By Oluseye Ojo
The 2023 presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado-Bayero, and national assembly members were among dignitaries that stormed Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Saturday to honour the Kano State governor, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, and his wife, Prof. Hafsat Ganduje.
They were in Ibadan to witness conferment of chieftaincy titles on Ganduje and his wife by the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Mohood Olalekan Balogun (Alli-Okunmade II) at historic Mapo Hall. Ganduje and his wife, were installed as Aare Fiwajoye of Ibadanland and Yeye Aare Fiwajoye of Ibadanland respectively.
Ganduje, in his acceptance speech, advocated enjoined Nigerians to promote national integration all the time, with a view to engendering a united country. Ibadan and Kano, according to him, have age-long friendship. The two old cities would sustain the friendship and extend to other parts of the country, he said.
His words: “We are grateful to the Olubadan, Olubadan-n-Council and Ibadan people for honouring us with this prestigious titles. This gives us motivation and encouragement to do more in promoting unity. You made history today in terms of promoting national integration. This is a topical and very important issue we must always discuss as well as promote to achieve peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.”
Ganduje also appreciated Tinubu for honoring him with his presence. He was optimistic that the former two-term governor of Lagos State would promote national integration when he becomes president of Nigeria.
Tinubu, who commended Olubadan and Ibadan indigenes for honouring his friend and noted that giving such chieftaincy title to a non-indigene was a rare privilege, concluded that Ganduje and his wife deserved the honour, saying it was a demonstration of unity between the North and the South. He made a case for promotion of national unity for national development.
The Olubadan, Oba Balogun, who narrated how Oba Yoruba in Kano, Alhaji Muritala Alimi, introduced the Gandujes to them as detribalised Nigerians, said: “We were made to know how supportive our guests were to the aspiration and eventual emergence of our brother as Oba Yoruba of Kano about two years ago. We recall how Ganduje came down to Ibadan when there was a clash between Hausa traders and the people of Sasa at Sasa Market to calm the frayed nerves and peace was restored.
“Ganduje is currently building an auditorium for the University of Ibadan. The project has reached 70 per cent completion. The Gandujes, being our in-laws in Ibadan through their daughter that got married to our son, Idris Ajimobi have done it all.
“Bestowing a befitting Chieftaincy title on the hardworking and amiable governor with his wife will be a reward for a man who has been compassionate to us as a people, and who believes that any Nigerian can stay and work in any part of the country without molestation or denial of basic things of life.”
The President, University of Ibadan Alumni Association (UIAA), Prof. (Mrs) Elsie Adewoye, said Ganduje, an alumnus of the university deserved the honour, saying: “It is a deserving honour. It is not a fluke or propaganda. I have been to Kano and saw all these dividends of democracy.”
Governorship candidate of APC in the state, Senator Teslim Folarin, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Local Content (Oyo Central); younger brother of Olubadan, Senator Kola Balogun (Oyo South); Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Chief Bayo Lawal, were also among dignitaries that graced the occasion
Thereafter, the League of Imams and Alfas of Yorubaland, Edo and Delta States, also conferred Aladeen Yorubawa on Ganduje at a colourful ceremony held at the expansive palace of Onimalu, Asiwaju Mutiullai Oladejo, the Asiwaju Adinni of Ibadanland.