Lagos / Abuja – Bola Ahmed Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Tuesday lashed back at former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida, saying it was time they both left the political stage and joined the retirees’ club.
Tinubu, who was at the Presidential Villa in company of Bisi Akanda, a chieftain of the APC, where they met with President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed doors, said both ex-presidents can participate in the electoral process by casting their votes whenever the need arose.
“I don’t address those shadows; we should let our former presidents join retirees’ club and take pensions but they can participate in our politics if they are interested. It is a free world but this freedom is not served a la carte but they should allow us to move our country forward. It is a challenge to every Nigerian,” Tinubu stated.
Obasanjo had recently criticised the Buhari administration as lacking in direction, hence he should not seek re-election in 2019.
He had accused the government of running a “nepotic court bordering on clannishness at the detriment of national interest,” while also stating that the president showed a lack of understanding of the economy and foreign affairs.
In the statement, Obasanjo also said that the president has shown a poor understanding of internal politics and dynamics and engages in passing buck.
Few days later, former military President Babangida followed suit, asking Buhari to pave way for the younger generation to mount the saddle of leadership.
In spite of divergent views over the performance of the APC administration, Tinubu said the party still has high chances of winning the 2019 presidential election.
He reiterated his commitment to the party, while confirming his acceptance of the role to serve as APC reconciliation committee chairman.
On the chances of victory at the polls come 2019, he said, “You are asking me an obvious question. I belong to this party; my commitment is to this party. We have a better chance and we are strongly determined to prosecute election in a most transparent and democratic manner and we will win.
“I feel greatly honoured with the mutual confidence that the president has reposed in me which is a very strong political challenge. We have started in earnest. He has given me free hand to put cohesion, confidence and trust in the party.
“Democracy is about conflict resolution process. You can’t do it without resolving conflicts. We can’t build it without understanding the conflicts and sources where we are coming from.
“But we want to leave the country with a legacy. It’s not about Mr. President. That is what he’s telling the country. It’s about our country and no other choice to democratic tenets than through political party platforms.
“He’s one of those rare beings around the country, around Africa who had experienced both worlds: he fought a battle to save Nigeria and came to politics to save Nigeria. Very rare people have such an opportunity in their life time and that’s what we talk about legacy, and where we have all the challenges, do what we should do. I’m enjoying the challenges so far”.
It would be recalled that Buhari recently appointed Tinubu to lead consultation, reconciliation and peace building efforts within the ruling party.
Part of the brief given to the former Lagos State governor was also to resolve disagreements among party members, party leadership and political office holders in some states of the federation.
30 Political Parties Reject Obasanjo’s Coalition
Meanwhile, a coalition of 30 registered political parties, under the aegis of the Coalition for New Nigeria (CNN), has refuted claims that it had entered into an alliance with the Coalition for Nigerian Movement (CNM) founded by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The parties also said they were at an advanced stage of beginning full-fledged operations towards the 2019 presidential election with the sole aim of winning political seats and wrest power from President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a chat with DAILY INDEPENDENT, Tanko Yunusa, Spokesperson of the coalition and National Chairman of the National Conscience Party (NCP), said the CNN was not part of and will not join Obasanjo’s coalition.
Yunusa also accused Obasanjo of borrowing ideas from their coalition.
He urged Nigerians to be vigilant and not mistake the CNN from the CNM.
He said the CNN, which was the only viable alternative to the APC and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had Alhaji Abdulkadir Salam of the Labour Party (LP) as chairman, Barrister Godson Okoye of the United Democratic Party (UDP) as secretary, and Dr. Yunusa Tanko of the National Conscience Party (NCP) as spokesman.
He said: “We are not part of and will not join Obasanjo’s CNM.
“We belong to our coalition called Coalition for New Nigeria (CNN).
“CNN was a coalition that we enacted long before this dispensation and the idea of the CNN was to have an alliance, not a merger, for us to be able to work together and help ourselves to win election.
“That is the primary objective of the CNN. We are tired of being called political parties without portfolios.”
“We are different from Obasanjo’s CNM. CNM founded by Obasanjo is taking a cue from us.
“We announced ourselves long before he started his CNM. He latched on our own CNN.
“His own CNM is not a political movement. He even said if they are going into politics, he will opt out.
“Obasanjo has his own plan and always think in a different direction. He only flies the ship when he is looking for popular opinion and he will latch on it.”
Speaking on their readiness for next year’s presidential election, Tanko said the CNN had resolved to field and support one presidential candidate within the coalition for the 2019 general elections.
Dr. Tanko specifically said the overall aim was to put an end to bad governance that had led to poverty, insecurity, nepotism, ethnicity in the country and strengthen the nation’s economy.
The political parties said the APC-led government had failed to take decisive action over killings in the country.
They accused the government of allegedly allowing the nation to gradually slide into a state of anarchy.
CNN said the APC had failed to fulfill its campaign promises to Nigerians.
“We are determined to take over power in 2019, and we are 30 political parties working together. We are concerned about the state of the nation,” he said.
The post Tinubu To OBJ, IBB: Retire From Politics appeared first on Independent Newspapers Nigeria.
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Author: Temidayo Akinsuyi, Innocent Oweh