Bola Tinubu, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has revealed that he chose Kano State as the venue of his 69th birthday colloquium to show that that the Yoruba and Fulani people are united, as well as to emphasise that Nigerians remain stronger when united.
Tinubu stated this when he addressed dignitaries at the event held at Government House, Kano, on Monday.
The former Lagos State governor, who is purported to harbour presidential ambition for the 2023 general elections, made a subtle reference to the marriage of the daughter of Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje; to the son of the late ex-Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, which took place in Kano in 2018, to substantiate his position.
According to him, the marriage and the hosting of the event showed the unity between people of different ethnic groups in Nigeria and invalidates the clamour by secessionists asking for a balkanised Nigeria.
He also stated that if Nigeria breaks into smaller countries, he would not have been able to visit Kano without a visa.
He said: “Why are we in Kano? It is to demonstrate to Nigerians at this critical time. It is because there is a Fulani man, a herder (man) who gave his daughter to a farmer, (a) Yoruba man… and some people are agitating wrongly.
“I was encouraged to go and spend a couple of days with my brother and in-law in Kano and demonstrate that he has not quarrelled with me, he has not seceded from Nigeria, I didn’t need a passport or visa to get to Kano, maybe others will have peace of conscience, live in peace and harmony and be loving to one another. That is what Ganduje and I are showing to Nigerians and that is the purpose of this colloquium end of story.”
Tinubu insisted that all the various ethnic groups in the country can successfully live together, noting that Governor Ganduje has shown how it can be done.
“All of you here should thank Ganduje for what we have been able to show Nigerians together. That a Fulani man and a Yoruba man can show the entire nation that in harmony, we can show Nigerians that perseverance creates understanding. It is a common blood that flows through our veins,” he said.
The colloquium, which was its 12th edition on Monday, had as its theme: ‘Our Common Bond, Our Common Wealth: The Imperative Of National Cohesion For Growth And Prosperity.’
The event was virtually attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; governors of Lagos, Ogun, Osun and Ekiti states, and federal lawmakers due to poor weather from Abuja to Kano.
This is the first time the colloquium will be held outside Lagos and Abuja since it began over a decade ago.