The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has no desire to become the vice- president of Nigeria, he said on Wednesday night.
Tinubu said he and the people of the South-west “have absolute confidence and are exceedingly proud of the excellent job Professor Osinbajo is doing as Vice President of Nigeria”.
The former governor of Lagos was responding to report that he may be picked by President Muhammadu Buhari as his running mate in 2019, saying a report to that effect by SUN newspaper is a “classic case of utterly and irredeemably-fake news”.
SUN in a front page lead story on Wednesday claimed that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was considering returning to full church work and that Tinubu was being mooted as a replacement for him, according to the newspaper, “as a way to have a solid South-west support for the APC, in the face of a South-east/South-south alliance in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)”.
“There is no empirical or logical basis for this mischievously speculative story. Is it even conceivable, as the story recklessly insinuates, that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would be considering returning to full church work rather than run with his boss, President Buhari for a second term if the latter so decides without as much as discussing such a sensitive issue with his party and with Asiwaju Tinubu? In any case, is this story not entirely unwarranted and indefensible as the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket has an electoral mandate of four years out of which it has spent only over two years and a half years?
“Contrary to the impression the Sun seeks to create, Asiwaju’s politics is not that of unbridled personal ambition for selfish interest. When at some point in the build up to the 2015 election, President Buhari offered him the Vice –Presidential ticket, Tinubu gratefully and publicly thanked the President. When it turned out that such an offer would not be in the interest of the party and would play into the hands of enemies of change, Asiwaju unreservedly and passionately threw his support behind Osinbajo as the best man for the job. His opinion has not changed. Indeed, his confidence and belief in Osinbajo has been amply justified by the latter’s sterling performance in the office. This attempt to cause disaffection between the duo cannot and will not fly.
“As Asiwaju firmly asserted in a public statement on December 17th 2014 endorsing Professor Osinbajo for the position of running mate to President Buhari “After all the political calculations are made and the dust of competition has settled, it must be this nation and its people who stand first and foremost. The question becomes whether we stand strong, able to shape ourselves into our best future or will we stand frail and trembling, burdened by the abject failure to surmount the multiple problems confronting us…For me, political ambition will never triumph over patriotic conviction.”