Sen. Adesoji Akanbi, the National Vice-Chairman, South-West Agenda for Asiwaju (SWAGA),has dismissed speculations that former Lagos governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu will defect from the All Progressives Congress, APC if he failed to get the presidential ticket of the party.
Tinubu, a former Lagos State Governor, is a presidential aspirant on the platform of All Progressives Congress(APC).
Akanbi, a former senator representing Oyo South Senatorial District) made the clarifications assertions while hosting members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Oyo State to an Iftar in his Ibadan residence.
While responding to question on speculation that Tinubu may defect to Social Democratic Party, SDP if he failed to get the ticket of his party, Akanbi said nobody can chase the former Lagos governor away from APC.
He denied speculations that Tinubu has a plan ‘B’ bordering on possible defection to another party, saying that he could not be chased from the party.
“If he’s going to another party, that means he’s taking the party along with him, which will not happen. As to the ticket, man proposes, God disposes,” he said.
Akanbi, however, said Nigeria needs a unifier like Bola Tinubu as the next President to further promote unity and peace in the country.
According to him, the nation needed a president, who could put the country together, irrespective of his or her religion and ethnic background.
He said that Tinubu had demonstrated this during his eight years reign as the Governor in Lagos State, adding it was evident in his cabinet.
“We need a unifier, someone that can put this country together. Tinubu is not Mr I do, He is Mr I have done.
“The diversity in his cabinet is evident enough to show that he can unify this country. This is a very important factor.
“We need somebody that can move this country from where it is now. Tinubu has the capacity to bring people together on the same table,” Akanbi said.
The former lawmaker said that they were not following Tinubu blindly, but based on his antecedents and excellent leadership qualities.
Akanbi said that all of them who had worked with the former governor have success stories to tell one way or the other.
“Tinubu has been tested. We can all see the transformation. He was just a governor for eight years, look at the template.
“This is a man who raised Lagos State Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from less than a billion to a comfortable zone, making the state one of the most economic viable in Africa.
“He had a challenge with the creation of local governments and the Federal Government refused to give him allocation. He had to think outside the box in which he survived,” he said.
Akanbi said the nation needed someone who could think out of the box at this critical period, adding that only political will, not brilliancy, could make the desired change.
According to him, nobody has demonstrated that apart from Bola Tinubu. Do you know what it takes to move from the region to a centre? It takes a lot of courage.
“He took a risk to sacrifice ACN to the centre and made a difference which you can’t take away from his archives. He made President Muhammadu Buhari’s dream to become a reality.
“We need a president that people will respect. Respect is inbuilt. It is not about academic credentials,” Akanbi said.
He said that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s declaration was not a surprise to them, adding “as politicians, they are always vigilant and sensitive”.
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