A national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has alleged that Senate President Bukola Saraki and Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State worked against the plan to make him the running mate to Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 presidential election.
He stated that Saraki, El-Rufai and other erstwhile stalwarts of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who defected to the APC ahead of the 2015 elections, instigated Buhari and some APC chieftains not to pick him as the would-be Vice-President.
The former Lagos governor said his opponents convinced Buhari to choose a running mate on the grounds that Christians in the North would not embrace a Muslim-Muslim ticket, and as such, could jeopardise the party’s victory in the poll.
The APC leader’s thoughts were made known in the advanced copy of a book entitled ‘Against the Run of Play: How an Incumbent President was defeated in Nigeria,’ written by former presidential spokesman, Olusegun Adeniyi.
Also in the book, former President Olusegun Obasanjo revealed that he acted more as an opponent of then President Goodluck Jonathan than a supporter of Muhammadu Buhari ahead of the 2015 presidential poll, adding that Jonathan from his first days as President showed he was too small for the office.
Obasanjo, who said Jonathan deceived him that he would not give Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke the petroleum portfolio in his cabinet, added that the former was deceived into believing that he could use money to buy the 2015 presidential election.
“There were certain decisions taken by Jonathan very early in his administration that pointed to the fact that the office was bigger than him and one of them was the appointment of a petroleum minister,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tinubu continued that the arguments put forward by the party members for him not to be made Buhari’s running mate were not genuine, adding that El-Rufai had the intention to ensure the emergence of the Serving Overseer of The Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Buhari’s running mate.
His words, “What they (Saraki and others from the PDP) did behind my back was wrong. We always do things as a group. By the time they joined, we were already too far ahead in our processes but we accommodated them.
“We agreed to take their state structures and subsume them into the part and they all had their opportunity to nominate the candidates of their choices for different political offices.
“But they went behind to instigate Buhari and some other people in the party against me on the pretext of religion. That was not right. They were canvassing arguments that the Christians in the North would not vote for a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
“Nasir el-Rufai was also selling the same argument within the CPC (the defunct Congress for Progressive Change) because at that point, he still wanted to have Pastor Bakare brought in as Buhari’s running mate.”