By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader and frontline presidential aspirant, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has revealed how he nominated Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for the position in 2015.
Tinubu disclosed this on Thursday at the Ogun State Presidential Lodge, Abeokuta, while addressing APC delegates ahead of the party’s presidential primaries.
The APC National Leader, who was accompanied by Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje; and former Borno State Governor, Sen. Kassim Shettima, said he was talking about the issue for the first time.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari offered him the ticket to be his running mate in 2015, but some blocs rose against it, saying a Muslim–Muslim ticket won’t fly.
The former Lagos State Governor also said when he was asked to submit three names as Buhari’s running mate, he pencilled down Dr Yemi Cardoso, Mr Wale Edun and Prof Yemi Osinbajo.
He added that he later settled for Osinbajo as Buhari’s running mate.
“You have not heard this from me before. This is the first place I am saying this,” Tinubu, who addressed the delegates in Yoruba, said.
“I gave my VP right to Yemi Osinbajo in 2015.
“I had wanted to contest for President since the time of Alliance for Democracy (AD), then we formed Action Congress (AC), to Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), and now the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“What I am telling you now is between me and God Almighty. Prior to 2015 general elections, Buhari called me to be his vice president. He said because the first time he contested, he picked Chuba Okadigbo, a flamboyant politician, a Catholic, but Nigerians didn’t vote for him. The second time, he picked another Igbo, Umeh Ezeoke, Nigerians didn’t vote for him, that if he brings the Pope to run as his vice, Nigerians won’t vote for him. But you, Bola Tinubu, you have six governors, you have never lost an election before, come and be my vice.
“He knew all the calculations then favoured us, that is why he wanted me as his vice, but I told him to let us build the party first. And when we finished building the party, after we brought in people from the PDP, Saraki now saw that those from the PDP will not get anything if Buhari, a Muslim becomes the President and I, also a Muslim becomes his vice, he won’t get the Senate President because the Senate President can’t also be a Muslim, that was how they started the campaign of calumny against me.
“And I told them that I have a candidate that is a Christian that I can nominate so that the party will not break, that was how I nominated Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. I surrendered my right to him (Osinbajo).
“I was asked to submit three names, Yemi Cardoso, Wale Edun, and Yemi Osinbajo, but I told them if I submit three names, they will believe that I am not consistent and I insisted that I will present one candidate and I presented Yemi Osinbajo’s name,” Tinubu added.