Jonathan Consults With Top Elders
President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, launched into what was believed to be consultations with some prominent monarchs in the North and the South-west ahead of his purported re-election bid next year.
Jonathan, who has said he will make public his decision to run or not to run in the 2015 presidential election later this year, visited the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero; the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, and Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwanu Lukman Akiolu.
In Kano, Bayero told the President the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable. The Emir said his emirate will work with other members of the traditional institution to ensure that the peace and unity of the country is enhanced.
In Ile-Ife, Osun State, Jonathan met with Oba Okunade Sijuwade behind closed doors. Sources said the issues discussed include the 2015 presidential poll and the governorship election in Osun State scheduled to hold in August and in which Senator Iyiola Omisore, an indigene of Ile-Ife, is a leading aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
They also reportedly discussed the nation’s security. The meeting, it was gathered, was called by the President to seek the support of the Yoruba race in the 2015 presidential election.
Jonathan, who arrived the Ooni’s palace at exactly 3.00pm, was accompanied by the Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Jumoke Akinjide.
After introduction of dignitaries who joined Sijuwade to welcome the President, the monarch and Jonathan entered into the inner chamber of the palace where they met for 30 minutes.
The President, who left the palace of the Ooni at about 3.45pm, refused to speak with newsmen, insisting that the visit to the monarch was a private one. The Deputy Governor of Osun State, who welcomed the President to the state on behalf of Governor Rauf Aregbesola, was among dignitaries at the palace of the Ooni.
Jonathan’s meeting with the Alaafin, Oba Adeyemi, during the visit to the Oyo palace was also held behind closed doors. The President later thanked the people of Oyo State for the support he received during the 2011 elections.
Addressing the people of Oyo, he said, “I thank not only the people of the state, but the entire South-west for the support we received in 2011 and I have come to reciprocate the gesture with the hope that things will continue as well. We are one, I remain your own”.
Before heading to Oyo town, the President was received on arrival in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, by Governor Abiola Ajimobi, his deputy, Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo, Oloye Jumoke Akinjide and some members of the state executive.
At the palace of the Oba of Lagos, Oba Akiolu, Jonathan was received by the monarch and his queens before they went into a closed door meeting at about 8 pm.