Senate President Bukola Saraki says former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu is only supporting President Muhammadu Buhari to preserve his (Tinubu’s) 2023 presidential ambition.
He said this in a statement on Monday, in response to Tinubu’s statement a day earlier in which the APC national leader accused the Senate President of defecting because of presidential ambitions.
Saraki re-iterated that his decision to defect from the APC was because all principles required for a healthy functioning of the party and the government were deliberately violated or undermined.
Read Full Statement Here
According to the Senate President, himself and Tinubu had in previous meetings admitted to, and raised several issues within the party.
He said, “I can also vividly recall that he (Tinubu) himself always expressed his displeasure with the style of the government and also mentioned that he had equally suffered disrespect from the same government which we all worked to put in office. I also made the point that whatever travails I have gone through in the last three years belong to the past and will not shape my decisions now and in the future.
“However, during those meetings, the point of disagreement between Tinubu and I is that while I expressed my worries that there is nothing on ground to assure me that the administrative style and attitude would change in the next four years in a manner that will enable us to deliver the positive changes we promised to our people, he (Tinubu) expressed a strong opinion that he would rather ‘support a Buhari on the hospital stretcher’ to get a second term because in 2023, power will shift to the South-west. This viewpoint of Tinubu’s was not only expressed to me but to several of my colleagues, so much for acting in national interest.
“It is clear that while my own decision is based on protecting the collective national interest, Tinubu will rather live with the identified inadequacies of the government for the sake of fulfilling and preserving his presidential ambition in 2023.
“This new position of Tinubu has only demonstrated inconsistency — particularly when one reviews his antecedents over the years,” the statement read in part.
He further explained that his complex relationship with Tinubu has been continually defined by the event of 2014 when himself (Saraki) and other leaders of the APC opposed the Muslim-Muslim ticket arrangement for the 2015 polls.
According to him, the APC national leader has since then made all efforts to undermine him, by peddling falsehood.
“It should be noted that he has not forgotten the fact that I took the bull by the horns and told him that in the interest of the country, he should accept the need for the party to present a balanced ticket for the 2015 General Elections in terms of religion and geo-political zones.
“Since that time he has been very active; plotting at every point to undermine me, both within and outside the National Assembly,” Saraki stated.