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Why I’m yearning to take over from Buhari – Tinubu

National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu has told President Muhammadu Buhari about his 2023 presidential ambition.

Tinubu said this Monday while fielding questions from State House correspondents after a meeting with Mr President in his office at the State House Abuja.

He said as a democrat, the president did not stop him from pursuing his lifelong ambition.

Asked if he had informed the president of his ambition, the APC chieftain said: “I will answer that with categorical yes. I’ve informed the president of my intention but I have not informed Nigerians yet. I’m still consulting. And I have no problem consulting. And I’ve not set a parameter of limitation to the extent of how many people will I consult. You will soon hear, all you want to hear is the categorical declaration. You’ve gotten that truth from me that I have informed Mr President of my ambition, you don’t expect more answers than that.”

On why he, as a kingmaker, would want to contest, Tinubu said: “About the cap of kingmaker, I’ve never seen the cap of a kingmaker before. That is the truth. And I’ve never seen where it is written in the rule book anywhere in any country that a kingmaker cannot be a king unless you commit murder. So, whatever is your attribute is your own opinion. Me, I want to pursue my ambition without the title of a kingmaker. You can write your literature and your story based upon your own perception.”

The former lawmaker said with what he had done in Lagos as a governor, he has the capacity to rule Nigeria.

He also declined to comment on what a race for the APC ticket between him and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would look like, saying he would not discuss any individual.

He said: “I don’t want to discuss individuals now. I must discuss myself. I have the confidence, the vision, the capacity to rule, build on the foundation of Mr President, and turn Nigeria better. I have done that with commitment and unyielding… you know, in Lagos State. You’ve seen that experience and the capacity to turn things around and that is what we are doing.

“You know, the confusion, the drift of the past in PDP is being corrected. And you can’t take away from that. As we are today, go back to the data on how many barrels of oil we were producing when we first came in and what it is today. We cannot even at the time we came in we did not pay the counterpart funds to start our rail line. Today, you enjoy the comfort of having rail from Lagos to Ibadan, you have the Kaduna and you have the one for Kano State on the aggressive pipeline, you see excellent infrastructure. I just came from Azare and I have seen good roads, the carnage of dying on motor vehicles is reducing except you know, lack of compliance with a lot of Nigerian drivers and VIOs. Let us think back, let us be intellectually inquisitive as to the past and the present and what the future holds for Nigeria.”

On direct primaries and the APC national convention, the APC national leader said: “First of all, the National Assembly and the president must be encouraged to review and review again. Whatever they come up with electoral amendment is what we must comply with. There is no unlimited elasticity in what we face, because we have to plan and plan well, and be able to manage the time effectively. The great roadmap to success is the ability of a leader to do what he must do at the right time that it should be done. So that to me, the electoral amendment point we will still look at that collectively. And it is our country. It’s our democracy. We had adopted it and we will push it rigorously. It is certain that we are going to get it.”

On the national convention of the ruling party, the former governor said: “Oh, well, I’m not a spokesperson for the party. And the president is the leader of the party. So, expect convention, maybe if that’s added to your own anxiety, or the other party’s anxiety is good for us. We get it and we’ll get it done properly.”

Speaking on the purpose of his visit, Tinubu said he came to see the President on general issues concerning Nigeria, including the ruling political party, security issues, the achievement and the New Year Agenda.

In a related development, a coalition of fifty-seven youth and student groups under the aegis of National Coalition of Youth and Students (NACOYS) have declared their support for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as successor to President Buhari in 2023.

The groups said its endorsement was a part of strategies to signal a resolve that Nigerian youth cannot afford to remain indifferent to the nation’s political process and its future, they have declared.

The groups disclosed this in a communiqué Monday in Abuja after an official meeting with officials of The Progressive Project (TPP) – the sole coordinating body for other existing and upcoming pro-Osinbajo groups across Nigeria.

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