By Lawrence Olaoye
National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the newly appointed Chairman of the party’s Reconciliation Committee, Sen. Ahmed Bola Tinubu, has advised former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Military President Ibrahim Babangida to join retirees’ club and take pensions.
Tinubu gave this counsel yesterday while briefing newsmen after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari alongside the former APC Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, at the Presidential Villa.
The former governor of Lagos also described President Buhari as a rare being both in Nigeria and Africa, having fought to keep the country one and again came into politics to save the nation.
Asked to react to recent statements released by the former leaders wherein they counseled Buhari not to contest the 2019 Presidential election, Tinubu said:
“I don’t address those shadows. We should let our former presidents join retirees’ club and take pensions; but they can participate in our politics if they are interested. It is a free world, but this freedom is not served a la carte; they should allow us to move our country forward. It is a challenge to every Nigerian.”
Asked how he felt concerning the task of reconciling aggrieved members of the party given to him by the President, Tinubu said: “Well, l feel greatly honoured with the mutual confidence that the president has reposed in me which is a very strong political challenge. We have started in earnest. He has given me free hand to put coercion, confidence and trust in the party.
“Democracy is about conflict resolution process. You can’t do it without resolving conflicts. We can’t build it without understanding the conflicts and sources where we are coming from. But we want to leave the country with a legacy. It’s not about Mr. President. That is what he’s telling the country.
“It’s about our country and no other choice to democratic tenets than through political party platforms. He’s one of those rare beings around the country, around Africa who had experienced both worlds: he fought a battle to save Nigeria and came to politics to save Nigeria. Very rare people have such an opportunity in their life time and that’s what we talk about legacy, and where we have all the challenges, do what we should do.
“I’m enjoying the challenges so far.”
On the chances of the APC in the 2019 general elections, Tinubu said: “You are asking me an obvious question. I belong to this party. My commitment is to this party. We have a better chance and we are strongly determined to prosecute election in a most transparent and democratic manner and we will win.”