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Jonathan holds private meetings with 3 Obas

16 February 2014, 14:51

Abuja - President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday held private meetings with three foremost traditional rulers of the South-West region.

They are the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi and the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu.

The closed-door meetings were held at the respective palaces of the traditional rulers in Ife, Oyo and Lagos.

The first port of call was the Palace of the Ooni where he was received by the Oba and his Council of Chiefs.

After a brief reception, the president and the Oba held a closed door meeting. Shortly after the meeting, a PDP chieftain in the State, Sen. Iyiola Omisore, told correspondents that the visit should not be misconceived to be a political campaign.

Omisore said the meetings was laudable as the president believed in ``involving people in the act of governance.’’

In Oyo, the Alaafin and the president went into closed door meeting which lasted for over 20 minutes.

Addresing the King in Council, after the meeting, the President said he was surprised to see the crowd who came out to receive him because his visit was scheduled to be strictly private.

"My coming here was not even meant to be seen in camera, but it is so difficult to hide because a golden fish has no hiding place.

"If you are a president, a governor of a state or a king, wherever you go, people must see you.

"I will not make any formal statement but let me really thank all of you, the people of this great state for the massive support you have been giving the government.’’

The President said he did not come to the palace to campaign but to thank the people of the state for the support given to his administration.

"For me especially, I have to be grateful to you, not just people from Oyo state alone but across the South West.

"I remember what happened during the 2011 elections, you supported us irrespective of political differences. I believe that we should also reciprocate in one way or the other.

"I discussed a number of things with kabiyesi today and I believe that as we progress, things will continue to improve.

"I thank you for the warm reception and I re-assure you that we are one, and I remain your own," Jonathan said.

The Alaafin presented a traditional talking drum to the President which they respectively played to the admiration of the people.

The president arrived Oba Akiolu's palace in Lagos at about 7.45 pm and they also went into private meeting after short prayers.

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