Emmanuel Oladesu, Deputy Editor
ELDER statesman and All Progressive Congress (APC) chieftain, Chief Bisi Akande, on Sunday unfolded plans to meet Yoruba leaders over 2023 presidential race.
He is expected to discuss with them the entreaties by eminent Nigerians that the national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, should declare his intention to run for president.
Akande’s decision to meet Yoruba leaders followed pleas by members of the Southwest Agenda for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu(SWAGA) to persuade the former Lagos governor to join the presidential race.
The SWAGA team was at Ila, Osun State, home of Chief Akande to felicitate with him on his 82nd birthday. During the visit, they brainstormed with him on the state of the nation, particularly the push for presidential zoning to the region.
They also visited Osun State Governor Gboyega Oyetola in Osogbo, the state capital, to drum up support for their agenda.
The group, led by Senator Dayo Adeyeye, specifically requested the former APC Interim National Chairman to prevail on the former Lagos State governor to run.
With Adeyeye were coordinators of the group from the six Southwest states of Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Osun and Lagos, and other party chieftains.
Adeyeye, who explained the vision of the group to the party elder, said the nation will benefit immensely from Tinubu, if he succeeds President Muhammadu Buhari at the expiration of his second term.
Akande commended the efforts of the group and their selflessness in tasking themselves to mobilize and travel round the zone in pursuit of the patriotic cause.
He prayed for the delegation and assured the members of his total commitment to their cause.
The former Osun State governor pledged to support the group’s efforts by visiting prominent Yoruba elders to explain its mission to them.
He also promised assist them to propagate the desirability, suitability and viability of Tinubu’s candidature in the 2023 presidential race.
Akande reiterated his support for zoning and rotational principle, saying that power should shift to Southwest in 2023.
He said with a benefit of hindsight and critical introspection as an experienced and active political leader in the region, he had no doubt that Tinubu was the best, strongest and most electable prospect.
Urging them to remain focussed, Oyetola, who commended SWAGA’s efforts, adviseed them to sustain the momentum of their well- organised mission and vision.
Today, the delegation will pay a courtesy call on the Ataoja of Osogbo, the Ooni of Ife and other eminent traditional rulers and leaders of tbought in the state.