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BREAKING: Osinbajo admits approving oil contracts for NNPC

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Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has admitted granting authorisation to the NNPC for two oil contracts worth N640 billion while President Muhammadu Buhari was away on medical leave.

In a series of tweets, Mr Osinabjo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande said the VP as Ag President approved recommendations after due diligence.

Minister of state for Petroleum Resources, DR. Ibe Kachikwu, had accused the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, of awarding contracts without due process, an allegation which was denied by the NNPC.

In response to media inquiries on NNPC joint venture financing, VP Osinbajo, as Ag President approved recommendations after due diligence…

 

— Laolu Akande (@akandeoj) October 12, 2017

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2019: Tinubu begs Saraki, Tambuwal, Kwankwaso

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  • Sani: APC doomed if Tinubu’s reconciliation fails
  • Kaduna faction suspends el-Rufai for 6 months

 

There are indications that the presidency and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have finally opted to beg chieftains and major stakeholders of the ruling party, who are threatening to dump the platform ahead of the 2019 general elections. New Telegraph exclusively learnt from party sources at the weekend that the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is reaching out to the aggrieved party members and doing everything possible to convince them to shelve their plan. In the past few days, Tinubu has been meeting and begging aggrieved party stakeholders.

It was particularly gathered that Tinubu, who heads the party’s National Reconciliation Committee, is not only appealing to the APC stalwarts to stay, but to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s government and the ruling party in the 2019 general elections.

Buhari had charged Tinubu to resolve disagreements among party members, party leadership and political office holders in some states of the federation. So far, Tinubu has met separately with the members of the APC National Working Committee (NWC); Senate President, Bukola Saraki; former Governors Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) and Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano). He also met with the immediate past governor of Sokoto State, Senator Aliyu Wamakko and his predecessor, Aminu Tambuwal, at the weekend.

Though details of some of the meetings were not made public, multiple sources said Tinubu is using the opportunity to appeal to the APC chieftains to stay in the party and support Buhari’s government. The party leaders lamented that Buhari alienated them from the government they sacrificed to enthrone.

“Tinubu is appealing that they should stay; not just to stay, but to support the President’s second term bid. He is also begging them to cease fire, come closer and that whatever it is, especially the issue of 2019, would be negotiated,” he said. When asked what have been the responses of those the APC national leader has so far met, the source said: “Most of those he has met welcomed him, but that doesn’t mean that the issues at stake have been resolved. Body language would be smile and ‘we are still with you,’ but don’t take that to the bank.”

He added: “Nobody will come out to basically tell you what his or her grievances are, but reconciliation is not a one-day thing. It cannot be at the first meeting and it is beyond meeting with state excos of the party. It requires oneon- one meetings with those involved. So, we are expecting that more meetings would be fixed, and where there are issues, would be discussed at length.”

On the conditions the aggrieved party chieftains gave for their continued stay in the APC, the source said they are open to negotiations, but that the last straw would be if the party leadership insists that there won’t be a convention to elect a presidential candidate for the 2019 elections. His words: “If Buhari says he will not run in 2019, they will stay in the APC and support whoever wins the presidential primaries. If he says that he will run and wants the party to endorse him as the sole candidate, they will move out.

If he says he will run and that the party will have primaries; they will stay and fight him at the primaries and that is what he is afraid of. You know that anything is possible in a primary election.” Expressing the fear that the Tinubu committee may run into hitches, another source said a lot of things have gone wrong within the ruling party and that most chieftains have made up their minds on the President before now.

His word: “Too many things have gone wrong and reconciliation, less than one year to the elections, is likely not to yield the desired result because people made up their minds about Buhari a year ago and it is difficult to heal the wound of three years.

“Those with the President are practically unmarketable. The expectation was high at the inauguration of this government, but the President has underperformed. So, I think Tinubu is just playing along because he was the first victim. He knows that the damage has been done.

“Tinubu also knows that he was sidelined and there is no guarantee that things will improve if the President comes back. So, except he (Tinubu) extracts something really big, he would just be doing a paper work. And I must tell you that he would have his Plan B. “How do you reconcile the various factions?

There are so many aggrieved people and how do you recruit them for the next elections? Even if you succeed in recruiting them, the tendency is that they will work half-heartedly.” Buhari, on his part, is said to have realised that a lot of party chieftains are not happy with him and has also resorted to appeal for their support. “Tinubu is begging aggrieved party chieftains who are not happy with the president and APC. These people sacrificed a lot to build the party and they cannot because of one man, who got it wrong, allow it to go down. But, now that he (Buhari) has realised his mistakes, the belief now is let’s rebuild the party for him to come back,” one of the sources said.

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Onaiyekan to Buhari: You’re not delivering on your promises

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The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, yesterday, yesterday told President Muhammadu Buhari that the change he promised Nigerians was becoming a mirage. Onaiyekan, who delivered a homily at the opening Mass of the first 2018 plenary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), also told the president that Nigerians deserved more than they were getting from him. He therefore called on Nigerians to use the 2019 election to effect a radical change for the betterment of the country.

He argued that in the last three years, Nigerians have been hearing much about change, but have seen rather little of it. He said: “Yes, our nation is in a state of uncertainty and confusion. A few things are going well in the society and the economy for which we thank God and congratulate our leaders.

They tell us that they are doing their best. But a lot still needs to be done and too many problems have been left to fester. Our nation surely deserves far better than it is now getting in terms of good governance, social justice and peace and minimum of well being for our people.”

The former President of CAN said so far, government has spent so much time and energy demonizing its predecessor that it seemed to have forgotten its promise of a better life for Nigerians. He added:“It has unfortunately allowed the initial massive goodwill it enjoyed to be depleted, almost to nonexistence.

It is no wonder that many Nigerians are looking for a new political organization that can truly bring about genuine change for the better. Having tried our two major political parties and found none of them up to our expectation, the nation is on the verge of despair….” “Another election is fast approaching.

We must seize this God-given opportunity to radically change things around. We should no longer allow politics to remain business as usual in the hands of the same gang of speculators and opportunists. We must change the rule of the game, not the faces of the players.” However, Buhari, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said the CBCN was the only Christian platform that gave the president a listening ear prior to the 2015 presidential election. Mustapha added that the president believed that the CBCN was a strategic partner in building the nation, even as he noted that the CBCN have a lot to offer the nation.

“And for that reason, he remains eternally grateful. And I remember at that engagement, they asked very pertinent questions – direct, bullets to the face. And he provided answers. And because of that reason, he believes that the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria is a strategic partner in the enterprise of growing the Nigeria nation and he believes that they have a lot to offer,” Mustapha said. Also speaking, a former Governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, maintained that the current administration has done well, particularly in the area of infrastructural development.

Kalu particularly mentioned the Second Niger Bridge; Enugu-Onitsha Expressway; Enugu-Port Harcourt- Okigwe; Aba-Umuahia Expressway, while also saying that the president is doing everything within his power to salvage the economy. Speaking with journalists, Kalu prayed for the good of the country and wished Nigerians well, that they can enjoy the dividends of democracy. “This is not media hype. I am not a spokesman for the president. Everybody knows that I speak the truth. APC have done very well

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Enters the new ‘Mr. Fix It’

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The recent appointment of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to head the ruling party’s national reconciliation committee ahead of the 2019 general elections, has sparked debate over whether the former Governor of Lagos State is the new ‘Mr. Fix It’ of Nigeria’s politics, FELIX NWANERI reports

 

Former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih, is one man blessed with the uncanny ability to navigate the murky waters of politics with ease. The Iyasele of Esanland, bestrode the nation’s political space like a colossus for decades, exhibiting exceptional political skills, little wonder he earned the sobriquet “Mr. Fix It.” But, his admirers and adversaries’ as well have missed those sneaky political skills for which the former Minister of Works, who once served as police orderly to the first Governor General of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, is known for.

Anenih called it quits with politics at the launch of his book entitled: “My Life and Nigerian Politics,” on November 26, 2017, when he declared: “I am persuaded that I have no more ambition nor any point to prove in politics. I am, therefore, glad to declare that, from today (Saturday, November 26), I shall be withdrawing from active partisan politics.

I shall, however, continue to avail the country of my experience, give suggestions and offer advice, as a statesman.” No doubt, Anenih had nothing to prove again in politics, having seen it all in the power game, which informed why he had to take a bow at 83, when the ovation was loudest. His political career, which spanned decades, saw him holding several positions including state chairman of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) from 1981 to 1983a and national chairman of defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) from 1992 to 1993.

Anenih was a member of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) The PDM, a political group pioneered by former Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, General Shehu Musa Yar’adua. The group later fused with others to form the PDP in 1998 ahead of the country’s return to civil rule and he served as deputy national campaign coordinator of the party’s presidential candidate, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s in the 1999 elections. He was appointed minister of Works after the party won the presidential poll. Anenih was back in 2003 to coordinate Obasanjo’s presidential campaign.

After helping “fix” a second term for the former head of state, he became chairman of PDP BoT. While there is no doubt that the exit of the Esan high chief from an indulgence that gave him fame has really been felt, it seems that another “Mr. Fix It” has emerged on the political scene.

He is no other person than a former governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Also blessed with uncanny ability to identify political as well as electoral assets, there is no doubt that the former governor laid the foundation of the transformation that has seen Lagos – Nigeria’s former capital and commercial hub – once ranked among the filthiest cities in the world into a mega-city of repute. But, many may wonder how the man popularly referred to as Jagaban by his admirers, has been to navigate the murky waters of politics and still remains afloat over the years, when most of his contemporaries have glided into political oblivion.

The answer is not farfetched. Tinubu never saw politics as a profession for which no preparation is thought necessary.

From regional to national politics

Tinubu limited his politics to South-West, where he called the shots prior to the 2015 elections. But he reasoned after the 2011 elections that if a former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, who contested the poll on a relatively unknown platform – Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) could poll 12 million votes without much resources and national appeal; he is the man to be pushed forward for the 2015 elections.

That calculation explained his support for Buhari the APC national convention in December 2014, where he mobilized other party stakeholders and governors to ensure that the former head of state picked the then opposition party’s presidential ticket ahead of other aspirants with huge financial war chests and more established political structures.

He had before then persistently spoken of his readiness to join hands with all like-minded people to enthrone a government that will work for the generality of Nigerians no matter the cost. Perhaps, part of the cost was letting go of his grip of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which merged with Buhari’s CPC, All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), factions of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) to form the APC in 2013.

Before then, there was an attempt by Tinubu and Buhari to forge an alliance to oust the then PDP-led Federal Government in the 2011 general elections. The deal would have seen the defunct ACN under Tinubu’s leadership and Buhari’s CPC present a joint presidential candidate but it failed at the eleventh. While several factors were adduced for the botched bid, both camps later resolved to put aside the disappointment of 2011 and work for the formation of an alliance that would give PDP a run for its money in 2015. Personal interests were jettisoned this time.

This, perhaps, informed why Tinubu rejected Buhari’s offer of running mate. He reportedly turned down the offer after consultations with party chieftains on the effect of a Muslim/Muslim ticket on APC’s chances in the presidential poll. But, there could be no compensation more than allowing Tinubu to single-handedly nominate his former Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for the position of vice president.

And as true party man, he (Tinubu) did not his inability to get the vice presidential ticket to affect his resolve to see the PDP voted out of power. He was in the forefront of the Buhari campaign train, which for the first time since the former military leader started vying for the office of president in 2003, traversed the length and breadth of the country, canvassing for votes.

Many also said then that he was among the major financier of the APC presidential project. To many political observers, Tinubu was the reason for the inroad, which Buhari made in the South-West as his political dynasty spreads across the six states that make up the zone. The APC’s victory in the presidential election opened a new vista in Nigeria’s political history.For the first time, an opposition party defeated the ruling party.

Twist after polls

The belief after the inauguration of the APC led government on May 29, 2015, was that Tinubu would have the ears of the President given his contribution to party victory at the polls. It was also expected that he would have a say in the choice of party members from the South-West, who would be join the presidency in whatever capacity as he has over time demonstrated the ability to identify political as well as administrative assets.

This was however not to be as none of his ministerial choices was considered. Tinubu was said to have rooted for his former Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Wale Edun, to take charge of the Finance ministry, but Buhari looked the other way, opting for the immediate past governor of Lagos State and Tinubu’s successor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, as Lagos State representative in the federal cabinet. Another attempt to get Buhari to consider Edun, who hails from Ogun State for the state’s slot failed. Governor Ibikunle Amosun, who enjoys a close relationship with the President, resisted the move to have the top banker pick the slot.

Tinubu also failed to stop former Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi from being nominated as minister. The APC national leader was said to have rooted for one his loyalists to pick Ekiti State slot, but again, Buhari opted for Fayemi, who was Director of Policy of the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation. While Tinubu was unable to have his way with ministerial appointments, some of his loyalists however got appointed into other key positions.

They include Dr. Babatunde Fowler (Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service – FIRS); Mr. Sunday Dare (Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management, National Communications Commission – NCC); Mrs. Adejoke Orelope- Adefulire (Senior Special Assistant on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Senator Babafemi Ojudu (Special Adviser on Political Matters to the President). Edun, who missed out in the ministerial appointment, was later inaugurated as chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT), Trust Fund for Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) for the implementation of the United Nations Environmental Report (UNEP) on Ogoniland.

The politician as statesman

Despite the disappointments, Tinubu’s support for the Buhari presidency never wavered. Like a statesman, he demonstrated that what preoccupies his mind is not the security of his seat, but that of the nation. This, he did through continuous expression of support for the administration even when most Nigerians started losing confidence in its ability to deliver on electioneering promises.

The support, notwithstanding, the APC national leader however ruffled some feathers last year, when he reportedly declared that he would run for the presidency in 2019. Speaking during the inauguration of Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu as governor of Ondo State, Tinubu said he will not rule out the possibility of running for the office of president, but emphasised that it will only happen if there is a vacancy in the presidency. His words: “You see there is nothing wrong with such ambition. It depends on the timing and the environment and what political leadership dictates.

I will not brush aside such an aspiration. It has been historical even that Buhari tried first, second, third, and fourth before he got it. “Resilience, determination, and clarity of purpose; maybe as a senator, maybe as a president, you cannot rule it out. How can I rule such a thing out, the opportunity to service my country, but you only do that when there is a vacancy.” Noting that there is no way he will reject an opportunity to serve the country, he averred: “How can I rule such a thing out, the opportunity to service my country? But you only do that when there is a vacancy.”

Expectedly, meanings were read into his statement. While some insinuated that he has already set machinery in motion to vie for the country’s top job, others said he is likely dump the ruling party for another platform to actualise his ambition. But, Tinubu, swiftly came out to debunk the claim, saying he would rather support President Buhari. He said those, who misconstrued his comment to mean that he will contest the 2019 presidential election are out to pitch him against President Buhari.

“As long as that patriotic and committed man named Muhammadu Buhari holds and seeks to hold the mantle as our president, then Asiwaju Tinubu stands behind him in unwavering support and confidence. “Asiwaju Tinubu remains faithful to the mission of progressive reform and change that President Buhari, he and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have started.

Tinubu was instrumental in the formation and success of the APC. His toil and efforts helped establish this government. He is not one to tear down something he laboured so dutifully to build,” a statement from his media office said.

Tinubu walks his talk

While some analysts reasoned then that Tinubu may have sold a dummy to test the political waters ahead of the 2019 general elections, a political school opined that it would be fool-hardy for the Buhari camp to accept the former Lagos governor’s rebuttal for its face value.

Members of this school pointed to Tinubu’s political sagacity and ability to read situations to know when to throw his hat to the ring. But despite the haze, the APC national leader insisted that he remained committed to the Buhari administration.

He stuck to his word that he has not held any meetings for any such presidential campaign and is not contemplating any such meetings, saying that “it makes no sense that he would abandon the party that he worked hard to build in order to enter the dilapidated building the PDP has become.”

The APC national leader put paid to the rumoured ambition and perception of a rift between him and the President in October last year, when they met in the State House, Abuja at the eve of the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party. Tinubu, after close to an hour meeting with Buhari, described the perception of a rift between them as “fake news.”

He reiterated that he has confidence in the President and his meeting with him was fruitful and productive. He added that the claim of the existence of a cabal in the presidency was mere gossip. To buttress his claim of a smooth relationship with Buhari, Tinubu, who said he had never shied away from expressing his mind and even rebelling when necessary, added that APC was on course.

“I just met with the president. Our discussion was fruitful, productive and it was about the country and leadership as a whole. And that got him excited and happy,” he said. On the speculations that he was not in good terms with the President and dissatisfied with the way things were being handled by the presidency, including being sidelined by the so-called “cabal,” he said: “Fake news.

I have confidence in this President. There is no doubt about that. We worked hard to bring about this government.” He added: “There are certain things that are unpredictable and those are things that can lean themselves to gossip, insinuations and all of that. But, once you create leadership and it is functioning, you don’t have to baby-sit that leadership unless there is a loss of confidence and I don’t have that. “You know me, I’m not known to shy away from speaking my mind and rebelling if it is necessary and taking charge of things that I believe are necessary. What is the myth in this leadership thing? What is this cabal? It’s a myth.

We are the party of the people, for the people and by the people and this is a democratic environment. “Each of us has our roles to play and that is why we are playing it. I don’t believe in the myth. I believe in confidence building, the trust that we have in the president. In the journey of democracy, you are going to have twists and turns. You are going to have conflicts.

The conflict resolution mechanism is inbuilt in how you handle your party and the governance. “Can you go back to 16 years of the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party)? The APC government is on course and will remain on course and we will remain focused on those necessary things pertaining to development, welfare and progress of our people. “It is not easy to face the challenges and the well that was dug – the sinkhole that we inherited – we are sorting that one out gradually.

So, with a few steps, we will find happiness and development in the future of our country.” When asked about the clamour by some groups that he should support Buhari’s re-election, Tinubu said: “Do not discuss that with me.” Tinubu was later to accompany the President to the 5th European Union-African Union Summit in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, late November.

Rescue mission as party’s goodwill dwindles

No doubt that Tinubu was sidelined by the government he helped to put in place, but as the euphoria that greeted the Buhari administration erodes given the fact that it is yet to turn things around as it promised, he has been called to duty once more. With cost of living on the rise, most Nigerians are finding it increasing hard to meet their basic needs.

This has forced even those who supported the APC in the last elections to kick-start the campaign for an alternative ahead of the 2019 elections. Among APC’s friends turn foes include former President Olusegun Obasanjo; ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar; fiery preacher and Buhari’s running mate in the 2011 presidential election, Pastor Tunde Bakare; Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sunusi II; Enugu based Catholic priest, Rev Father Ejike Mbaka; former presidential candidate and professor of Political Economy and Pat Utomi. Obasanjo, for instance, not only carpeted Buhari for non performance, but told him to go home and rest instead of contesting the 2019 presidential election.

In a special statement titled “The way out: A clarion call for Coalition for Nigeria Movement,” the former president said Buhari has already given his best and should consider a deserved rest instead of running for Presidency again. His words: “The lice of poor performance in government – poverty, insecurity, poor economic management, nepotism, gross dereliction of duty, condonation of misdeed – if not outright encouragement of it, lack of progress and hope for the future, lack of national cohesion and poor management of internal political dynamics and widening inequality – are very much with us today.

“President Buhari needs a dignified and honourable dismount from the horse. He needs to have time to reflect, refurbish physically and recoup and after appropriate rest, once again, join the stock of Nigerian leaders whose experience, influence, wisdom and outreach can be deployed on the side line for the good of the country.

“His place in history is already assured. Without impaired health and strain of age, running the affairs of Nigeria is a 25/7 affair, not 24/7. “I only appeal to brother Buhari to consider a deserved rest at this point in time and at this age. I continue to wish him robust health to enjoy his retirement from active public service. President Buhari does not necessarily need to heed my advice. But whether or not he heeds it, Nigeria needs to move on and move forward.”

The former president was joined by former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, though a chieftain of the PDP to insist that Buhari must leave office in 2019. Babangida, who reflected on the state of the nation in a statement titled “Towards a national rebirth,” said: “In the fullness of our present realities, we need to cooperate with President Muhammadu Buhari to complete his term of office on May 29, 2019 and collectively prepare the way for a new generation of leaders to assume the mantle of leadership of the country.”

Fear of the unknown spurs reconciliation committee

With pressure coming from respectable former leaders and the internal wrangling in the APC, at a time President Buhari is set to declare his re-election bid, the option open to the ruling party is to first put its house in order. This may have informed why the President opted for Tinubu to head the APC National Reconciliation Committee, which he charged to resolve disagreements among party members, party leadership and political office holders in some states of the federation. A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President, Garba Shehu, which announced the committee, read in part:

“As part of on-going efforts to improve cohesion within the APC, President Muhammadu Buhari has designated Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to lead the consultation, reconciliation and confidence building efforts. The assignment will involve resolving disagreements among party members, party leadership and political office holders in some states of the federation.”

The master strategist at work

While many have cautioned Tinubu to be wary of being used and dumped for the second time, the APC national leader believes that as a loyal party man, he is duty bound to answer his party’s call to duty at all times. Against this backdrop, he has already hit the ground running in his assignment, which the APC leadership described as a welcome development, and requires one with a great deal of political skills and experience to handle. The APC national leader, who at a meeting with the party’s NWC members in Abuja last week, acknowledged that the goodwill the party enjoys among Nigerians is dwindling, however assured that his committee will seek opinions and advices on the various complaints in some of the troubled state chapters of the APC to reconcile aggrieved members and reposition the party.

His words: “We worked hard to victory, we have never governed before, but we won the confidence of Nigerians to govern. We have a desire to really serve the country to change and reform the country; it is not easy to have those changes implemented.

Like instant coffee, we have to grow it, we have to face challenges. “I sympathize with us and wish we equally look at ourselves, since we won the elections, the expectation was very high and the goodwill was extremely high, but where are we today?” He explained why the government and the party seemed not to have made much impact, saying:

“The challenges faced by the government and the president are enormous. It is only because people are not paying attention to the various statistics that are available. We have to push that, but I won’t touch that yet. The challenges of reform and re-engineering of the finances of this country, stopping corruption and challenging the status quo is there, it doesn’t go away over night.”

Taking the fight to the opposition

Tinubu is not stopping at reconciling aggrieved members of the APC and ensuring that the party goes into the 2019 elections as a united house, he is taking the battle to the doorsteps of those opposed to Buhari’s re-election. Reacting to Obasanjo and Babangida’s opposition to Buhari second term bid, he advised the former leaders to join what he described as the “retirees club” and be collecting pensions.

He spoke with State House correspondents shortly after he and a former interim chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande, met the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. While saying he does not address “those shadows,” the former Lagos State governor also urged Obasanjo and Babangida to allow the present crop of leaders to move the country forward.

His words: “I don’t address those shadows. We should let our former presidents join retirees’ club and take pensions, but they can participate in our politics if they are interested. It is a free world but this freedom is not served a la carte.

They should allow us to move our country forward. It is a challenge to every Nigerian.” Despite the challenges he admitted were facing the ruling party, Tinubu said APC would still win the 2019 elections.“You are asking me an obvious question. I belong to this party. My commitment is to this party.

We have a better chance and we are strongly determined to prosecute the elections in a most transparent and democratic manner and we will win.” On the assignment given to him by Buhari to reconcile aggrieved party members, he said: “I feel greatly honoured with the confidence that the President has reposed in me, which is a very strong political challenge. We have started in earnest. He has given me the free hand to put confidence and trust in the party. “Democracy is about conflict resolution. You can’t do it without resolving conflicts.

We can’t build it without understanding the conflicts and sources where we are coming from. But we want to leave the country with a legacy. “It’s not about Mr. President. That is what he’s telling the country. It’s about our country and no other choice to democratic tenets than through political party platforms.

He is one of those rare beings around the country and Africa, who had experienced both worlds: he fought a battle to save Nigeria and came to politics to save Nigeria. Very rare people have such an opportunity in their lifetime and that’s what we talk about legacy, and where we have all the challenges, do what we should do. I am enjoying the challenges so far.”

No doubt, Tinubu, has fought and won many political battles, but Nigerians are waiting to see how the APC leader will navigate the political the space once more to ensure victory for his party and most especially, President Buhari in the 2019 elections, as many believe that the APC abandoned the principle on which it rode to power.

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