Our Reporter, Abuja
The South-West Coordinator for the Labour Party (LP) presidential campaign organisation, Bashorun Akin Osuntokun, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari is disinterested in the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential ticket.
Ikengaonline reports that the former governor of Lagos State and national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who won the APC presidential primary election and his chosen running mate, the former governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kassim Shettima, hold that ticket.
Osuntokun who stated this while speaking Friday on the Arise News programme, The Morning Show, said the disposition of the President towards the presidential ticket of his party does not show that he supports that ticket and wonders why any poll would consider Tinubu’s ticket as the front runner in an election, which his party leader does not seem to be interested in.
“You don’t get the impression the President particularly supports this APC ticket. He didn’t have a hand in the nomination of who becomes the candidate; the presidential candidate emerged regardless of him not being interested.
“When he (Tinubu) emerged, he did the logical thing which was to approach the President who is the chief landlord of APC, who is the father of APC and said ‘please give me a running mate’ and Buhari said no, go and pick. Whoever you pick as running mate, you will enjoy my 100 per cent support.
“The only explanation for that is to say he (the President) is disinterested.
“In reality, that is a demonstration of hostility to that ticket. How can a president, a sitting president say ‘I am not interested in who the presidential candidate is, I am not interested in who the vice presidential candidate is’?
“Now, that is against the background in which the same President made a specific request to the governors before the primaries that he wants reciprocity, that what those governors have done in getting who to succeed them; he also wants the governors to support him in picking whoever he wants as successor as the candidate of the party.
“How can the same person within the space of two or three weeks say I am no longer interested in who becomes the presidential or the vice presidential candidate?
“Even in the United States, I doubt if you can see a sitting president within the Democrats and the Republicans who will say he is not interested in who succeeds him. It may not be as crass as it is here but that is the rule,” Osuntokun posited.
The former PDP chieftain also said that apart from the Obi/Datti-Ahmed LP ticket, the other tickets, Atiku/Okowa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Tinubu/Shettima ticket of the ruling All progressives Congress (APC), are contradictory to the continued unity of Nigeria.
He also confirmed the suggestion that the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, was supporting the candidature of Mr Peter Obi of the Labour Party.
According to Osuntokun, “whoever accepts or adopts certain position about Nigeria, those two other candidates (Tinubu and Atiku) are antithetical. There’s no way anybody can talk about unity and integration and see any value in PDP and APC. They contradict that aspiration.
“I am using that to tell you that knowing Obasanjo’s position about Nigeria, he is likely going to have preference or sympathy for that party whose ticket is consistent with the aspiration of national unity and integration. Again if you look at what he has been saying for the past few years about the situation of Nigeria and things like that, you can see the logic or consistency from that behaviour to supporting somebody like Peter Obi,” he said.