•What They Told Him At BOURDILLON
•How TINUBU Responded To Them
Until he took over as the new leader of Afenifere, the pan Yoruba socio-political group, Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the National Leader of APC were not the best of friends. In very many interviews he granted the press, he repeatedly scolded Tinubu for going into political relationship with Pres. Muhammadu Buhari & the North. He has always been of the opinion that nothing good can come out of that union.
Even when Tinubu stormed the 90th birthday party of Papa Adebanjo in Lagos, he openely confirmed the differences that existed between them and apologised to Papa Adebanjo and urged him to forget the past. He made everyone laugh when he revealed that when Papa was his age, he was also as radical as he (Tinubu) is now, in his ways.
That was why many people were surprised when Chief Ayo Adebanjo visited Asiwaju Tinubu at his Bourdillon residence in Ikoyi, Lagos a few days ago. The decision of the 93 year old veteran politician to have taken time out to visit Tinubu came as a pleasant surprise. Chief Adebanjo didn’t go alone. He went with Chief Supo Sonibare, Oba Olaitan Oladipo and AIG Tunji Alapini (rtd). This came days after Tinubu returned from a medical trip to London where he under went knee surgery.
Prior to the visit, Adebanjo had revealed that the reason Tinubu has been silent on sensitive issues like the Herdsmen crisis is because Tinubu thinks the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), will make him his successor. In yet another interview, Adebanjo stated that Buhari won’t hand over power to Tinubu, adding that they are both deceiving themselves.
He said, “I have said it openly before and I would say it again that Buhari is deceiving Tinubu and Tinubu is deceiving Buhari. I’m an old man and I’m a funeral candidate already, so quote me. If Tinubu contests the primary in APC today, he will fail.”
Adebanjo then advised Tinubu and other APC members from the South-West to leave the party in the interest of Yorubaland.
He said, “I have always told them, from Tinubu downwards, that it’s better they save themselves speedily. I’m talking to all of them, that in the interest of Yorubaland and the country, they should get out of the carcass they call APC. I made a public pronouncement that they were a conglomeration of incompatibles. It’s on record. I said it then and I’m still saying it now; if they don’t save themselves early enough, then they are ready for a disaster.”
With the visit came commendation from the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) Dr. Kunle Olajide, the Secretary General of YCE said the Yoruba nation was paramount, commending Afenifere for acting as fathers to all. He said, “why must anyone be surprised for the visit? They only disagreed to agree. The interest of Yoruba nation remains paramount. And Tinubu is a foremost Yoruba leader & Afenifere has been in this business for a long time… They made me proud because the unity of Yoruba is paramount in the minds of the ethnic group”.
It is not only The Afenifere leaders who have visited Asiwaju. Gen. Julius Alani Ipoola Akinrinade and Professor Bolaji Akinyemi also visited Tinubu at his Bourdillon residence, also to commiserate. Other prominent Yoruba leaders have also visited.
This spate of visits by Yoruba leaders who many hold in high esteem have made many wonder how Tinubu convinced them to rally round him, observed a political analyst. Although both Papa Ayo Adebanjo & Gen. Alani Akinrinade didn’t openly say they support Tinubu’s rumoured 2023 presidential bid, their body language & decision to visit him at home can be taken as tacit support for Tinubu, who is also a prominent Yoruba leader. A source told City People that many Yoruba leaders are resolved to rally around Tinubu who as at today is the only Yoruba politician who is recommended to be interested in running for the office of President.
In an interview with City People early this year, Adebanjo had hinted that the Afenifere, under his leadership will always rally around Yoruba people who need their support to help them realise their goals.
City People gathered that the Yoruba leaders in supporting Tinubu, have also made their stand known that he must transparently support policies and programmes that will improve a lot of not only Yoruba people, but the minorities.
When City People asked a respected Yoruba leader last week for an interpretation of the visits, he responded by saying,” it is good for the elders to go and see him. That’s who we are. We must not lose our humanity on the altar of politics. Pa Adebanjo is the number one critic of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Politics and Humanity with Afenifere are two different issues. Even for a non-Yoruba person, Afenifere will show sympathy. When Gen. Buhari was sick, despite his bad Politics, Afenifere sympathy was communicated, talk less of a Yoruba person”.