BusinessDay

Tinubu to Buhari: You are a true leader

…Hails President’s roles in APC primaries …Assures of issue-based campaign

The Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu has described President Muhammadu Buhari as a “true leader, brother and friend” who demonstrated a “sense of purpose, composure, and maturity” in the weeks leading to the Special Convention of the party.

Tinubu, in a letter to the President, which he personally signed, expressed gratitude for the President’s congratulatory letter to him, adding that while all the contestants expected President Buhari to “choose” his successor, he simply allowed a level playing field.

According to him, “You belonged to everybody in the party and you belonged to none of the individual candidates of the party.”

He congratulated the President for the successful conclusion of the Convention and assured him of an issue-focused campaign leading to the 2023 general election.

In the letter which was in response to the President’s congratulatory letter, the APC National Leader described it as “reassuring, re-energising, and reinvigorating.”

Tinubu said he admired the sense of purpose, composure, and maturity you demonstrated in the weeks and months preceding the primary elections of our great party. As aspirants and party leaders, we all pleaded with you to “choose” your successor.

“Naturally, this is expected especially in African democracy. Up until the 6th of June, 2022, the day of the APC Presidential primaries, the whole of Nigeria, including myself, was waiting for you to announce your preferred candidate. All of us thought and believed this was a very simple matter.

“However, it was only as the primary went into the night and as the candidates walked up to the podium and spoke that I fully and truly appreciated your position and stance to be neutral and non-aligned to any of us. As the first person to speak, I also had the special vantage point to carefully hear, without any distraction, what the other candidates had to say,” he said.

He recalled that as the hours rolled by that evening, “it became clear to me that all of us were your preferred candidates. As you captured it aptly in your letter to me, the ‘spirit’ of 2013 and 2014 when we created and built APC was there for all to see.

“In your letter and in our many meetings over the years, you fondly reminisced on fraternal attitude in the days and months before and after formation of the APC, when we all worked day and night to create, sustain and nurture our nascent movements into a credible opposition party and ultimately, become the ruling party. That time, no one spoke about tribe; no one spoke about religion. That was not what drove us. We were driven by a common desire to save and transform Nigeria.”

He noted that all the aspirants were full of the same passion and patriotic zeal they had in 2013/2014, as they presented their ideas on how to build on your successful legacy.

“You belonged to everybody in the party and you belonged to none of the individual candidates of the party. A true leader, brother and friend,” he said.

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Tinubu, while acknowledging that delegates from all over the country nominated him to be their candidate, added that “I must acknowledge that my nomination would not have become a reality without your support and that of the party leaders across the country.

“Indeed, as I reflect on my political journey, most of the 2022 APC presidential aspirants, members of the Progressive Governors’ Forum and National Assembly leaders and members all had a role to play in my success and achievements thus far.”

He vowed to be forever grateful to them for shaping his political journey over the decades, and assured that he would continue to work with them going forward

“I have met most of them in the past few days and will continue these engagements as we plan for the general election. Mr. President, APC is united and will remain united as we move towards the general election.”

The APC candidate noted that the country is going through a very sensitive period, adding that “no one should put their personal desires above and beyond the nation’s peace and prosperity.

“As you said, the ‘message we set at the top will be replicated in our followers.’ At this point, I will take this opportunity to assure Your Excellency of my commitment to running an issue-focused campaign as we move into the general election.

“I will personally engage the candidates from other political parties to urge them to do same.

“Voters should elect us based on our policies, programmes, and projects. By the grace of God, we as candidates will avoid having divisive, destructive and disruptive campaigns,” he said.

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