Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Tuesday shaded former Nigerian leaders Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida, both retired army generals. Tinubu, after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, alongside the former interim national chairman of the APC Bisi Akande, urged Obasanjo and Babangida to “join the retirees club”. Tinubu’s cynical comment on both leaders followed their separate statements in which they wrote off President Buhari for a re-election in 2019.
“I don’t address those shadows. We should let our former Presidents join retirees’ club and take pensions but they can participate in our politics if they are interested”, Tinubu said.
“It is a free world but this freedom is not served a la carte. They should allow us to move our country forward. It is a challenge to every Nigerian”.
A reporter asked about the chances of the APC in 2019 and Tinubu responded: “You are asking me an obvious question. I belong to this party. My commitment is to this party. We have a better chance and we are strongly determined to prosecute the elections in a most transparent and democratic manner and we will win.”
On his being appointed chairman of the a special committee to reconcile aggrieved party members across states, Tinubu said: “I feel greatly honoured with the confidence that the President has reposed in me which is a very strong political challenge. We have started in earnest. He has given me the free hand to put coercion, confidence and trust in the party.
“Democracy is about conflict resolution. You can’t do it without resolving conflicts. We can’t build it without understanding the conflicts and sources where we are coming from. But we want to leave the country with a legacy.
“It’s not about Mr. President. That is what he’s telling the country. It’s about our country and no other choice to democratic tenets than through political party platforms.
“He is one of those rare beings around the country, around Africa who had experienced both worlds: he fought a battle to save Nigeria and came to politics to save Nigeria. Very rare people have such an opportunity in their lifetime and that’s what we talk about legacy, and where we have all the challenges, do what we should do. I am enjoying the challenges so far.”