2023 presidency: Buhari has no pact with Tinubu, Okechukwu replies Hanga
Posted by News Express | 22 July 2021 | 535 times
•APC chieftain, Bola Ahmed Tinubu
By TAIWO AMODU, Abuja
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress and Director General of Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu, has faulted the claim of an alleged pact between President Muhammadu Buhari and former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, on the transfer of power to the latter in 2023.
Pioneer Chairman of defunct Congress for Progressive Change, Senator Rufai Hanga, in last weekend edition of Sunday Trust had claimed that before the 2015 general elections, there was an implied agreement that President Buhari would hand over power to Tinubu in 2023.
But speaking with newsmen in Abuja, Okechukwu who incidentally was a chieftain of the defunct CPC, one of the opposition parties that coalesced to form the APC dismissed the claim of Senator Hanga as he said there was no such pact between Buhari and Tinubu.
He said: “As I told Sunday Trust when asked last week, as a member of the defunct CPC, I never heard of such an agreement and most importantly, Mr President rarely enter into any formal or informal agreement with anybody. But he appreciates good deeds.”
“All I know was that Asiwaju automatically could have been the Vice President if not for what lawyers will call force majeure. For our leadership warned against Muslim/Muslim tickets. Our leadership then argued that the Abiola/Kingibe Muslim/Muslim ticket which worked in 1993 may not work in 2015, if Buhari/Tinubu, both Muslims were to run, as the scenario differs. That was how Asiwaju nominated Professor Yemi Osinbajo, GCON as a replacement.”
Asked by reporters if Tinubu would be the ultimate beneficiary of the consensus presidential candidate being proposed by the APC Caretaker/ Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Okechukwu said he has no mandate to speak for the party stakeholders.
He further noted that it would be a grave error for the ruling party to narrow down to any individual or region when its main rival, the People’s Democratic Party was planning to throw open its ticket to all geo-political zones.
“Who am I, an ordinary member to decide for the over 40 million membership of the APC. As a political scientist, all I fear is Governor Bala Mohammed PDP Committee’s report which recommended open contest, rather than rotation.
” It is a big albatross to the rotation of president to the south.
Albeit the PDP by throwing it open, is covertly plotting to harvest Buhari’s 12 million Vote-Bank. Indeed, a lot of people take it that PDP is tacitly waiting in the wings for APC to go south and they go north to quickly harvest the Buhari’s Vote-Bank, domiciled mostly in the north.”
The DG, VON hailed the leadership of the APC for proposing a consensus candidate for the 2023 presidential election.
“One slept well last night after reading the profound statement from the social media credited to Senator John Akpanudoedehe, our National Secretary that at the appropriate time APC will come up with a consensus and agreeable presidential candidate that will fly its flag in 2023. I hail the consensus proposal for it is a deft move which will perish the phobia of the implosion of our great party as touted by some naysayers.” (Nigerian Tribune)