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I Have No Rift With Buhari, Says Tinubu

Purveyors of a rift between the President and All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu were told last night to stop their speculations.

FROM LEFT: FORMER GOVERNOR OF RIVERS STATE / APC CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR-GENERAL, CHIBUIKE AMAECHI; APC LEADER, ASIWAJU BOLA TINUBU AND PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI DURING BREAKING OF FAST AT THE PRESIDENTIAL VILLA ABUJA ON TUESDAY (14/7/15) 5361/14/7/2015/ICE/NAN

FROM LEFT: FORMER GOVERNOR OF RIVERS STATE / APC CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR-GENERAL, CHIBUIKE AMAECHI; APC LEADER, ASIWAJU BOLA TINUBU AND PRESIDENT  BUHARI DURING BREAKING OF FAST AT THE PRESIDENTIAL VILLA ABUJA ON TUESDAY (14/7/15)

Tinubu said there was no truth in the speculations of a rift between them, adding that they understand each other.

Tinubu spoke with State House correspondents after joining representatives of the 13 parties that collaborated with the APC in the general elections to break the Muslim fast with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to him, the APC cannot perform magic and clean up the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) 16 years’ mess in 30 days.

Stressing that party supremacy must be upheld, Tinubu said the party must have disciplined leadership and followers.

On the alleged rift with the President, he said: “I have no demand than the party. If you understand what party politics is all about and leadership is all about, it is about loyalty and commitments to the values that leadership believes in.

“I believe in what the President believes. I respect him and I stand firmly loyal to his course. So, you can go to any length of speculation that you might want. I have not responded to all of that because I understand the President and the President understands me clearly.”

Asked to comment on the crisis in the National Assembly, Tinubu said: “That is an area I am very cautious of my position and my utterances. I still want to keep my side of interpretation or analysis to me to be able to achieve a resolution of the matter as quickly as possible.

“I am backing all the President has carefully enumerated and articulated to the party. The party is supreme; the party must have disciplined leadership and followers. The party’s process must be respected because that is the confidence and the trust of the people.”

The former Lagos State Governor, however, pointed out that conflicts should be expected in every political environment.

“That is politics. And conflict resolution mechanism will be applied to resolve all problems. So, we are there. There is honour in every struggle, in every competition and there must be honour in victory too.”

On how prepared the APC is to avoid the mistakes of the PDP, Tinubu said: “We are different. We cannot be PDP; we are APC. We will not repeat their mistakes. We know their mistakes, we know their errors. And we understand what Nigerians want. Nigerians gave this party a mandate because of our manifesto.

“We are pro-people; we are progressives. We have had a conservative government in the last 16 years. This is a progressives party, just coming barely 30 days. We understand the hope of Nigerians and we respect that hope. We understand the expectation of Nigerians. We believe in that expectation and in our promise of prosperity to come. We will not change that.”

Speaking inside the Banquet Hall after the breaking of fast,

Tinubu, who described the APC as the Armoured Personnel Carrier, said that it represented the diversity of Nigeria.

He thanked President Buhari for the opportunity of breaking fast with him, bringing together people of various backgrounds, regardless of religious affiliations.

He said: “We believe this diversity will continue to propel us for economic growth under your leadership.

“This is the first Ramadan after the election. We thank God for cutting down the opponent’s 60 years of fake promises to 16 years.

“I heard they say we are slow. Yes, we didn’t campaign to be firefighters, but planners and meticulous one at that. A latrine pit of 16 years can’t be cleaned up in 30 days because the mess is much.

“Mr. President, you started well, you hit the ground running. You promised Nigerians that you’ll address security and your first meeting to ECOWAS was on security because we cannot fight alone.

“You have been to other places. If they think it’s a game of ludo, we will say is serious business. If they forgot G7, we will remind them.

“We have faith in you, Mr. President. We have faith in your capacity and uprightness. I’m here filled up and not fed up.

“We promise to continue to be with you and support you. No matter what they are saying, we are not re-running the election until four years time.”We pray to God to give us four more years of this month and pray to Him to forgive our misdeeds, and for peace and stability.

“Mr. President, your hands are on the plough and you will succeed,” he said.

Buhari urged APC members to drop their differences and their influences both in the party and the country for the party to achieve its campaigns manifestos of addressing security, economy, employment and corruption. “If we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria,” he said.

President Buhari, who recalled how the party surmounted many obstacles to emerge strong enough to dislodge the PDP, said that it was important for the members to lay aside their differences and unite for the country’s sake.

He praised Tinubu for his support and words of encouragement.

He said: “I always like to go down memory lane to show how lucky we are as a political group.

“At no stage was the decision taken by chance; it was all deliberate. The leaders of the parties felt the only way to wrest power from the PDP was for us to come together. I, in particular, was scared after previous failures of the elections of 2003, 2007 and 2011.

“We dissolved our various parties to form APC. Then we applied to INEC. For once I was grateful to INEC. We had gone with nine people to INEC to apply and INEC advised us that we needed at least 25 people across the country to form a political party. We were able to go back, raised 35 members across the country and then successfully registered the party. INEC then informed the Federal Government that we had met the requirements, hence we cannot be denied registration. Many doubting Thomases said merger has never succeeded in Nigeria but here we are.

“I went into this long explanation so that you will appreciate how far we have come and for a society as ours, if we respect the constitution, then all the greed and problems will be a thing of the fast.

“We should just look at Nigeria as Nigerians, no matter the level you are, lose your influence so that we can help achieve the manifestoe – security, economy, employment and corruption – because if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria. We have to ensure that people we bring forward are those that will move the society forward”. He said

At the breaking of fast were former Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, former Bayelsa State Governor Timipre Sylva, Senator Olorunmibe Mamora, APC National Publicity Secretary Lai Mohammed and Chief Audu Ogbeh.

The Nation

 

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