Presidential aspirant and national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, says he has great respect for the President, Muhammadu Buhari, and he will never denigrate him.
Tinubu said this in a statement personally signed by him on Friday, just a day after declaring openly in Abeokuta, Ogun State, that without his efforts Buhari would never have become President in 2015.
Tinubu, who was in Ogun State to solicit support of party members for his presidential ambition, recalled how Buhari had, out of frustration, broken down in tears on television, declaring he was done trying to become President after failing for the third time.
“If not me that led the war front, Buhari would not have emerged. He contested first, second and third times, but lost. He even wept on television, declaring that he would not contest again.
“But I went to his home in Katsina; I told him you would contest and win, but ‘you would not joke with Yoruba matters’.
“Since he has emerged, I have not been appointed minister. I didn’t get a contract.
“This time, it’s the Yoruba’s turn and in Yorubaland, it’s my tenure,” Tinubu had declared.
His declaration had gone viral, generating controversies.
But in his statement on Friday, titled, “I have high regard and respect for President Buhari,” Tinubu blamed the controversies trailing his comment on alleged willful misrepresentation of what he said by his political opponents, who “hopes that such a narrative would convince President Buhari to oppose my aspirations regarding the approaching primary.”
Tinubu said his Thursday’s statement, in which he also disclosed that he nominated Prof Yemi Osinbajo as Buhari’s running mate, was so that “truth and accuracy may have a chance.”
He said, “It is important that people truly know what I said and where I stand. Whatever view you have of me is within your right to make. But let it be based on truth and not on falsehood or reckless exaggeration.
“There have been gross misinterpretations in some sections of the media regarding comments I made on Thursday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. To a degree, the erroneous interpretations may be somewhat innocent, given that I spoke in Yoruba. Those who do not understand the nuances of this richly-layered and subtly language may have inadvertently, yet erroneously, missed the true meaning of what I said while attempting to translate my statement.
“Instead of weighing what I said carefully, they translated so quickly and thus inaccurately in an attempt to meet media deadlines. Of course, there are also those who knew better but they conveyed these inaccuracies because the sensationalism suits their political purposes.”
Tinubu said, contrary to the expectation of his adversaries, he believed that as an experienced and accomplished leader, Buhari would not be taken by the tricks of his opponents.
“Let me also erase any doubt. My respect and regard for President Buhari as Commander-in-Chief of this nation and as a person are high and unfailing. I shall never denigrate him.
“I certainly did not do so in Abeokuta. We have been political partners for a long time and I hope that our partnership continues well into the future. I would do nothing to jeopardise it. I believe our party is the best hope for the nation to right itself. I believe I have a future role larger than the one I now have. I also believe President Buhari has a continuing and important role to play even after his tenure as president is over,” Tinubu added. (Punch)