National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has blamed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the recent troubling reports on former Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State.
Fashola had been hit by several reports of financial recklessness and abuse of office, some of which were reports that he spent N78.3million of taxpayers’ money on his personal website, www.tundefashola.com and N139m to construct two boreholes at the Lagos House, Ikeja, when he was governor.
Speculations were rife that the reports were being sponsored by Tinubu as part of efforts to discredit him and deny him the opportunity of being appointed a minister by President Muhammadu Buhari.
But in a statement issued by his media office on Wednesday, Tinubu distanced himself from the reports, saying that they were being sponsored by the PDP.
The statement partly read, “The PDP is just recently out of office at the federal level and it built a vast, unprecedented financial war chest to contest the elections. The residual of that war chest is still at work, buying media space to plant rumours in hopes of spreading discord through the APC.
“Thus, the enemy camp may be a minority but it is a large and well-funded one that knows it only chance lies in us attacking ourselves.”
Tinubu condemned those calling for Fashola’s probe, saying that any criticism of Fashola was an indictment on him because he was instrumental to making Fashola governor.
He said: “Our political opponents now try to steal victory when their only entitlement is resounding defeat. Having fared woefully with the electorate, their game plan is to sow discord within the ranks of the party the people had chosen to lead them. The PDP hopes to strike a division in the APC, in that way weakening us and our ability to govern.
“This brings me to recent developments in the Lagos political scene. Born of this motley stew is the recent gossip mongering that I have wilfully instigated false and negative reports against former Governor Fashola to thwart him from being appointed to a major post in the Buhari administration.
“I want to declare clearly and categorically that these rancid attacks do not come from me nor do I endorse them. Neither my hand nor my heart is in these mean submissions. I deplore them.
“An attack against the performance of Governor Fashola is indirectly an attack against me and the edifice of achievements we have constructed in leading Lagos State out of a protracted time of stagnation and into an era of sustained progress and development.”
He said he and Fashola will forever remain close because they had struggled together.
He said having ensured that his party retained Lagos for over 16 years, it would be unwise of him to pull down what he helped build.
He added, “I for one will not bend to the artificial provocation of those seeking to tear at what we have painstakingly built over the years. In my mind, Governor Fashola and I alliance is unshakeable and our journey must not be interrupted. I would no more attack his character or his administration than I would attack myself.”