Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has dismissed the threat posed by Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president and president candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
After meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, Tinubu was asked if he is jittery about the strategy meeting convened by Atiku in Dubai, UAE, to unseat Buhari.
“We don’t fear. Whether it is in the jungle, or it is in Dubai or it is in Abu Dhabi, people are free to meet and strategise in anyway they want but we are not going back to the illusion of the PDP,” he replied.
“It is not possible, Nigerians will not do that. They say slow and steady wins the race. We inherited that from our forefathers and knowledgeable people. We can’t go back to the pit that we inherited for 16 years. They can strategise from anywhere but a leopard cannot change it skin.”
He said the meeting with Buhari was about “the nation, the country, our people, peace, stability and economic progress”.
Asked if he was in support of the call for Adams Oshiomhole’s removal as APC national chairman, Tinubu said: “No. We all have to respect party supremacy. You were all here when we had the congress, we elected the new executives, the convention we had it, the NEC was formed and we surrendered to avoid conflict, to avoid domination, to avoid abuses of power, we surrendered our rights, all rights to the national working committee headed by Adams Oshiomhole.
“That the national working committee should set up electoral bodies to supervise various state congresses and elections. We signed for it. So, if it is not in our individual favour, so be it. We gave three options: consensus, where there is no consensus because if you are more than two or three and you cannot agree to one candidate, you go to the next level.
“The next level is the stakeholders’ delegate election and you have to be supervised by the national working committee of the party, national election committee of the party. That shows party supremacy.
“We had the freest option, the less cumbersome is to open direct primary, line up and count the number, 1,2,3. If you win, you win and if you fail, go home. Then appeal committee was set up to listen to all appeals, internal mechanism for conflict resolution. It was there, you cannot turn round against that, you cannot turn against all of that.
“No. Party is supreme, party must be respected, abuses will not do it and anger will not do it. It is party politics, somebody will win and somebody will lose… too bad.”