President Bola Tinubu on Thursday in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, said he remained hopeful and optimistic about achieving victory in the last presidential election despite the ineffective cashless policy implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Tinubu spoke at the palaces of the paramount rulers of Ijebuland, Sikiru Adetona, in Ijebu-Ode and Alake of Egbaland, Adedotun Gbadebo, in Abeokuta, during a thank-you visit to the royal fathers.
Reflecting on the challenges in the build-up to the 2023 presidential election, the president, in a in a statement by Dele Alake, his special adviser on special duties, communications and strategy, recounted his worries about the confiscation of funds and the CBN cashless policy, and how he had previously sought wisdom and guidance from Adetona during his visit to the palace.
According to the president, he invoked the spirits of freedom and determination, symbolised by “Baba Emilokan,” to overcome the obstacles in the election.
“Our monies were confiscated. The cashless policy didn’t work, it was terrible then. I realised that I came to Ogun State to invoke the spirit of freedom which we are noted for.
“I invoked that spirit twice. The spirit of Baba Emilokan. That’s being blunt, being decisive. The second spirit is that money or no money (we will do the election and we will win),” he said.
Tinubu acknowledged that these spirits had been the driving force behind his service and expressed his gratitude to Adetona, all the Obas, elected officials, particularly his ‘personal friend’, Gbenga Daniel, the senator representing Ogun East.
He thanked them for their loyalty and commitment during those crucial times in the 2023 election.
The president, who described his visit to Ijebu-Ode as a homecoming, told the Kabiyesi: “The way you have taken me, the way you have responded to me, all I can say is thank you. May you live long and may you witness a prosperous Nigeria.”
He also acknowledged the presence of Mike Adenuga, a billionaire businessman, and expressed pride in his contributions to the Nigerian economy.
Also, at the palace of Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, the Alake of Egbaland, in Abeokuta, Tinubu thanked and described the royal father as a great leader. He expressed his commitment to fulfilling his promises and appealed for prayers from the citizens of the state to ensure progress and stability in the country.
“I have redeemed my pledge that I will come back with victory and the crown. The hope is recharged; the hope is here. That hope will never fail. That hope will recharge your lives in a positive manner.
“By the grace of Almighty God, we shall reap the fruits of our labour, Nigeria will see positive change, just endure these baby steps of pain.
“This country is the only one we have. I have been a refugee and I know what it means to be a refugee and my green passport is what I still have now.”
On his part, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, thanked the president for the visit, describing him as a man of uncommon grace and a living testimony of resilience.
Adetona and Gbadebo, in separate remarks in their palaces, commended President Tinubu for his leadership, acknowledging him as an instrument chosen by God to rectify past shortcomings.