A national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has denied plotting to become Nigeria’s president.
The former governor of Lagos State stated this in a press release issued by his spokesman, Tunde Rahman, on Tuesday.
His statement was a reaction to a report by ThisDay earlier in the day with the headline ‘Tinubu Prepares for Presidential Run, Dumps PDP, Mega Party Alliance’.
Describing the reports as an example of “bad fiction masquerading as professional journalism”, the 64-year-old added that the “story is a manufactured tale weaved by its authors to try to create division where there is none”.
Tinubu accused publishers of the story of plotting to place him at odds with President Muhammadu Buhari, to whom he professed full loyalty.
“As long as that patriotic and committed man named Muhammadu Buhari holds and seeks to hold the mantle as our president, then Asiwaju Tinubu stands behind him in unwavering support and confidence,” the statement said.
“Asiwaju Tinubu remains faithful to the mission of progressive reform and change that President Buhari, he and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have started. Tinubu was instrumental in the formation and success of the APC. His toil and efforts helped establish this government. He is not one to tear down something he laboured so dutifully to build.”
Referring to the comments credited to him in multiple media reports after speaking with journalists at the inauguration of Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, last week, the statement said “Asiwaju said he could not discount that possibility if the nation called upon him for such service, provided, he emphasised, that all political conditions were appropriate; particularly the office in question would have to be vacant, even if it’s local government chairmanship. In our political lexicon, this means the office is not held by a member of the APC in good standing.”
It said the politician 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,” it added.
“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. For that newspaper reporters to have engaged in this great leap of counterfeit logic means they purposefully bowed to the pressure to create false headlines instead of following the ethics of their craft to follow the truth even if the truth is more pedestrian and less volatile than what the reporters would have liked to hear. They have turned themselves into newsmakers instead of remaining true to their calling of being neutral conveyors of events.
“Asiwaju Tinubu has not held any planning meetings for any such presidential campaign and is not contemplating any such meetings. He has no present list of possible running mates because he has no present intention of running.
“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.”