COVID-19: Tinubu Asks FG To Suspend VAT, Seeks United Nigeria

A file photo of APC National Leader, Mr Bola Tinubu.

 

 

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Bola Tinubu, has called for the immediate suspension of Value Added Tax (VAT), and the reduction of tax in the country.

He made the call as part of measures the Federal Government can apply to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on citizens.

In a message on his 68th birthday, Tinubu said the government may have to take tougher measures to curb the spread of the disease such as imposing lockdowns in Nigeria, as done by most countries battling the scourge.

He believes the immediate suspension of VAT will help lower import costs and protect against shortages.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Coronavirus Cases Rise To 97 As NCDC Confirms Eight More Infections

The former governor of Lagos State also advised the government to consider providing stipends for vulnerable Nigerians who would be most impacted by the health crisis.

He proposed food security, lower interest rates, quantitative easing, and debt suspension, as other measures to ease the effect of COVID-19 on the Nigerian economy.

The APC leader asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to be prepared to enact extraordinary measures, should the financial sector exhibit any form of stress.

“The CBN should be prepared to give banks liberal access to its loan discount window to ensure adequate liquidity within the banking sector,” he said.

 

A United Front

Tinubu also requested that the Cash Reserve Requirement for banks should be revised downward while the apex bank should be willing to expand its balance sheet and improve liquidity by purchasing government bonds and other instruments held by banks and other institutions.

He called for unity and peaceful co-existence among the people, saying this was the only way to win the fight against coronavirus which has killed thousands of people across the world.

The former governor urged Nigerians, whether of APC or the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) affiliation or from the North or South to ignore their differences and join the efforts in curtailing the spread of the disease.

He said, “We have entered a sobering period. We face a challenge we cannot see but one that can find us all too easily. As individuals, this puts every one of us at a startling disadvantage. Each is rendered vulnerable by the reckless act of his neighbour.

“Each is made safer by the enlightened conduct of a stranger. The very nature of this assailant calls us toward greater unity and kindness. In the normal push of our daily affairs, we tend to focus on what divides us. We are either APC, PDP or another political affiliation.”

“One person is rich. Another is poor. There is the labourer then there is the boss. One person is of the North, another of the South, with both often acting as if the boundary between the two cannot be traversed.

“We are of different ethnic groups; these identities mean so much to us that we behave as if the affiliations are the very source of our humanity. In this, we tend to forget God.

“I, therefore, tender these humble comments in the hope they contribute to halting the spread and ill consequences of this dreadful sickness,” Tinubu added.

I’ll Support Total Lockdown If Govt Decides To Do That – Tinubu

File Photo: Bola Tinubu

 

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has said that he would support a total lock down of the country over the coronavirus disease if the government decides to do so.

Tinubu said this on Tuesday while fielding questions from journalists after a brief meeting with the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the State House.

According to him, many countries have ordered a lock down over the rapid spread of the disease and if it has to come to that in Nigeria, he would be in support of it.

Read Also: Lagos Issues Fresh Restrictions, Bans Gathering Of Over 25 People

“We need to observe social distancing. It is a new culture that we have to abide with. I will support total lock down if the government decides to do that. I am in support of it. There should be a total lock down if the government observes that we are not complying,” he said.

Those Who Have Hand In Abule-Ado Blast Must Be Punished – Tinubu

 

National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has condemned the pipeline explosion in Abule-Ado area of Lagos, demanding that those who have hands in the incident should be punished.

In a statement on Sunday from his Media Office, signed by Tunde Rahman, Tinubu commiserated with families and relations of those who lost their lives in the unfortunate occurrence.

READ ALSO: Abule-Ado Explosion: Make Safety Your Priority, Sanwo-Olu Tells Residents

He said: I strongly condemn this incident. I commiserate with families and relations of those who died.  I also sympathise with those who lost their valued property.

In their memories and in order to avert similar occurrence in future, the authorities must get to the root of this incident and curb the incessant pipeline explosion in the area.

All those who had a hand in this explosion, including those who acted in ways to put lives at risk and hard-earned possessions in jeopardy must be punished, no matter how highly placed they may be, he insisted.

Channels TV reported that the death toll from the incident has risen to at least 17, with about 25 people injured.

Buildings, cars and other properties owned by people in the area and environs were destroyed by the impact of the blast.

APC Crisis: Plotters Attacking Oshiomhole Afflicted With 2023 Virus, Says Tinubu

File: National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu, speaks to journalists.

 

National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu has said that the attack on National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, is based on 2023 ambitions of some party members.

Tinubu, who broke silence on the moves to oust Oshiomhole, in a statement on Sunday, stressed that those behind the move are suffering from a sickness he called “old Ambition-virus 2023”.

The APC national leader faulted the move, adding that it is recklessly undermining the party they claim to serve, and also, weaken the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

That sickness is old Ambition-virus 2023. This illness afflicts many in the political class along with their allies in the media. The carriers of this sickness are confused as to the very season our nation now finds itself.

They conflate things, which no sensible person would conflate. The primary symptom of their malady is the driving tendency to believe the events of 2023 will be decided before we even exit the year 2020.

READ ALSO: There’s Evidence Army, DSS Intimidated Voters, Electoral Officials And Election Observers – US

He maintained that the plotters engaging in political manoeuvring is a major concern to note that they are prone to the 2023 virus.

Stressing further, Tinubu stated that Oshiomhole has been a tireless campaigner and mobiliser for the party and his contribution should not be undervalued.

The Chairman has been a tireless campaigner and mobilizer for the party. He has steered the party through difficult elections. His contributions should not be undervalued now that the bulk of elections are behind us. To do so would be an act of ingratitude.

It is no secret that the Chairman and Edo Governor Obaseki are in dispute. This is unfortunate. However, the party has moved through proper procedures within the proper organs of the party to hopefully resolve this spat.

The plotters launched their attack solely because they perceive the chairman as an obstacle to their 2023 ambitions. People went to court knowing full well the party constitution prohibits such action because these people had not yet exhausted all internal disciplinary procedures. We even had a national deputy secretary improperly call for a NEC meeting on the basis that he believed himself the acting national chairman.

Clearly, this man would not have summoned the temerity to make such a move had he not been instigated by powerful individuals who he thought would reward or, at least, protect him for committing the wrongful act, Tinubu said.

He added that those who have engaged in the moves believe they are clever and understand the political intrigue. He maintained that it is not yet time for 2023 politics to take centre stage in 2020.

This is the time for governance. It is not the moment to bring the politics of 2023 into 2020. In due course, 2023 shall come. Nothing can prevent it. However, that time is not today.  If we are earnest, the present offers sufficient work and challenges for us without trying to add to it by rushing the future.

Tinubu called on all party members to dedicate energies to help President Buhari surmount the challenges facing the country and leave the 2023 frenzy and commit themselves to the harder yet more rewarding task of improving progressive governance, whether within the party or at the local, state or federal levels. 

Tinubu Asks Nigerians To Focus On Nation-Building, Not Buhari’s Successor

President Muhammadu Buhari with APC national leader, Bola Tinubu, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on January 7, 2020.

 

 

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu, has advised Nigerians to worry less about who will succeed the President.

Instead, he said the task of nation-building and moving the country forward should take priority over the search for a successor for President Muhammadu Buhari ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Tinubu made the remarks while briefing State House correspondents on Tuesday, shortly after meeting with the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

READ ALSO: Third Term Agenda: Buhari Has The Courage To Refuse Such A Temptation – Tinubu

“Restlessness of politics is going to be there, but any lover of this country will not talk about the succession plan yet; that’s the truth.”

“Concentrate on working for the country, help the country, help the President to help the country,” he advised Nigerians.

The APC leader added, “We cannot (use) 360 degrees, 365 (days) in a year to work on politics, it’s not possible.

“Anybody talking about that now; it’s just complete restlessness and not focused on the agenda of the nation-building and development of our country.”

His comments come two days after a former running mate of President Buhari and senior pastor of the Latter Rain Assembly, Tunde Bakare, asked the President not to sit on the fence when it comes to choosing his successor.

According to Bakare, a key responsibility that history bestows on the President is “to institutionalise systems of accurate succession that will build and sustain the Nigeria that is desired”.

In its response, the Presidency gave an assurance President Buhari would not manipulate the process to pick a successor.

The President’s media adviser, Femi Adesina, who was on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday noted that although his principal has an interest in who would succeed him, he would not handpick a successor.

Third Term Agenda: Buhari Has The Courage To Refuse Such A Temptation – Tinubu

APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu, addressing reporters at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on January 7, 2020.

 

 

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Bola Tinubu, has dismissed the claims that President Muhammadu Buhari would be seeking a third term in office.

He recalled that the President had vehemently opposed the third term agenda of one of his predecessors some years ago.

Tinubu, who visited President Buhari on Tuesday, stated this while addressing State House correspondents in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

“I was in the struggle for democracy,” said the former Lagos State governor.

He added, “I was in opposition to a third term agenda of a former leader of this country, with Muhammadu Buhari, Mr President; I know he will never.”

READ ALSO: Tackle Electoral Violence, Not Third Term, PDP Tells Buhari

The APC chieftain, however, urged Nigerians to believe in the President whom he said would never have any thought of seeking re-election as President in the 2023 general elections.

He stressed that President Buhari would not be interested in extending his tenure in office after 2023, even if it was offered to him.

Tinubu said, “He (Buhari) has the courage and the character to refuse such a temptation, even if offered to him. I believe in him and I believe Nigerians should believe in him.”

PHOTOS: APC National Leader Tinubu Visits President Buhari

Tinubu’s reaction is the latest among many others over allegations that the President was nursing a third term agenda.

Addressing a meeting of the APC National Executive Council (NEC) in November 2019, President Buhari dismissed the claims.

He told party leaders at the gathering in Abuja that he could afford to be reckless because he had no plans to remain in power after the 2023 general elections.

In its reaction, the Peoples Democratic Party said “the issue of third term is a dead-end” and asked the President to end all attempts to bring the issue of running for another term in 2023 to public discourse.

It, however, advised the President to address the issue of violence during elections in the country.

PHOTOS: APC National Leader Tinubu Visits President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari with APC national leader, Bola Tinubu, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on January 7, 2020.

 

 

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has visited President Muhammadu Buhari.

President Buhari received the APC leader on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Tinubu had a session with State House correspondents during the visit.

See more photos below:

Sultan, Obi Of Onitsha, Tinubu, Others Bag Honourary Degrees In ABUAD

Afe Babalola University (ABUAD) on Monday conferred honourary degrees on top individuals including the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar; the Obi of Onitsha Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe; and the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu.

The dignitaries were honoured during the seventh convocation ceremony of the institution in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State capital.

Sultan of Sokoto and Obi of Onitsha were decorated as Doctor of Letters while Tinubu was decorated as Doctor of Public Administration.

READ ALSO: Sultan Of Sokoto, Tinubu, Others Attend ABUAD Convocation Ceremony

During the reading of his citation, the Sultan of Sokoto is described as a serial honourary awardee who has received honourary degrees in over 10 universities. He is also the current chancellor of the University of Ibadan.

Tinubu was honoured by the institution for his political acumen and for being a true believer in federalism.

The honourary awardees were subsequently inducted into the alumni association of ABUAD.

Olakunrin’s Murder: It Is Sad, Unacceptable Tinubu Reacts

 

National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has described the killing of Mrs Funke Olakunrin as sad and unacceptable.

He said this when he led a delegation on a condolence visit to the Akure residence of Pa Reuben Fasoranti on the death of his daughter.

Tinubu who spoke to journalists after the visit advised that the incident should unite the Yoruba race and not be allowed to divide the people.

“The incident that affected one member of our family, Mrs Olakunrin is seriously sad and unacceptable, but nobody can return her life, she has answered the call, be it Christian or Muslim, we all accepted that it is certain we are going to die one day, we don’t know which date.

“But we must not use this incident to divide ourselves, we must use it as a cure to the security problem.”

READ ALSO: No Group Should Be Shielded When It Commits A Crime, Says Odumakin

He stressed the need to strengthen security in the country and also address poverty and unemployment.

“I’m a nationalist, the security concern and the challenge right now must be faced squarely throughout Nigeria.”

Avoid Inflammatory Statements, Tinubu Appeals To Elderly Nigerians

 

National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has appealed to elderly Nigerians to avoid ‘inflammatory statements’ that could undermine peaceful co-existence among the nation’s diverse communities.

A statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu, quoted Tinubu who spoke after an Iftar dinner meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, urged Nigerians to rally round the Federal Government to solve the challenges and stabilise the polity, owing to the enormous challenges facing the nation.

“The President worked hard and will continue to do so to ensure peace and stability in the country, which are important for the economy to make progress. These are the key pegs of his agenda. Let us all come together to support him.”

READ ALSO: Presidential Inauguration: Nigeria Is Safe For World Leaders To Come, Says Lai Mohammed

The APC National Leader commended President Buhari for the recognition of June 12th as the nation’s Democracy Day.

Others present at the meeting include; Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar and Emir of Kazaure, Dr. Najib Hussaini Adamu, Nigerian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Justice Isa Dodo, Malam Mamman Daura, Isma’ila Isa, Mr Wale Tinubu and Mr Hakeem P. Fahm, the Commissioner of Science and Technology, Lagos State.

Dogara Slams Tinubu, Lists 8th National Assembly’s Achievements

Dogara Slams Tinubu, Lists 8th National Assembly's Achievements

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has defended the performance of the Eighth National Assembly since 2015.

In a statement on Tuesday by his media adviser, Turaki Hassan, the lawmaker listed the achievements of the assembly and how its leadership has supported the executive despite their political differences.

He stated this in reaction to a statement from the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, accusing the assembly of budget padding among other allegations.

READ ALSOSaraki, Dogara And Their Ilks Hijacked The Budget This Last Four Years – Tinubu

Dogara slammed Tinubu for the making such allegations, saying he has done more to stabilise the present government than the APC leader.

He, however, attributed the delay in budget passage to “persistent refusal or neglect of the Executive” to present it in good time.

He alleged that there was no urgency or plan by the Executive to achieve a January to December budget cycle, in the last four years.

The Speaker explained that the 2016 Budget was submitted on December 22, 2015, while that of 2017 was submitted just 17 days to the end of the year – December 14, 2016.

He added that the 2018 Budget was presented on November 7, 2017, and the 2019 budget was presented 12 days to the end of 2018.

The lawmaker said some ministers and heads of agencies allegedly contributed to the delay by refusing to appear before the National Assembly Standing Committees to defend their budget proposals, in line with the provision of the Law.

Listing some of the achievements of the Eighth Assembly, he noted that the legislature effected an amendment to Section 81(1) of the Constitution to compel the President to present the Budget estimates not later than 90 days to the end of a financial year.

Dogara insisted that the legislature cannot be accused of padding a budget it has unquestionable constitutional power to review.

According to him, it is only the ignorant that say the maker of a document has padded the document that only he can constitutionally make.

Some of the other achievements highlighted by the Speaker are approval of the $1 billion fund for arms purchase “without appropriation”, and helping the government improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

 

Read the full statement below:

We have noted the statement issued on April 21, 2019 by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu wherein he stated his reasons for sponsoring or supporting some aspirants to various leadership positions in the forthcoming 9th Assembly. Ordinarily, this would not have elicited any response from His Excellency, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara, as  Asiwaju is entitled to sponsor those he believes will have no choice but  answer to his dog whistles anytime he blows same in his capacity as the self-acclaimed National Leader of his party.

If Asiwaju had confined his intervention to stubborn facts, this response would not have been necessary.

He, however, used the opportunity to manufacture falsehoods and paint a non-existing picture of the stewardship of Mr Speaker and the work of the 8th House of Representatives under his watch. It is, therefore, incumbent on us to set the records straight for posterity.

Asiwaju Tinubu accused the leadership of the National Assembly of stymieing “the APC legislative initiatives while attempting to hoist noxious reactionary and self-interested legislation on the nation”.

He said further: “Just look at the way Saraki and Dogara and their ilk hijacked the Budget Process these past four years. National budgets were delayed and distorted as these actors repeatedly sought to pad budgets with pet projects that would profit them”.

He continued, “Even worse, they cut funds intended to prosper projects that would have benefited the average person. After four years of their antics halting the progress of government, we should do all we can to prevent a repeat of their malign control of the National Assembly”.

He generously used the usual unexplained words like installing a progressive leadership and so on.

We do not expect Asiwaju Tinubu to dwell on brazen mendacity, much less murder facts and decorum in his rabid bid to justify his patently clear fascist agenda of controlling all levers of power in Nigeria.

Asiwaju Tinubu’s nocturnal agenda has no parallel in the history of any democracy and it is more loathsome when he throws caution to the winds and maligns government officials who are doing a yeoman’s job of stabilising the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, even in spite of political differences.

It is on record that the Rt. Hon. Speaker has done more to stabilise this government more than Asiwaju Tinubu and his ilk whose stock in trade is scheming, manipulation and subversion, especially when they feel they cannot be caught.

When the history of Buhari’s administration is written by those who know the truth of what really transpired in the last four years, Asiwaju’s pretentious loyalty to President Buhari will then be exposed. We won’t say more but no matter how long it may last, the truth will one day overtake lies.

Perhaps, Asiwaju is still bitter about the leadership contest for Speakership of the 8th Assembly, even though the actors have moved on culminating in Speaker Dogara magnanimously facilitating the appointment of his opponent in the race and Tinubu’s protege as House Majority leader.

The chief cause of delay in enacting the budget is the persistent refusal or neglect of the Executive to present it in good time.

For the records, in the last four years, there was no urgency or plan by the Executive to achieve a January to December budget cycle. For the avoidance of doubt, we will show the dates the Budget estimates were submitted by the Executive in the last four years below.

–              2016 Budget was submitted on December 22, 2015, exactly nine days to the end of the year.

–              2017 Budget submitted on December 14, 2016, just 17 days to the end of the year.

–              2018 Budget was presented on November 7, 2017, the earliest even though it also fell short of the 90 days stipulated by the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

–              2019 budget was presented on December 19, 2018, exactly 12 days to the end of the year. 

As if the late or delayed submission of budget estimates wasn’t enough, in most cases, Ministers and heads of agencies contributed to the so-called delay by consistently refusing to appear before National Assembly Standing Committees to defend their budget proposals in line with the provision of the Law. 

At some point, the leadership of the National Assembly had to take up the issue with the President who advised his Ministers to honour legislative invitations to defend their budgets. 

What Nigerians don’t know is that the Executive, through the various Ministries, continued to propose additional projects to be included in the 2018 budget even as at April and May of 2018 which further delayed the passage of the 2018 budget.

These were communicated officially and if anyone is in doubt, we will exhibit the letters with the dates they were written and received.

In any case, the National Assembly inserted a clause in the Appropriation Bill consistent with S.318 of the Constitution which allowed the Budget to last for 12 months after Mr President’s Assent. This enabled the Executive to spend more of the capital component of the Budget as it still had 12 months protected by law.

As an activist legislature, the National Assembly effected an amendment to S. 81(1) of the Constitution to compel Mr President to present the Budget estimates not later than 90 days to the end of a financial year in order to solve this problem but unfortunately, very unfortunately, Mr President declined  assent to the bill which was passed by both the National Assembly and over 2/3rds of the State Assemblies.

The National Assembly made a further attempt to make the Budget process much better by improving the institutional capacity of the Parliament to process and pass National budgets by passing the National Assembly Budget and Research Office (NABRO) Establishment Bill into law. It was loosely modelled after the American Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Again, Mr President declined assent to the Bill.

It is important to emphasise that the National Assembly is not a Rubber Stamp Parliament and reserves the right,  working cooperatively with the Executive to interrogate projects unilaterally inserted by the Executive branch without the input of or consultation with Parliament.

The legislature cannot be accused of padding a Budget it has unquestionable constitutional power to review. The Budget is a law and the Executive does not make laws. Therefore, it’s only the ignorant and those who hold dubious academic certificates that say the maker of a document has padded the document that only he can constitutionally make.

In the words of his lordship, Hon Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High court,  in suit No.FHC/ABJ/CS/259/2014 delivered on March 9, 2016, “the National Assembly was not created by drafters of the Constitution and imbued with the powers to receive ‘budget estimates’ which the first defendant is constitutionally empowered to prepare and lay before it, as a rubber stamp parliament. The whole essence of the budget estimates being required to be laid before Parliament is to enable it, being the Assembly of the representatives of the people, to debate the said budget proposals and to make its own well-informed legislative inputs into it.”

The parliamentarians are representatives of the Nigerian people and you don’t expect them to rubber stamp budgets that are heavily skewed and lopsided against most sections of the country. It is their responsibility to ensure equitable and even distribution of capital projects across all the nooks and crannies of the country, if the Executive fails to do so. 

In any case, it is false to state that legislative intervention in the Budget Process is to benefit the legislators and not their constituencies. We challenge Asiwaju Tinubu to prove otherwise. He should also show in what way the 8th Assembly acted differently from other Assemblies of the past to warrant the kind of language used.

In any case, all the aspirants to the Senate Presidency and Speakership he is sponsoring are majority leaders in the 8th Assembly and took part in the Budget Process that he made the chief basis of his crude attack. This proves beyond doubt the hypocrisy of Asiwaju’s stated reasons for supporting his candidates.

He should find better reasons other than the lies being peddled about the Budget and obstructing government business. Asiwaju shouldn’t take better informed Nigerians for fools. Otherwise, when he sought to take control of the 8th Senate and 8th House in 2015, was it because of any Budget Saraki and Dogara had delayed or pet projects they had inserted into any Budget before 2015?

Asiwaju must come clean on this matter. He should let Nigerians know why he wants to install both the Senate President, the Speaker and leadership of the 9th Assembly. He may yet win the support of some of them if he comes clean on this matter.

The 8th National Assembly is on record to have supported Mr President’s requests on critical issues of governance. We backed him by Resolution on the issue of fuel subsidy, we backed him on the National Minimum wage, even though we were more sympathetic to workers’ rights.

In security matters, we never cut any proposal from Mr President save our refusal to rubber stamp a clear constitutional overreach of spending $1 billion in arms purchase without appropriation. We have passed more Bills than any Assembly before us, including Bills that are helping the government improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria, and there were times we passed Bills within 2 legislative days. Is Tinubu genuinely ignorant of all these?

We challenge Asiwaju Tinubu to list out the Bills he claimed were not passed by the National Assembly. The oil and gas or petroleum sector is the most important and critical sector of our economy which accounts for over 70 per cent of our earnings, the Executive didn’t forward a single Bill to the National Assembly to reform and reposition the sector in the last four years even when repeatedly urged to do so by Mr Speaker in his first year in office.

The lawmakers waited in vain and had to take the bold initiative of crafting a Bill – Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PGIB) among others, passed it in record time and transmitted same to Mr President for assent. This Bill was vetoed without an alternative Legal framework proposed by the Executive. Did Asiwaju miss this also?

Asiwaju Tinubu should mention the so-called bills the Executive sent to the National Assembly and were delayed to show he is a man of honour or forever keep his peace.

Could someone also challenge Asiwaju to list all the “noxious reactionary and self-interested legislation on the nation”? Can he name the bills that are reactionary and not in the national interest? Is this how wayward lust for power blinds the reasoning of people we should ordinarily respect? Is it not most unfair, unpatriotic and wicked for Asiwaju Tinubu to have resorted to factoids in promoting his known fascist agenda which he mistakenly thinks he is keeping secret?

Finally, we advise Asiwaju Tinubu to be circumspect in his use of language. In this case, he spoke as a spokesperson of depravity. Our reaction must, therefore, be seen as a provoked counter-punch.

Anyone can descend into the gutter if he so wishes but no one has a monopoly of gutter language. We won’t run an adult day care centre anymore on matters like this.

Turaki Hassan 

Special Adviser (Media & Public Affairs)

April 23, 2019.

NASS Leadership: Why I Am Backing Buhari, APC’s Position – Tinubu

NASS Leadership: Why I Am Backing Buhari, APC’s Position – Tinubu
APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu, speaks at an event in Abuja on March 28, 2019. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has explained why he is supporting the President and the party’s position regarding the leadership of the ninth National Assembly.

In a statement from his media office on Sunday, the former governor he had no ulterior motives in doing so ahead of the election of presiding officers of the National Assembly.

According to him, all his mind, heart and efforts are focused on backing the APC and President Buhari in achieving their shared vision of a flourishing economy and a prosperous people.

READ ALSOPDP Seeks Prayers For National Rebirth At Easter

The APC leader was responding to reports that he was meddling in the party’s nomination process to position himself for a presidential run in 2023.

He condemned the reports, saying he would have committed a terrible blunder by navigating against the President’s position.

Tinubu alleged that some people were casting aspersions at him, adding that they were, in reality, bucking against the position of the President.

He, therefore, urged those he described as “rumour-mongers” to court greater discipline and wisdom, stressing that there was no action a person can take that constitutes a political guarantee as to what may come in the next four years.

The APC leader also described the claim that having allies in the National Assembly leadership positions would greatly enhance someone’s presidential ambitions as spurious.

He, however, noted that the National Assembly positions were important to the fulfilment of the President’s agenda, saying the party learned a ‘painful lesson’ in the last four years.

The statement entitled, “Tinubu Focusing On The Issues Of Today: Tomorrow Is The Master Of Itself,” was sign by Tunde Rahman.

Part of it read, “We have monitored, with rising incredulity, the rash of news stories claiming Asiwaju Tinubu is manipulating the APC nomination process for the National Assembly leadership. The stories claim this supposed manipulation is the first salvo in Asiwaju’s effort to position himself for a presidential run during the 2023 election cycle.

“Not only are these reports utterly false, based as they are in the febrile imaginations of those persons by whom they are being peddled, they are injurious to President Buhari’s historic quest to reform Nigeria. It is for this latter reason that we find cause to speak out where otherwise we would have continued to watch on in silent amusement.

“Nigeria has barely emerged from President Buhari and the APC’s resounding victory in the last election. The President, with the support of an APC majority in both chambers of our National Assembly, is now preparing to lead the nation forward for the next four years. Instead of covering the President’s exciting Next Level agenda and what it promises in terms of economic and social growth and development, these people want to skip ahead to the next election as if they can cast aside the next four years.

“However, the Nigerian people do not elect politicians to office simply to watch on as they maneuver and jostle for position at the next election. The people elect those who they believe will be the best public servants, committed to the national wellbeing. This is why they re-elected President Buhari while rejecting the horde of political jobbers that constitute the PDP.

“The peddlers of these rumors have arrogated to themselves the preternatural ability to read Asiwaju’s mind more than he himself can know it. They also seem to have acquired the unique gift of bending time so that 2023 appears before we even reach the midway point of 2019. If these people would only enlist their uncanny talents in the service of the nation instead of in the service of political intrigue and gossip mongering our country would be much the better.

“This attempt to caricature Asiwaju as if his words and actions are all aimed at grabbing power will fail because this portrait distorts the plain truth. While the headlines are sensational they are also senseless because they are not grounded in fact. Asiwaju has not run for elected office since 2003. He last held office in 2007. He has never vied to become chairman of the APC nor has he tried to insinuate himself into any major government office.

“If you were asked to name another political figure who has exercised such forbearance, you would be hard pressed to identify another person with a comparable record when it comes to restraint in seeking office. Where others, upon leaving one office, tend to set their eyes immediately upon another, Asiwaju, uniquely in Nigerian politics, has foregone his personal ambitions as his political ideas and policies have flourished in the hands of his allies and mentees.

“This track record does not evince a man obsessed with power and office. While the intrigue-mongers seek to depict Asiwaju as a man hungering for position, his deeds speak of something else. These peddlers of tales do not know the measure of the man nor can they understand what motivates him. Thus, they project their own petty ambitions and designs on to him. The rumors reveal more about the mongers than they say about Asiwaju.

“They merely reveal what these people would do if they were Asiwaju. But they are not him and thankfully he is not motivated by the same selfish designs that fuel such people. Perhaps because these people have nothing to contribute regarding statecraft or providing actual solutions to actual problems, their minds remain forever mired in political machinations.

“What afflicts them does not affect Asiwaju. Since he last held public office, Asiwaju has, with unprecedented success, dedicated himself toward building a political party that would furnish a progressive alternative to the regressive policies of the PDP. Joining forces with President Buhari and others who shared his progressive ideology, he helped form the APC. Since the inception of the APC, Asiwaju’s focus has been to assist President Buhari develop, refine and implement a progressive agenda that would give every Nigerian a fair chance to prosper and provide for his loved ones.

“As he enters his second term, President Buhari has stated that he will give the economy special priority. His goal is to defeat poverty and joblessness while spurring the type of growth and development that will make Nigeria’s a durable and flourishing economy. These goals are laudable and necessary to move Nigeria forward. However, the obstacles before us are vast and complex.

“Asiwaju’s mind, heart and efforts are focused on supporting the President in achieving their shared vision of a flourishing economy and a prosperous people. He is committed to doing what he can to help President Buhari surmount the challenges in order to achieve the economic reform the nation sorely needs. Given that the imperatives of today are sufficiently daunting in and of themselves, Asiwaju is neither inclined, nor sufficiently naive, to take his eye off the present in the futile attempt to peer through the thick fog that is the future.

“It is against this backdrop that Asiwaju’s support of the party position regarding the National Assembly leadership must be interpreted. There is no surprise in him supporting the party and the president’s position regarding the National Assembly positions.  Nor is it wrong that he do so.  As a loyal party member and progressive leader, he would have committed a terrible wrong by navigating against the president and party in these matters.

“That Asiwaju has actively and publicly supported the party and president should not result in such public backbiting. We all know how important these positions are to the fulfilment of the president’s agenda. One need only look to the last four years to see how painfully this lesson has been learned.

“If we are truly committed to optimal governance, then we also must be equally committed to ensuring that the National Assembly leadership be competent and experienced as well as imbued with a progressive mindset and a desire to work in close cooperation with executive. This is all Asiwaju has hoped to achieve. There are no ulterior motives. Everything he has done is in concert with and in furtherance of the wishes of President Buhari and the party.

“Thus, those who cast aspersions at Asiwaju, in reality are bucking against the stated position of the President. This is a democracy and people have the right to oppose whomever they wish to oppose. However, if these mongers oppose the president let them be of sufficient courage to plainly say so. They should not disparage Asiwaju as an indirect way to contend against the President.

“What everyone who cares about Nigeria should now do is rally around the president to give him all possible support in driving to reality his economic policies and objectives. This is how we progress as a nation.

“In the end, the rumor-mongers should court greater discipline and wisdom. As Asiwaju recently said there is no action a person can take that constitutes a political guarantee as to what may come four years from now. Moreover, that having allies in the national assembly leadership positions will greatly enhance someone’s presidential ambitions is a spurious claim.

“Politics requires jockeying and maneuvering for influenceto get the right people in the right positions. To be beneficial, politics must be tied to the greater purpose of governance such as with President Buhari’s goal to reform the national economy for the good of all Nigerians. In supporting the party and the president, Asiwaju has shown his commitment to achieving the President’s goals. Nothing more should be read into it.

“Elections are over. Now is the time for governance to take primacy. Those who have taken to intrigue about 2023 reveal themselves to be lacking in essential concern for the people and the substantive issues that confront us. Our challenges are steep and multiple. Resolving them will occupy all of our time and energy. We do not have the luxury to embark on fantasies about the future. Let the future stay where it is for now. In due time, it shall come and shall decide the shape it is to take regardless of the plans we mortals hold for it.

“As for Asiwaju, he lives in the here and now. His words and deeds are geared toward perfecting progressive governance and resolving the substantive issues of today.  Nothing more, nothing less. Those so enamoured with gossiping about him, would do themselves and the nation well if they would follow his more productive example”.