Former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu explained yesterday his position on the race for the leadership of the Ninth National Assembly.
According to the All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart, all he has done in respect of the impending election of presiding officers of the National Assembly is to support the party’s and the President’s position.
“No ulterior motives in so doing,” a statement from the frontline politician’s Media Office said. His media aide, Tunde Rahman, signed the statement.
The APC stalwart stressed that he is focused on supporting the President Buhari-led administration in achieving the shared vision of a flourishing economy and a prosperous people.
Asiwaju Tinubu was responding to reports that he was meddling in the APC’s nomination for National Assembly leadership positions ahead of the 2023 presidential race.
He said he would have committed a terrible political blunder by navigating against the President’s position.
The former Lagos helmsman said those casting aspersions on him were, in reality, bucking against President Buhari’s position.
He urged rumor-mongers to court greater discipline and wisdom, stressing that it is too early to decide on a political dispensation that is still four years away.
“There is no action a person can take that constitutes a political guarantee as to what may come four years from now,” Tinubu said, dismissing the claim that having allies in the National Assembly leadership positions will greatly enhance someone’s presidential ambitions as spurious.
Noting the importance of the National Assembly to the fulfillment of the President’s agenda, he lamented the “painful” lessons learnt in respect of the last four years, with the Senate and the House of Representatives under the control of those who did not embrace the President’s vision.
The statement reads: “Asiwaju is neither inclined, nor sufficiently naive, to take his eye off the present in the futile attempt to peer through the thick fog that is the future.
“With the Senate leadership usurped by regressive elite, that chamber constituted a brake on progress and good governance.
“The Senate leadership, and to a lesser degree, the House leadership, stymied APC legislative initiatives while attempting to hoist noxious, reactionary and self-interested legislation on the nation.”
Outgoing Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara and their ilk, he said, hijacked the budget process these past four years.
He went on: “National budgets were delayed and distorted as these actors repeatedly sought to pad budgets with pet projects that would profit them.
“Even worse, they cut funds intended to prosper projects that would have benefited the average person. After four years of their antics halting the progress of government, we should do all we can to prevent a repeat of their malign control of the National Assembly.”
He recalled how Senator Saraki finagled his way into the Senate presidency in 2015.
Tinubu said: “He planted himself at the apex of legislative power. But his actions as Senate president showed a man devoid of compassion for the average Nigerian. All he cared for was power and position.
“Soon he will be deprived of both. House Speaker Dogara has fared only slightly better. Occupying these positions is not a guarantee of future success. It is only a guarantee of present duty.
“Politics requires jockeying and maneuvering for influence to get the right people in the right positions. To be beneficial, politics must be tied to the greater purpose of governance, such as with President Buhari’s goal to reform the national economy for the good of all Nigerians.”
“In supporting the party and the President, Asiwaju has shown his commitment to achieving the President’s goals. Nothing more should be read into it,” the statement said.