He spoke at the presidential lodge in Abeokuta, the state capital, while addressing the APC delegates ahead of the party’s primaries.
Former Lagos State Governor and All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has publicly taken credit for the emergence of Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s president in 2015.
He made this known at the Presidential Lodge in Abeokuta, the state capital, while addressing the APC delegates ahead of the party’s primary on Thursday, June 2, 2022.
Tinubu, who had the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; his Kano State counterpart, Umar Ganduje, and former Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima in his retinue, said Buhari wouldn’t have become president without his support back in 2015.
The frontline APC presidential aspirant revealed this for the first time in Ogun State, the home state of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo – one of his rivals for the APC presidential ticket.
“You have not heard this from me before. I am saying this is the first place,” Tinubu who addressed the delegates in Yoruba said.
Speaking on Buhari’s emergence, he said “If not me that led the war front, Buhari wouldn’t have emerged. He contested first, second and third times, but lost. He even said on television that he wouldn’t compete again.
“But I went to his home in Katsina. I told him you would contest and win, but you won’t joke with the matters of the Yorubas. Since he has emerged I have not been appointed minister. I didn’t get a contract.
“This time, it’s Yoruba turn and in Yorubaland, it’s my tenure.”
He added, “since the time we started with the Action Congress, Action Congress of Nigeria, and now the All Progressives Congress, I wanted to contest for president that time.
“This is me telling you between me and God Almighty, Buhari called me to be his Vice President. He said because he picked Okadigbo, flamboyant, catholic the first time he contested, Nigerians didn’t vote for him.
“The second time, he picked another Igbo, Umesioke, Nigerians didn’t vote for him, that if he goes to bring the Pope to run as his vice, Nigerians won’t vote for him, “but you, Bola Tinubu, you have six governors, you have never lost an election before, come and be my vice”.
“He knew all the calculations then favored us, that is why he wanted me as his vice, but I told him to let us build the party first. And when we finished building the party after we brought in people from the PDP, Saraki now saw that those from the PDP will not get anything if Buhari, a Muslim becomes the president and me, also a Muslim becomes his vice, he won’t get the senate president and the senate president cannot also be a Muslim, that was how they started the campaign of calumny against me.
“And I told them that I have a candidate that is a Christian that I can nominate so that the party will not break, that was how I nominated Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. I surrendered my right to him (Osinbajo).
“I was asked to submit three names, Yemi Cardozo, Wale Edun, and Yemi Osinbajo, but I told them if I submit three names, they will play a game, they may make it four and pick the fourth one. I gave them one name and that was Osinbajo.”
Tinubu, who insisted that he was the best choice among all the other aspirants, said, “It is my time, I’m educated, I’m experienced. I have been serving people for a long time, bring me the presidency, it is my turn.”
Tinubu will square up against 22 other aspirants of the party who were recently screened to contest for the coveted ticket.