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Dialogue: Presidency slams Tinubu

By The Rainbow

The Presidency has responded to the view expressed by a former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju  Bola Tinubu, on the proposed national conference, saying that it was not representative of the position  of the Yoruba people on the conference.

The Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan  on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, at  a news conference  in Abuja on Monday said that Tinubu only spoke for himself.

The former Lagos governor, who is also the national leader of All progressive Peoples Congress (APC), had on arrival from overseas medical treatment on October 5, 2013 had   described the national dialogue   as  'a Greek gift   and an act of public deception' which  was    ill-timed because of its closeness to the forthcoming 2015 elections.

Okupe dismissed Tinubu's reaction to the conference as not well-thought out, saying that it did not in any way represent the view of the Yoruba leaders who have been the most consistent advocate of a soverign national conference.

The presidential aide said  the  comment  of the former governor   was  roundly opposed , rejected and condemned by a clear majority of Nigerian people, especially   the  'authentic Yoruba leadership' in the South-West.

He  said, 'It is therefore clear and unarguable that whatever position the APC Leader holds on the issue of the national conference does not represent the views of the majority of Yoruba people in the South-West.'

Okupe dismissed  Tinubu's assertion that there was an ulterior motive for the conference was surely conjectural and speculative, adding that   such a position had no foundations in any reasoning or logic.

According to him,   it is wrong for Tinubu to cite the non-implementation of the Justice  Muhammed Uwais committee recommendations on electoral reforms as a basis for his action.

He said  the conduct of governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states, where the ruling Peoples Democratic Party lost to the opposition, was hailed by the majority of Nigerians, including Tinubu.

'One therefore wonders the mischief that Tinubu intended to play by the alleged non-implementation of reports of the Justice Uwais committee on electoral reforms,' Okupe added.

On whether the President would be bold enough to implement the outcome of the conference, Okupe said this was the first time a Federal Government took a bold initiative to call for a national conference without   'no-go-areas.'

In order to realise this, he said the President had given the advisory committee headed by Senator Femi Okurounmu  the power to determine its nature and or structure.

Okupe also dismissed the claim by Tinubu that the President was organising the conference at a time the PDP was embroiled in internal crises.

He said, 'The APC leader, as usual, is completely off target. Desperate politicians and self-seeking political leaders tend to believe that their quest for power or insatiable appetite for wealth accumulation through politics is superior to the genuine desires and innate aspiration of the ordinary Nigerians.

'While the Tinubus of this world focus only on the 2015 general elections, most patriotic ordinary Nigerians are more concerned with the emergence of a united  country  based on equity and justice .'

Okupe said urged Nigerians to ignore 'the vituperation of the so-called leaders who don't see anything good in anyone or any programme except they are either in control   or that it is tailored to satisfy their inordinate desires and greed.'