The Presidency has dismissed the claim of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), that he brought President Muhammadu Buhari into power.
While addressing APC delegates in Ogun State last week, Tinubu had boasted that without him, Buhari would have lost in 2015.
“You have not heard this from me before. This is the first place I am saying this. If not me that led the war front, Buhari wouldn’t have emerged. He contested first, second and third times, but lost. He even said on television that he won’t contest again.”
“But I went to his home in Katsina. I told him you would contest and win, but you won’t joke with the matters of the Yorubas. Since he has emerged I have not been appointed minister. I didn’t get contract. This time, it’s Yoruba turn and in Yorubaland, it’s my tenure,” he had said.
Following the heavy criticism that trailed his comments, Tinubu recanted and claimed he was quoted out of context.
But in a statement on Monday, Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, said many people worked for the emergence of Buhari.
“It is perhaps not surprising that on the eve of the All Progressives Congress (APC) flagbearer primary there are those running as candidates who wish to associate themselves with the President’s rise to elected office seven years ago.”
“There are many people who played parts large and small in his historic election in 2015, making history as the first opposition candidate to defeat a sitting president with power changing hands peacefully at the ballot box.
“There are those who advised the President to run again; those who decided to build a political party – the APC – that could finally be the political vehicle capable of delivering victory where all other opposition parties and alliances before it had failed.
“Those decisions may have been agreed upon by a few. But they were delivered by thousands and voted for by tens of millions. No one can or should claim to have made this possible.
“Yet as important as that moment was, it is not what should decide the next general election. What matters is the future: the policy platforms, the ideas, the drive, and the determination to take over the President’s stewardship of our country and build upon his legacy to make our country better than it has ever been.
“The person most demonstrable in those qualities is the one to lead our party and our country forward.”