ABUJA–NATIONAL Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, yesterday said it has been his lifelong ambition to become the President of Nigeria.
Asiwaju Tinunbu, who was a former governor of Lagos state also said that he has informed President Muhammadu Buhari of his ambition to contest for the 2023 presidential election.
The APC national leader disclosed this to State House correspondents after meeting behind clised-doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja
He said that he has the confidence, the vision and the capacity to build on the foundation laid by President Buhari.
The APC Chieftain said he was at the State House to see the President on general issues concerning Nigeria including some of the concerns in the APC as well as security issues.
He, however, declined to comment on the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State presidential ambitions, saying that he would rather prefer to discuss issues instead of individuals.
Asked whether he has informed President Buhari of his ambition to contest for the 2023 presidential election, he said, “I answer that with categorical yes. I have informed the President of my intention but I have not informed Nigerians yet.
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“I’m still consulting. And I have no problem consulting. And I’ve not set a parameter of limitation to the extent of how many people will I consult. You will soon hear, all you want to hear is the categorical declaration.
“You’ve gotten that truth from me that I have informed Mr. President of my ambition, and you don’t expect more answers than that.”
Asked what was the response of the President to his ambition, he said, “That’s our business. He is a democrat. He didn’t ask me to stop. He didn’t ask me not to attempt and pursue my ambition, it is a lifelong ambition. So, why do I expect him to say more than that? You are running a democratic dispensation, and you must adopt the principles and the values and the virtues of democracy. That’s it.”
On what was his perspective being in the race on the platform of the APC with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and others especially as a number of support groups are drumming support for all of them, he said that he would prefer to discuss issues and not individuals.
According to him, “I don’t want to discuss individuals now. I must discuss myself. I have the confidence, the vision, the capacity to rule, build on the foundation of Mr. President, and turn Nigeria better.
“I have done that with commitment and unyielding in Lagos State. You’ve seen that experience and the capacity to turn things around and that is what we are doing. you know, the confusion, the drift of the past in PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) is being corrected and you can’t take away from that.
“As we are today, go back to the data on how many barrels of oil we were producing when we first came in and what it is today. We cannot even at the time we came in we did not pay the counterpart funds to start our rail line. Today you enjoy the comfort of having rail from Lagos to Ibadan, you have the Kaduna and you have the one for Kano State on the aggressive pipeline, you see excellent infrastructure.
“I just came from Azare and I have seen good roads, the carnage of dying on motor vehicles is reducing except you know, lack of compliance with a lot of Nigerian drivers and VIOs. Let us think back, let us be intellectually inquisitive as to the past and the present and what the future holds for Nigeria.”
Fielding question on why he was at the State House, the former Lagos State governor said, “I will not answer that question when I have not lost my citizenship. I came to see the President on general issues concerning Nigeria, including our political party, APC, security issues, the achievement and the New Year Agenda. That’s all I can tell you. The new strategy that we must have party Congresses and all that.”
On what Nigerians should expect from him as a president, he simply responded, “You want my manifesto now? Not yet. Not yet.”
Asked his position on the controversy over direct and indirect primaries, the APC Chieftain said, “First of all, the National Assembly and the President must be encouraged to review and review again. Whatever they come up with in the electoral act amendment bill is what we must comply with.
“There is no unlimited elasticity in what we face, because we have to plan and plan well, and be able to manage the time effectively. The great roadmap to success is ability of a leader to do what he must do at the right time that it should be done.
“So that to me, the electoral act amendment bill point we will still look at that collectively. And it is our country. It’s our democracy. We had adopted it and we will push it rigorously.”
Responding to the insinuation that the cap of being a kingmaker fits him more than contesting for the presidency, he said, “About the cap of king maker, I’ve never seen the cap of a kingmaker before. That is the truth. And I’ve never seen where it is written in the rule book anywhere in any country that a kingmaker cannot be a king unless you commit murder.
“So, whatever is your attribute is your own opinion. Me, I want to pursue my ambition without the title of a kingmaker. You can write your literature and your story based upon your own perception.”
When asked when the APC would be conducting its convention, he said it was certain that it would be next month.
But pressed further to mention the particular date for the convention, he said, “Oh, well. I’m not a spokesperson for the party, the President is the leader of the party. So, expect convention, maybe if that’s added to your own anxiety, or the other party’s anxiety is good for us. We get it and we’ll get it done properly.”