Tinubu denies plot to sack Adamu, sideline party from campaign council
• Insists APC chances not threatened by PDP, LP, NNPP • Tinubu can’t claim glory for successes of Fashola, Ambode, says APC chieftain
Presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, yesterday, stormed the party’s national secretariat, known as Buhari House, in Abuja, for the first time since his emergence as the party’s flag-bearer three months ago, on June 8, for a roundtable.
The roundtable, which was earlier slated for 10:00a.m. did not commence until five hours later, where he said, there was no iota of truth in media reports that he wants the national chairman of the party, Abdullahi Adamu, removed ahead of the 2023 elections.
He was accompanied by his running mate, Kashim Shettima, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and other party chieftains, and was received by Adamu and other members of the National Working Committee (NWC).
The parley, it was gathered, was to brainstorm on strategies to be deployed for the electioneering campaign, which begins September 28, among other issues.
Speaking before the meeting went into a closed-door session, Tinubu said there was no rift between him and the national chairman, who they have come a long way and worked together, adding that issues on campaign council will be discussed at the meeting.
According to him, it is rarity to see big masquerades dance in a cage instead of the market square. Tinubu, who admitted reading his alleged cold war with Adamu in the newspapers, claimed that it was a rumour manufactured to suit a particular purpose.
He said: “To the rumour manufacturers, I read in some papers about a disagreement between the chairman and myself, and that was a very big lie. They didn’t know that we have come a long way. The big masquerade dances not in the cage but in the market square.
“And that is what Adamu used to be, full of wisdom, we were governors together, before God put us together on this project again. He is going to deliver as the chairman of the party for me to become the president of Nigeria. And I am very confident of that.
“They can say whatever they want to say, throw all the jabs that they want, we are a party strongly determined to fulfill our dreams of turning Nigeria into a very progressive, highly developed, prosperous country.”
While presenting the report of the presidential campaign council structure, he assured that the chances of APC in the 2023 poll is not in anyway threatened by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party or the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
He said: “We are not threatened. We are committed and we are very proud of ourselves, we are of an orderly manner, we are committed to democratic principles and values; we are not bickering in any way and you know that. Can you say that of the other parties? We are not spewing fake statistics and wrong figures. Can you say that of other parties? Well, we are what we are, a progressive party.
“What we came here today to do is to discuss the campaign, which is starting few days away. We are here to work out the details, work together, implement all we have been saying, who are members of the campaign council, and who will not be members. I beg you not to be angry if you are left out because we are going to give you another responsibility. Not every member here can be a member of the presidential campaign council.”
He, thereby, charged the party leadership to scrutinise the report on his campaign council and make necessary inputs to ensure the victory of the party at the polls.
On his part, Adamu said: “There was a gap in time before this meeting due to tradition and practice. We had a brief meeting before we came to the minefield. We had some briefs from the presidential candidate. These briefs are very useful and important.”
MEANWHILE, a chieftain of the party, Tunde Bank-Anthony, has said Tinubu cannot claim glory for the successful achievements by the administrations of former governors Babatunde Fashola and Akinwunmi Ambode. Bank-Anthony made this assertion, yesterday, while speaking in an interview with Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily.
He described Ambode as a performing governor, who, according to him, was yanked off and denied a second term. According to him, since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999, Ambode is the only former governor of Lagos, who was in office for a single term.
On September 4, the media office of Tinubu released a documentary unveiling and detailing his achievements when he was the governor of Lagos from 1999 to 2007.
In the 30-minute-long documentary, Tinubu described himself as an “architect, a builder, and a developer bunched into one.”
But reacting to the content of the documentary, Bank-Anthony said Tinubu is misrepresenting the truth, adding that Lagos was already established before he came to power.
He, therefore, cautioned supporters of the APC presidential candidate to stop deceiving Nigerians about Tinubu’s achievements in the state in a bid to get acceptability for their candidate.
He said before Tinubu, those who had been in charge of the state had done an exceptional job, while also noting that Tinubu’s successors as governor had done a better job than he did in eight years.
Bank-Anthony, who is the spokesman for the Concerned Lagosians, an APC group, said Fashola’s achievements as governor of the state were more visible than that of Tinubu, enjoining the supporters of the presidential candidate to anchor their campaign on something else.
Bank-Anthony said: “Our candidate now, everything he (Tinubu) is campaigning with is Lagos, as if in the last 100 years, Lagos has seen nothing like him. But we as Lagosians need to set the record straight.
“I’m almost 60 years old, grew up on the Island. I don’t remember a road on the Island that was not tarred, but the problem is that the politics they are playing now gives us a lot of concerns.
“The politics that Lagos was developed by Tinubu, who happens to be the candidate of my party is unacceptable. Lagos has always been. You call New York, you call Paris, you call London, you call Lagos. The school he (Tinubu) went to in Lagos, did he build it? Where he was born, did he build the hospital?”
He said all APC members in Lagos were on the same page in support of Tinubu’s candidacy, but insisted that his group would not be a party to the lies being peddled by the APC presidential candidate’s supporters.
However, Wole Badmus, the Executive Director of South West Grand Alliance for Tinubu-Shettima 2023, while speaking on the programme, argued that Tinubu became the governor of the state when infrastructure was decaying, adding that the infrastructural decay in Lagos forced the Federal Government to move Nigeria’s capital to Abuja.
While insisting that Tinubu transformed Lagos, he stressed that Fashola, Ambode and Sanwo-Olu were all products of Tinubu’s school of thought.
He said Tinubu’s 25-year blueprint for Lagos is being implemented to date, pointing out that it was not out of place to give him the credit for the successes being recorded in the state to date.