'Saraki, El-Rufai convinced Buhari not to pick me as VP', APC leader says

Tinubu said other chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party, who had defected to the APC, were also part of the gang that pressured Buhari not to pick him.

He said the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State frustrated the plan to make him (Tinubu) President Muhammadu Buhari's running mate in the presidential election.

The ex-governor of Lagos State disclosed this in a book titled 'Against the Run of Play,' written by Segun Adeniyi, the Chairman, Editorial Board of ThisDay.

Tinubu said his opponents convinced Buhari using religion - that a Muslim-Muslim ticket could cost the party the election.

But the APC leader said the argument was not genuine.

He said  El-Rufai was pushing for Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Latter Rain Assembly to be picked as Buhari's running mate.

Tinubu added, "What they (Saraki and others from the PDP) did behind my back was wrong. We always do things as a group. By the time they joined, we were already too far ahead in our processes but we accommodated them.

"We agreed to take their state structures and subsume them into the part and they all had their opportunity to nominate the candidates of their choices for different political offices.

"But they went behind to instigate Buhari and some other people in the party against me on the pretext of religion. That was not right. They were canvassing arguments that the Christians in the North would not vote for a Muslim-Muslim ticket.

"Nasir el-Rufai was also selling the same argument within the CPC (the defunct Congress for Progressive Change) because, at that point, he still wanted to have Pastor Bakare brought in as Buhari’s running mate."

He said some senators and governors at the time, who defected from the PDP, asked him on the eve of the primaries if he and Buhari have agreed to run together.

Tinubu said he dodged the question because they wanted to make it a condition for supporting Buhari.

He said without their support, Buhari might not have emerged winner of the primaries.

"I told them that it was better to resolve such issue after the primaries, but they wanted to make it a condition for supporting Buhari, which, for me, was very wrong. I told them I could not insist on this as a condition for my support for Buhari. I felt that was not right to hold Buhari hostage in this manner," he added.

"I believe the support that we gave was fundamental to Buhari clinching the party nomination. Without that support, a different outcome would have been most likely."

He stated that Buhari later requested him to nominate three persons for the Vice-President job.

Tinubu said he presented only Yemi Osinbajo.

"I backed down because I did not want to be depicted as causing a problem. I backed away from the position in order to offer Buhari a name I once raised with him in 2011: that of Professor Yemi Osibanjo," he added.

The book will be launched on Friday, April 28.


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