Tinubu: I’ll Ensure APC Conducts Credible Primaries in Ondo

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Says he reserves right to support any aspirant
Gboyega Akinsanmi
The National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, yesterday said he would do everything in his power to ensure the party’s governorship primaries scheduled “to hold on August 27 are free and fair.”

Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State, also said he reserved the right to support any aspirant seeking nomination of the APC in the forthcoming preliminary election contrary to what some critics had said.

He stated this in his reply to a letter by one of the aspirants, Dr. Tunji Abayomi, who alleged that the APC national leader planned to impose another aspirant, Mr. Olusegun Abraham, on the people of Ondo State.

In a reply signed by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Sunday Dare, the APC national leader faulted all claims contained in Abayomi’s letter, noting that the letter was woefully misplaced and inappropriate.

 According to him, “your letter to me is an impetuous display unbecoming a man of your status and a man seeking the highest leadership position in his state. And as a lawyer, you well know that one cannot seek equity without having done equity.

However, Tinubu assured Abayomi and other aspirants in the contest that the APC governorship primaries would be credible, free and fair, noting that he would support any candidate that would emerge from the process.

He also assured that he would do everything within his power “to ensure the primaries are free and fair and that there will be no undue influence on the process. The candidate who can garner the most support and votes will win.

 “Since its inception, the APC has run the cleanest and most transparent primaries in the history of this nation. The just concluded primary in Edo is further evidence of this. My dear friend, I leave you free to run and win the primary. If you do, I shall congratulate you and support you in the general election.”

He described Abayomi’s complaint about a purported meeting he had to discuss the coming primary in Ondo as baseless and unfounded, arguing that even though he endorsed an aspirant, Abayomi lacked power to deny him and other APC leaders the right to assemble and discuss.

He also urged all aspirants to be at ease, though he said he reserved the right “to support any candidate I wish because no one has the right to take this away from me. You must respect my rights as well and leave me to my own conscience to support who I will support and to show interest in whom I wish.”

Tinubu added that if the purported meeting Abayomi claimed he had “to discuss the forthcoming primaries in Ondo State had anointed him, I doubt you would have written the first word of the letter you sent to me.

“If not mistaken, I believe I am a member of the APC. I have a right and duty to support the candidate who I believe will best represent the party. What your letter is really saying is that if I do not support you I should keep my mouth shut.

 “I am a democrat. I am ready to for the chips to fall where they may after and open and fair primary in Ondo. Instead of welcoming this, it appears you are afraid of it. Instead of fighting me who is but one man with no vote, you should be fighting for votes and support,” the national leader said.

He accused Abayomi of creating a wrong impression on his decision to support President Muhammadu Bahuri in the 2015 presidential election, which he said, was indicated a letter Abayomi wrote to him last week.

He said: “You assume too much credit and should be more guarded in your assertions. As a veteran in the political arena, I do not make important decisions lightly.  I make final political decisions and calculations on my own after deep reflections and consultation with many people from many perspectives.

“I trust my own political counsel more than yours and that I have numerous other advisors whose advice I weigh more than yours. After all, had you so much influence over me in the presidential election, it would mean you surely should have greater influence over me when it comes to the primary in your state.