Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Monday said he has the confidence, the vision, and the capacity to rule Nigeria.
Tinubu said this after storming the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to inform President Muhammadu Buhari of his intention to vie for the presidential ticket on the platform of the ruling APC.
According to Tinubu, shortly after the meeting, Buhari being a democrat, was not averse to him (Tinubu) pursuing his lifelong ambition.
He disclosed his mission at the Villa, after some probing questions from State House correspondents, when he was asked whether his ambition informed his visit to the seat of power: “I will answer that with categorical yes. I’ve informed the president of my intention but I have not informed Nigerians yet. I’m still consulting. And I have no problem consulting. And I’ve not set a parameter of limitation to the extent of how many people will I consult. You will soon hear, all you want to hear is the categorical declaration. You’ve gotten that truth from me that I have informed Mr. President of my ambition, I did not expect more answers than that.”
His declaration to contest the presidency comes as various support groups have equally been mounting pressure on Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to also contest on the platform of the APC.
When reporters demanded to know if he (Tinubu) won’t be perturbed knowing he might have to wrestle the party’s ticket with Vice President Osinbajo and some other aspirants like Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, he responded, saying, “I don’t want to discuss individuals now. I must discuss myself. I have the confidence, the vision, the capacity to rule, build on the foundation of Mr. President, and turn Nigeria better. I’ve have done that with commitment and unyielding you know, in Lagos State.
“You’ve seen that experience and the capacity to turn things around and that is what we are doing. You know, the confusion, the drift of the past in PDP is being corrected. And you can’t take away from that. As we are today, go back to the data on how many barrels of oil were we producing when we first came in and what it is today? We cannot even at the time we came in we did not pay the counterpart funds to start our rail line.
“Today, you enjoy the comfort of having rail from Lagos to Ibadan, you have the Kaduna and you have the one for Kano State on the aggressive pipeline, you see excellent infrastructure. I just came from Azare and I have seen good roads, the carnage of dying on motor vehicles is reducing except you know, lack of compliance with a lot of Nigerian drivers and VIOs. Let us think back, let us be intellectually inquisitive as to the past and the present and what the future holds for Nigeria”.
Recall that President Buhari had during an exclusive interview anchored by Channels Television declined to reveal who his preferred candidate was on the fears that such a candidate might face elimination.
Also asked why he would not remain a kingmaker rather than being the king, he said there is nothing that stops a kingmaker from becoming the king unless he has committed murder.
“About the cap of kingmaker. I’ve never seen the cap of a kingmaker before. That is the truth. And I’ve never seen where it is written in the rule book anywhere in any country that a kingmaker cannot be a king unless you commit murder. So, whatever is your attribute is your own opinion. Me, I want to pursue my ambition without the title of a kingmaker. You can write your literature and your story based upon your own perception”.
Commenting on how Buhari viewed his indication of interest, he said, “That’s our business. He is a democrat. He didn’t ask me to stop. He didn’t ask me not to attempt and pursue my ambition, is a lifelong ambition. So, why do I expect him to say more than that? You are running a democratic dispensation, and you must adopt the principles and the values and the virtues of democracy. That’s it”.
Asked what he has in store for the people if elected president, he replied, “You want my manifesto now? Not yet. Not yet”.
On controversies surrounding direct primaries and the party’s convention, he said the National Assembly and the president must be encouraged to review again. “Whatever they come up with electoral amendment is what we must comply with. There is no unlimited elasticity in what we face, because we have to plan and plan well, and be able to manage the time effectively. The great roadmap to success is ability of a leader to do what he must do at the right time that it should be done. So that to me, the electoral amendment point we will still look at that collectively.
“And it is our country. It’s our democracy. We had adopted it and we will push it rigorously”, he said.
He said the party convention is sacrosanct and would come in no distant time.
Probed further to disclose timeline, he said, “Oh, well. I’m not a spokesperson for the party. And the president is the leader of the party. So, expect convention, maybe if that’s added to your own anxiety, or the other party’s anxiety is good for us. We get it and we’ll get it done properly.