A national leader of the All Progressive Congress Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday said if he were as ambitious as the Peoples Democratic Party portrays him to be, he would have broken up the party.
Mr. Tinubu said he pulled out of the race for the vice presidential ticket of the APC voluntarily, for the sake of the party.
The PDP campaign organisation had also accused Mr. Tinubu of signing a pact with the party’s vice presidential candidate, Yemi Osinbajo, that should the party win the March 28 election, he (Osinbajo) will step down for Mr. Tinubu six months into their administration.
The APC, Messrs. Tinubu and Osinbajo denied the claim.
Speaking Wednesday at the 7th annual Bola Tinubu colloquium, held at Eko hotel in Lagos, Mr. Tinubu said the coming together of the APC and the emergence of both its presidential and vice presidential candidates sent warning signals to the ruling PDP.
“They attacked General Buhari, saying he would not subject himself to a primary. He did and won it as our party held the most open and transparently honest convention ever held in Nigeria,” he said.
“They said I connived and conspired my way into the VP seat. They lied so easily that it was the price I extracted from General Buhari to support his bid. If not, I would destroy the party on the altar of my ambitions.
“They were wrong. I pulled myself out of contention. The very brilliant and capable Professor Yemi Osinbajo became our VP candidate. A man of integrity and impeccable character. Alas, this sent Jonathan’s henchmen into disarray. In the quiet of their private closet, even they could see clearly enough through the darkness of their own hearts to recognize that our ticket was so much better than theirs,” he said.
Mr. Tinubu berated the Goodluck Jonathan administration for Nigeria’s security challenges, economic woes, and lack of good governance.
“They hold office yet have abandoned governance. They hold power but have no good idea about the use of it. They lost over 200 of our daughters to Boko Haram. They lost part of our territory also. While they lay a heavy hand on the opposition, the Chibok girls remain lost and Boko Haram continues to terrorize our people.
“They are lost because they are blind and blind because they have already lost. Instead of allowing the nation to choose a leadership that would rescue them and us all, they would rather that all become as lost as they are. Thus, on the eve of elections last month February, they postponed the exercise. They claimed security as their excuse. We know better. For Jonathan, an election held on February 14 would have been an election lost.
“He would have made history he did not intend: Our first incumbent president defeated in an election. He would join the club of wealthy leaders who left no legacy for their people. I say here and now that the postponement merely gave him a six-week stay of electoral defeat. That is all he accomplished,” said Mr. Tinubu.
He alleged that Mr. Jonathan bribed religious clerics and traditional rules to sway them to his side.
“They have thrown money at Christian and Muslim clerics, attempting to buy two great faiths as if they were two cheap commodities. As such, they have attempted to turn our houses of worship into open dens of corruption. They have dangled money in the face of our traditional fathers believing their conscience is for sale. Many have been brave enough to cohere to the nobility of their office more than worry about the expansion of their bank accounts.
“They have corrupted some civil society groups and organizations to engage in violent protest against the electoral process and the use of the card readers. They oppose the card reading machine because the instruments foil their customary avenues of vote rigging. Jonathan‘s team has already read the writing on the wall should these machines be used. They would be handed a defeat so resounding that they would begin to fight among themselves believing that each betrayed the other,” Mr. Tinubu said.
The erstwhile governor noted that he was not afraid of being arrested as speculated in the media. He held that he will not be silence by arrest.
“You may arrest me and others but you cannot arrest an idea whose time has come. The time for a common sense revolution has come to Nigeria. In calling for a common sense revolution, I do not advocate violence. I abhor it. That is not the type of revolution we seek, this revolution is strong but peaceful. It is a revolution to use our votes to throw out ineffective leaders. It is a demand for a true electoral democracy and the responsive leadership associated with it. It is a revolution to rescue us from violence, injustice and poverty”.
He said that an APC led federal government will jumpstart the economy with its own fiscal and monetary space while also ensuring that corruption in the oil sector stops by ensuring that the books of the NNPC is well audited and made known to the public.