Do Nigerians on the streets care if it was Buhari or in fact Tinubu that nominated Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as APC’s vice presidential candidate? Is that the important matter at hand right now with the economic situation in the country? Who cares? What a complete distraction. Also, in terms of launching Buhari’s Biography, it goes to show how insensitive these politicians are. The Naira is getting a beating of its life, Nigerians who had relocated to Nigeria from around the world to make the country a better place are returning back abroad in high numbers, food items are at a record high and a biography of the President is launched. It is beyond incredible. These politicians are living in a bubble that is set to bust beyond believe. – Jide Salu
Tinubu’s loyalists within the All Progressives Congress (APC) have panned Professor John Paden, President Buhari’s biographer, for publishing what they thought was falsehood in his recent work titled ‘’Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria’’.
Last Monday, some African and many Nigerian leaders gathered at the International Conference Centre Abuja, for the launch of the book.
It has since emerged that the book’s author had written that Buhari chose Professor Yemi Osinbajo as his running mate in the 2015 election against Bola Tinubu’s wish. The book says Bola Tinubu himself wanted to be the Vice Presidential nominee, competing against Osinbajo who served in his (Tinubu) government as the Attorney General of Lagos State and Tinubu’s former Chief of Staff in Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola. Fashola later succeeded Tinubu as the governor of Lagos. The book says the three names were submitted to Buhari, from which to pick one. Professor Paden wrote: “With Buhari coming from the North-West geopolitical zone, the Vice-Presidency had been ceded to the South-West geopolitical zone.
“Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State and political ‘godfather’ of the South-West geopolitical zone, felt he should be the vice-presidential candidate.
“His protégée and the then popular Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, was also a possible candidate.
“Both Tinubu and Fashola were Muslims, which complicated the national balance.
“A third candidate, Yemi Osinbajo, had been Attorney General of Lagos State and a senior law professor and a pastor.
“When the three names were forwarded to Buhari, he chose Osinbajo despite enormous pressure from Tinubu.”
But Tinubu’s men have clapped back, accusing the professor of lying. First was Lateef Raji, former Commissioner in Lagos State, who was quoted by Per Second News as saying Buhari and his biographer lied on the choice of who the Lagos State Government was to become Buhari’s Vice Presidential pick.
Then followed an essay by the Secretary to the Lagos State Governemt Mr Tunji Bello, who accused the author of the book of mischief and deliberately misinforming the public.
Mr Bello, who had been in government in Lagos State since the days of Tinubu, said it was Tinubu who personally nominated Osinbajo to be Vice President, against the persuasion of people like former APC National Chairman Bisi Akande.
But Tinubu himself was a reviewer of the Buhari biography. On the day of the book launch, the APC National Leader also delved into the issue of how they arrived at the choice of Yemi Osinbajo as Buhari’s running mate, without refuting Professor Paden’s claim about Tinubu’s own opposition to the choice of Osinbajo. In his review of the book, Tinubu said the author portrayed Buhari as a man who had lived his life on assignments that always intersected with vital moments in the nation’s history.
He recalled that the President was a man on an assignment, when, in the military, he served bravely in a Civil War to keep Nigeria united.
He added that he was also on a national assignment when he became the military Head of State in what he called a well-intentioned effort to straighten things out and set Nigeria on a better path.
Tinubu said, “When he ventured into politics and competed for the presidency culminating in his 2015 election victory, he was still on an assignment, showing that there was no other way for this nation to go but the way of democracy, no matter how difficult the path may be.
“Now, as a sitting President, he is on an assignment, against time, to undo the wrongs of nearly two decades of bad governance.
“Such is the life of this man; always in the public eye, doing things in his different, disciplined and spartan way.”
Tinubu went down memory lane, recalling how the APC which defeated the Peoples Democratic Party at the federal level was formed. He described the merger process as a teamwork and a commitment to national purpose.
“Many of us invested ourselves, our heart, body, mind and soul in this project for national salvation. Many did not want it to happen and fought to undermine the good we sought to accomplish.
“Many others straddled the sidelines, neither completely in nor completely out, but waiting to see how the prevailing winds might blow before making their move.
“Muhammadu Buhari never wavered for one moment on this journey. Proving to be a focused leader, he acted with a single-minded determination that showed no fear or doubt in the rightfulness of the cause we pursued.
“I know this for an unassailable fact because I was there with him, every step of the way, to fight against, what the realists told us, were insurmountable odds.
“Yet, our determination for reform beat their smart calculations. The desire for a better country was more powerful than their incumbent might.
“So many people made contributions that made the historic merger possible. It would be impossible to give each person the accolade they deserve in a concise work such as this one.
He recalled that after Buhari’s emergence as the party’s presidential candidate, there was a thorny issue of who would be his running mate.
Tinubu said stakeholders later agreed to settle for Osinbajo, a Christian in order to get a religiously-balanced ticket given the sensitivity of the moment.
He said the fact that Osinbajo was a pastor answered those who wrongfully tried to paint Buhari as intolerant