Published On: Tue, Oct 31st, 2017

Don’t Discuss Buhari’s Re-election With Me, Tinubu Replies Journalists

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By Sadiq Umar – National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, Monday declined comment on the clamour for re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari, even as he denied any friction between him and the president.

Mr. Tinubu also dismissed reports that the cabal around the president had sidelined him, describing such report as “fake news.”

The former Lagos governor spoke on Monday in an interview with State House correspondents shortly after meeting with the President at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

When asked for his opinion on the call by some Nigerians for Mr. Buhari to run again in 2019, the APC leader retorted: “Don’t discuss that one with me.”

Buhari is yet to announce his intention to seek re-election, but some of his close allies have already asked him to run in 2019 despite his health situation.

The APC national leader said he never believed that any cabal exists within the Buhari administration describing reports on the issue as myth.

“What is the myth in this leadership thing? What is cabal? It is a myth.

“You know me. I am not known to shy away from talking my mind and rebelling if it is necessary and taking charge of things that I believe are necessary,” he said.

The belief by many Nigerians of the existence of a cabal worsened recently after the secret recall and promotion of a dismissed fugitive, Abdulrasheed Maina, into the civil service.

Mr. Tinubu said he still has confidence in the president, stating, “We worked hard to bring about the government, there are certain things that are unpredictable and those are things that can lean itself to gossips, insinuations and all of that,” he said.

The former governor also explained why he was not in regular public consultation with the president.

“Once you create leadership and it’s functioning you don’t have to babysit that leadership unless there is a loss of confidence; and I don’t have that,” he said.

Tinubu said the APC is a party of the people, adding “each of us have our roles to play and that is why we are playing it. I don’t believe in the myth, I believe in confidence building, the trust that we have in the president.”

The APC leader said he had a fruitful discussion with Mr. Buhari.

He said in a democracy such as Nigeria’s there is bound to be “twists and turns” as well as conflicts. He, however, said there are mechanisms to handle such conflicts within the APC.

The National Caucus meeting of APC held last night at the Presidential Villa, Abuja ahead the scheduled National Convention of the party in November.

The APC leader Tinubu had earlier called for the removal of the party’s National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, in a public disagreement the two had at one point.

He, however, said on Monday that despite the crisis in the governing party, it is on the right course.

“Can you go back to the history of 16 years of the PDP?

“APC government is on course and will remain on course and we will remain focused to those necessary things about development, welfare and progress of our people,” he said.

“It is not easy to face the challenges and the well that was dug, sinkhole that we inherited. But we are sorting that one out gradually; so in few steps, we will find happiness and development in the future of our country.

 

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