All Progressives Congress, APC chieftain Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu finally broke his silence on the gale of defections rocking the political atmosphere of the country.
Speaking on the defections yesterday, Tinubu alleged that the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal quit the APC because of President Buhari.
Tinubu alleged that most of the defectors had wanted automatic tickets for the upcoming 2019 General elections on the platform of the APC which the party could not guarantee.
Tinubu further said individuals who had predicted the disintegration of the party due to the defections it had suffered were in for a huge disappointment as their forecasts were premised on bitterness and not objective analysis.
He reiterated that governance should not be reduced to electoral calculations based on who controls the majority in the National Assembly because Nigerians were more concerned about the quality of governance in the country,
“We are locked in battle to define the future of this nation and the quality of its governance. This battle pits one party, the APC, with all its imperfections, that seeks national reforms against another party, the PDP, which symbolises the perfection of the most selfish designs of the most selfish politicians among us.” He said, further adding that individuals with presidential ambitions within the APC left the party because they were afraid of facing the incumbent at the party primaries.
Tagging his statement on the defections, “They go away because we go the right way”, Tinubu said the former APC members embraced the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP because they have been promised automatic tickets, offices and privileges.
He further said that the defectors were not interested in political and governance reforms that are critical to the liberation of Nigeria from the tenement of global poor.
Firing salvos at Tambuwal, Tinubu said his ambition was motivated by a personal ambition predicated on the defeat of the progressive reform and not its advancement.
“Governor Tambuwal’s exit can be distilled to one cause. He covets the presidency. However, he had not the stomach to challenge President Buhari in a primary. Tambuwal felt further insulted that he would be compelled to face a direct primary just to retain the governorship nomination.
But for the promise made by PDP hardliners like Rivers State Governor Wike that he would have the PDP presidential nomination, Tambuwal would not have left. His exit had nothing to do with governance of the nation. It was about forging a personal ambition predicated on the defeat of progressive reform, not the advancement of it.” Tinubu Stressed.
Tinubu then focused on Senate President Bukola Saraki saying he found it strange that the Senate President attributed his exit of the APC to lack of governance in a government where he wielded power and influence as the number three citizen.
He said the Senate President had concentrated on activities that fuelled his selfish designs, instead of progressive enactments that could place the country on the path to progress.
Speaking further on Saraki, Tinubu said
“He harbours dreams of the presidency, but Tambuwal’s ambition will dwarf Saraki’s when the two collide. If Saraki had remained in the APC, he would be unable to reclaim his Senate seat, let alone the Senate Presidency. He thus bolted because he lusts for the presidency, but was promised by the PDP, at least, a return to his position in the Senate.
For Saraki to talk about lack of governance is for him to deny who he is and the position he holds; the man stands as Nigeria’s number three citizen. Clothed is he in ample power and influence. If he saw areas where government and the nation needed help, he could have easily applied his energies to these areas. He could have drafted legislation and easily got passed.”
Dr. Saraki had said he was forced out of the APC by elements who had ensured that the minimum conditions for peace, cooperation, inclusion and a general sense of belonging did not exist within the party while speaking to his supporters in Ilorin after his defection.
Saraki had reiterated that, “All governance principles which were required for a healthy functioning of the party and the government were deliberately violated or undermined.”
Tambuwal had also told his supporters that he was defecting because the APC-led government had neglected its promise to Nigerians including the restructuring of the country as promised and as contained in the APC manifesto.
He had also added that he could not boldly point to any meaningful federal projects initiated in the state under the APC government.
Tinubu however dismissed the allegations by the former APC stalwarts,
“No progressive enactment bears his (Saraki) name, for he cared not for progress. He has been more focused on changing the rules of the Senate to favour himself and changing the order of elections so as to coincide with his selfish designs.” Tinubu said.
He also insinuated that the Buhari administration was on course in nurturing political and governance reforms that would reposition the polity.
“We steadily close the door on the old practices that have caused a rich nation to reside in the tenement of the global poor. The corruption of the past is ending; for it must end, if we are to fulfill our collective purpose. With this correction, less public money will be diverted to private benefit. More will be afforded to the causes of the people. The economy is being transformed so that the average person will have a better chance of finding a better life.”
Tinubu further accused some politicians of scheming against the collective improvement of the country which others were trying hard to achieve.
“They seek to halt progress toward a fairer nation. They seek to hold the old ways. The difference between the two parties and why some people returned to their PDP conclave must be seen in this light.” He stressed further.