Former Deputy National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, Chief Olabode George, has announced that he has no grudges against the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
George, who had been a vocal critic of Tinubu, had threatened to go on exile if the latter became Nigeria’s president. However, some elders in Lagos State recently urged George to reconcile with Tinubu and support him as he assumes office on May 29.
The meeting, which was brokered by a former judge, Justice Ishola Olorunnimbe (retd), had in attendance several party leaders and former government officials.
After the meeting, Chief George commended the elders for the peace parley and stated that he had nothing personal against Tinubu.
He said, “Let me say there is no political differences. Justice Olorunnimbe is like a father, we respect our fathers in Lagos. When I got an invitation from Papa Olusi that he wanted to come and see me the first time, I told my friend who delivered the message that I should go and visit him and not the other way round. But Papa Olusi said he had to come and see me and that it had to do with the situation in Lagos.
“This is the second time Papa Olusi is visiting. We had detailed discussions that bothered the unity of Lagos. I must say we re-established the fact that the culture of Lagos is to accept and accommodate other tribes.
“Secondly, on the details of us working together, because a divided house will be a defeated house, I have explained to Baba Olusi that there is no problem about working together. The kind of platform we are trying to have is for a unity of purpose in Lagos State, irrespective of party affiliations.
“On the bottom line, you are a Lagosian though we can different political affiliations.
“Now, they came for three things: they talked about the running battle I had with Tinubu and I have said I absolutely have no battle, nothing personal between him and I.
“What had happened has gone, vengeance is not mine but the almighty God. We will have differences, we will disagree but we must not be disagreeable.
“They made a request which we are all looking at. They requested that someday we should also congratulate Asiwaju and we said yes, but that I belong to a political party. They are all in the courts now. Let us finish the court cases. Whichever way that goes, the issue of congratulating him or not will come to fruition. I have nothing personal and nothing happens without the almighty God. As a believer, that is my school of thought.
“This union and discussion we have had is a positive step towards a new Lagos.”
On the reason for the visit, Chief Olusi explained that the meeting was to seek the collaboration of George and other elders for the development of Lagos State.
He said: “This is a gathering of eminent Lagosians and this is my second coming to meet with Chief Olabode George. The president-elect of Nigeria is Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, he was a former Senator from Lagos but we know that the relationship between the President-elect and Chief Olabode George is not cordial. We think it is important that as leaders of the community, we should take steps to improve the relationship. Therefore, I got an appointment with Chief George on May 1, 2023 to discuss and request for a further meeting.
“I also requested that a former justice in Lagos State, Justice Olorunnimbe (retd) be here to put his elderly posture as well as his experience in ensuring that we have a cordial discussion with Chief Bode George.
“The meeting has been cordial and useful; and I can tell you that we have agreed on the mission of this delegation that we, in Lagos with Chief Bode George, should give our support to the President-elect as soon as he assumes office on May 29 as the president of Nigeria for the good of Lagos and betterment of the country.
“That is the purpose of our discussion and it has been successful.”