Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Why I turned down offer to be Buhari's running mate-Bola Ahmed Tinubu opens up

Here is a statement released by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu regarding his withdrawal from consideration for the APC Vice- Presidential Position.

I am a Nigerian who loves his country and am hopeful about what it can become. I have seen and conducted myself as a patriot long before I thought of myself as a politician.  I shall always walk this line and no other.
After all the political calculations are made and the dust of competition has settled, it must be this nation and its people who  stand first and foremost.
The question becomes whether we stand strong, able to shape ourselves into our best future or will we stand frail and trembling, burdened by the abject failure to surmount the multiple problems confronting us.

 It against this backdrop that I assess any action I take. Here I come
to my name being placed in consideration as the Vice Presidential
candidate for our party, the APC.  I have labored hard to move this
party from being merely an idea in the minds of a few into being a
political organization that might win this election and govern the
nation in way that gives the people the hope and opportunity they
seek. Nothing is more important to me than to realize this dream not
for myself but for the people of this land I so love.

I helped to build this party, giving no thought to seeking an elected
office because of it. My contribution to the party was never based on
the expectation of a later political handout. Nigeria is in trouble
and we are well past the moment for such narrow, selfish games.

There came a time during the course of the events when our
Presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari offered the Vice
Presidential slot to me.  Being a normal human being, I was deeply
moved and honored that he would consider me for the position. Being a
patriot, I had to weigh my potential candidacy in all of its
dimensions.

I have concluded that the interest of the party, our campaign and of
the nation are better served if I retain my position as the National
leader of the APC, allowing me to be a bridge builder across all
divides.  Although, I declined the position, I want to thank General
Buhari for extending the honor to me. Despite all the noise and
opposition around my possible selection, he stood firm and steadfast.
He showed the traits of a leader in holding to a decision he believed
was right despite the errant plots against it.

When my name was raised, the political hatchet men tried to chop it
down with rumor and lies. Over the years, I have developed a thick
skin. The personal attacks did not bother me. I am used to them. While
I have a thick skin, I don't have a thick mind.  There has been one
form of attack that has troubled me. That is the attack based on
religion. The PDP and others have stoked fear of a Muslim- Muslim
ticket.

I have removed myself from consideration so what I now say cannot be
seen as self-serving.  I plead with the people of this nation to never
allow the power lust of cynical politicians to set brother against
brother, neighbor against neighbor. If you look at those politicians
who raise this issue the most, they are the least devout and faithful
to any religion other their self-interests.

Nigeria has too many secular problems – insecurity,  economic
collapse, poverty , corruption and misgovernance – to allow inept
people to use religion to keep us from solving these challenges for
the benefit of all.

Those who exploit religion should be wary. For there really is a God
and he does not like it when you play with his people or use His name
to do the opposite of what He intends.

I ask the people to remove religion from the electoral equation now
that the tickets of both parties are mixed.  I ask you to select the
ticket best able to end the downward slide that Nigeria has endured
since this government took over. I ask you to remember that too many
Christians and Muslims are poor. Most of all, I ask you to remember
that the true religion of the PDP is poverty,  APC come to bring
prosperity to the people.  Please vote for that.

The Nigeria I see is a nation that shall overcome. The Nigeria I see
is a nation ready to sweep aside the broken ways of our recent past
and the government and politicians who impose distress upon us. The
Nigeria I see and seek is one where each person, every man, woman and
child may live free of terrorism, free of the despair of poverty and
free of the fear that the government meant to serve and protect them
has turned its back to them  in cold and utter indifference.

I see and seek a Nigeria where progressive democratic governance
creates the political and economic space needed for each of us to
contribute to rescuing and retooling this nation. And, in the process
of this benign endeavor, may each and every one of us share in the
sound promise and good prosperity that shall describe the architecture
of our national revival.

However, not everyone that shouts the name of Nigeria believes in this
vision. There are many who would have you laid low and our future
tossed asunder that they may persist in reaping the unjust reward of
their selfish ways. There are wolves in sheep clothing and even
jackals in wolf's clothing. I have seen them but not as residents in
some strange zoo. They populate the halls of this diminished
government and the party from which this government was born.

We have come to the field of fateful choice. We have been brought to
test the scales of weighty decision. Shall we lift this nation upward
so that from its higher vantage point we may clearly see the road to
our better destiny? Or shall we continue to march the march of fools
into the dark of darkness. The current path has but one end. It shall
take us into the den of national collapse. We have gone far enough
down this wicked avenue to be aware of what its continuance portends.

We must awaken of our own accord, my dear people, before the bell of
doom rings upon us. If we wait until that moment, we would have waited
too long. Our future, our fate, our destiny would have been cast into
the snare of utter misfortune. This is not the song of greatness. It
is the poetics of ruin.

For me, political ambition will never triumph over patriotic
conviction. This delicate moment affords no space for emotion to
intrude to blind us from what is best. The APC is the best and only
vehicle to enact the progressive and broad change this nation cries
for.  I eagerly lend myself to this fine cause without me having to be
on the ticket.

This is a time for cohesion and an overriding sense of mission. We
must defeat the foe before us and resist all temptations intended to
entice us to fight among ourselves.

I sincerely commit myself to the rescue agenda of General Buhari and
Professor Osinbajo.


I declare to you, I will work and dedicate myself so that our ticket
succeeds and wins the 2015 election -- not for his good, not for my
good, not even for the party's good but for the good of the nation we
inhabit.

Some may call what I have done a sacrifice. I call it otherwise. It is
my patriotic contribution and duty. I do so with a happy and uplifted
heart and clear conscience because I have committed myself to seeking
the best for this nation before seeking what is good for myself. This
is the creed of statesmanship I chose to follow. May this be the creed
of our party as General Buhari leads us to historic victory in the
2015 elections.

May the light of a bright future always shine on you and on our
beloved nation, the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu
December 17th, 2014

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