The President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Sunday, returned to Lagos in a blaze of glory, describing his Certificate of Return as a World Cup trophy he had brought home.
Bubbling with excitement and energy, he thanked Nigerians for voting for him, assuring that he will not disappoint them.
Tinubu, who stormed the palace of the Eleko of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, thanked the monarch and other community leaders for their support and prayers.
Speaking in Yoruba, he said: “This certificate that I brought home is our own World Cup.”
Oba Akiolu, who hugged the President-elect, wished him an eventful tenure.
Also in Abuja, elder statesman Alhaji Tanko Yakassai urged Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar and his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, Peter Obi, to support Tinubu.
He said the election has produced a winner and loser, adding that after the exercise, they should cooperate with the president-elect in the task of governance.
Oba Akiolu described him as a special breed “who is destined for leadership at the very top.”
He added: “Asiwaju, Lagos will not forget you. You did all your best to serve Lagos and you served excellently. I know you have enemies; all our ancestors had too. So, were all the prophets…
“Some are even enemies of God that created us. But, I know that our forefathers will fight your battles. God will grant you victory and Nigeria will be great under you.”
Tinubu arrived to the warm embrace All Progressives Congress (APC) faithful at the presidential wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja in the afternoon.
They were led by Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, his Chief of Staff (CoS) Tayo Ayinde, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro and other top APC chieftainss.
Tinubu’s first port of call was Iga-Iduganran Palace where Oba Akiolu, other monarchs and white cap chiefs were already waiting.
Addressing the crowd at the palace, Tinubu likened the primary and the general election to a World Cup tournament.
Thanking Lagosians and Nigerians for his eventual victory, he promised to work assiduously for the country.
Tinubu specifically thanked Oba Akiolu and others royal fathers for their advice, support and cooperation.
Other traditional rulers at the palace included: Elegushi of Ikate-Elegushi Kingdom, Oba Saheed Elegushi, and the Oniru of Iruland, Oba Omogbolahan Lawal.
Also at the palace were former Deputy Governor Femi Pedro, former Commissioner for Environment in Lagos Dr. Muiz Banire and Lagos APC Women Leader Jumoke Okoya-Thomas.
Yakassai, grand patron of Northern Alliance Committee, told reporters in Abuja that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducted a successful poll.
He said: “The aim of the briefing is to publicly convey our congratulations to President-elect Senator Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu on his victory in the just concluded presidential election, reflect on the conduct and outcome of the election whichconsequently declared Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the winner of the election.
“As in any contest under democracy, there is always the winner and the loser. But, at the end of it all, the two will team up to move their country forward in the interest of the nation and its people. The country will move on and people will continue to engage in their various activities and all will march on to the next phase in nation building.”
“Yakassai said the National Alliance Committee was delighted that Tinubu, who became the Candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), was elected president.
“He recalled that the group actively participated in the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Committee and campaigned at the grassroots, ward, local government, state, and national level.
“Yakassai thanked God that the candidate supported by the group won the poll.
He said: “The natural thing for all to do now is to give the president maximum support in the task of tackling many issues bedeviling our country, which need all hands to be on deck in handling these challenges.
“There are many challenges on ground ranging from the economic, security and social issues. The task ahead of the new president are enormous.”
Yakassai added: “We appreciate the maturity showed by a number of members of opposition parties by conducting themselves responsibly since the declaration of the result. We also thank the people of Nigeria for reposing their confidence in Tinubu.
“We congratulate the Independent National Electoral Commission for successful conduct of the presidential election and we urge the commission to take into consideration suggestions made by members of the public in conducting the next elections.
“The presidential election was very successful and the evidence of that is the acceptance by the people of the country, the evidence is that there was no protest, or disruptions that led to loss of lives or anything.
“Our expectations is that INEC would also conduct the next elections in the same manner it conducted the presidential election and I congratulate them for a job well done.”
Sanwo-Olu, deputy test run Lagos red line ahead of commissioning
Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos State, on Saturday, carried out a test run of the Lagos Red Line ahead of next week’s commissioning of the project by President Bola Tinubu.
The Lagos State governor also inspected the tracks and the rail corridors. Some of the comfort facilities inspected by Governor Sanwo-Olu included the train’s cooling system, handrails, cushioned seats, and in-built safety features of the wagons.
Today, I was at the Ikeja Train Station for the pivotal test run of the brand-new trains dedicated to our transformative Red Line Rail Project.
The Red Line Rail Project which I performed the groundbreaking on April 15th, 2021 is a momentous step towards a connected and… pic.twitter.com/CzynLh8759
— Babajide Sanwo-Olu (@jidesanwoolu) February 24, 2024
“We just completed another inspection of the Red Rail Line facility and corridor; now we are back in Ikeja Mega Station. We all have just used the train to Iju and back. I’m sure our media men can fully report what we all witnessed in the course of the short journey. This rail infrastructure is ready for inauguration, but we still have a few cleaning to do,” Sanwo-Olu said in a statement by his chief press secretary Gboyega Akosile.
“The challenge we have is the pedestrian interference on the rail track and unapproved activities seen along the corridor. We will continue with the enforcement we started against illegal use of the rail corridor. We are in talks with NRC (Nigeria Railway Corporation) to reinforce the train route with physical barriers to limit pedestrian interference.”
He told residents of the state to abide by safety measures in using the rail line, saying, “We have reduced human interference on the track considerably over the last two months, but enforcement continues.
“The stations are ready, the trains are ready and I believe Lagosians are ready to welcome this new infrastructure built for their use and benefit.”
Sanwo-Olu’s deputy Obafemi Hamzat and members of the State cabinet were part of the entourage.
The 37-kilometre rail line built by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) will be inaugurated by President Tinubu, along with its stations and other ancillary facilities. The Red Line traverses seven stations from Agbado, a boundary town in Ogun State, to Oyingbo in Lagos Central.
UPDATED: ECOWAS lifts sanctions against Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has lifted sanctions imposed on Niger Republic, Mali and Burkina Faso — member nations that are ruled by the military.
On Saturday, President Bola Tinubu, chairman of ECOWAS, said the decision was based on humanitarian considerations, especially because of the Lenten period and the approaching month of Ramadan.
The regional bloc also lifted sanctions on the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.
In a statement, Ajuri Ngelale, presidential spokesperson, said Tinubu spoke at the extraordinary summit of ECOWAS held in Abuja.
“Everything we did was in hopes of persuading our brothers that there existed a better path, a path that would lead to genuine improvement of their people’s welfare through democratic good governance. And this was a path each of our nations had solemnly agreed with one another pursuant to formal regional treaty and protocol,” the statement quoted Tinubu as saying.
“However, the sanctions that we contemplated might help lead our brothers to the negotiating table have become a harsh stumbling block. In my mind and heart, that which is hurtful yet ineffective serves no good purpose and should be abandoned.
“ECOWAS was established for the unassailable objective of improving the lives of the people of this region through fraternal cooperation among all member states. This edifice was cemented on the strong foundation and apt conviction that, united as one, we can be the true masters of our destiny.”
Tinubu said ECOWAS took the steps it did based on the regional ideals of security, social stability, democratic governance, political freedom, broad-based prosperity, and sustainable economic development through fair opportunity for each and everyone in West Africa.
He said neither hatred nor hidden motive influenced the steps taken, adding that there was never any intention to douse or undermine the legitimate political aspirations of any member state or to advance the interests of any outside party.
In calling for the suspension of sanctions, Tinubu said: “We must take note of the approach of the holy month of Ramadan and of Lent.”
“Whether you pray in the mosque or in the church, this represents a time for compassion, hope, and harmony. It is a time that we must not only seek God but also a closer relationship with brother and neighbour,” the president said.
“What I suggest in real and practical terms is that we, my colleagues and fellow heads of state in ECOWAS, indefinitely suspend economic sanctions against Niger, Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso and against the leadership of the military authorities in those nations.”
The president asked that ECOWAS facilitate the unfettered flow of foodstuffs, medicines and other humanitarian items to the people of these nations, especially to the most vulnerable.
He added that for Nigeria, “this will also mean the prompt resumption of the export of electric power to Niger”.
“In this vein, suspension of sanctions is an important but initial step. What we seek is more than the breaking of the diplomatic logjam. We must use this very moment when things seem tense and progress unavailing, to forge greater cooperation within our community,” he said.
“We not only reach out to our brothers. Today, we say unto them — let us begin to work more earnestly together for the economic development of our people and towards confronting those modern challenges that respect no borders or boundaries.
“As leaders of ECOWAS, we have accepted the honour and duty to draft the history of the region and its people during our tenure in office.
“We have also accepted the honour and duty to reach out to our brothers, letting them know this regional home belongs to us all. I shall do my utmost in this regard. I humbly beseech that you do the same.
“For these reasons, we must suspend sanctions and return to brotherly dialogue. I call on the leadership in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, and Niger to embrace the hand extended.”
BREAKING: ECOWAS lifts sanctions against Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has lifted sanctions imposed on Niger Republic, Mali, Burkina Faso, member nations that are ruled by military.
The authorities of ECOWAS on Saturday said the decision was based on humanitarian considerations, especially because of the Lenten period and the approaching month of Ramadan.
The regional bloc also lifted sanctions on Republic of Guinea-Bissau.
To invite all four countries to a meeting.
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