The recent outburst by the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a clear indication that the party leader and flag bearer of the party has fallen out with the president.

Tinubu said that the lingering fuel crisis across the nation and the introduction of new naira notes was a plot to sabotage the general elections and his victory at the polls.

He made this known on January 25 during his nationwide campaign tour to Ogun State, that the plot would fail and that he would end petroleum products scarcity if elected into power in the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Tinubu stressed that some elements are planning seriously to scuttle the transition process, insisting that their actions would fail. He said that those behind the fuel crisis knew why they hoarded petroleum products and changed the nation’s currencies, subjecting Nigerians to untold hardship at a critical period in the country’s history.

Presidential Candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu

“Even if they said there is no fuel, we would trek to vote. They have a lot of mischiefs and could say there is no fuel. They have been scheming to create a fuel crisis but forget about it. Relax; I, Asiwaju, have told you that the fuel supply issue will be permanently addressed. Whoever wants to eat the honey embedded in a mountain won’t worry about the axe. Is that not so? 

“And if you want to eat palm kernel, you would bring a stone and use it to break it, and then the kernel will come out. Let them increase the price of fuel; only they know where they have hoarded fuel, they hoarded money, they hoarded naira; we will go and vote, and we will win.

“Even if they changed the ink on Naira notes, whatever their plans, they will come to nothing. We are going to win. Those in the PDP will lose (won ma lule).”

According to him, the ruling APC will take powers from “them,” this only explains that there is on-going friction between the president and the flag-bearer of the ruling party. How else would you explain that the flag-bearer of the party in government is campaigning to take power from his party?

“I am homeboy; I have come here; you will not be put to shame. We will take over the government from them, the traitors who wanted to contest with us. They had no experience”.

He urged the Nigerian youths and students to have faith in him and the APC to end strikes if elected president. “The great Nigerian youths, the great Nigerian students, the confident Nigerian youths. This is a revolution, this election is a revolution. They are plotting, but they will fail. They said fuel prices will increase and reach N200 per liter. Go and relax. They don’t want this election to hold; they want to scuttle it. Do you agree?

“On this one, I guarantee you one thing: there will be a student loan, and nobody will drop out of University because of school fees. I assure you that nobody will have to repeat it for eight years and not graduate. Haba! We are too smart, and we are brilliant, we are courageous, we are sharp, we will make four years course four years course. Do you agree?

“Will you vote whether there is fuel or not? Call your sister; we are bringing revolution. Let me say what’s on my mind. The other day, I told you, this one, too, they think they can cause a crisis by sabotaging the fuel supply. They are sabotaging the fuel supply. Whether there is fuel or not, whether there is Okada (motorcycle) or not, whether there is a tricycle or not, we will go and vote, and we shall win.

“This is a superior revolution, and when I tell you, you know what I mean. You know me, we are going there to win,” Tinubu added.

President Buhari on his part had insisted on supporting the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele on the January 31 deadline for the usage of the old N200, N500, and N1000 naira note. He said he wants to go down in history as the president that respects Nigerians.

President M. Buhari

He further added that Nigerians should vote for candidates of their choice, which also confirms that there is an ongoing cold war in the ruling party. “Time has been given, from October to December, three months is enough whichever money you have to get it changed through the legal system so I don’t know why people are complaining about it.

“No going back on the policy, my aim is to ensure that Nigerians believe that we respect them as an administration, so Nigerians should vote for whoever they like from whichever party. Nobody will be allowed to mobilize resources and thugs to intimidate people in any constituency. That’s what I want to go down to Nigerian history for as a leader.”

When asked what were the chances of his party winning the elections? He said, “What are the chances of my party not winning the elections? A confident Buhari said, “We are going to win this election, Tinubu the presidential candidate is a very well-known politician in the country. 

“He was a two times governor in his state, Lagos State, resource-wise, the most resourceful state and most business state so I think the party was lucky to get him to accept to be its candidate.”

Two months after this interview, the body language of the president is suggesting that he is not supporting his party to retain the presidential seat. The general election is a few weeks from now, and many Nigerians, particularly the youth can’t wait to vote out the current government.

But the question still remains, who is president Buhari supporting? Is it Bola Ahmed Tinubu his fellow party man? Or is Atiku Abubakar his tribe’s man or does the president also believe the South/East deserves a chance and is supporting Peter Obi of the Labour Party? Only time will tell, a couple of weeks away.

Author: Kangmwa Gofwen

Lagos Bureau Chief, Nigeria