Journalism of Courage

Enough of your phone threats and embarrassments, l will not support Tinubu for President — Sen. Ojudu

...let no one think he can browbeat or blackmail me to do what does not go with my conscience or my ideals

 

 

Threats to his life notwithstanding, Sen. Babafemi Ojudu, the Presidential Adviser on Political Matters, on Tuesday stuck to his guns and rejected the bandwagon entreaties to support the presidential ambition of the All Progressives Congress national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

 

 

Rejecting the toga of a traitor and betrayer for not supporting Tinubu, Ojudu described bandying it about him as puerile.

 

 

Ojudu, a veteran journalist, insisted that as an adult of over 60 years he would continue to follow his conscience.

 

 

He made his position known in a statement titled, “Principled Political Choices Are Not Betrayal” given to Persecondnews on Tuesday.

 

 

Ojudu continued that contrary to reports or impression in some quarters, Tinubu did not make him successful as he was already an accomplished publisher before he met him.

 

 

Ojudu, who works in Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s office, stated: “The idea that everyone who has related with Tinubu and disagrees with him on this presidential bid is a traitor and a betrayer is puerile. 

 

“Many of us, his associates, were not made by him as you also want the world to believe.

 

“We were already made before meeting him and in the course of relating, we gave one another a helping hand. As far back as 1992 when I came to know him, I was already one of the editors of a popular news magazine with a good standing too in the civil society.”

 

Ojudu, who represented Ekiti Central Senatorial District from 2011 to 2015, said for good conscience he would not support Tinubu to become President.

 

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Stating that he would not be intimidated by Tinubu’s camp, he stressed:”On this matter of 2023, I wish him well but I cannot in good conscience give him my support or cast my vote for him in the coming primary. 

 

“It is my right. I am above 60 years of age for God’s sake. I almost died seeking these inalienable democratic rights, held up in detention and severely tortured. Your god is not my god.

 

“Let no one think he can browbeat or blackmail me to do what does not go with my conscience or my ideals. Enough of your phone threats and embarrassment of my family members!” 

 

Recalling how he had followed his principles and conscience in the past to the detriment of his career, Ojudu said 

he resigned after refusing an order by his then employer in Concord newspapers, Chief MKO Abiola, to apologise to then Head of State, retired Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, over a story considered to be offensive.

 

 

Ojudu also recalled how the late human rights lawyer, Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN), forced him to refund the money he had invested in his newspaper for joining Tinubu’s political camp then.

 

“I also defied my father’s wishes by joining Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Unity Party of Nigeria when he was a member of the National Party of Nigeria in the Second Republic.

 

“When I left that job, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, a man whom I was indebted to greatly (gave me a scholarship in my school days alongside King Sunny Ade) invested in my publishing platform (The News, publisher of PM News). The same one that was consequential in the battle to bring democracy back to Nigeria.

 

“At the conclusion of that struggle, Chief Fawehinmi insisted we sit out politics. Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu disagreed with this notion, and I did as well.

 

” Against an obvious choice to blind loyalty, I went along with Senator Tinubu even serving several times in critical roles as he assumed the governorship position. My actions angered Chief Gani so much he asked that I repay his investments. Guess what? I gladly did,” the former editor of the News magazine and Tempo, said.

 

“So, if my principled stance against the NPN, against IBB and against ‘siddon look’ was not betrayal of my father, Chief MKO Abiola and Chief Gani Fawehinmi respectively, why would my principled stance against our leader’s present ambition be?”

 

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