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Tinubu: I Made Buhari President, Osinbajo VP, Abiodun Governor

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In a clear sign of desperation and fear that the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) might be slipping from his grasp, presidential hopeful and former governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu, yesterday, declared, unequivocally, that he made Muhammadu Buhari President of Nigeria, nominated Professor Yemi Osinbajo as his running mate, and got Mr. Dapo Abiodun elected as Governor of Ogun State.

 

 

Tinubu insisted it was his turn to be president. Analysts are of the view that Tinubu may have decided to go for broke, after sensing he may be losing the opportunity to achieve his ‘lifelong ambition’ to be president of Nigeria.

 

“The outburst in Abeokuta today is a sign of frustration with the refusal of President Buhari to endorse him publicly. It is significant that he said what he said in the home state of the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, another frontline contender for the APC ticket”, an observer who pleaded anonymity noted.

 

Tinubu’s assertions came as Osinbajo hosted the national chairman of APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, and five governors of the ruling party.

 

However, the governors said they would convey their collective decision regarding suggestions on Buhari’s successor to the president today or tomorrow.

 

But former President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief Joseph Daudu (SAN), faulted Buhari’s recent request to be allowed to choose his successor, describing it as patently unconstitutional and akin to a coup d’etat.

 

Tinubu, who visited Ogun State in continuation of his tour to persuade delegates ahead of the APC presidential primary, declared that he facilitated the ascension of Buhari, Osinbajo, and Abiodun to their current positions.

 

Accompanied on the tour by a retinue of serving and former governors, ministers, deputy governors, senators, and a host of others, Tinubu said he was making the revelations for the first time because there was need for him to talk.

 

According to him, “If not for me talking to you today, Buhari would not have been president. It is over 25 years that I have been serving them. This one sitting behind me, Dapo Abiodun, he could not become the governor without me.

 

“Since the time we started with the Action Congress (AC), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), and now, the All Progressives Congress (APC), I wanted to contest for president since those times.

 

“This is me telling you between my life and God Almighty, Buhari called me to be his vice president. He said because the first time he contested, he picked Okadigbo, flamboyant, Catholic, but Nigerians didn’t vote for him.

 

“The second time, he picked another Igbo, Ume Ezeoke, Nigerians didn’t vote for him; that if he goes to bring the Pope to run as his vice, Nigerians won’t vote for him, but you, Bola Tinubu, you have six governors, you have never lost an election before, come and be my vice.

 

“He knew all the calculations then favoured us, that was why he wanted me as his vice, but I told him to let us build the party first. And when we finished building the party, after we brought in people from the PDP, Saraki now saw that those from the PDP will not get anything if Buhari, a Muslim, becomes the president and me, also a Muslim, becomes his vice, he won’t get the senate president and the senate president cannot also be a Muslim, that was how they started the campaign of calumny against me.

 

“And I told them that I have a candidate that is a Christian that I can nominate so that the party will not break, that was how I nominated Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. I surrendered my right to him (Osinbajo).

 

“I was asked to submit three names: Yemi Cardozo, Wale Edun, and Yemi Osinbajo, but I said that if I submitted three names, it is like opening your door for a thief. They may add the fourth name and choose that one. So, I insisted on only one name. You are hearing this thing from me for the first time.

 

“It is my time. I’m educated, I’m experienced. I have been serving you for a long time, bring me the presidency, it is my turn. When Atiku was being flogged out of the PDP by Obasanjo, he ran to me for help, I got the ticket for him. Nuhu Ribadu came to me and I backed him.

 

“It has been over 25 years now that I have been serving them.

 

This one sitting behind me, Dapo, can he say he can be the governor without me? We were together at the MKO Abiola Stadium, he was intimidated, they didn’t want to give him the party’s flag. I was the one that handed the flag to him. He knows that he cannot be the governor without the help of God and my support.

 

“If not for me that stood behind Buhari, he wouldn’t have become the president. He tried the first time, he failed, the second time, he failed, the third time, he failed. He even wept on national television and vowed never to contest again but I went to meet him in Kaduna and told him he will run again; I will stand by you and you will win, but you must not joke with Yorubas and he agreed.

 

“Since he became the president, I have never got ministerial slots, I didn’t collect any contract, I have never begged for anything from him, it is the turn of Yoruba; it is my turn.”

 

Tinubu, therefore, asked Ogun State delegates to vote for him at the forthcoming primary of the party, saying,

 

“Please, stand by me, you delegates that are here, from Ogun State, you shall not become delicates. Don’t be carried away by ‘he is our son’.”

 

Responding, Abiodun said the people had listened to Tinubu and heard all he said. The governor described Tinubu as a fighter, bold strategist, mentor, and dogged politician.

 

He said, “This is a crucial time in the history of our nation. We shall do the needful and will justify why power must come to the South-west.”

 

Osinbajo Meets APC Chairman, 5 Governors

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, played host to the chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdullahi Adamu, and five governors.

 

Adamu led the governors, whose identities could not be immediately ascertained, to the meeting with the vice president at the Akinola Aguda official residence of Osinbajo within the precincts of the State House, Abuja.

 

Although the agenda of the meeting was not made public, there were speculations it might not be unconnected with the presidential primary of APC, scheduled to commence on Monday, June 6.

 

Sources told THISDAY that the meeting might have discussed the consensus option being canvassed by Buhari.

 

Attempts to access the vice president’s official residence on Thursday evening was refused by security men, who claimed they were on instruction not to allow anybody in, except on invitation.

 

Efforts to also get information on the outcome of the meeting from the media aide to the vice president, Laolu Akande, also hit a brick wall, as he neither picked calls nor replied text messages.

 

APC Governors to Convey Their Suggestion to Buhari Today

 

Governors of the ruling APC resolved to convey their proposal on President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor to him when he returns from Madrid. This followed their meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, one of the presidential hopefuls of the party, which held Wednesday night, ahead of Buhari’s return to the country today.

 

A presidential aide told THISDAY that the meeting centred around the party’s presidential primary slated for next week Tuesday and Wednesday.

 

At the meeting, which lasted till 3am on Thursday, Osinbajo was said to have passionately appealed to the governors to see him as someone that could be trusted with the APC ticket, and one capable of winning the election for the ruling party.

 

The meeting also came at a time when there was apparent pressure on one of the national leaders of APC, Bola Tinubu, to shelve his presidential ambition.

 

APC sources confirmed that the Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, one of Tinubu’s close allies, was directed to have a word with him, in an attempt to advise Tinubu to align with the president’s decision to pick a nominee of his choice as the party’s candidate for next year’s presidential election.

 

A party source told THISDAY that only a few governors of the party were opposed to the president’s resolve to choose a successor. This was confirmed by a senior party official, who craved anonymity, but disclosed that since the meeting, most APC governors loyal to the president had visited the State House to affirm their readiness to work with Buhari’s candidate.

 

The source said, “The governors on their own decided to go and discuss the matter and promised Mr. President they will revert. After a long meeting into the night, they resolved to adjourn; at that point, the majority were ready to align with Mr. President.

 

“Since after the meeting, many of the governors have been coming to the villa one by one to express readiness to work with Mr. President’s choice. They will all report their decision to the president anytime from tomorrow. Everyone of them already knows who the president is talking about.”

 

The presidential aide said Buhari had taken his decision and was not ready to go back on it.

 

According to him, “The president has said his mind and the governors know what is at stake at this moment. He was even democratic in his approach not to have put it straight to them that this was his candidate, like others would have done.

 

“Governor Ganduje, to the best of my knowledge, has been asked to speak with Tinubu to drop his ambition for the sake of peace and progress of the party.”

Culled from THISDAY

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