Ondo Rally: Governor Lalong lied on Tinubu’s absence — Afikuyomi

Bola Tinubu
Bola Tinubu

Former Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi, a close ally of a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has refuted the claim by Plateau State Governor Solomon Lalong that the conspicuous absence of Mr. Tinubu at last Saturday’s Ondo State APC governorship rally was a result of Tinubu’s ill-health.

In a press release issued in Lagos on Tuesday, Mr. Afikuyomi described the claim credited to the Plateau State governor as absolutely incorrect.

According to Mr. Afikuyomi, “I travelled to the United States of America with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to witness the recent US elections. We traversed a number of cities together where we engaged with a number of Nigerians who are genuinely concerned about the state of affairs in our dear country. Jagaban was in a remarkable state of mental and physical wellness. When we ended our trip, I saw him off to the airport in Chicago from where he headed for Europe again. I still met with him in Europe thereafter.

“It is therefore absolutely incorrect and most embarrassing for anyone to attempt to invent such a laughable reason for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s absence at the rally. The fact that somebody went for medical check-up does not mean he is ill. In the likely event that Asiwaju, like all mortals, was ill at all, I doubt if Mr. Lalong would be the first to know by reason of relationship, proximity and trust.

“Prominent politicians like Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun have been speaking with Jagaban Tinubu. Governor Amosun particularly communicated with him a day before the Ondo rally and he can never claim not to have spoken with him. I have also remained in constant touch with Asiwaju Tinubu since my arrival in Nigeria. We speak daily as a matter of fact.

“I have been inundated with calls by friends, associates and other well-meaning Nigerians trying to ascertain the veracity of this ludicrous claim. I hereby ask all friends and lovers of Asiwaju Tinubu to dismiss the claim and know that he is hale and hearty.”

Mr. Tinubu, former APC Interim Chairman, Bisi Akande, and three governors from the South-west-Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo) and Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos), were not at the rally.

Governor Lalong had in his capacity as the Chairman of the Ondo State Governorship Campaign explained that Mr. Tinubu was absent at the rally due to ill health.

Mr. Lalong was quoted to have told State House Correspondents after visiting President Muhammadu Buhari that, “if a leader was not there and he said he was not there because of ill-health, we have prayed that God will heal him.”


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  • willian igben

    The cracks are growing wider. When they horridly put the APC together they failed to tie the knots properly. Now Asiwaju and in fact the south west, appears to be losing out in the game because the north and the man on the driving seat hold the ACE. Next time look well before you leap.

    • Charles

      Yes you are right, they hurriedly put APC together and failed to tie the knots properly and now the AC part of it has fallen in to the ocean remaining the CPC part.

  • ALBERT

    I simply do not see the mischief this statement sought to cure. Asiwaju has been absent from the two mega Ondo APC rallies for obvious reasons. In politics and for professional politicians across the world; it is either you make yourself relevant by making public appearances or you eclipse into oblivion. Democracy itself is a form of dictatorship via the ballot box in which the majority no matter how tiny will always have their way and the minority shall always have a say. Asiwaju has been an outstanding Nigerian and his contributions to the fight, defense and growth of democracy has been phenomenal. His steadfastness and doggedness and sacrifices to the emergence of APC have been applauded and recognised. Exemplary democratic leadership is our ability to accept outcomes of elections via the ballot box, The SW Governors who absented themselves from the Ondo APC primary are suffering from political immaturity and lack of foresight. The Govs of Oyo, Osun are in their second term. Rauf`s re-election witnessed the highest solidarity support from the APC family. Ambode is a first term Gov and will need the party not Tinubu`s support alone to win the party primaries and elections. How will Ambode feel if his mega rallies are boycotted by fellow Governors?

    • Charles

      believe it or not, it was a FATAL MISCALCULATION on the part of Tinubu to have gone into this alliance and the man Tinubu can tell you that, if you ask him now. the manifestation of this miscalculation will become visible in the outcome of Ondo State gub. election because CPC, sorry APC will win Ondo state without Tinubu support through the use of state apparatus and this sets the template come 2019. the three reason Buhari went into the alliance are 1) to return power to the north, 2) to return power to the north 3) to return power to the north.

      • ALBERT

        Let us set the records straight based on historical facts. 1. The APC was a merger of several political parties and forces including ACN, CPC, ANPP, faction of APGA and the New PDP which was the most formidable. . The New PDP brought on board 5 powerful PDP incumbent Governors, Speaker and an array of serving House Reps and Senators. It will be erroneous to make belief that, one tree could build a forest.

        2. It is erroneous, misleading and not taking into account our political evolution, architecture and landscape to conclude that; Buhari went into the Alliance with the sole aim of returning power to the North. AD Presidential candidates under Tinubu AD, ACN were all Northerners., Atiku and Nuhu Ribadu. Were they Southerners? Did any of them make any impression even in the in Lagos? They were handsomely beaten in the SW by Yara Adua and Jonathan respectively.

        3. Rotation of power between North and South, delineation of 6 political zones for solely political appointments and zoning were principles canvassed and adopted during the constituent Assembly organised by IBB and Abacha.

        4.In 1998, there was the consensus that, power should go to the South precisely to the SW to compensate for the botched June 12 elections. Reasons why; OLU and OLU both christian., Yoruba and from SW were the two contestants. Nigerians from the 6 political zones voted for the first time without any protestations 2 candidates from the same ethnic group and both Christians.
        5. It was also based on the rotation of power principle that, the PDP unanimously zoned the Presidency to the North in 2007. It was that spirit and understanding of rotation of power, that saw Yara Adua defeating all the 6 candidates from the SE in SE including Ojukwu, Kalu and a host of others.
        6. If Yara Adua has not died in office , the PDP would have zone the Presidency to either the SE or SS in 2015 as they have already done for 2019 elections.

        7. Buhari has been contesting elections since 2003. In 2007 he contested against Yara Adua a fellow Fulani from same state Katsina. If his sole ambition was to return power to the North, he should not have contested in 2007 against Yara Adua. He could not have also challenged Yara Adua elections at the SC. It took the intervention by way of vote of the CJN for the 2007 Presidential elections to be upheld.
        8. Nigeria is a federation and has 6 political zones and 36 states and 774 LGAs. Since 1999, Obasanjo ruled for 8 years, Yara Adua, 2 years, Jonathan 6 years. Between 1999-2015 , the south ruled for 14 years and the North for 2 years. So your vision for Nigeria is that, the South should rule eternally?

        The most popular politician in Nigeria is Buhari. He is the only politician living or death, that was able to sweep 17 states in the North with no political structure or a single senator, Governor or LG Chairman. Let Tinubu contest the 2019 Presidential elections to test his strength and popularity.

        Tinubu is simply suffering from withdrawal symptoms and has refused to appreciate the fact that, Yoruba are not subjects to anyone and have never accepted leaders being imposed on them. The APC Ondo were the first to condemn Tinubu`s interference but today, Buhari is the one being branded as the one interfering.

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  • henry

    What are you trying to achieve with this statement, do you know whether that was the alibi the man Tinubu used to explain his absence. Pls senator the twin brother of Jaganban tell us why he was not there!? Remember Tinubu had dissociated himself from all these your formation of a new party.Blessed are the peace maker for they shall be called the children of God.

  • Es3

    Let the riddles continue in the Fuji House of APC!

  • Patrick

    Where does this Distinguished Senators get resources to globetrotter? They done sponge this country finish.Leaders indeed.

  • Ola

    I don’t understand the Consternation because some Governors and so called party leaders did not attend a rally. It is only in Nigeria that we give too much credit to what is not. None of these people are actually voters in Ondo State, so what is their value.
    If you say Tinubu will help to garner vote for APC in Ondo State, think again, presently PDP has more legislatures elected from Lagos State than any other in the SW.
    What will Aregbesola tout to his credit, unpaid Salaries or uncompleted projects, Ajimobi has one of the dirtiest and pot hole ridden state capitals in this country.
    Akande has basically reitired from all these noise making.
    Let us allow the people of Ondo State decide who they want as their Governor without all these INTERLOPERS who think they have some kind of influence.

  • Truth is bitter

    Nigerian politicians are too ambitious and selfish. Tinibu wants to be controlling and collecting dues from every government, there is no spirit of sacrifice for the poor and needy or even for the common masses. It’s absolutely appalling!

  • Cleartruth

    What exactly does tinubu want? He has VP and many others. I don’t see where buhari has wronged tinubu. We can’t have two presidents in Nigeria at a time. The only offence buhari has committed against tinubu is that tinubu wants to put the whole nigeria in his pocket as he has done to Lagos, but buhari is saying NO. Tinubu, please don’t let greed kill you.

  • Babatunde Razaq

    What differenceis it in Tinubu being reported by Lalong to have been absent from the campaign ground on health ground as against being reported by Afikuyomi and to put the ‘record’ straight, just for a ‘medical check- up? Yes, there is a difference. The difference is not so much on the medical expressions but the political connotation of the two words i e ‘health and medical’ While Lalong tried to conceal what is already exposed (The rift in APC), Afikuyomi being an ally of Tinubu was not ready for such. It’s like, according to Afikuyomi, the rift is there (He even mentioned it) and by extension, the battle line is drawn already. It takes nothing from politicians to draw up analogies that suit their interests.