OBJ, PDP Killed CPC/ACN Alliance Talks - Tinubu; Says Fashola Has No Business Appointing Commissioners
LAGOS, Feb 24, (THEWILL) - Former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu today described how former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) frustrated the alliance talks between the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).
Tinubu also stated that it is the sole responsibility of the ACN to appoint cabinet members into the Lagos State Executive Council adding that state Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola has no business appointing commissioners into his cabinet.
The former governor made the revelation at a stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos, where he alleged that the leadership of the PDP paid some people who participated in the talks to ensure that the discussions failed on the ground that an ACN/CPC alliance posed a huge threat to the PDP regime.
“The PDP paid some people to frustrate the party’s effort because it knew that if the alliance should work, the PDP would be swept out of office. The ruling party worked against the alliance through its agents planted within,” the former governor said.
Tinubu’s position was corroborated by another leader of the ACN who spoke with THEWILL on the condition of anonymity, adding that Obasanjo planted some of his loyalists around the presidential candidate of the CPC, Major General Muhammadu Buhari and mandated them to frustrate alliance talks.
The source however did not name Obasanjo’s loyalists who were allegedly used to frustrate the success of the alliance talks, but explained that three loyalists of Obasanjo “are working with Buhari on false pretence. They have been delegated and planted to frustrate Buhari’s Presidential ambition since 2003.
“We know them. We found out that they are on pay roll of the ruling party. They are close allies of President Obasanjo. They are very much in touch. Asiwaju Tinubu raised the issue during the alliance talk. We did not take his objection very seriously, but it later became very clear that he had a point,” the party man added.
At the meeting, the former governor also shed more light on the emergence of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu’s running mate, Mr. Fola Adeola, saying former Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Professor Yemi Osibajo and the incumbent Commissioner of Economic Planning and Budget, Pastor Ben Akabueze were presented to be Ribadu’s running mate from the inception of the Presidential race.
But Tinubu said the party leadership ruled against Osibajo because he was in the same legal profession with Ribadu, explaining that the party insisted that two legal professionals could not hold two strategic positions in the country, and favoured instead any candidate with requisite experience in managing economy.
“Akabueze was subsequently contacted to be Ribadu’s running mate because of his experience in economic planning and budget management. But he rejected the offer because he claimed he had not decongested his table, which he described as tough and was not ready to add any additional one.
“We needed somebody with the vast knowledge of the economy and budget planning who can explain economic theories according to the realities of the time. That is how we succumbed to the choice of former Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director of Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB), Mr. Fola Adeola,” he further stated.
Tinubu however said he did not force his wife, Oluremi to go into politics. He added that “it was purely her decision. Politics was not for people like her because of the insult she would get while on the political field,” he said.
He added that he did not take her seriously at first but that when Oluremi told him she was serious about it, he had no choice but to support her, recalling that the former First Lady and her daughter suffered a lot during the Abacha regime and that the house where Oluremi and her daughter were staying was almost set ablaze.
He also said it "took the intervention of the late Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti who rescued them and procured visas for them to leave the country. Remi convinced me that she wants to go into politics and I accepted.”
Tinubu thereafter threw more light on the appointment of members into the State Executive Council of Lagos State. He said it is not the business of the governor to appoint commissioners into his cabinet maintaining that it is the sole responsibility of the party to do so because, many trusted people campaigned with the governor on the field and hence should be rewarded.
"If it were to be Fashola and Co. Company, Governor Raji Fashola would have had the power to choose whoever he wanted to appoint to work with him in his chamber. But contrary is the case when we talk of the appointment of commissioners and special advisers," Tinubu further stated.