By Tope Fayehun, Akure
The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Wednesday ruled out automatic ticket for President Mohammadu Buhari come 2019 elections.
Tinubu said ,anybody that would fly the party’s ticket for the polls, would emerge through credible primaries.
He stated this in Akure, the Ondo State capital during his visit to the leader of the Pan Yoruba socio- cultural group, Afenifere, Pa. Reuben Fasonranti.
Addressing journalists after the closed door meeting with Fasonranti, Tinubu flanked by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu ,Chief Bisi Akande and Chief Pius Akinyelure however said, no law would be violated if the National Executive Council of the party and members come together to endorse President Mohammadu Buhari as the sole candidate.
While reacting to some endorsement of the President by some governors, for the 2019 elections, Tinubu said the governors lack power to endorse any candidate as a sole candidate of the party .
He said, “I have not heard about that and the party spokesman has not said that .No governor can appropriate the power of endorsement to themselves.”
According to him, “President Mohammadu Buhari is a believer in process,the Buhari I know believes in rule of law. ”
His words :”We wanted him even before the last convention and primaries of the party and Akeredolu is here standing with me,he was not the governor then. He was one of the leading delegates that voted properly and Buhari was a clear winner.
“We follow all the constitutional provision and an individual opinion does not matter at this stage,Buhari will want a normal process , Buhari that I know.
“Who says he will lose at any convention, but if the National body,the NEC and all of us as members, and endorsed him as our single candidate, we will not be violating INEC regulations, will not be violating our party constitution, what you are hearing is just a campaign. Buhari has not excluded anybody,and he has not affect ambition of anybody.”
Speaking while it took him so long to visit the leadership of Afenifere, he said “whatever is my decision is my decision and as an ordinary reporter, you cannot be asking me that. I decide on my time base on the charter of United Nations on Human Rights. I am a democrat and I believe in constitutional democracy ”
On his visit to Afenifere leader, Tinubu said he was in Akure to acknowledge” the leadership of Pa Fasoranti in our own race,as a great leader of the omoluwabi.”
He said Fasonranti is a respected Yoruba leader who deserves much respect, care and support especially in his present age.
His words :” Pa. Fasonranti has been a great leader in his youth and day child. His intellectual is still very intact. Seek his advise, seek his understanding and prayers ,that is why I am here.”
In his reaction, the leader of Afenifere, Pa. Reuben Fasoranti described the visit as an indication of great things to come for the Yoruba race.
Fasonranti said, the coming together of Yoruba leaders would bring more understanding on major issues affecting the race.
According to him, “We will consult and move ahead. As it is now, there will be a great understanding among the leaders as Tinubu is a leader in his own right.
“I think it should lead to reconciliation of Afenifere Renewal Group and the mainstream as Tinubu has a leg there. They are his supporters. This signal shows we will come together.”
Present at the meeting held at Pa.Reuben Fasonranti’s house includes, Chief Olu Falae, Basorun Sehinde Arogbofa, Baba Omojola, Chief Femi Aluko and Bakitta Belo .
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