National Assembly: No Ulterior Motive in Backing APC’s, Buhari’s Position, Says Tinubu
All Progressives Congress national stalwart, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said all he has done in respect of the impending election of presiding officers of the National Assembly is to support the APC’s and President Muhammadu Buhari’s position.
He said he had no ulterior motives in so doing.
According to him, all his mind, heart and efforts are focused on backing the APC and President Buhari in achieving their shared vision of a flourishing economy and a prosperous people.
The APC leader was responding to news reports that he was meddling in the APC’s nomination process to National Assembly leadership positions in order to position himself for a presidential run in 2023.
In a statement released on Sunday by his Media Office, Asiwaju said he would have committed a terrible blunder by navigating against the President’s position.
He said those who cast aspersions at him were in reality bucking against thestatedposition of President Buhari.
He urged rumor-mongers tocourtgreaterdiscipline
and wisdom, adding thatthere is no action a person can take that constitutes a political guarantee as to what may come four yearsfrom now.
He also dismissed the claimthathaving allies in the National Assembly leadership positions will greatly enhance someone’s presidential ambitions as spurious.
But the statement said “Asiwaju isneither inclined, nor sufficiently naïve,to take his eye off the presentin thefutileattempt to peer through the thick fog that is the future”.
While noting that the National Assembly positions are important to the fulfillment of the President’s agenda, he lamented that a painful lesson was learned in this respect in the last four years.
“With the Senate leadership usurped by regressiveelitiststhat chamber constituted a brake on progress and good governance. “The Senate leadership, andto a lesser degree the House leadership, stymied APC legislativeinitiativeswhile attempting to hoist noxious, reactionaryand self-interestedlegislation on the nation,” he said.
Outgoing Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara and their ilk, he said, highjacked the budget process these past four years.
“National budgets were delayed and distorted as these actors repeatedly sought to pad budgets with pet projects that would profit them.
“Even worse, they cut funds intended to prosper projects that would have benefitted the average person. After four years of their antics halting the progress of government, we should do all we can to prevent a repeat of their malign control of the National Assembly,” he added.
He pointed out that in 2015, Senator Saraki finagled his way into the senate presidency. “He planted himself at the apex of legislative power. Buthis actions as Senate president showed a man devoid of compassion for the average Nigerian. All he cared for waspower andposition.
“Soon he willbedeprived of both. House Speaker Dogara has fared only slightly better.Occupying these positionsis not a guarantee of future success. It is only a guarantee of present duty”.
He said: “Politics requires jockeying and maneuvering for influence toget the right people in the right positions. Tobe beneficial, politicsmust be tied tothegreater purposeofgovernance such aswithPresident Buhari’s goal to reform the national economy for the good of all Nigerians.
“In supporting the party and the president, Asiwaju has shown his commitment to achieving the president’s goals. Nothing more should be read into it”.
The full statement titled “TINUBUFOCUSING ON THE ISSUES OF TODAY: TOMORROW IS THE MASTER OF ITSELF,” is as follows:
“We havemonitored,with rising incredulity,the rash of news stories claiming Asiwaju Tinubu is manipulatingthe APC nomination process for the National Assembly leadership. The stories claim this supposed manipulation is the first salvo in Asiwaju’s effort to positionhimself fora presidential run duringthe 2023 electioncycle. Not only are these reports utterly false, based as they are in the febrile imaginations of those persons by whom they are being peddled,theyare injuriousto President Buhari’s historic questtoreformNigeria.It is for this latter reason that we find cause to speak out where otherwise wewould have continued to watch on in silent amusement.
“Nigeria has barely emerged from President Buhariand the APC’sresoundingvictory in thelastelection.The President, with the support of an APC majority in both chambers of our National Assembly, is now preparing to lead the nation forward for the next four years. Instead of covering the President’s exciting Next Level agenda andwhat it promises in terms of economic and social growth & development,these people want toskip aheadto the next election as if they can cast aside the next four years.
“However, the Nigerian peopledonot elect politicians to office simply to watch on as they maneuver and jostle for position at the next election. The people electthose who they believe will bethe bestpublic servants,committed to the national wellbeing. This is why they reelected in President Buhariwhile rejectingthe horde of political jobbers that constitute the PDP.
“The peddlers of these rumors have arrogated to themselves the preternatural ability to read Asiwaju’s mind more than he himself can know it. They also seem to have acquired the unique gift of bending time so that 2023appearsbefore we even reachthemidway point of2019. If these people wouldonlyenlist their uncanny talents in the service of the nation instead ofinthe service ofpoliticalintrigue and gossip mongeringour country would be much the better.
“This attempt to caricature Asiwaju as if his words and actions are all aimed at grabbing power will fail because this portrait distorts theplaintruth. While the headlines are sensational they are also senseless because they are not grounded in fact. Asiwaju has not run for elected office since 2003. He last held office in 2007. He has never vied to become chairman of the APC nor has hetried toinsinuate himselfintoany major government office.
“If you were asked to name another political figure who has exercised such forbearance, you would be hard pressed to identify another personwith a comparable recordwhen it comes to restraint in seeking office.Where others, upon leaving one office, tend to set their eyes immediately upon another, Asiwaju, uniquely in Nigerian politics, has foregone his personal ambitions as his political ideas and policies have flourished in the hands of his allies and mentees.
“This track recorddoes notevince aman obsessed with power and office. While theintrigue-mongers seek to depictAsiwajuas a man hungeringforposition, hisdeeds speak of something else. These peddlers of tales do not know the measure of the man nor can they understand what motivates him. Thus, theyproject their own petty ambitions and designs on to him. The rumors reveal more about themongersthan they say about Asiwaju. They merelyreveal what these people would do ifthey were Asiwaju. But they are not him and thankfully he is not motivated by thesame selfish designs that fuelsuch people.Perhaps because these people have nothing to contribute regarding statecraft orprovidingactual solutions to actual problems, their minds remainforever mired in political machinations.
“What afflicts them does not affect Asiwaju. Since he last held public office, Asiwaju has, with unprecedented success,dedicated himself toward building apoliticalparty that would furnish a progressive alternative to the regressive policies of the PDP.Joiningforceswith President Buhariand otherswho shared his progressive ideology, he helped form the APC. Since the inception of the APC,Asiwaju’sfocus has been to assist President Buharidevelop, refine andimplement a progressive agenda that would give every Nigerian a fair chance to prosper and provide for his loved ones.
“As he enters his second term, PresidentBuhari hasstated that he will give the economy special priority. His goal is to defeat poverty and joblessness while spurring the type of growth and development that will make Nigeria’s a durable and flourishing economy. These goals are laudable and necessary to move Nigeria forward. However, the obstacles before us are vast and complex.
“Asiwaju’s mind, heart and efforts are focused on supporting the President in achieving their shared vision of a flourishing economy and a prosperous people.Heis committedtodoing what he can to help President Buhari surmount thechallenges in order to achieve the economic reform the nation sorely needs. Given that the imperatives of today are sufficiently dauntingin andof themselves, Asiwajuis neither inclined, nor sufficiently naïve,to take his eye off the presentin thefutileattempt to peer through the thick fog that is the future.
“It is against this backdropthatAsiwaju’s support of the party position regarding the National Assemblyleadership must be interpreted.There is no surprise in him supporting the party and the president’s position regarding the National Assembly positions. Nor is it wrong that he do so. As a loyal party member and progressive leader, he would have committed a terrible wrong bynavigatingagainst the president and party in these matters.
“That Asiwaju has activelyand publiclysupported the party and president should notresult insuch publicbackbiting. We all know how important these positions are to the fulfillment of the president’s agenda.One need only look to thelast four yearsto see how painfully this lesson has been learned. With the Senate leadership usurped by regressiveelitiststhat chamber constituted a brake on progress and good governance. The Senate leadership, andto a lesser degree the House leadership, stymied APC legislativeinitiativeswhile attempting to hoist noxious, reactionaryand self-interestedlegislation on the nation.
“Just look at the way Saraki, Dogara and their ilk highjacked the budget process these past four years.National budgets were delayed and distorted as these actors repeatedly sought to pad budgets with pet projects that would profit them. Even worse, they cut funds intended to prosper projects that would have benefitted the average person. After four years of their antics halting the progress of government, we should do all we can to prevent a repeat of their malign control of the National Assembly.
“If we are truly committed to optimal governance, then we also must be equally committed to ensuring that the National Assembly leadership be competent and experienced as well as imbued with a progressive mindset andadesire to work in close cooperation with executive. This is all Asiwaju has hoped to achieve. There are no ulterior motives. Everything he has done isin concert withand in furtherance of the wishes of President Buhari and the party.
“Thus, those who cast aspersions at Asiwaju, in reality are bucking against thestatedposition of the President. This is a democracy and people have the right to oppose whomever they wishto oppose. However, if these mongers oppose the president let them be of sufficient courage to plainly say so.They should notdisparage Asiwajuas an indirect way to contend against the President.
“What everyone who cares about Nigeria shouldnow dois rally around the president to give him all possible support indriving to reality his economic policies and objectives. This is how we progress as a nation.
“In the end, the rumor-mongers shouldcourtgreaterdisciplin
eand wisdom.As Asiwaju recently said there is no action a person can take that constitutes a political guarantee as to what may come four yearsfrom now.Moreover,thathaving allies in the national assembly leadership positions will greatly enhance someone’s presidential ambitions is a spurious claim.
“In2015, Senator Saraki finagled his way into the senate presidency.He planted himself at the apex of legislative power. Buthis actions as Senate president showed a man devoid of compassion for the average Nigerian. All he cared for waspower andposition. Soon he willbedeprived of both. House Speaker Dogara has fared only slightly better.Occupying these positionsis not a guarantee of future success. It is only a guarantee of present duty.
“Politics requires jockeying and maneuvering for influenceto get the right people in the right positions. Tobe beneficial, politicsmust be tied tothegreater purposeofgovernance such aswithPresident Buhari’s goal to reform the national economy for the good of all Nigerians.In supporting the party and the president, Asiwaju has shown his commitment to achieving the President’s goals. Nothing more should be read into it.
“Elections are over. Now is the timeforgovernanceto take primacy. Those who have taken to intrigue about 2023 reveal themselves to be lacking inessentialconcern for the people and the substantive issues that confront us.Our challenges are steep and multiple. Resolving them will occupyall ofour time and energy. We do not have the luxury to embark on fantasies about the future. Let the future stay where it is for now. In due time, it shall come and shall decide the shape itis totakeregardless of the plans we mortals hold for it.
“As for Asiwaju, he lives in the here and now. His words and deeds are geared towardperfecting progressive governanceandresolving the substantive issues of today. Nothing more, nothing less. Those so enamored with gossiping about him, would do themselves and the nation well if they would follow hismore productiveexample”.