By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader and frontline presidential aspirant, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said he led the political struggle that produced President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
Tinubu stated this at the Presidential Lodge in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, on Thursday, while addressing APC delegates ahead of the party’s presidential primaries.
The former Lagos State Governor also categorically said he nominated Prof Yemi Osinbajo as Buhari’s running mate in 2015.
Tinubu, who was accompanied by Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo- Olu; his Kano State counterpart, Umar Ganduje; and former Borno State Governor, Sen. Kassim Shettima, said he was making the revelations for the first time in Ogun State, the home state of Osinbajo, who is also one of those jostling for the APC presidential ticket.
He said Buhari had offered him a running mate ticket, but some blocs rose against, fanning the ember of Muslim–Muslim ticket.
The former governor also said when he was asked to submit three names for running mate, he pencilled down Dr Yemi Cardoso, Mr Wale Edun and 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.
Speaking on Buhari’s emergence, he said: “If not me that led the war front, Buhari wouldn’t have emerged. He contested first, second and third time, but lost. He even said on television that he won’t contest again.
“But I went to his home in Katsina, I told him you would contest and win, but you won’t joke with the matters of the Yorubas. Since he has emerged I have not been appointed minister. I didn’t get contract.
“This time, it’s Yoruba turn and in Yorubaland, it’s my time” he said.
Tinubu also said without God and him, Governor Dapo Abiodun would not have emerged as the party’s candidate in 2019.
“Dapo that’s sitting down here, could he have become governor without me? We were at the stadium, they tore all his posters. Even the party’s flag, they didn’t want to hand it over to him, I was the one who brought it.
“If he wants to meet God at the right place, he must know that without God and me, he would not have become governor,” Tinubu said.
Speaking, Abiodun, who had earlier declared his support for Osinbajo’s candidature, refused to endorse Tinubu.
He said delegates from the state would do “the right thing” at the convention.
Abiodun described Tinubu as a political warrior, serial winner and strategist.