Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has said that his visit to the Presidential Villa on Monday offered him the opportunity to formally inform President Muhammadu Buhari of his presidential ambition in 2023.
Tinubu, who spoke after a closed -door meeting with Buhari at the State House, Abuja, said though he made his intention known to the President, he would continue to consult with Nigerians.
He dismissed the assertion that ”a kingmaker cannot become a king”, saying he would like to takeover from President Buhari in 2023 to continue with the good works of the ruling APC.
Addressing the State House Press Corps, Tinubu said: “I’ve informed the President of my intention but I have not informed Nigerians yet. I’m still consulting. And I have no problem consulting. And I’ve not set a parameter or limitation to the extent of how many people will I consult. You will soon hear, all you want to hear is the categorical declaration. You’ve gotten that truth from me that I have informed Mr. President of my ambition, and you don’t expect more answers than that.”
When asked about Buhari’s response, Tinubu said: “That’s our business. He is a democrat. He didn’t ask me to stop. He didn’t ask me not to attempt and pursue my ambition. It is a lifelong ambition. So, why do I expect him to say more than that? You are running a democratic dispensation, and you must adopt the principles and the values and the virtues of democracy. That’s it.”
The former governor of Lagos State refused to be dragged into discussing groups campaigning for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, and Governor Yahaya Bello.
He said, “I don’t want to discuss individuals now. I must discuss myself. I have the confidence, the vision, the capacity to rule, build on the foundation of Mr. President, and turn Nigeria better. I’ve have done that with commitment and unyielding you know, in Lagos State. You’ve seen that experience and the capacity to turn things around and that is what we are doing.
“You know, the confusion, the drift of the past in PDP is being corrected. And you can’t take away from that. As we are today, go back to the data on how many barrels of oil were we producing when we first came in and what it is today. We cannot even at the time we came in, we did not pay the counterpart funds to start our rail line.
“Today you enjoy the comfort of having rail from Lagos to Ibadan, you have the Kaduna and you have the one for Kano State on the aggressive pipeline, you see excellent infrastructure.
“I just came from Azare and I have seen good roads, the carnage of dying on motor vehicles is reducing …. Let us think back, let us be intellectually inquisitive as to the past and the present and what the future holds for Nigeria.”
When asked about his view on the direct primary saga in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, he replied: “First of all, the National Assembly and the President must be encouraged to review and review again. Whatever they come up with electoral amendment is what we must comply with. There is no unlimited elasticity in what we face, because we have to plan and plan well, and be able to manage the time effectively.
“The great roadmap to success is ability of a leader to do what he must do at the right time that it should be done. So, that to me, the electoral amendment (bill) we will still look at that collectively. And it is our country. It’s our democracy. We had adopted it and we will push it rigorously.”
Why not remain a kingmaker? Tinubu said, “About the cap of kingmaker. I’ve never seen the cap of a kingmaker before. That is the truth. And I’ve never seen where it is written in the rule book anywhere in any country that a kingmaker cannot be a king unless you commit murder. So, whatever is your attribute is your own opinion.
“Me, I want to pursue my ambition without the title of a kingmaker. You can write your literature and your story based upon your own perception.” (With reporting by NAN)
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