APC chieftain Bola Tinubu, General Muhammadu Buhari and Professor Yemi Osinbajo

Tinubu didn’t force Osinbajo on me – Buhari

APC chieftain Bola Tinubu, General Muhammadu Buhari and Professor Yemi Osinbajo

APC chieftain Bola Tinubu, General Muhammadu Buhari and Professor Yemi Osinbajo

General Muhammadu Buhari has rubbished speculations that his running mate, Professor Yemi Osinbajo was imposed on him by the APC chieftain Bola Tinubu, revealing that although he had asked the party to recommend, the choice of the law professor was solely his decision and within his power as APC presidential candidate.

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“Tinubu didn’t force anybody on me. The system is absolutely clear. If your party chooses you, you have got the right to pick. The party picked me as their presidential candidate. There are so many considerations. Support for the party, its constituencies, and the character of the person you recommend,” The APC Presidential candidate told Weekly Trust newspaper.

“You can’t have the presidential candidate from the northern political zone and then the vice president from there. It’s not politically acceptable. The party gave me the names and I picked one… He’s a professor of Constitutional Law, has been a Commissioner of Justice and an Attorney General. He’s an intellectual and has got vast experience. Who else do we have better than that?” He asked rhetorically.

Buhari refused to neither confirm nor deny the speculations that Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and Lagos State governor Babatunde Fashola were the only two candidates recommended by the party and being considered as his running mate. He, however, was quick to dismiss the speculation that the decision to pick Prof Osinbajo came out of the blues.

“It wasn’t out of the blues. Who was my last running mate? He was a pastor and a Yoruba man. In 2003 it was Chuba Okadigbo, a Catholic. In 2007, it was Ume-Ezeoke, an Igbo man, a Catholic. In 2011, it was Bakare, a pastor. There’s nothing unusual about them.

“To be fair, I defined the candidate’s right to choose his running mate, which is legal. Why should I be harassed for claiming my right? The party gave me the mandate.”

On 17 December 2014, XCLUSIVE Magazine revealed that Tinubu’s ambition to become Buhari’s running mate was the reason the search for Buhari’s running mate went into an over drive that nearly tore the party apart. Buhari, who wants to building his presidential campaign on his growing reputation as a disciplined, an incorruptible and honest Nigerian, was not keen on picking Tinubu with all his “baggage:” an alleged drug peddler with a dodgy University certificate.

On the 2015 presidential elections, General Buhari has charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reconsider its call to the Nigerian media not to announce elections results until after INEC has made official pronouncement. He says that announcing election results at polling units, collation centres and local governments and States, before they are compiled and announced by INEC headquarters, will help to forestall rigging and show the system as fair and transparent.

“And we know that the only thing the PDP does is to rig elections, send compromised law enforcement agents to arrest opposition leadership, lock them up, then let them out after the elections. Also, they organise people to snatch boxes. All these have been displayed in court and in previous elections.

“I’m not comfortable with it at all. I will ask my party to send strong representation and if possible, mobilise voters to resist it. Results should be announced in every polling unit, collation centre, and local government and in every state, and then finally, it should be compiled and announced by INEC headquarters. In each polling unit, there are INEC representatives. Is it that they don’t trust the people they deploy?” He asked.

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