The national leader of APC, Bola Tinubu, has reacted to the statement made by the Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha, who said he is crying more than the bereaved with regards to the endorsement of President Buhari for a second term by some state governors.
Okorocha had attacked Tinubu who in an interview last month, countered Okorocha’s position that some state governors had endorsed President Buhari for a second term. Tinubu in his interview had said that there was no way President Buhari will be getting an automatic ticket to run for president in 2019. Tinubu said that the process for electing a presidential flagbearer for the party must be followed according to the party constitution.
Okorocha who apparently wasn’t pleased with Tinubu’s comment, had over the weekend, berated the APC National leader. According to him, when he, Okorocha, said that state governors have endorsed the President for a second term, he never meant that President Buhari will be granted an automatic ticket. While responding, Okorocha said that Tinubu was crying more than the bereaved, that is other state governors who might not be in support of the endorsement as well as some party faithful,
Tinubu in a statement released by his media aides last night stated that he never underrated the state governors endorsement of President Buhari as the next presidential candidate. Read his statement below
“We note Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha’s statement. It is important that the record of what Asiwaju Tinubu said when approached by journalists during his last visit to Akure is accurate. Thus, I make this statement in the hope of clarifying a misinterpretation that seems to have taken hold in some quarters. I was in the interview session. Asiwaju never said anything that could be interpreted as meaning or even implying the governors are irrelevant or insignificant to the party’s nomination process. As a former governor and a leading statesman within the party, such words would never come from him.
“Moreover, Asiwaju is a Democrat who believes that the open and democratic processes of the APC, which led to the nomination of President Buhari in the first instance, have served the party well and has helped distinguish APC from PDP and other parties where fairness and internal democracy are rare commodities. Every individual has a right to endorse or support a candidate of his choosing. What Asiwaju said at that encounter and still canvasses is that the APC should not mimic the PDP’s penchant for short-circuiting internal democracy by promoting the idea of an automatic ticket. The exercise of internal democracy and honoring the letter and spirit of party rules can only strengthen the party and enthuse its members.
“APC’s all-inclusive philosophy was not devised today. It had been with the party since its creation. It was this spirit, which we believe, attracted fellow progressives and those who genuinely believe in democracy in all of its aspects to the party. Asiwaju includes Governor Okorocha in this group. The APC Governors are essential and important voices in the party. Asiwaju values and respects each one of them and gives their individual and collective opinions much weight. Yet, in the exercise of our opinions and support for candidates, we all must be guided and never lose clear sight to the democratic ideals that separate the APC from the other parties. We must maintain the integrity of the processes no matter how clear-cut a decision or an outcome may seem to be. With regard to democracy, the process is of equal import as the outcome itself. This is the essence of what Asiwaju said that day in Akure. He merely asked APC members to adhere to the democratic path that thus far has served the party so well. There can be no true dispute with such a sentiment.