President Muhammadu Buhari and national leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Monday, met at the presidential villa, Abuja, after which the former Lagos governor accused those talking about 2023 succession at this time as restless.
Widely touted as having presidential ambition himself in the coming general election, Tinubu told State House correspondents after the closed-door meeting that any lover of the country cannot be talking about a succession plan.
Asked for his perspective on APC zoning for 2023, he said: “That time is not now. We have just finished one election and Mr President is busy sorting out the Budget, working for the people of this country.
“Of course, restlessness of politics is going to be there, but any lover of this country will not talk about the succession plan yet. That’s the truth.
“Concentrate on working for the country, help the President to help the country. There’s nothing more than that.
“We cannot use 365 days in a year and 360 degrees to work on politics. It’s not possible.
“Anybody talking about that now is just completely restless and not focused on the agenda of nation-building and development of our country.”
Tinubu informed that he was at the presidential villa to visit the president and “look at things” with him and as well “make some points on the stability, security and a number of issues around the country.”
On Buhari’s recent assurance not to seek a third term, Tinubu affirmed that the president was not the type to tamper with the nation’s constitution to accommodate a third tenure.
He added: “Any reasonable politician, who had worked with President Muhammadu Buhari will know that he will not (seek a third term).
“Distractors are always suspicious and will make accusations, but I was in the trench, in the struggle for democracy. I was in the trench and in the opposition with Muhammadu Buhari, till the Third Term agenda of a former leader of this country failed.
“I know he will never. He has the courage and the character to refuse such temptation even if offered to him. I believe in him and I believe Nigerians should also believe in him.
“He doesn’t need to say it to me, I’ll argue it in the corner and everywhere they bring such a thing up.
“However, it’s very good to hear it from him. I say congratulations to a man of character and integrity.
“The challenge of turning the ship of this nation around is a continuum and a continuous effort and that is what we should get ourselves concerned with.
“Yes, politics is intoxicating, it’s flamboyant, it’s interesting, but we cannot continue in perpetuity one after the other.
“We have to relax, show concern for the people of the country and see to the efforts of the President that will manifest in the new, united and prosperous country. We are still not there.”