National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Tuesday clarified a recent statement which was interpreted by a newspaper to be an indication for a 2019 presidential bid.
The APC leader had in a video recording published by Sahara Reporters stated that he could not rule out vying for any office including the presidency under the right circumstances. A number of media outfits took the statement as a hint that he was planning to contest in 2019.
A statement released by his media office on Tuesday however stressed that Tinubu would never contest against President Muhammadu Buhari or sponsor any other person to contest against him.
A portion of the statement titled “Response to Thisday false news report” read:
“The front page story of the February 28 Thisday newspaper alleging that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is actively planning a presidential run is an example of bad fiction masquerading as professional journalism.”
Tinubu also accused the newspaper of trying to create a rift between himself and President Buhari by suggesting that he was set to dump the APC for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The statement published by The Nation also said: “As long as that patriotic and committed man named Muhammadu Buhari holds and seeks to hold the mantle as our president, then Asiwaju Tinubu stands behind him in unwavering support and confidence.
“Asiwaju Tinubu remains faithful to the mission of progressive reform and change that President Buhari, he and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have started.
“Tinubu was instrumental in the formation and success of the APC. His toil and efforts helped establish this government. He is not one to tear down something he laboured so dutifully to build.”
There have been growing speculations in recent months that the former Lagos state governor was out of favour with the president and the party leadership over certain decisions made in 2016 and his portrayal in Buhari’s biography.
When the APC leader met with political stakeholders in the South-West including opposition governor, Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state, it sparked further rumours that he was preparing to create a new a party ahead of a 2019 presidential bid.