National leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu has said that he was positioned to be the vice president in 2015 general elections but that he forgo the position for Yemi Osinbajo.
He spoke on Thursday, in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, when he addressed the leadership of the party as well as state delegates ahead of the party’s presidential primary election slated for Abuja on Monday.
Tinubu, a former Lagos State governor and the APC presidential hopeful, was received by the Ogun State Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun.
On his political prowess, he told party members that ‘I have five governors in South West’, adding that delegates should consider his political strength in their choice during the forthcoming APC primary election.
According to Tinubu, he forgo the VP position to Osinbajo in order to make way for a Muslim/Christian ticket in 2015.
“I forgo my VP right to Yemi Osinbajo in 2015”, warranting the delegates to burst out in uproar, praising him.
Tinubu said, “Since the time we started with the Alliance for Democracy (AD), Action Congress (AC), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), and now the All Progressives Congress (APC), I wanted to contest for President that time.
“What I am telling you now is between me and God Almighty. Prior to 2015 general elections, Buhari called me to be his Vice President. He said because the first time he contested, he picked Chuba Okadigbo, a flamboyant politician, a Catholic, but Nigerians didn’t vote for him. The second time, he picked another Igbo, Umeh Ezeoke, Nigerians didn’t vote for him, that if he goes to bring the Pope to run as his vice, Nigerians won’t vote for him, but you, Bola Tinubu, you have six governors, you have never lost an election before, come and be my vice.
“He knew all the calculations then favoured us, that is why he wanted me as his vice, but I told him to let us build the party first. And when we finished building the party after we brought in people from the PDP, Saraki now saw those from the PDP will not get anything if Buhari; a Muslim becomes the President and me, also a Muslim becomes his vice, he won’t get the Senate President because the Senate President cannot also be a Muslim, that was how they started the campaign of calumny against me.
“And I told them that I have a candidate that is a Christan that I can nominate so that the party will not break, that was how I nominated Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. I surrendered my right to him (Osinbajo).
“I was asked to submit three names, Yemi Cardozo, Wale Edun, and Yemi Osinbajo, but I told them if I submit three names, they will believe that I am not consistent and I insisted that I will present one candidate and I presented Yemi Osinbajo’s name.
“It is my time, I’m educated, I’m experienced. I have been serving you for a long time, bring me presidency, it is my turn.
“When Atiku Abubarka was being flogged out of PDP by Obasanjo, he ran to me for help. I let the ticket for him. Nuhu Ribadu came to me and I backed him.
“It has been over 25 years now that I have been serving them. This one sitting behind me, Dapo, can he say he can be the Governor without me? We were together at the MKO Abiola Stadium, he was intimidated, they didn’t want to give him the party’s flag, I was the one that handed the flag to him. He knows that he cannot be the governor without the help of God and my support.
“Since he became the president, I have never got ministerial slots, I didn’t collect any contract, I have never begged for anything from him. It is the turn of Yoruba to produce a President. It is my turn.
In his response, Governor Abiodun described Tinubu as a fighter, bold, strategist, mentor, and dogged politician.
“This is a crucial time in the history of our nation. We shall do the needful and will justify why the power must come to the South West,” Abiodun said
Osinbajo is among many others contesting for the APC presidential ticket scheduled to hold between June 6 and June 8.