… Ex-Governor: ‘I Returned Hale, Hearty And Well’
National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has taken his first outing since his return from the United Kingdom (UK) last Friday night.
Tinubu, on Sunday, reunited with his political associates and protégés at a welcome-back event and prayer hosted by Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at the State House in Marina.
At 2:45pm, the former Lagos State Governor was received by Sanwo-Olu in company of his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, and Chief of Staff, Mr. Tayo Ayinde.
The simple event was attended by all elected office holders and political appointees in Lagos, including the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, and Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa.
Members of the State Executive Council, Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) and council chairmen were also in attendance.
Sanwo-Olu said Tinubu’s return was more than cheery news for his supporters across the country, noting that the APC leader had been rejuvenated with renewed vigour for his next political move.
The Governor said: “We have countless reasons to be grateful to God for bringing Asiwaju back home, fully rejuvenated. Since Friday when our leader and father came back, it has been a joyful moment for the teeming residents of Lagos, his supporters and Nigerians across the country. We give glory to God who brought you (Tinubu) back with sound health and stronger vigour.
“On behalf of all political office holders, party leaders and faithful, we welcome our leader back and we give praises to God on his behalf that the intention of evil-minded people who spread malicious rumour against our leader did not materialise. This event shows Asiwaju is healthy and possesses more energy to embark on his next move in politics.”
Tinubu, clad in dark grey kaftan and blue cap to match, said he was highly elated to return after his three-month absence from the country.
The APC National Leader said the prayer event was an emotional one for him, saying he was overwhelmed by good wishes from Nigerians while he was away. He said took all prayers as valuable compliments.
Tinubu said: “I’m a little emotional now but I’m happy. God is the giver of life and the only one who can take life. And he (God) says, if I grant you power and the privilege in this life; I am the only one who can take it from you if you don’t use it in the way and manner that promotes humanity. God can give power to anyone he wills.
“It is the same God that has spared us till today and has given us the privilege. I give glory to God, because I’m standing before you hale, hearty and well. Today is a day of joy for me, having fixed today for this great event. We are here giving praises to God. May God bless all of you in attendance. I am grateful. I cannot say more than that today. Thank you all.”
Dr. Hamzat said Tinubu’s return deepened his associates’ belief in God, stressing that the APC National Leader’s full recovery from the knee surgery was a sign of strength and favour from God.
“Now that Asiwaju is back, we are ready for work. The work has started and we are committed to doing it,” the Deputy Governor said.
Gbajabiamila, who spoke on behalf of the National Assembly members, described Tinubu as “an eagle”, who is focused and always ahead of the game.
The Speaker wondered why a “simple knee surgery” became a national issue, but the solidarity shown towards Tinubu across ethnic divides indicated the APC National Leader is an enigma.
Obasa called Tinubu a teacher and benefactor, saying his return had put malicious rumour against him to rest.
Chairman of Conference 57, who spoke on behalf of the council chairmen, said members of the Conference were ready to join Tinubu in his next political move.
Others who spoke glowingly about the APC National Leader included the lawmaker representing Lagos West in the Senate, Sen. Olamilekan Adeola, and GAC chairman, Prince Tajudeen Olusi.
Prayers were offered for Tinubu by Muslim and Christian clerics, while party leaders at the event took turns to welcome him back to the fold.
Obidike visits Tinubu, says he’s playing a pivotal role in youth constituency
Following the return of the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, from the UK, the Director General – Conference of APC Support Groups and member of the Party’s National Strategic Lobby Committee, Hon. Obidike Chukwuebuka, has paid a private visit to him in his Abuja residence, to welcome him back to the country.
Speaking to the journalists after the closed door meeting with Tinubu, Hon. Obidike said: “Asiwaju is a father to me and to all other youths in the APC and Nigeria, he has continued to play a pivotal role in the youth constituency through his impactful human capacity development which is the best gift of life. So as his son, and upon his return to Nigeria, I said I will come and welcome my father today and equally brief him of certain things we have been able to achieve while he was out of the country.
“I am happy to see him, hail and hearty, and it’s my prayer that the good Lord continues bless and keep him in good health and protection.
NATION BUILDING: SANWO-OLU, AKEREDOLU, AISHA BUHARI HARP ON ROLE OF WOMEN
…Women Participation in Politics Must Go Beyond Singing at Rallies, Says Ondo Gov
… As 21st COWLSO National Women’s Conference Begins
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, his counterpart from Ondo State, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu and Nigeria’s First Lady, Dr. (Mrs.) Aisha Buhari, on Tuesday, harped on the role of women in national development, saying women must be accorded their rightful recognition in the scheme of affairs.
They all spoke at the opening ceremony of the 21st Annual National Women’s Conference of the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) with the theme: “Awake”, held at the Convention Centre, Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu acknowledged the fact that men can do virtually nothing without women, noting that it is important for women to be awake and alive to their responsibilities, especially the emerging realities of the 21st century.
According to him, “There is nothing we men can do without women beside us. And so the charge before us today is to look at the changes and the emerging realities of our time. I believe the word ‘Awake’ is appropriate and it is meant for our women to be a lot more resilient; to be aware of the environment; to have a new approach to doing things; to ensure that you have a sustainable mindset at everything you find yourselves doing as individuals, as organisations, as corporate entities and so on.
“I think it is important for us to know that all of you, working collaboratively as partners with the government, we can achieve a lot together working in unity”, he noted.
The Governor said, since inception, the policy direction of his administration had focused on empowering women, just as he paid a glowing tribute to the contributions of women towards the actualisation of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda.
His words: “In our Agenda, all of the processes and the programmes we have, in one form or the other, are targeted at ensuring that we can put our women in the drivers’ seat. If you talk about health, education, infrastructure and so on, the strongest engineers that are leading our infrastructure in Lagos are all women.
“For us as government, we have actually awakened; we have said to ourselves that we need women to take their rightful position and it is not just by mouth that they said our government is “HeForShe” because you can see our cabinet members; they are the reasons for all of the great things that we are doing. We believe that when we have women leading the conversations, we will achieve a lot more. So, you can take it to the bank that our administration will ensure that women take the rightful leadership positions and that you are an integral part of our Greater Lagos agenda”, Sanwo-Olu said.
The Governor appreciated COWLSO for the various humanitarian initiatives in critical sectors, especially the donation of 5000 transistor radios to support continuous learning by students during the lockdown occasioned by COVID-19, as well as various interventions in health, sexual and gender-based violence, among others.
On his part, Akeredolu, who was the special guest of honour, said history was replete with heroic acts of women, and that no reasonable society would confine women to the background, informing that it is no longer acceptable for women’s participation in politics to be limited to singing at rallies.
“There is a need for women to start taking the issue of participating in politics seriously. Your role cannot be just jamboree and singing at political rallies. We must train the girl child in a way that she has a role to play in the future”, Akeredolu said.
Also, Nigeria’s First Lady, who was represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Women Affairs and Administration, Dr. Rukayyatu Gurin, commended the initiative of COWLSO and called on other first ladies across the country to embrace it, with a view to empowering women and girls.
In her opening remarks, COWLSO Chairman and Lagos State First Lady, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, paid glowing tributes to the founding mothers of COWLSO, particularly the late Dame Obafunmilayo Johnson, wife of the first Military Governor of the State, who founded the Committee in 1974 and Senator Oluremi Tinubu, who initiated the National Women’s Conference in the year 2000 during the tenure of her husband, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Governor of the State, as well as her predecessors.
She said aside from the theme, other sub-topics would be thoroughly examined in the next two days, adding, “This conference will not just be a talk shop. At the end of the conference, we shall issue a Communiqué that will appropriately articulate the deliberations at this conference, and proffer insightful recommendations that will result in actionable initiatives. It is hoped that this will translate to significant improvement in the way participants address the highlighted topics, going forward”.
The event was attended by dignitaries including the Wife of the Speaker, House of Representatives, Hajia Salamutu Gbajabiamila; Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; Governors’ Wives from Ogun, Ekiti, Kwara, Osun, Ondo and Kebbi, among others.
Special inspirational women awards were also presented to Nigeria’s first female Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs. Muheeba Wonuola Folami; first female Commissioner for Finance in Lagos State and first female Vice Chairman of Transcorp Plc, Mrs. Foluke Abdul-Rasaq; the Iyalode of Lagos, Chief (Mrs.) Bintu Fatima Tinubu and Super Falcons captain, Asisat Oshoala, who was honoured as inspirational youth of the year.
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