive to know that our presidential candidate emerged winner in Ondo State with a total of 369,924 votes. In Ogun State, our leader (Tinubu) polled a total of 341,554 votes across the 20 local government areas in the state to emerge victorious, yet like in Ondo, still below Oyo State result. While Osun was a fatal blow for us, Lagos presented a better output though we lost to the Labour Party.
Since 1999-2007 under Olusegun Obasanjo presidency; Umar Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan 2007-2015 and current Muhammadu Buhari administration, the place of Oyo State in terms of political patronage and appointment of our people into key federal government positions has been nothing to write about and that is why all hands must be on the deck to.emsure that Oyo State is given its pride of place in the incoming administration. Oyo State needs more federal presence in terms of quality projects and patronage for our people. The president-elect must prioritise our state and justify the huge investments made in his aspiration for posterity sake.
- Ayandele writes in from Ibadan
READ ALSO FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE