As against the insinuations that the national leader of the All Progressive Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, influenced Senator Ahmad Lawan and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as the candidates for leadership positions at the National Assembly, a new report is out.
Punch reports that the Senator representing Ondo North senatorial district, Robert Boroffice, has made it known earlier today, June 16, that Tinubu did not play any role at influencing the leadership positions of the 8th National Assembly.
There were speculations that the lion of Bourdillion had tried to handpick some of his loyalists, strategically placing them for the office of the Senate President; his deputy; Speaker of the House of Representatives and his deputy before the polls were conducted.
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However, in a new interview with The Punch, Boroffice made it known that Tinubu had always wanted Senator George Akume and Gbajabiamila to represent the party for the post of Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively. He further said that the argument of Tinubu was that both Akume and Gbajabiamila being minority leaders in the 7th Senate and House of Representatives, should automatically assume the leadership of both chambers as Senate President and Speaker respectively.
In his words: “Asiwaju Tinubu had already made up his mind to, in line with the normal, global parliamentary practice, support Akume and Gbajabiamila but the story changed along the line, when there were indications that the party leadership was favourably disposed to Lawan.
“Tinubu did not before then, have any close political interactions with Lawan. It was a senator, who is very close to the presidency that actually took Lawan to Asiwaju in Lagos, in company with another prominent party leader.
“Tinubu, categorically told the two gentlemen in the presence of Lawan that his choice was Akume and pledged to consult with other party leaders before he would give his final answer to their request to support Lawan.
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“I was in the know of all the process that led to the emergence of Lawan and Gbajabiamila as consensus candidates. Tinubu played the role because of his loyalty to the party. I was among the four people that he sent to beg Akume, since he had already promised to support him.
“The campaign of calumny against Asiwaju was a grand conspiracy to tarnish Tinubu’s image because some people were no longer comfortable with his ever growing influence and goodwill within the party, which he earned over the years as a result of his generosity and selfless service.
“It was when their wicked campaign against Lawan because of Asiwaju’s support for him failed, that they connived with the Peoples Democratic Party to rebel against the party’s consensus candidates of Lawan and Gbajabiamila.”