President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday paid a courtesy visit to the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, as part of activities marking the 40 years anniversary of the state.
The president, who arrived at exactly 6:20 p.m. amidst tight security, was welcomed Gov. Ibikunle Amosun, the Awujale and other notable indigenes of Ogun.
Buhari , who was in Ogun to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the state’s creation, is also expected to inaugurate 40 landmark projects embarked upon by Amosun.
The president was welcomed with a loud ovation by supporters who chanted ‘Sai Buhari’ as he emerged from his vehicle.
The president immediately proceeded into the inner chambers of the palace for a closed door meeting with the monarch and other dignitaries.
After his closed-door meeting with the Awujale , which lasted about 20 minutes, Buhari was hosted to a banquet where he briefly addressed eminent personalities and monarchs in Ijebuland.
He said that he would be meeting with former president Olusegun Obasanjo later last night.
The President who was expected to kick off his activities in Ijebu-Ode with the inauguration of the Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona and Mobalufon Flyovers as well as the expanded and reconstructed Ejirin Road however had to cancel the activities due to time constraint.
But Buhari apologized for his lateness in coming, noting that he was held up in a meeting with diplomats in Abuja.
The president noted that as a matter of courtesy, he felt it would be unwise to visit the state without paying a visit to the paramount ruler of Ijebuland.
He however disclosed that he would be holding a meeting with former president Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta later last night.
In his remarks, the Awujale described Buhari’s visit as “homecoming” and prayed for the success of his administration.
Oba Adetona, who praised the president for his visionary leadership, endorsed his fight against corruption.
“If we don’t face corruption, corruption will kill us. And we don’t want corruption to kill us. So, Nigerians must support your efforts,” the revered monarch added.
At a dinner attended by the president, Amosun thanked everyone for the honour given to the president.
“I want to thank everyone for the honour given to the president who is also eager to reciprocate the support given to him by Ogun people during the last elections,” Amosun said.
Buhari, in a response, said he was elated by the gesture and warm reception, saying he would always be willing to be associated with the Awujale for his remarkable support for him.
“I sincerely apologise for coming later than expected; it was due to the visit of the Spanish Prime Minister earlier today.”
“The Kabiyesi is someone I will always honour and I’m very grateful for his support to me and this government,” Buhari said.
The Awujale, in his remarks, thanked the president for honouring him with the visit, pledging his total support for the success of the administration.
“You coming here is not as a visitor but as the home owner. I thank you for making yourself available as promised to the service of all Nigerians.”
“We want to assure you that we are with you in your fight to liberate Nigeria from corruption, insecurity and other vices.”
“We know that under you, this nation will develop and attain its goals to the admiration of the world and comity of nations,” Adetona said.
The president subsequently asked to take his leave as he proceeded to the state capital, Abeokuta, to perform other state duties.
The media reports that no fewer than 51 traditional rulers and 41 high chiefs were present at the occasion.
Others present were Mr Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Solid Minerals, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture as well as former Ogun governors– Olusegun Osoba and Gbenga Daniel.
Business tycoons, Chief Mike Adenuga, Otunba Subomi Balogun and Mr Dapo Abiodun, were also present.
Buhari immediately left the Awujale’s palace in company with Governor Amosun travelling by road from Ijebu-Ode to Abeokuta.
Prominent dignitaries who gathered at the palace of the Awujale to receive President Buhari included the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; former governors Aremo Olusegun Osoba and Otunba Gbenga Daniel; All Progressives Congress National Vice Chairman (South), Chief Segun Oni; Oba Otudeko, Otunba Mike Adenuga, Senator Gbenga Kaka; Chief Judge of Ogun, Justice Olatokunbo Olopade and Olorogun Sunny Kuku.
Others were incumbent senators Lanre Tejuoso, Gbolahan Dada and Buruji Kashamu; Senator Lekan Mustapha, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Alhaji Agboola Alausa, Vice Chancellor of the Tai Solarin University of Education, Prof. Yemisi Obilade; Vice Chancellor of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Prof. Adejimi Saburi Adesanya, Senator Olorunimbe Mamora, Biodun Sobanjo, Chief Kessington Adebutu and Otunba Subomi Balogun.