By Ismail Auwal
Leading presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress ( APC) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari would not have been elected in 2015 if not for his backing.
Speaking at the Presidential Lodge in Abeokuta, the state capital of Ogun State, while addressing the APC delegates ahead of the party’s primary, the party’s National Leader said it was the first time he was publicly speaking about it.
“You have not heard this from me before. This is the first place I am saying this. If not for me that led the war front, Buhari wouldn’t have emerged. He contested first, second and third times, but lost. He even said on television that he won’t contest again.
“But I went to his home in Katsina, I told him you would contest and win, but you won’t joke with the matters of the Yorubas,” he said.
Speaking further, Tinubu said that since the time Buhari has emerged “I have not been appointed Minister. I didn’t get nor request a contract. This time, it’s Yoruba turn and in Yorubaland, it’s my tenure.”
He added, “since the time we started with the Action Congress, Action Congress of Nigeria, and now the All Progressives Congress, I wanted to contest for president that time.
“This is me telling you between me 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, Omesioke, 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 is 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 Christan 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 told them if I submit three names, they will play a game, they may make it four and pick the fourth one. I gave them one name and that was Osinbajo.”
Speaking on why he is the best choice among other aspirants in South West, he said, “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.”
The national leader was accompanied to Ogun by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; his Kano State counterpart, Umar Ganduje, and former Borno State governor, Kasim Shettima.