Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi yesterday met with the Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Adams, and other dignitaries in Lagos, to solicit support for his candidature.
At the meeting which is a courtesy visit to the Omole Phase 2, palace of Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land, Obi presented the blueprint of the his party (LP) and affirmed that he had embraced restructuring of the country.
He stated that he had embraced restructuring as component of his administration if he wins, saying his plans on the economy, tourism, security, agriculture and unity of Nigeria remain pivotal as a better way of salvaging Nigeria from political quagmire.
Obi spoke prominently for over an hour about the economic potentials of the North and Southern Nigeria, insisting that the visit to the palace of Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land is part of the ongoing consultation of his presidential campaign train.
He submitted that the blueprint of his administration was all-inclusive, with a prominent focus on the unity of Nigeria as well as a robust economy.
Obi maintained also that the visit was a measure of respect to the stool and understanding of how best to solve Nigeria’s problems with an enduring blueprint.
He added that prominent leaders like former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, Pa Ayo Adebanjo and Chief Edwin Clark would not be supporting his ambition if it is all about money.
“There are others who can give billions to the elders and leaders of our country, but I have no money to give them. I have a strong desire to change the country and make Nigeria works for everybody.
“We have a project of a Nigerian where everybody is involved in the prospect of a great Nigeria.
“I said it here that Nigeria should hold me responsible for Nigeria’s turnaround.We will do things differently as President of this great nation.
Obi also gave insights into the prospects of how Philippines was liberated. He mentioned that Vietnam, Indian and China with their huge population had succeeded in ensuring food and human security, saying Nigeria can be great with a leader with the people’s interest at heart.
“I will make Sambisa Forest an Agric village and also explore the tourism sector and address the spate of insecurity across the country.
While responding, Aare Gani Adams pointed out that the visit was not an endorsement but a show of respect to the revered stool that had been in existence since 1587.
He stated further that by virtue of his position, he is a major player and stakeholder in Yoruba land and Nigeria as a whole, insisting that anybody that fails to respect the stool does so at his or her peril.
Adams maintained that as the leader of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) global convener of the Oodua Progressives Union (OPU) and other groups, there is a need to be consistent.
“I appreciate your gesture and respect for the revered stool of the Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land.
“You gave us short notice on your visit, I appreciate the fact that you keep to time. It is a show of your passion and dedication.
“Your respect for the stool of the Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land is a reflection of your understanding of Nigeria’s problems.
“As the Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land, leader of the OPC, and global convener of the OPU, we are neutral for now, however, we will discuss the issue at the various meetings of our stakeholders both in Nigeria and in the diaspora.
“Anybody that wants to be the Nigerian president should restructure the country into federating units where each region will develop at their own pace.
“Our founding fathers agreed on an enduring template of federalism based on the independent constitution of 1960, but the military came and thwarted our polity by changing federalism to unitary system, after a year there was a civil war in 1967 and shortly thereafter, our living together was based on mutual suspicion.
“With all your beautiful ideas, if Nigeria is not restructured to regionalism, it will be very difficult to achieve.
He urged the Igbo not to exercise any fear, insisting that all Nigerians are in the best position to vote for any candidates of their choice.
“As the Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land, I have had an enduring relationship with the Igbo.
“Your visit is not an endorsement but it is an opportunity for you to present the blueprint of your party to us as an organization. With the point you have highlighted so far, it is my hope that you are a man of integrity. And my prayer is that God will grant your heart desires”, he added.
Afenifere chieftains, Sola Ebiseni, Chief Gboyega Adejumo, and Chief Segun Sanni urged the Aare Onakakanfo to support Obi’s ambition for a better Nigeria.