The National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has dismissed the rumoured presidential ambition, saying he has not made any decision to run for president in 2023 presidential election.
The former governor of Lagos State in a statement he personally signed entitled, ’’Becoming The Party We Were Intended To Be’’, said contrary to opinions of many Nigerians that the dissolution of the National Working Committee led by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) had dealt serious blows to his presidential ambition he is more concerned about the present challenges rocking the country, especially the ravaging coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout.
Tinubu who said President Muhammadu Buhari has done what any parent in his position and with his authority would do, urged all party members to abide by the president’s decisions irrespective of the sacrifices Mr. President’s pronouncement had imposed on them.
He said, ‘’To those who have been actively bleating how the President’s actions and the NEC meeting have ended my purported 2023 ambitions, I seek your pity. I am but a mere mortal who does not enjoy the length of foresight or political wisdom you profess to have. Already, you have assigned colourful epitaphs to the 2023 death of an alleged political ambition that is not yet even born.
‘’At this extenuating moment with COVID-19 and its economic fallout hounding us, I cannot see as far into the distance as you. I have made no decision regarding 2023 for the concerns of this hour are momentous enough.
‘’During this period, I have not busied myself with politicking regarding 2023. I find that a bit distasteful and somewhat uncaring particularly when so many of our people have been unbalanced by the twin public health and economic crises we face. I have devoted these last few months to thinking of policies that may help the nation in the here and now. What I may or may not do three years hence seems too remote given present exigencies.
‘’Those who seek to cast themselves as political Nostradamus’ are free to so engage their energies. I trust the discerning public will give the views of such eager seers the scant weight such divination warrant.
‘’Personally, I find greater merit trying to help in the present by offering policy ideas, both privately and publicly, where I think they might help. I will continue in this same mode for the immediate future. 2023 will answer its own questions in due time.
‘’I have toiled for this party as much as any other person and perhaps more than most. Despite this investment or perhaps due to it, I have no problem with making personal sacrifices (and none of us should have such a problem) as long as the party remains true to its progressive, democratic creed. Politics is but a vehicle to arrive at governance. Good politics promotes good governance. Yet, politics is also an uncertain venture. No one gets all they want all the time. In even a tightly-woven family, differences and competing interests must be balanced and accommodated.
‘’My fellow party members who now feel aggrieved by the NEC meeting I urge you to accept the sacrifice you have been asked to make so that the air can be cleared, the party can assume its proper role of helping this government lead the nation toward enlightened improvement, and the party itself can grow and firmly establish itself as the best, most democratic party in the land.’’
Tinubu further averred that, with the numerous lawsuits President Buhari has reasonably decided that he has seen enough.
He added that, ‘’I do not lament his intervention or its outcome. I lament that the situation degenerated to the point where he felt compelled to intervene.
‘’President Buhari is much more than a mere beneficiary of the party. He is one of its founding fathers. The APC does not exist in its current form without his singular contributions. That is not opinion; it is undisputed fact.
‘’Given these antecedents, he cares about the condition of the party as any parent would care for its offspring. President Buhari has done what any parent in his position and with his authority would do. The more troubling consideration is that so many trusted people acted in such a way as to force the president to put aside the issues of statecraft in order to address these problems.
‘’The President has spoken and his decision has been accepted. It is now beholden on all of us, as members of the APC, to recommit ourselves to the ideals and principles on which our party was founded. While we recognize that people have personal ambitions, those ambitions are secondary, not sacrosanct. Members must subordinate their ambitions to the health and well-being of the party. Never should our party be defined by one person’s interests or even the amalgam of all members’ individual interests. A successful party must be greater than the sum of its parts.’’
He appealed to all former members of the National Working Committee and all members of the party to sheathe their swords and look to the larger picture.
According to him, ‘’We have governorship elections around the corner in Edo and a primary and elections in Ondo. On these important events we must concentrate our immediate energies. In the longer run, we must restore the collegial nature to the party so that it should be in the practice of coming to support the President instead of him having to rescue the party from itself.
‘’In Edo, we must rally round our candidate Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu. In this, Comrade Oshiomhole has a crucial role to play. I congratulate him for his equanimity and loyalty to the party and our President in accepting the dissolution of the NWC. I encourage him, now, to return to Edo State to energise the campaign for the election of Pastor Ize-Iyamu.
‘’In Ondo, we must set the procedures for primaries and conduct that exercise in a fair, transparent manner that shows the Nigerian people the party has left turmoil behind.
‘’In addition to the daily operation of the party, the Caretaker Committee has the mandate to prepare for a mini national convention within six months. We must give the committee the support needed to fulfil this assignment in an impartial manner.
‘’As I understand it, no one has been precluded from seeking any party office to which he is otherwise eligible. Former NWC members are free to seek re-election to the NWC. Provided they have the support of party members, they will have an opportunity to return to serve the party in a leadership capacity. This reflects our overriding desire to restore and maintain internal democracy not subvert it.’’