Tinubu says, “I invoked the ‘Emi l’okan’ spirit to win despite the cashless policy”

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  • Olubadan asks Tinubu’s prayers

In what appeared to be a veiled reaction to his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari’s, rant, President Bola Tinubu declared yesterday that whether the cashless policy was implemented or not, his victory in the previous presidential election was unavoidable.

Despite the failed cashless policy adopted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), he remained hopeful and optimistic about winning the election.

During a thank-you visit to the royal fathers in Ogun State, he made this known in separate comments in the palace of the Paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, in Ijebu-Ode, and in Abeokuta at the palace of Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo.

Reflecting on the issues ahead of the 2023 presidential election, President Tinubu recalled his fears about fund confiscation and the failure of the cashless policy, and how he had previously sought wisdom and counsel from Oba Adetona during his visit to the palace.

Recall that former President Buhari broke his silence on Monday on the ongoing discussions surrounding the ‘challenge’ of removing petrol subsidies that he left for his successor, saying that if the policy had been implemented, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Tinubu would have lost the last general election.

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Clarifying the matter through his spokesman, Garba Shehu, Buhari praised the new administration’s efforts to remove the petrol subsidy and strive to unify the Naira currency rate.

Shehu explained that the clarification was made in response to persistent questions from some opponents, who wondered why it took Tinubu only weeks to abolish the petrol subsidy but Buhari eight years.

According to him, if the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) containing the petrol subsidy elimination had been enacted before 2023, the ruling party would have lost the election.

President Tinubu, in reaction, said he asked the spirits of freedom and resolve, symbolized by ‘Baba Emi l’okan,’ to overcome the election’s challenges.

“Our money was taken away. The cashless policy proved ineffective at the time. I realized that I came to Ogun State to summon the spirit of liberty for which we are known.

“I called on that ghost twice. Baba Emi l’okan’s spirit. Baba is his name. He will tell you that he is direct and decisive. The second spirit is that “we will do the election and we will win, money or no money,” he declared.

Tinubu is famous for coining the phrases ‘Emi l’okan’ and ‘Olule’ in a speech to party delegates in the run-up to the APC presidential primary last year. During his last visit to the state in January, when his presidential campaign train stormed Ogun, he publicly criticized CBN policy and petrol scarcity.

The President acknowledged that these spirits had been the driving force behind his service and offered gratitude to Oba Adetona, all the Obas, elected officials, and especially his “personal friend,” Senator Gbenga Daniel of Ogun East.

He commended them for their loyalty and effort during those critical election years in 2023.

He also acknowledged the presence of billionaire businessman Chief Mike Adenuga and expressed delight in his contributions to the Nigerian economy.

President Tinubu commended the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, for greeting him during his visit to Abeokuta, calling him as a wonderful leader.

He expressed his determination to keeping his commitments and asked for prayers from state citizens to ensure the country’s prosperity and stability.

“I have fulfilled my promise to return with victory and the crown.” The hope has been rekindled; the hope has arrived. That hope will never be dashed. That hope will positively revitalize your life.

“By the grace of Almighty God, we shall reap the fruits of our labor; Nigeria will see positive change; just bear with us as we take these baby steps of pain.”

“This is the only country we have. I’ve been a refugee, and I know what it’s like, and my green passport is all I have now.”

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Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun congratulated the President for his visit, calling him as a man of extraordinary grace and a living testament to resilience.

In recounting the President’s forefathers as a visionary politician, the governor stated that President Tinubu’s proclamation in his first few weeks in office defined him as being properly equipped and qualified for government.

In separate statements in their palaces, Oba Adetona and Oba Gbadebo praised President Tinubu for his leadership, describing him as a divine instrument selected to correct past mistakes.

Also addressing, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, the Akarigbo of Remoland, who praised the President for an excellent start to his administration, stated that the people require immediate palliatives to offset the effects of the current issues.

“I remember when you came to the palace and all we said was that our dream is for you to win the primaries, and that if you win the primaries, I’m sure God will take us there.” I’m delighted God led us there.

“I’d want to remind you of something you said when you arrived to Remo. You stated that the amount of underdevelopment in Remo astonished you given its proximity to Lagos. This is the moment, Mr. President, to walk the walk.”

The President, who arrived at 10:17 a.m. on a presidential chopper labeled 5N FG2, Nigeria Airforce, and promptly walked into the Awujale’s palace, departed after approximately an hour of meeting behind closed doors with the renowned monarch.

Former Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode Friday evening joined his predecessor, Babatunde Fashola, and his successor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at a reception honoring President Tinubu in Lagos, in what was a reunion and closure to any grudges prior to the 2019 elections.

The trio was spotted in a good mood after meeting for the first time in over four years at the Lagos House in Marina.

Remember that before to the state’s governorship election in 2019, there was a schism between Ambode and Tinubu’s political movement, which resulted in the former governor losing his re-election campaign to Sanwo-Olu. Earlier this month, Sanwo-Olu reached out to Ambode, offering to pay him a visit on his 60th birthday.

The ‘Berlin Wall’ between godfather Tinubu and godson Ambode also fell apart yesterday, following Ambode’s protracted wilderness journey.

Tinubu and Ambode were last spotted together at Jim Ovia’s book launch on September 17, 2018. Following a week of bold media reports on their rift, particularly Ambode’s infamous world press conference, guests at the event waited with bated breath to see how the two leaders would break the ice, if at all, but nothing revealed their hatred. It was a flawless performance.

According to The Guardian, “Ambode was already seated when Tinubu sauntered in midway through the occasion.” The environment then got electric. The Lion of Bourdillon took the stage and made his words. The organizers may have read the audience’s thinking.

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“For no sooner had Tinubu’s ‘roar’ been heard than the governor was summoned to the podium.” The stillness that followed the initial applause was deafening. Everyone, even the microphone, waited with bated breath.

“Ambode then began. First, an acknowledgement of the dignitaries with nods and a grin, then a moment’s hesitation, and eventually the words: ‘Actually, I didn’t prepare to come and say anything here. And who am I to talk once the Jagaban has finished speaking?’

“It was a textbook example of how to defuse tension; it made the audience and the governor laugh, and it got social media buzzing with the latest catchphrase.” Ambode then praised Tinubu’s political abilities before moving on to discuss Ovia.”

Last night, it was all smiles for the class of Lagos governors from 1999 to the present, as Tinubu, Fashola, Ambode, and Sanwo-Olu all posed for an iconic photo in honor of Tinubu, the godfather, now president. Tinubu said during the meeting, “I’m glad to see Ambode.”

The President then revealed that upon taking office, he immediately canceled the gasoline subsidy in order to stop the country’s bleeding finances, stating that the country had no alternative but to remove the subsidy.

He went on to say that there was a need to re-engineer and regulate the country’s finances in order to meet the ambitions of Nigerians promised by politicians, and that abolishing the petrol subsidy was one option for doing so.

Tinubu went on to say that he cannot afford to be Father Christmas to neighboring countries with the subsidies, but vowed to continue working with all Nigerians with available resources.

He thanked Sanwo-Olu for arranging the ceremony and thanked everyone who came to honor him.

Earlier in his welcome statement, Sanwo-Olu stated that Tinubu’s election as President is not a coincidence, but rather what God intends to happen, and that Lagos is fully behind him.

Sanwo-Olu went on to say that Lagos State is proud of Tinubu and will support him wholeheartedly.

MEANWHILE, Buhari made an impassioned plea to Nigerians on Thursday to keep him out of the spotlight so as not to distract the new administration.

To emphasize his appeal, the former President has relocated to a more remote location, according to his media adviser, Shehu, in a statement made accessible to The Guardian. Shehu, on the other hand, did not reveal the new location.

“As much as possible, the former President wishes to remain outside the spotlight so as not to distract the new administration,” according to the statement.

After serving the country for eight years, Buhari handed over the baton of leadership to Tinubu on May 29 and retired to his birthplace of Daura in Katsina State.

The former president has declared that he will retire to his hometown of Daura to rest and stay as far away from the epicenter of the 2023 political activity as possible.

“He chose to go home in Daura in the hopes of finding the type of quiet he desired for himself, but after discovering that this was not the case, with visitors pouring in morning, day, and night, he moved out to a more distant location.”

“It remains his wish that he be allowed to rest, and that the Tinubu administration have the right environment to work on the realization of the promises they made,” the statement continued.

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