By Egena Sunday Ode
Former Lagos State Governor, Ahmed Bola Tinubu has urged Nigerians to give maximum cooperation to President Muhammadu Buhari administration in order to overcome the current security challenges, saying that no president or leader would want their countries ruined by banditry, tribalism and religious differences, among others.
According to him, the current manifestation of these vices calls for serious management, evaluation and dialogue once in a while.
Tinubu spoke to newsmen at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja Monday night after he had met with the President.
His meeting with Buhari was the first in over a year which development had fuelled speculations of a rift in their relationship. The President had, however, clarified in a statement recently that the insinuation was wrong.
Asked what the President needed from Nigerians in the face of the current prevailing security challenge, Tinubu who is popularly called Asiwaju of Lagos responded:
“Cooperation, understanding and determination. Effective security, effective information. There is no president who will want his country in chaos. Have you seen one? Point one to me. There is no one that will want his citizens exposed to banditry and danger.
“There’s no president or leader that will want his nation fractured by tribalism, religious differences and all that. It calls for serious management and serious evaluation and dialogue once in a while. That’s all.”
On the best way out of the present quamire, he said: “The best way is what we are doing; coming together to reduce banditry, to move for unity and be able to bring a better Nigeria to the people. The welfare of our people is extremely important. And yes, every nation will go through this curves and difficult times. How we communicate it to the people, what are the areas to help make it easier for people to bear, those are ideas on how to be able to change the leadership of the country.”
Tinubu also responded to a question on the chances of the All Progreasives Congress (APC) returning to power after President Buhari’s exit in 2023, saying that the chances are as bright as midnight star.
His words: “No, I don’t want to predict that one right now, I don’t want to do that subject now. The chances are as bright as a midnight star. We’ll continue to work for a better Nigeria and that’s what you need.
“We cannot interject politics and assumption into everything, we have a nation to build, we have a baton to pass. You can depend on Buhari that he will not spend one hour beyond his tenure. He will do that, he will comply with the Constitution. So, how it happens? Read the Nigerian Constitution and find out from INEC website.”
On the alleged frosty relationship between him and Buhari, Tinubu said: “Nothing like that, nothing like unhealthy. Who, is our doctor? Is it social media that is measuring the relationship? I don’t have to disturb him openly on camera, is it? No, we have so many ways to look at issues. We have nothing like that.”
He explained that his Monday night visit to Buhari was to “generally review the perceptions going on outside there and equally focus on the security across the country more. He will have more information than we have, but we are his ears close to the ground and we have to exchange views so that a better Nigeria is grounded. That’s all.”