No group can stop Tinubu’s presidential ambition –Ajomale
Former Chairman, Lagos State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Henry Ajomale has said that no group can stop the presidential ambition of the national leader of the ruling party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. In this interview with TUNDE THOMAS, Ajomale spoke on various issues.
How would you react to the declaration by the National President, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Alhaji Abdullahi Bodejo that the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu will not be President of Nigeria in 2023?
Who is Bodejo? Is Bodejo God that he should be making that kind of declaration? Only God knows tomorrow. Bodejo is going too far by trying to play God. What Bodejo should realize is that if God has destined it that Tinubu will be President of Nigeria in 2023, one million Bodejos of this world can’t stop it. Who even knows what will happen between now and 2023; it is only God. Bodejo’s statement is not only reckless but also very unfortunate.
The Miyetti Allah leader further claimed that Tinubu is an old man, and that he may be older than President Buhari. He further said that Tinubu is not a Yoruba leader.
Why is Bodejo so obsessed with Tinubu? Why is he talking about the man like that? I believe Bodejo perhaps has a hidden agenda against Tinubu, if not, he would not have become or speaking so bitterly about Tinubu.
But like I said earlier, Bodejo is not God, and he can’t act God. What Bodejo should realize is that it is Tinubu’s constitutional right to aspire for any political office in the country including the Presidency. It is now left for Bodejo to vote or not to vote for him. Bodejo has only one vote. It is Nigerians that will determine Tinubu’s fate if he has such an agenda.
But Tinubu has even declared recently that his pre-occupation for now is to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in its plan to take Nigeria to the Next Level. Tinubu said that 2023 is not on his agenda for now, so why is Bodejo so concerned about Tinubu? Bodejo is a busy-body, he is crying more than the bereaved.
Rather than worrying himself and having sleepless nights over Tinubu, Bodejo’s headache should be how to stop the senseless killings of innocent Nigerians by herdsmen. Bodejo should first put his own house in order before he starts dabbling into other people’s affairs. I expect Bodejo as the national president of Miyetti Allah to be sober and apologetic to Nigerians for the havoc being wreaked by the herdsmen instead of talking on politics, and attacking individuals. I implore Nigerians to ignore Bodejo and his rantings on Tinubu. Tinubu will not be distracted by his vituperations as Tinubu is focused and determined to continue giving his support to President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
On the issue of his claim that Tinubu is not a Yoruba leader, what’s your take on that?
That’s his own view, but there is no controversy about it, and the fact still remains that today as we are speaking, Tinubu is our leader, not only that, he is also a Yoruba leader, and his leadership is recognised and acceptable to the Yoruba.
On whether he was able to get only 50 percent of Yoruba votes for Buhari during the last general elections, that’s not the issue, the fact remains that he delivered Southwest for President Muhammadu Buhari, and the APC.
In a recent interview, former Minister for Works, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe claimed that APC has been winning elections in Lagos State since 1999 through manipulations, rigging and that Asiwaju Tinubu has moles within PDP who are on his pay roll, what’s your reaction to that?
Ogunlewe is a failed politician, and he is very bitter that Tinubu has been flooring him and other PDP leaders like Bode George and Kofo Bucknor-Akerele.
I have been with Tinubu since 1999, and not only that, I have also been part of the system and took active part in every election in the state since that time. Tinubu is a democrat who detests rigging. He believes in selling the party’s manifesto to Lagosians starting from the days of Alliance for Democracy, AD through the period when the party metamorphosed into ACN and now APC.
Lagosians love Tinubu and the parties namely AD, ACN and APC and that’s why they have always been voting for the party.
Ogunlewe was once with us in AD, and it was during that time that he was elected as a senator on the party’s platform. But when he crossed over to PDP, his political career diminished and since that time, he had never won any election in Lagos State. Since Ogunlewe joined PDP, he has become politically irrelevant to the extent that he can’t even win his own polling unit, not to talk of his ward. Ogunlewe has even become a liability to PDP in Lagos State. He has no electoral value again. If it is true that Tinubu and APC are rigging elections in Lagos State, then why has Ogunlewe been unable to win any election since he joined PDP? Since he was one of us before, the assumption is that he would have mastered the art of rigging from Tinubu and AD. Ogunlewe should not be taken serious.
By attacking Tinubu, Ogunlewe is biting the hands that fed him. It was through the grace of Tinubu that he was elected a senator, and since he left AD, Ogunlewe has become a spent force in politics,
How can he compare himself with Tinubu? There is no basis for comparison, even in Ogunlewe’s ward, he can’t get 10 people to follow him whereas millions of Lagosians will troop out to follow Tinubu if the two of them are to engage in a test of popularity on Lagos road.
Ogunlewe should face reality; PDP is dead in Lagos State. Lagosians love APC and the party’s programmes. Lagosians like how APC has turned Lagos State into Centre of Excellence, and that’s why Lagosians have been voting for the party and Tinubu since 1999.
On his allegations that Tinubu’s private company, Alpha Beta is siphoning funds from Lagos State government through the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR that it collects for the state government, what’s your take on that?
Tinubu should be commended for boosting the IGR in Lagos State when he was the governor of the state between 1999 – 2007. Before then, the state’s IGR was very poor. But through his political brilliance, sagacity, and ingenuity, Tinubu boosted the IGR, and other governors that followed him sustained it, and that is why Lagos State has been able to have the money to embark on many monumental projects that have transformed the state. This is why many people have continued to refer to Tinubu as the builder of modern Lagos State. Tinubu laid a solid foundation which others have been building upon till today. But what can Ogunlewe point at as his achievements or contributions to the development of Lagos State? Nothing. I’m publicly challenging him to mention anything he achieved for Lagos. When Ogunlewe was Minister for Works when he was supposed to be attracting projects to Lagos State, he didn’t do so. Rather, he was blocking projects that were supposed to be allocated to Lagos State. Not only that, many would remember that it was during the period when he was Minister for Works that he brought hoodlums and thugs to be disrupting free flow of traffic on Lagos roads. He was actively involved in this show of shame. To me and many others, Ogunlewe was a disgrace to Lagos State when he was a minister because Lagos State didn’t benefit anything from his tenure as a minister.
Ogunlewe should stop linking Tinubu with woes in PDP in Lagos State. PDP in Lagos State has always been a house divided against itself. PDP in Lagos State has always been like a flock without a shepherd. Even on the eve of the recent general elections, the former Lagos State PDP chairman, Moshood Salvador with his exco members defected en masse to APC, and you refer to PDP in the state as a party. There is no PDP in Lagos State, but just a group of confused elements parading themselves as politicians.
What’s your assessment of the recent general elections?
The election was okay, and I believe we should commend INEC and even President Muhammadu Buhari.
Unlike what happened when PDP was in power when rigging and manipulations were the order of the day, the ruling party APC lost some states. If it were to be before, this would have been unthinkable. This is why I believe President Buhari should be commended. We all knew what happened when the apostles of do-or-die politics in PDP were in power.
The deployment of the military for the polls has been condemned by some people …….
The deployment of the military was to forestall breakdown of law and order. It was aimed at protecting lives and properties. We could see how hoodlums and thugs unleashed violence in some places. If not for the military, the situation could have degenerated.
Election is supposed to be a civil affair, but the way some people take it as a matter of life and death, they are so desperate to win at all costs and in order to actualise their ambition, they hire thugs and hoodlums not only to disrupt the voting exercise but also to attack their opponents, but government can’t allow anarchists to hold the nation to ransom, and this is why military is there to keep peace.
President Buhari was declared the winner of the presidential election, by the INEC but his main challenger, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of PDP has gone to court to challenge his victory, what’s your reaction to that?
Atiku is fighting a lost battle. Although it is his constitutional right to go to court, but I see nothing coming out of the case. Atiku is wasting his time. President Buhari beat him hands down. The margin was so wide. Let Atiku continue with his case while President Buhari forges ahead with his plan to take Nigeria to the Next Level.
One thing again is this, the court case Atiku brought against Buhari and APC is now leading to some issues unheard of before like the issue of Atiku’s country of origin. Although Atiku is claiming to be a Nigerian but what I know is that those who made the allegations that he is a Cameroonian wouldn’t have done so without having their facts. The onus is on Atiku to provide incontrovertible evidence that he is truly a Nigerian. Atiku will not be the first politician to be so accused of. In the 2nd Republic, Alhaji Abdurahman Shugaba, a politician from Borno State was deported to Chad after allegations were made against him that he was a Chadian but he denied the allegations and he was later brought back to Nigeria when he eventually showed proofs of his Nigerian citizenship. Let Atiku also provide concrete evidence that he is not a Cameroonian otherwise, many will continue to doubt his claims of being a Nigerian.
I implore President Buhari not to be distracted by Atiku’s case, he should continue with the good work he has been doing to transform Nigeria. It is easier for people to forget easily. Many Nigerians have short memory; if only they could remember the rot and the mess PDP put Nigeria into before Buhari took over in 2015.
President Buhari is doing his best. He is not a magician. It is not easy to transform Nigeria overnight especially after 16 years of PDP bad leadership. I enjoin Nigerians to continue supporting Buhari’s administration to enable him achieve his goals of restoring Nigeria’s lost glory.
Credit: The Sun