The President Muhammadu Buhari’s recently released biography is causing some ripples as part of book has been branded as “bare-face lies” by readers and political actors named in it. The book stated that Buhari chose Osinbajo above Tinubu and former governor Babatunde Fashola, against the facts which revealed that Mr Tinubu turned down Buhari’s offer to be his running mate.
The APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on December 17, 2014, issued a statement turning down the offer. “It is against this backdrop that I assess any action I take. Here I come to my name being placed in consideration as the Vice Presidential candidate for our party, the APC.
I have laboured hard to move this party from being merely an idea in the minds of a few into being a political organisation that might win this election and govern the nation in way that gives the people the hope and opportunity they seek. Nothing is more important to me than to realise this dream not for myself but for the people of this land I so love. “I helped to build this party, giving no thought to seeking an elected office because of it. My contribution to the party was never based on the expectation of a later political handout. Nigeria is in trouble and we are well past the moment for such narrow, selfish games.
Being a normal human being, I was deeply moved and honoured that he would consider me for the position. Being a patriot, I had to weigh my potential candidacy in all of its dimensions. “I have concluded that the interest of the party, our campaign and of the nation are better served if I retain my position as the National leader of the APC, allowing me to be a bridge builder across all divides.
Although, I declined the position, I want to thank Gen. Buhari for extending the honour to me. Despite all the noise and opposition around my possible selection, he stood firm and steadfast. He showed the traits of a leader in holding to a decision he believed was right despite the errant plots against it,” Bola Tinubu said.
In the same vein, a retired general, Iliyasu Ibrahim, has faulted a report that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo became President Muhamamdu Buhari’s running mate despite pressure against it by former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Ibrahim, in a statement published in The Nation newspaper said the portion in the book by Professor John Padden on President Buhari, titled: “Muhammadu Buhari: Challenges of Leadership”, was wrong. “I became disturbed about this falsification of recent history. Why would the author say this and have it published when many of us know the truth? The truth is that Tinubu singlehandedly chose Yemi Osinbajo and sent the name to President Buhari. There was no pressure. Tinubu is Osinbajo’s political mentor. The latter was his attorney-general and commissioner for Justice in Lagos and both have a close relationship.
“My worry stretched further when I recall the recent piece by Femi Fani Kayode on Tinubu and his huge contributions to the APC and how he is now being short-changed. Though I do not agree with all the claims made by Femi Fani-Kayode, I am convinced he made some reasonable arguments and his summation about Tinubu’s role in the current political dispensation can hardly be faulted. In some areas, he went overboard and you could see him gloating, the PDP apologist that he is. Also, the mention of Governor Ajimobi as one of the governors working against Tinubu is a fallacy and here he got his facts wrong. Ajimobi has remained consistently behind Tinubu and that is easily verifiable. “But back to the emergence of Osinbajo as Vice Presidential candidate. I was there the night before the final decision and subsequent announcement. I was there at the Lagos Lodge Annex in Asokoro, Abuja at Tinubu’s place. On the night in reference, Asiwaju insisted that three names would not be sent for the VP slot. He maintained that only one name would be sent. Eventually, the name of Osinbajo was sent to President Buhari. There was no issue of pressure.
“Osinbajo was Tinubu’s man and that was the only person Tinubu was willing to accept to cede the VP slot. Shortly after Governor Amosun came around to the Lagos lodge. He came in and we greeted. Now, it seems clear that some fifth columnists are trying to distort recent history and we should not let them. This history is too recent to be mutilated,” he said.