*•Ex-Governor: ‘I’m hale, hearty and well’*
National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu takes 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 healed and rejuvenated. Since Friday when our leader and father came back, it has been joyful moments for teeming of 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, who 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 in the way and manner that promote humanity. God can give power to anyone he wills.
“It is the same God that has spared us till today and 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 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 is his next political move.
Others who spoke glowingly about the APC National Leader included the lawmaker representing the 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 home.