Tinubu denies plotting Atiku, PDP mega-party alliance

Former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, has denied plotting to leave the ruling All Progressives Congress for a new party.

Mr. Tinubu played pivotal role in the formation of the APC and the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari.

But his political clout has been increasingly curtailed as forces within the party realign ahead of the 2019 election.

Mr. Tinubu openly demanded the resignation of the party’s chairman, John Oyegun, after his candidate for the Ondo State governorship election lost to a candidate supported by Mr. Oyegun and President Buhari.

Reacting to a report by Punch on Sunday, Mr. Tinubu said on Monday he was not quitting the party as claimed by the newspaper.

He denied that he was partnering with former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, also an APC chieftain, and the Ahmed Markafi faction of Peoples Democratic Party, to form a mega party.

“This is a party I labored with others to build,” said Mr. Tinubu said on Twitter via his handle @AsiwajuTinubu. “We would not abandon it for another. Millions of Nigerians who voted are watching and praying.”

Mr. Tinubu has faced what appears to be an increasingly hostile political climate in the ruling party.

Last week, the winner of the Ondo polls, Rotimi Akeredolu, dismissed him as not more than a state level APC leader. He was explaining his refusal to include Mr. Tinubu’s name in his victory speech.

Mr. Tinubu did not lose only in Ondo State. Long before the election that held two weeks ago, his candidate for the Kogi governorship election, James Faleke, lost out too, as did those for the leadership positions of the National Assembly.

But despite his apparent frustration in the party, one of Mr. Tinubu’s loyalists, Adesoji Akanbi, a Senator representing Oyo South, told PREMIUM TIMES “Asiwaju will not leave APC which he built; he is a veteran fighter and he is going to fight from within.”

In his tweets Monday, the former Lagos governor said he would not “engage in destructive pettiness.”

“In our Journey to national betterment, plans and policies will be made, then amended. Mistakes will occur and then corrected,” he said.

“Achievements will be had and replicated. Through it all, I, Asiwaju will remain true to the progressive ideals that fueled the creation of APC.

“I have devoted my political life to achieve what has been achieved. My heart is too much of the people and my mind too fixed on establishing positive historic legacy… rather than engage in destructive pettiness.

“This government, APC, is for the betterment of the people and the national purpose is bigger and more important than any individual’s desires.”

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