The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday, said the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, was at the official residence of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday, on an “appreciation visit”.
Sanwo-Olu, who accompanied Tinubu to the Villa, revealed this on his Twitter handle on Friday.
The PUNCH reports that the Thursday evening’s visit was the first after the former Lagos State governor polled 1,271 votes to clinch the party’s presidential ticket at the APC presidential primary on Wednesday.
However, Sanwo-Olu said the “appreciation visit” became imperative following Buhari’s non-interference in the party’s special convention and presidential primary that produced Tinubu as APC presidential flagbearer.
Sharing pictures of the visit on his Twitter page on Friday, said that Tinubu and his entourage appreciated the President for giving all aspirants a level playing field.
The caption read, “I accompanied our leader, and APC Presidential flag bearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on an appreciation visit to His Excellency, President Muhammad Buhari.
“We deeply thank him for giving all aspirants a level playing field without interference.
“He also gave the party members an opportunity to make a choice of who their flag bearer should be, without hindrance.
“This is a rare attribute, and should be celebrated.
“Therefore, we celebrate you Your Excellency, President Muhammad Buhari
“We also paid a visit to His Excellency, V.P. Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
“The project called Nigeria is a collective task. All hands will be on deck as we embark on this journey.
“There are no victors nor losers, we’re all winners and project managers, if we want to give the best to the citizens, and turn around the fortune of our dear country.
“I salute His Excellency, Prof Yemi Osinbajo for his magnanimity and spirit of sportsmanship.”
Meanwhile, Buhari had earlier on Thursday, urged the Progressives Governors Forum through its Chairman, Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State, to rally around Tinubu to ensure victory in the next year’s election.
‘‘Today, as a patriotic APC member and stakeholder, I trust that you will come together to work with our candidate to win the 2023 elections.
‘‘In the past seven years in government, we have achieved a lot. However, we have a lot more to do. The APC project is far from over and we need all of you to come together to ensure our progressive journey to peace and prosperity is sustained.
‘‘Our candidate, His Excellency, Sen, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is no stranger to you. He is our friend and brother. We know his commitment, his track record, and his capacity to lead our party to success. So now is the time for all of us to come together and march forward, as we did in 2015, to a convincing APC victory.
‘‘I look forward to working closely with the APC governors to support Sen. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and all our APC candidates to success in 2023.
‘‘While I wish our great party success in the 2023 elections, please accept the assurances of my consideration and personal regards,’’ the President said in a letter addressed to Bagudu.
He said, ‘‘I was pleased to see how you were very professional and efficient in handling the sensitive political position of Chairman, Progressives Governors Forum.
‘‘Your commitment in pursuit of equity and fairness speaks volumes in the cooperation displayed by the APC governors. This indeed demonstrates the camaraderie that brought us together over eight years ago.
The PUNCH reports that Tinubu scored 1,271 votes to defeat his closest contenders, Rotimi Amaechi and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday.
Amaechi obtained 316 votes while Osinbajo polled 235.
He contested against 13 other aspirants – Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Mr Ahmed Rufai, Senator Rochas Okorocha, Mr Jack Rich, Governor Ben Ayade, Governor David Umahi, Senator Ahmed Yarima, Dr Ahmed Lawan, Osinbajo, Amaechi, Governor Yahaya Bello and Mr Ogbonnaya Onu.
Nine aspirants had earlier stepped down, eight of whom asked their supporters to vote for Tinubu, while one asked his supporters to vote for Osinbajo.
Those who stepped down before voting began were Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa, Robert Boroffice, Ken Nnamani, Ibikunle Amosun, Dimeji Bankole, Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi and Godswill Akpabio.