As the All Progressives Congress (APC) prepares for the primary to choose its presidential flag bearer for the 2023 elections, there are signs that the scales are tipped against one of its leading aspirants and founding members, Mr. Bola Tinubu.
Sensing that the game is over, Tinubu has come out to say unequivocally that he was instrumental to President Muhammadu Buhari winning elections.
He also said he nominated Prof Yemi Osinbajo as Buhari’s running mate as well as got Mr. Dapo Abiodun elected as the governor of Ogun State.
Tinubu, who made the declarations in Abeokuta, Ogun State yesterday during the continuation of his tour to woo delegates ahead of the APC presidential primary, said he was making the revelations for the first time because there was need for him to talk.
“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,” Tinubu said.
He disclosed that the campaign of calumny against him began during the selection process wherein a Muslim-Muslim ticket was suggested.
“He (Buhari) 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.
“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,” Abiodun said.