National leader of Nigeria’s governing political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, on Sunday, said only God, the giver of life, could take his life. Tinubu made the remarks on Sunday at the Lagos House, Marina, in his “Thank you speech” during a reception to welcome him back home, organised by Governor Bababjide Samwo-Olu of Lagos State, on behalf of the state government. “I am standing before you hale and hearty,” the former governor declared at the event tagged, “Welcome Back Home Asiwaju.”
Tinubu, who returned to the country on Friday night after a successful surgery on his right knee, spent over three months in London. His arrival to the country came barely 24 hours after a campaign group, South West Agenda (SWAGA 2023), was launched in Lagos by Governor Sanwo-Olu to champion Tinubu’s presidential ambition ahead of the 2023 polls.
The reception featured prayers for Tinubu, who expressed gratitude to God for bringing him back to Nigeria safely. He also thanked all the political leaders and groups that had wished him well.
He said, “I am a little emotional, but I am happy to be back home. God is the giver of life and He alone can take it. I’m grateful to Him for giving me the privilege to be alive. I’m Hale and hearty, I can’t but praise and thank Him.”
Earlier, Sanwo-Olu, his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; and Senator Adeola Olamilekan, said in their speeches that they were working to ensure Tinubu’s mandate in 2023.
Sanwo-Olu said, “On behalf of the teeming Lagosians that cannot come to this premises to welcome you back home. Today, being the 10th of October, God has brought you back home.”
The governor thanked those who had prayed for the safe return of Tinubu, saying, “The best is yet to come.”
Gbajabiamila, too, prayed, saying, “From today, the best days of your past will be the worst days of your future.”
He added that the northern caucus of the House of Representatives’ visit to Tinubu in London was a strong statement, and that the southern caucus had planned to make similar visit before Tinubu’s arrival on Friday.
Gbajabiamila said, “Where you are going, is destined. We are ready in the National Assembly. There are men and there are men. The history of Nigeria cannot be written politically without you occupying three quarters of the pages.”
Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, said, “It is a great honour to be here and be part of this gathering, particularly, to welcome our leader and mentor. We told them you are hale and hearty. We thank you for your guidance, we pray, we will continue to enjoy your mentorship.”
Hamzat said, “It is only God that is constant; He cannot sick. Any human being can be subjected to anything but we thank God that our father has come back.”
Representing Lagos Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Stephen Adegbite, quoting Psalm 91 from the Holy Bible, prayed copiously for Tinubu’s good health and his 2023 ambition, saying, “We are praying for you. You will get there. You will not die.”
Others at the reception included wife of the state governor, Mrs. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu; Tinubui’s wife, Senator Oluremi; former Lagos Deputy governors, Mrs. Idiat Adebule, and Abiodun Ogunleye; members of the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC); local government chairmen; Secretary to the State Government, Folasade Jaji; Chief of Staff, Tayo Ayinde and other members of the state Executive Council, members of the House of Representatives; members of the Lagos State House of Assembly; party chieftains, clergymen, and market leaders.