Deji Elumoye in Abuja
Traditional rulers and leaders of thought from Oke Ogun area of Oyo State yesterday advised the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, to have a shot at the presidency in 2023 having excelled as a parliamentarian since 1999.
This is coming barely 48 hours after Lawan denied having interest in the 2023 presidential race.
The leaders, including traditional rulers and politicians from the zone, made the call while paying a courtesy visit on the Senate president after attending the public hearing on a bill seeking the establishment of Federal University of Agriculture and Technology in Oke-Ogun, Oyo State.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, Ahmed Raji (SAN), told the Senate president that the traditional rulers and political leaders from the zone would be happy if the planned federal university is established and Lawan becoming its Visitor in the nearest future.
He said: “Mr. Senate president, we have followed your trajectory over the years, and we are happy to submit that while in the House of Representatives, you made your impacts felt and in the Senate, you have made your marks.
“The people of Oke- Ogun want you to use such trajectory in getting the planned Federal University of Agriculture and Technology passed into law and implemented. They will be happy to see you as a Visitor to the university in the nearest future while our son, Senator Abdulfatahi Buhari, serves as the host governor.”
He expressed concern that of all the 30 federal institutions in Oyo State, not a single one is sited in Oke-Ogun despite having 60 percent of the landmass of the state and 10 out of the 33 local government areas.
“Mr. President, leaders of the Oke-Ogun zone would be most appreciative if after the passage of the bill, you grant us the honour of personally delivering it to President Muhamnadu Buhari for assent,” Raji said.
While responding, the Senate president, however, said agenda of the ninth Senate remains his focus and not any distraction whatsoever.
“We have promised Nigerians that the ninth National Assembly will work for them, and won’t allow ourselves to be detracted from getting that done.
“Every part of the country must have a tertiary institution, which is the reason the bill for the federal university in Oke-Ogun will be pushed by us with the strong belief that President Buhari will sign it into law being somebody who believes in fairness and justice.
“I wish Senator Buhari well in his future ambition, but as for us in the ninth Assembly, Nigeria and Nigerians remain our focus,” he said.
Others in the entourage of Oke-Ogun leaders were Okere of Shaki, Oba Khalid Olabisi Oyeniyi; Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba AbdulGaniyu Adekunle Salau and former Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu.
The Senate President had last Saturday
declared that it is too early to start talking about the politics of 2023 presidential elections.
He has, therefore, vowed not to shy away or be distracted from the task of ensuring good governance through necessary legislative interventions by the ninth National Assembly.