A presidential aspirant and national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, on Thursday, said he made the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) the president and he nominated Prof Yemi Osinbajo as his running mate in 2015.
Tinubu also claimed that the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, would not have been the governor in 2019 without his (Tinubu) support.
Tinubu spoke at the Presidential Lodge in Abeokuta, the state capital, while addressing the APC delegates ahead of the party’s primary.
The national leader was accompanied to Ogun by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; his Kano State counterpart, Umar Ganduje, and former Borno State governor, Kasim Shettima.
Narrating what transpired that led to the emergence of Osinbajo as vice president, Tinubu said Buhari had offered him a running mate ticket, but some blocs rose against it, fanning the ember of a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
The former governor also said when he was asked to submit three names for running mate, he pencilled down Yemi Kadoso, Wale Edun, and Yemi Osinbajo. He added that he later settled for Osinbajo as the running mate.
“You have not heard this from me before. This is the first place I am saying this,” Tinubu who addressed the delegates in Yoruba said.
Speaking on Buhari’s emergence, he said “If not for me that led the war front, Buhari won’t have emerged. He contested first, second and third times, but lost. He even said on television that he won’t contest again.
“But I went to his home in Katsina, I told him you would contest and win, but you won’t joke with the matters of the Yorubas.
“Since he has emerged I have not been appointed Minister. I didn’t get nor request a contract. This time, it’s Yoruba turn and in Yorubaland, it’s my tenure.”
Tinubu also said without God and him, The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, would not have emerged as an APC candidate and the eventual winner of the 2019 governorship election in the state.
Referring to Abiodun in his remarks, Tinubu said, “this one sitting behind me here could not have become governor without me. We were at the stadium, they tore all his posters. Even the party flag, they didn’t want to hand over it to him.
“If he wants to meet God at the right place, he must know that without God and me, he would not have become governor.”
He added, “since the time we started with the Action Congress, Action Congress of Nigeria, and now the All Progressives Congress, I wanted to contest for president that time.
“This is me telling you between me and God Almighty, Buhari called me to be his Vice President. He said because the first time he contested, he picked Okadigbo, flamboyant, catholic, but Nigerians didn’t vote for him.
“The second time, he picked another Igbo, Omesioke, Nigerians didn’t vote for him, that if he goes to bring the Pope to run as his vice, Nigerians won’t vote for him, “but you, Bola Tinubu, you have six governors, you have never lost an election before, come and be my vice”.
“He knew all the calculations then favoured us, that is why he wanted me as his vice, but I told him to let us build the party first. And when we finished building the party after we brought in people from the PDP, Saraki now saw that those from the PDP will not get anything if Buhari, a Muslim becomes the president and me, also a Muslim becomes his vice, he won’t get the senate president and the senate president cannot also be a Muslim, that was how they started the campaign of calumny against me.
“And I told them that I have a candidate that is a Christan that I can nominate so that the party will not break, that was how I nominated Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. I surrendered my right to him (Osinbajo).
“I was asked to submit three names, Yemi Cardozo, Wale Edun, and Yemi Osinbajo, but I told them if I submit three names, they will play a game, they may make it four and pick the fourth one. I gave them one name and that was Osinbajo.”
Speaking on why he is the best choice among other aspirants in South West, he said, “it is my time, I’m educated, I’m experienced. I have been serving people for a long time, bring me the presidency, it is my turn.
“When Atiku was being dragged out of PDP by Obasanjo, he ran to me for help, I let him have the ticket. Nuhu Ribadu came to me and I backed him.
“It has been over 25 years now that I have been serving them. This one sitting behind me, Dapo, can he say he can be the governor without me? We were together at the MKO Abiola Stadium, he was intimated. They didn’t want to give him the party’s flag, I was the one that handed the flag to him. He knows that he cannot be the governor without the help of God and my support.
“If not for me that stood behind Buhari he wouldn’t have become the president. He tried the first time, he failed, the second time, he failed, the third, he failed; he even wept on national television and vowed never to contest again but I went to meet him in Kaduna and told him he will run again and I will stand by you and you will win, but you must not joke with Yorubas and he agreed.
“Since he became the president, I have never got ministerial slots; I didn’t collect any contract, I have never begged for anything from him, it is the turn of Yoruba, it is my turn.”
In his remarks, Abiodun who had earlier declared his support for Osinbajo’s candidature refused to endorse Tinubu.
He told Tinubu that delegates from the state would do “the right thing” at the convention.
Abiodun described Tinubu as a political warrior, serial winner, and strategist