A video of Alhaja Shafau Alanamu, a centenarian from Ilorin Kwara State made rounds on social media a few days ago. In the video, the Alhaja Shafau was seen praying for the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, during the party’s presidential primary.
The former Lagos governor later met the woman in Abuja after his attention was called to the viral video. In this interview, the centenarian spoke on the reason for her action and what she discussed with Tinubu during their meeting.
Why did you decide to stay awake for Tinubu during the primary despite your age?
First, I will like to say that I’m not educated and don’t have any child who is a politician. I am over 100 years old and have never met him personally.
I am in Ilorin and can barely walk because of my age, so I decided to monitor it on the screen and prayed fervently for his emergence.
My action was because of his track record as former governor of Lagos State, which benefited ordinary people like me. As a philanthropist, Tinubu treats clerics well and with respect and believes in even distribution of the commonwealth, unlike some greedy leaders.
Were you in Lagos when he was a governor?
Yes, and I benefited greatly during that time because a lot of people around me were gainfully employed and they were living fine.
Were you expecting any pecuniary gain from your action?
I only want the best for the country. The situation now is saddening, I have been looking for an opportunity to speak to those in power to try to save the country from its present situation. I believe if the country is good, my children will benefit as well because I am after the wellbeing of everyone.
How did Tinubu contact you after the viral video?
It was his son, Deji, who first invited me and I was concerned about my mobility. But they insisted that I have to come. I thought it was a prank until they brought a car and they took us to the Ilorin Airport. When we landed in Abuja, Tinubu sent his personal car to pick me and others who accompanied me on the trip. They gave us a grand reception and treated us so warmly at the hotel we were lodged in. I was wondering what was going on. Tinubu was very busy the day we met him, but Deji was with us throughout.
What did you discuss with him after you met him?
Our discussion lasted a few minutes. He came and sat beside me and held my hands in a very friendly and respectful manner. I prayed that he will emerge as the president and he asked me what I wanted.
What were your requests?
I told him I don’t need anything from him but he should try to improve the wellbeing of Nigerians if elected. He prayed to God to spare my life to witness everything I wished for. He also promised to develop the country with Allah on his side. Thereafter, he stood and walked away before his son came and prostrated to thank me.