The National Leader of All Progressive Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has finally reacted to reports that he was backing Ahmad Lawan for senate president for the 9th National Assembly.
The former Lagos State governor who said he has no ulterior motive in his actions regarding the impending election of presiding officers of the National Assembly, said all his mind, heart and efforts were focused on backing the party and President Muhammadu Buhari in achieving their shared vision of a flourishing economy and a prosperous people.
It should be recalled that Ahmad Lawan has been chosen by the APC leadership to lead the 9th National Assembly, although, the decision has been kicked by other members who are vying for the same position.
Reacting through a statement released yesterday by his Media Office, Tinubu said he would have committed a terrible blunder by navigating against the president’s position.
He said those who cast aspersions on him were in reality bucking against the stated position of President Buhari.
“Asiwaju is neither inclined, nor sufficiently naive, to take his eye off the present in the futile attempt to peer through the thick fog that is the future.”
While noting that the National Assembly positions are important to the fulfillment of the president’s agenda, he lamented that a painful lesson was learned in this respect in the last four years.
“With the senate leadership usurped by regressive elitists that chamber constituted a brake on progress and good governance.
“The senate leadership, and to a lesser degree the House leadership, stymied APC legislative initiatives while attempting to hoist noxious, reactionary and self-interested legislation on the nation,” he said.
Outgoing Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara and their ilk, he said, hijacked the budget process these past four years.
“National budgets were delayed and distorted as these actors repeatedly sought to pad budgets with pet projects that would profit them.
“Even worse, they cut funds intended to prosper projects that would have benefitted the average person. After four years of their antics halting the progress of government, we should do all we can to prevent a repeat of their malign control of the National Assembly,” he added.
He pointed out that in 2015, Senator Saraki finagled his way into the senate presidency.
“He planted himself at the apex of legislative power. But his actions as Senate president showed a man devoid of compassion for the average Nigerian. All he cared for was power and position.
“Soon he will be deprived of both. House Speaker Dogara has fared only slightly better. Occupying these positions is not a guarantee of future success. It is only a guarantee of present duty.
“Politics requires jockeying and maneuvering for influence to get the right people in the right positions. To be beneficial, politics must be tied to the greater purpose of governance such as with President Buhari’s goal to reform the national economy for the good of all Nigerians.
“In supporting the party and the president, Asiwaju has shown his commitment to achieving the president’s goals. Nothing more should be read into it”.
The full statement titled “Tinubu focusing on the issue of today: Tomorrow is the master of itself” read:
“We have monitored, with rising incredulity, the rash of news stories claiming Asiwaju Tinubu is manipulating the APC nomination process for the National Assembly leadership. The stories claim this supposed manipulation is the first salvo in Asiwaju’s effort to position himself for a presidential run during the 2023 election cycle. Not only are these reports utterly false, based as they are in the febrile imaginations of those persons by whom they are being peddled, they are injurious to President Buhari’s historic quest to reform Nigeria. It is for this latter reason that we find cause to speak out where otherwise we would have continued to watch on in silent amusement.
“Nigeria has barely emerged from President Buhari and the APC’s resounding victory in the last election. The President, with the support of an APC majority in both chambers of our National Assembly, is now preparing to lead the nation forward for the next four years. Instead of covering the President’s exciting Next Level agenda and what it promises in terms of economic and social growth & development, these people want to skip ahead to the next election as if they can cast aside the next four years.
“However, the Nigerian people do not elect politicians to office simply to watch on as they maneuver and jostle for position at the next election. The people elect those who they believe will be the best public servants, committed to the national wellbeing. This is why they reelected in President Buhari while rejecting the horde of political jobbers that constitute the PDP.
“The peddlers of these rumors have arrogated to themselves the preternatural ability to read Asiwaju’s mind more than he himself can know it. They also seem to have acquired the unique gift of bending time so that 2023 appears before we even reach the midway point of 2019. If these people would only enlist their uncanny talents in the service of the nation instead of in the service of political intrigue and gossip mongering our country would be much the better.
“This attempt to caricature Asiwaju as if his words and actions are all aimed at grabbing power will fail because this portrait distorts the plain truth. While the headlines are sensational they are also senseless because they are not grounded in fact. Asiwaju has not run for elected office since 2003. He last held office in 2007. He has never vied to become chairman of the APC nor has he tried to insinuate himself into any major government office.”