The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, says he has informed the President Muhammadu Buhari of his decision to run for the office of President in 2023.
Tinubu revealed this to State House correspondents on Monday after a private meeting with the president at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The APC leader however said that he is yet to publicly disclose his ambition as he was still in consultations with various interest groups across the country.
Tinubu’s meeting with the President Buhari came days after the nation’s number one man declared in a televised interview that he would not divulge his favourite for the APC 2023 presidential ticket.
Asked if he had officially informed Buhari about his ambition to run, the APC leader said, “I answer that with a categorical yes. I’ve informed the President of my intention, but I have not informed Nigerians yet. I’m still consulting. And I have no problem consulting. And I’ve not set a parameter of limitation to the extent of how many people I will consult.
“You will soon hear; all you want to hear is the categorical declaration. You’ve got that truth from me that I have informed Mr President of my ambition, and you don’t expect more answers than that.”
The former Lagos State Governor also revealed that the President did not advise him to drop his ambition.
“He is a democrat. He didn’t ask me to stop. He didn’t ask me not to attempt and pursue my ambition. It is a lifelong ambition. So, why do I expect him to say more than that? You are running a democratic dispensation, and you must adopt the principles and the values and virtues of democracy. That’s it.” Tinubu explained.
When asked about his potential race for the APC ticket with the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; for whom many groups have been mobilising support, Tinubu revealed that, as former Governor of Lagos State, he possessed the capacity, confidence and vision to “rule” the country.
“I don’t want to discuss individuals now. I must discuss myself. I have the confidence, the vision, the capacity to rule, build on the foundation of Mr President, and turn Nigeria better. I have done that with commitment in Lagos State.
“You’ve seen that experience and the capacity to turn things around, and that is what we are doing. You know, the confusion and drift of the past in the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) are being corrected. And you can’t take away from that. As we are today, go back to the data on how many barrels of oil were we producing when we first came in and what it is today? Even at the time we came in, we did not pay the counterpart funds to start our rail line.
“Today, you enjoy the comfort of having rail from Lagos to Ibadan. You have the Kaduna and the one for Kano State on the aggressive pipeline; you see excellent infrastructure. I just came from Azare, and I have seen good roads. The carnage of dying in vehicles is reducing except for the lack of compliance by many Nigerian drivers. Let us think back. Let us be intellectually inquisitive as to the past and the present and what the future holds for Nigeria,” he said.
On the purpose of his visit to the State House, Tinubu said he came to see the President Buhari on general issues concerning Nigeria, the APC, security, the achievements recorded so far under the administration of the day and the New Year agenda.
The Presidential hopeful, who declined to reveal his plans for the country should he become President, said he also discussed direct primaries, the APC convention and reacted to those advising him to remain a kingmaker rather than gun for the throne.
Meanwhile, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation Ohanaeze Ndigbo described the declaration of Tinubu to contest the Presidency in 2023 as against the rules of natural justice as unfortunate.
It regretted that the former Lagos State Governor had chosen to add to the crisis of Nigeria instead of joining hands with patriots to save the corporate existence of the country.
The spokesman for the Igbo apex body, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, who spoke to one of our correspondents while reacting to the Tinubu’s formal declaration, said, “It is an assertion rooted in history and experience that any project that is not supported by justice and equity will not succeed.
Ogbonnia said Tinubu knew that he was doing the wrong thing, embarking on a project that was not rooted in equity, justice and fair play.
He said “It is a project that is dead on arrival. Because God is a universal entity that he is always interested in truth, fairness and equity. So for anybody embarking on anything that is not rooted in equity and justice will not succeed and this is a countervailing force that has sustained this world from the beginning.