Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja
The National Leader of the All progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, says he has no plan to contest against President Muhammadu Buhari or anybody that the APC may present in 2019.
Tinubu, therefore, dismissed, as false, media reports that he was planning to contest in 2019.
The former governor of Lagos State said this in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Tunde Rahman, on Tuesday.
He said, “This scam will fail. Asiwaju supports and stands behind President Buhari. He wishes the President well and that he returns soon. Whether the President is here or away, he has the full loyalty of Asiwaju Tinubu. President Buhari can rest assured on this point: Asiwaju Tinubu will never contest against him nor will he support anyone who does.”
Tinubu further slammed a national newspaper (not The PUNCH), for claiming that he abandoned his initial plan of aligning with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party to build a mega party to take on the APC in 2019.
He said he had never planned to join the PDP, having fought against the party for 16 years.
The statement added, “The headline also libels Asiwaju by asserting he was going to join the PDP. This is as shameless as a lie can be. Asiwaju is acknowledged to be the intellectual father and the driving force behind the APC. It makes no sense that he would abandon the party that he worked hard to build in order to enter the dilapidated building the PDP has become.
“Asiwaju worked for over 16 years to break the PDP yoke on the nation. After breaking that yoke, it is not in his nature to voluntarily place it back on our necks. Anyone who has followed his career, even his staunchest critics, knows Asiwaju for his partisan consistency.
“He is not a party hopper. He is loyal and sticks with the party to which he belongs. After fighting for so many years to elevate his party to the position of national leadership, he would not give that away in order to join with those who blame him for their currently bleak political circumstance.”
The APC chieftain said his comments during an interview with journalists at the inauguration of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in Ondo State on Friday were twisted and misconstrued by those with hidden agenda.
Tinubu said he stated that he had plans of running for office one day but only on the condition that there was a vacancy in Aso Rock.
He added, “Moreover, if you really listen to his words, Asiwaju did not mention any office or any time-frame. The conditions he mentioned may not become ripe for years to come and they might not pertain to the Presidency. In effect, all Asiwaju said was the position that any political figure would hold.
“As a politician, he cannot preclude the possibility of running for office in the future because no man knows what the future will hold. To translate this general statement of political reality into a tale that he is actively preparing for a 2019 presidential run is reckless in the extreme.”