Tinubu replies critics, says ‘speech didn’t disrespect Buhari, North’

Presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has said his recent speech, in Abeokuta, on his presidential ambition did not demonstrate any disrespect to President Muhammadu Buhari.

A statement signed by the Director, Media and Communications, Tinubu Presidential Campaign Organisation, Bayo Onanuga, Friday said, no time did Tinubu play any ethnic card or denigrate any ethnic group.

He noted that the main thrust of Tinubu’s presentation was that his huge contributions to the formation and electoral success of the ruling APC should count in his favour, as a true party man who desires to be the flag bearer.

“That is surely out of his character, as Engineer David Babachir Lawal, attested in his viral whatsApp statement. Tinubu’s speech did not demonstrate any disrespect to Buhari for whom he has a very high regard, and whose re-election campaign he chaired in 2019.

“Since the video of the speech he delivered in Yoruba hit the social media, varied interpretations have been given to the speech, which in the main was about Governor Abiodun, who in the true tradition of Yoruba culture bowed to his leader after Tinubu’s short speech,” the statement partly read.

According to Onanuga, the fresh conditions proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari for the consideration of a presidential candidate of the party made it necessary for Asiwaju to labour to convince the delegates that he fits the bill.

He described the interpretation of Tinubu’s address in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital on Thursday as erroneous, misleading and mischievous.

Onanuga however, said the Tinubu campaign is not surprised why the opposition in the APC have decided to turn and twist the statement.

“We are least surprised that he is the target of well-calculated and most unkind virulent attacks,” he said.

He described the former Lagos governor as a great party man and remains the man to beat at the party’s convention on Monday.

“In his effort to convince the party delegates to vote for him at the primaries, he went down memory lane to provide specific instances when he brought his political clout and strategic skills to assist individuals, groups and tendencies in the party to gain political power.

“These factual references are already in the public realm. They have been reported and analysed in the media in the last eight years. They are therefore matters of public knowledge,” he said.

Meanwhile, the campaign organisation has appealed to the media to avoid over-sensationalising issues of facts and play its constitutional role of informing the electorate to make informed choices at the presidential primaries.

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