*Meets president after controversial comments on naira redesign, petrol scarcity
Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja and Francis Saudauna in Katsina
The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has dismissed any insinuation of a strained relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari, saying his support for the president is unalloyed and enduring.
Also, barely 48 hours after his controversial comment on the naira redesign and the nationwide petrol scarcity, Tinubu, on Friday night, visited Buhari at Daura, the president’s hometown in Katsina State.
The APC presidential candidate had at his campaign rally in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, last Wednesday, kicked against some policies of the federal government, alleging that they were contrived to rob him of victory in the February 25 presidential election.
Tinubu had alleged that the nationwide fuel scarcity and the naira redesign project of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) were artificially created to deny him victory at the next month’s election.
His comment had elicited a reaction from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which mocked him, accusing him of attacking Buhari.
But in a statement, the Director of Media and Publicity, APC Presidential Campaign Council, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, had accused the PDP of driving a wedge between Tinubu and Buhari, sa
Also, addressing the APC members and supporters yesterday at the party’s presidential campaign rally in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital, Tinubu reiterated that there was no friction in his relationship with the Buhari, adding that he had supported the president even before his first day in office, stressing that he would continue to be a supporter of the president.
According to a statement issued by his Media Office, Tinubu, in his prepared speech, which he could not read because of the massive crowd, said: “I have supported President Buhari even before his first day in office. I will continue to be his supporter and friend after his last day in office.”
The former governor of Lagos State said Buhari is leading the nation with courage and selflessness.
“He tackled the problems other leaders ran from. He has earned a place in history that cannot be denied.
“I have said this before and will say it again now: When the true history of this moment is written, President Buhari shall be treated very kindly because of his contributions to the nation,” he said.
While taking a jab at the opposition, Tinubu described them as misguided politicians who don’t want greatness to happen or to last.
“Their vision for Nigeria is the vision of one who cannot see. They seek to enrich themselves by making you poor. They want to eat everything so that you might go hungry. They want to own everything but leave you with nothing.
“We stand here today to affirm that our vision for a greater Nigeria will triumph over their blind vision for a broken Nigeria. Remember where there is blind vision, there is also blind ambition.
“We will not allow their selfish games to overtake you. President Buhari has done his part to free Nigeria from their mean grip. Now, we must do our part by freeing you from the selfish plans they have for you and our beloved land.
“Do not let those others fool you into returning to the past where you had no hope and had no say regarding the life you shall live and the future you shall enter. The APC remains the best and only hope for a more prosperous and peaceful nation,” Tinubu added.
Tinubu said he is conscious of the challenges faced by the people of Zamfara State and has plans to ameliorate them.
He said Buhari and Governor Bello Matawalle had been doing their best to end the banditry problem, pledging to consolidate the gains recorded.
“If Allah blesses us to win this election, we will not relent until we beat this problem.
“My running mate has battled Boko Haram. As governor of Lagos, I too have fought kidnappers and violent criminals. We will use our experience and our vision to defeat the wrongdoers.
“My security plan will empower all branches of security forces. There will be more personnel and we shall improve their ability to identify, pursue and stop the evil-doers. We will use modern air and ground technology to trace and capture these criminals,” he said.
The APC candidate also promised to turn around the agricultural fortunes of the state and develop other natural resources found in the state.
“Zamfara State has great deposits of natural resources. My economic plan is to closely cooperate with the state government to attract the right type of investment in mining. This investment will not exploit the people of Zamfara. Instead, it will open the door to safer mining, better jobs and increased economic growth for the state.”
The National Chairman of the APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu and Zamfara State Governor, Matawalle, who spoke at the rally, charged the residents of the state to massively support Tinubu given his good plans for the state and Nigeria.
Before attending the rally, Tinubu had visited the Emir of Gusau, Dr. Ibrahim Bello, who conferred the title of Wakilin Raya Karkara (Ambassador for Rural Transformation) on him.
Tinubu Meets Buhari after Controversial Comments on Naira Redesign, Petrol Scarcity
Meanwhile, Tinubu has visited Buhari at Daura, the president’s hometown in Katsina State.
According to The Cable, Tinubu was accompanied by Governors Bello Masari of Katsina State; Babagana Zulum of Borno State, and Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State in the “face-saving” visit to Buhari.
The APC governorship candidate in Katsina State, Dikko Umaru Radda, also joined the governors on the visit
The Cable quoted an unnamed source as saying that Governor Zulum did not visit Buhari with them but only met with them shortly before they visited the president.
Details of the meeting were not made public, but it was held hours after the APC presidential candidate had at a campaign rally in Ogun State, kicked against some policies of the federal government, alleging that they were contrived to rob him of victory in the February 25 presidential election.
Though the presidency has remained mute on the issue, there were speculations that the Daura meeting was about Tinubu’s outburst in Abeokuta.