Babachir Lawal, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) has berated Bola Tinubu, presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for claiming he singlehandedly made President Muhammadu Buhari the country’s leader.
Mr Tinubu while wooing delegates from Ogun and Oyo in Abeokuta on Thursday claimed that if not for his benevolence, Mr Buhari would not have finally been elected president after trying thrice and failed.
“If not for me that stood behind Buhari, he wouldn’t have become the President,” Mr Tinubu, who spoke in Yoruba in a trending video clip seen by TODAY POLITICS, explained. “He tried the first time, he failed. The second time, he failed. The third, he failed.”
He accused the Nigerian leader of betraying him by opting for a consensus presidential candidate and choosing to breach their gentleman agreement of handing over power to him on completion of his second and final term next year.
The president had sought the support of APC governors in choosing his successor like they (governors) usually do while leaving office, a move seen by political analysts as a plot to disenfranchise aspirants from participating in the ruling party’s convention where the flag bearer will emerge.
Berating on the former Lagos governor, Mr Lawal said the effort of Mr Tinubu alone was not what got the president elected in 2015, the first time an opposition party will oust a ruling party in charge.
“Sometimes it is very difficult to support a Yoruba person in national politics if you are not one,” the ex-SGF said in a response published by Vanguard. “They have a way of making you regret your support because they eventually make you seem like a traitor to your own people. Now all these comments about Bola’s Yoruba presidency and his support of Buhari without which Buhari would not have been president is bullshit.
“He wasn’t the only one whose support made a difference. There were many others from all around the country and they are not bragging about it.
“You may wish to know that all of us Buhari supporters are shocked and pissed off by Bola’s speech on this occasion. It is unlike him.
“And this speech is massively trending in the North and being given a negative connotation as you can well imagine. I first read it this morning on an Adamawa group platform and the anger is palpable and all round.
“You would think Yorubas will resist the temptation of joining in the northerners-bashing game at this very critical time – the primary election is only three days away. It is unfortunate that Bola himself chose to join in this bashing game – choosing to speak in the Yoruba language and in Yoruba land in a manner that seems to denigrate Buhari. I could vividly imagine the discomfort of all the northerners sitting beside him on that podium.
“This appears to be the Abiola saga being replayed. Abiola won the election with majority Northern votes but they took the brunt of the post-election protests that followed.
“Just survey all the people that are doing more meaningful practical things to enthroned Bola as president and you will find that almost all are northerners while his kinsmen engage themselves social media activism and Northern bashing.
“When Yorubas vilify the North like this, our sense of fear and insecurity under a Yoruba presidency gets heightened and in the end, pushes us to rethink our support for not only Bola but any Yoruba as president for that matter.
“Please, do not join our opponents to destroy our chances of clinching Monday’s primary elections.”