Senate President Bukola Saraki has revealed why APC national leader Bola Tinubu is supporting President Muhammadu Buhari re-election in 2019–that the former governor plans to succeed Buhari in 2023.
Saraki was responding to an open letter written by Tinubu on Sunday.
Tinubu had blasted Saraki in the letter, saying the Senate president bailed out of the APC because he stands no chance of returnng, let alone retain his position as Senate president.
However, in a statement entitled ‘The Tinubu rhetoric — My response,’ Saraki said when Tinubu was appointed the head of the APC’s reconciliation committee, he (Tinubu) reached out to him and admitted that he was also not satisfied with Buhari’s performance, but that he would remain in the party.
“However, during those meetings, the point of disagreement between me and him was that, while I expressed worries that there was 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 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,’ Saraki wrote.
“This Tinubu’s viewpoint 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 was based on protecting collective, national interest, Tinubu will rather live with the identified inadequacies in 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.”
Saraki said Tinubu is still bitter over the fact that he (Saraki) was one of those who opposed Tinubu’s bid to emerge as the running mate of candidate Buhari in 2014.
“Again, let me reiterate my position that my uncertain and complex relationship with Tinubu has been continually defined by the event of 2014 when myself and other leaders of the APC opposed the Muslim-Muslim ticket arrangement about to be foisted on the APC for the 2015 polls.
“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, within and outside the National Assembly.”
Saraki dumped the ruling party for the PDP recently, hoping to secure the party’s ticket for the 2019 presidential election.