President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has revealed that, during his campaign period, he drew inspiration from the spirit of ‘Emi Lokan’ a Yoruba phrase meaning ‘It’s my turn’, which he invoked from the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona.
We reports that Tinubu had on June 3, 2023, set the social media on fire when he vented his frustration during a presidential campaign in Abeokuta, saying it was through his efforts that the ex-President, Muhammadu Buhari, made it to Aso Rock after failing thrice.
It was during the event that he blurted out his now famous quote, “emilokan” (It’s my turn).
“It is my time. I’m educated. I’m experienced. I have been serving people for a long time. Bring me the presidency, it is my turn,’’ Tinubu had insisted.
Tinubu made the statement while addressing the APC delegates in Ogun State.
His outburst evoked mixed feelings from Nigerians, with many loyalists of the party including the National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, saying the remarks were meant to slight the president and Ogun State governor.
Tinubu made this known during the President’s visit to the Awujale’s palace in Ijebu-Ode on Thursday.
However, Tinubu recalled how the controversial statement became a significant motif for him and his supporters during his campaign.
He also reflected on the hardship brought about by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s cash swap policy during the election period.
He stated that these challenges compelled him to invoke the spirit of freedom, particularly in the South West state.
“I invoked the spirit of freedom in Ogun,” the president said while speaking at the palace of Awujale and paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, in Ijebu Ode.
“It is a homecoming and I owe so much to all of you and there is so much to thank you for. Because of the way you have taken me and the way you’ve responded to me, all I can say is thank you.
“To many of you, thank you for being there for me and being there for the country. You demonstrated so much loyalty, so much commitment and voted at a very crucial time.
“Your monies were confiscated. The cash swap didn’t work. It was terrible then. I realised that and I came to Ogun State to invoke the spirit of freedom for which we are noted for.
“I invoked that spirit twice. The spirit of Baba (referring to Awujale). The spirit of Baba – Emi l’okan (it’s my turn), that’s Baba. The spirit for being blunt and that is him.
“And the second spirit is that of money (Naira scarcity), ‘ama dibo ama wole’ (we will vote and we will win) even if there is no money. And that, ever since, has been the spirit that is driving me to serve.”