The Alake of Egbaland, in Ogun, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo says Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has paid his dues and deserves to be elected Nigeria’s president in 2023.
Gbadebo spoke on Tuesday in his Abeokuta, when he hosted the vice-president who was on a courtesy visit.
Osinbajo, accompanied by Governor Dapo Abiodun, was in Ogun as part of his consultations with stakeholders ahead of the 2023 presidential election in which he had declared interest to run.
The traditional ruler said that Osinbajo had creditably acquitted himself in service to the nation and was eminently qualified to be the next president.
“Every president from this part of the country that has passed through here has succeeded in becoming the president.
“Every time the vice-president has passed here and gone for something competitive, he has always won; this will not be an exception.
“By the grace of God, our vice-president has paid his dues; he has gone through serving others and has been winning colours all the way.
“He had the same subjects in high school like I had and won laurels.
“In the university, through his research work, and in the legal practice, he has been most outstanding.
“Why should we not ask you for just one more position to the glory of God, and for the benefit of all Nigerians and you will say `no’? Certainly, not here,’’ the traditional ruler of Osinbajo’s home-state said.
He prayed that Osinbajo’s next visit to the palace would be a “thank you’’ visit after his victory at the poll.
Earlier, Osinbajo said he was in the palace to brief the traditional ruler on the progress that he had made so far in the pursuit.
“Of course, Kabiyesi knows that on April 11, I formally declared my intension to run for the position of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“And after I did, I have consulted with our governors; consulted with our legislators and I have been in one or two states.
“Today is very special; today, I am formally reporting progress to our Kabiyesi, the Alake of Egba Land, my own dear father, whom I know, has been behind several of the other journeys in this political terrain.
“I want to say that our state has never been short of notable personalities in leadership,’’ he said.
Osinbajo said that when he was called upon to serve as vice-president of Nigeria, it was purely providential as he was not a politician then.
He said that President Muhammadu Buhari had been extremely fair to him in various ways and had exposed him to every aspect of governance.
“He has kept no secret of governance away from me; he has made sure that I have seen everything that needs to be seen.
“Again, I had the good fortune of serving as acting president on many occasions and on each of those occasions, he would tell me that as far he is concerned, I am the president of Nigeria; `do not refer anything to me.’
“Do not call me; just take the steps that you need to take, I will not question your discretion in any way and he never did.’’
The vice-president said that in the past seven-and-a-half years of serving as vice-president, he had been able to see for himself and observe for himself what had been done right.
He said he had observed what could have been done better and various other things.
“I think that when the opportunity arose for me to decide whether or not to run as president of Nigeria, I had only one question to ask myself.
“That question was whether I would be faithful to my oath to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to the people of Nigeria to serve with all my heart and to serve with my entire mind.
“That is the only question I had to ask myself because I have served previously; I have served others in various capacities and I have given everything.
“I served under Prince Bola Ajibola, Judge of the World Court at The Hague; I served when he was the Attorney-General of the Federation; I was one of the only four advisers in the entire federation at the time.
“I was his adviser for five years; when he went to the World Court, I was with him there for at least, a couple of years; I served as Attorney-General of Lagos State for eight years.
“Of course, I served in United Nations; I have served for the past seven-and-half years as vice-president.
“I want to say that every one of those people who I served in their most difficult moments did not regret it. I am not talking about when everything was going well because that is when you know your friends.
“In their most difficult moments; in moments even when their jobs where threatened; in moments, sometimes when their lives were threatened, I was with them.
“Sometimes, I was the only one standing with them; I cannot go into details for confidentiality reasons, but that is the truth,’’ Osinbajo said.
He urged the traditional ruler to support him in his quest to better the lives and fortunes of Nigerians.
The vice-president also paid courtesy visits to the Akarigbo of Ijebu-Remo and the Olu of Ilaro, both traditional rulers in Ogun.