Bola Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says Senate President Bukola Saraki and Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, blocked his chances of becoming the running mate of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
Tinubu nominated Osinbajo when he lost the bid to be the nation’s number two citizen.
Influential APC members had argued that a Muslim-Muslim ticket would not work in the interest of the party.
In an advance copy of ‘Against the Run of Play’, a book written by Segun Adeniyi, Tinubu explained what happened in the ruling party before the election.
“What they (Saraki and others from the Peoples Democratic Party) did behind my back was wrong. We always do things as a group. By the time they joined, we were already too far ahead in our processes but we accommodated them,” he said.
“We agreed to take their state structures and subsume them into the part and they all had their opportunity to nominate the candidates of their choices for different political offices.
“But they went behind to instigate Buhari and some other people in the party against me on the pretext of religion. That was not right. They were canvassing arguments that the Christians in the north would not vote for a Muslim-Muslim ticket.”
Tinubu said on the eve of the primary, some senators and governors, who defected from the PDP to the APC, met with him to know if he had agreed to run with Buhari, but that he did told them to wait until the exercise was over.
“I told them that it was better to resolve such issue after the primaries, but they wanted to make it a condition for supporting Buhari, which, for me, was very wrong,” he said.
“I told them I could not insist on this as a condition for my support for Buhari. I felt that was not right to hold Buhari hostage in this manner.
“I believe the support that we gave was fundamental to Buhari clinching the party nomination. Without that support, a different outcome would have been most likely.”
He said el-Rufai tried to influence the emergence of Tunde Bakare, serving overseer of The Latter Rain Assembly, as Buhari’s running mate in 2015.
Bakare was Buhari running mate in 2011.
“Nasir el-Rufai was selling the same argument within the CPC (Congress for Progressive Change) because at that point, he still wanted to have Pastor Bakare brought in as Buhari’s running mate,” Tinubu said.
Efforts made to get the reactions of el-Rufai and Saraki did not yield the desired result.
In his response to TheCable’s text message, Samuel Aruwan, spokesman of the governor, said: “I have not read the book.”
Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki’s special adviser on media and publicity, could not be reached as of the time this report as filed.