Prominent Nigerians and other diginitaries on Monday thronged the Alake Palace in Abeokuta, to witness the conferment of the chieftaincy title of Are Ago of Egbaland on the former governor of Lagos State and leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, by the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo.
Hundreds of the ACN supporters took over every available space in the palace grounds and the adjourning streets.
Presidential Candidate for the Congress for Progress Change, Maj.-Gen. Mohammadu Buhari (retd.); the ACN Presidential candidate in the 2011 general elections, Alhaji Nuhu Ribadu; Governors of Ogun, Lagos, Osun, Ekiti and Oyo states attended the occasion.
Elder statesman and former governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande; the National Chairman of the ACN, Chief Bisi Akande; former Ogun State governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba; and other party chiefs were also at the ceremony.
While conferring the chieftaincy title on Tinubu and his wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, the Alake said, “He has demonstrated high courage and commitment to justice. Tinubu has been an irrepressible fighter for the protection of civil liberty in the country.”
Also, Osoba, who is the Akinrogun of Egbaland, said the ACN leader was honoured with the title because of the role he played in the enthronement of the Oba seven years ago.
Osoba said, “Many people did not know why Are-Ago is being honoured today. When the throne became vacant, there were intrigues to stop Oba Adedotun Gbadebo from being the Alake from the top, from the government and everybody. What people did not know was that it was the Are-Ago that I called upon.”
Osoba also used the occasion to pay glowing tributes to the late Oluwo Ake, Chief Segun Taiwo, and Chief Alani Bankole, the father of the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole.
Tinubu, in his speech on the occasion, pledged his support for all the laudable projects embarked upon by Oba Gbadebo in Egbaland.
“The development of Egba nation and the people from today has become my major concern. I will support Kabiyesi, the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo and other royal fathers in Egbaland, so help me God,” he said
Earlier, the Diocesan Bishop of Egba West (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Samuel Ogundeji, in his sermon during the thanksgiving service held at the Cathedral of St. Peter, Ake, Abeokuta, urged the monarch and political office holders to be sensitive to the needs, yearnings and aspirations of the people.
Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, said Tinubu and his wife deserved the chieftaincy titles that had been conferred on them by the Alake.