National leader of Afenifere, Reuben Fasoranti, has advised president-elect Bola Tinubu to avoid mistakes of his “forebears” as he prepares for governance.
In his congratulatory message on Saturday, Mr Fasoranti asked Mr Tinubu to unite the country and treat every Nigerian as one in the “spirit of federalism”.
“In going about this, avoid the mistake of some of your forbears. Be fair to all concerned. Go ahead to unite the country, see and treat the country as one. Be a federalist.
“Allow the big ethnic groups to exist and respect one another, but also allow the small ones to feel proud and wanted in the spirit of federalism as practised in U.S.A,” he advised in the message titled “My dear Son”, and issued in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
Mr Fasoranti’s message, obtained by Peoples Gazette, came as Mr Tinubu awaits his swearing-in to the office by May 29, as Nigeria’s next elected president.
Last weekend, Mr Tinubu, the candidate of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), was declared winner of the February 25 presidential election.
A two-term former governor of Lagos, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said Mr Tinubu polled 8,794,726 votes to win the election.
In the final results announced by INEC, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 6,984,520 voted to come second in the controversial poll.
Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), came third with 6,101,533 votes, followed by Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) with 1,496,687 votes.
The electoral commission has since issued a “Certificate of Return” to Mr Tinubu and his Vice, Kashim Shettima.
Although, Messrs Abubakar and Obi have rejected the result of the presidential election, both men have vowed to seek redress in court.
Positing further in his message, Mr Fasoranti appealed to aggrieved contenders in the presidential election to give peace a chance and avoid settling Nigeria on fire.
He urged them to support Mr Tinubu in tackling the myriads of problems bedeviling Nigeria, especially the issues of insecurity and restructuring.
“I now appeal to all concerned Nigerians and the International Community, who might be aggrieved, one way or the other, not to do anything that will set Nigeria on fire. We should all go peaceful, take lawful means, and thread legitimate and legal paths to rectify anything that might have, from their own point of view, gone wrong.
“…let Tinubu and all concerned settle down immediately to tackle the enormous Nigerian project of tackling insecurity, solving our economic downturn, restructuring the country, and rebuilding a nation never so badly divided on ethnic, religious and corrupt lines,” he stressed.
The Afenifere leader noted that he was marveled by Mr Tinubu’s doggedness, self-determination and ability to overcome daunting challenges.
“I was, also, amazed at God’s grace on you, that gave you the strength of character and such abundance of energy, that enabled you to navigate through all the ever emerging intricate problems, and made it possible for you to, against the wishes of some people, traverse successfully all the States of the Federation, during the energy-sapping marathon Presidential campaigns.
“I am, indeed, glad to know that your hard-earned victory had a very good national spread. Amongst about 18 presidential candidates, you came 2nd in South-South; 2nd in South East; 1st in South West; 1st in North Central; 2nd in North East; and 1st in North West. What a brilliant performance!” he said.
Mr Fasoranti, however, asked Mr Tinubu not to hesitate in consulting him for any advice or assistance as he prepared himself for governance.
“You now have the opportunity. Now is time for you to prove me right. I pray God to be with you (amen),” the elder statesman added.
Recall that on October 30, 2022, Mr Tinubu visited the Afenifere leader at his residence in Akure, Ondo, to present his manifesto.
The visit was witnessed by an erstwhile Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Olu Falae, and other personalities from the six states of the South-West subregion as well as Kwara and Kogi States.
At the meeting, Mr Tinubu presented an 80-page blueprint and received the “blessings” of 96-year-old Fasoranti.
SOURCE: PEOPLES GAZETTE