Lagos - The national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has berated a governorship aspirant in Ondo State, Tunji Abayomi for accusing him of imposing a particular apirant on the party as its governorship candidate in the state.
Abayomi had on Wednesday accused Tinubu of allegedly planning to impose Segun Abraham on the party
Also read: Ondo APC aspirants at war with Tinubu over alleged imposition
Abayomi, who said he was speaking on behalf of 23 other governorship aspirants, said such imposition by Tinubu was wrong as it would disrupt the normal democratic process of electing candidate for the party for the November 26 governorship election.
But Tinubu on Sunday said Abayomi erred by making such spurious allegations.
Tinubu in a statement by its media office said rather than accuse him of being a dictator in the party, Abayomi should concentrate on seeking the support of party members in Ondo State.
He said, “You said I seek to deny your democratic right. It is you who seeks to grab mine. If not mistaken, I believe I am a member of the APC. I have a right and duty to support the candidate who I believe will best represent the party.
“What your letter is really saying is that if I don’t support you I should keep my mouth shut. You complain of a purported meeting I had to discuss the coming primary in Ondo.
"Do you deny me and other APC members now the right to assemble and talk? Had you heard that the meeting had anointed you, I doubt you would have written the first word of the letter you sent to me.”
Tinubu said he had no vote and wondered why Abayomi would be focusing on him.
“I am a democrat. I am ready for the chips to fall where they may after and open and fair primary in Ondo. Instead of welcoming this, it appears you are afraid of it. Instead of fighting me who is but one man with no vote, you should be fighting for votes and support. Your letter to me was woefully misplaced and inappropriate. Still, I wish you the best and may democracy and the people’s will prevail above all else.”
Tinubu added that should Abayomi win the governorship primary, he would congratulate him in the spirit of democracy.
He said, “I reserve the right to support any candidate I wish because no one has the right to take this away from me. However, I will also do everything in my power to ensure the primaries are free and fair and that there will be no undue influence on the process.”
Tinubu denied allegations that it was Abayomi that convinced him to support President Muhammadu Buhari during the last election.
The APC leader said, “I also need to correct what appears to be a mistaken impression on your part about the 2015 election. Your letter seems to indicate that it was on your advice that I backed President Buhari.
“You assume too much credit and should be more guarded in your assertions. As a veteran in the political arena, I do not make important decisions lightly. I make final political decisions and calculations on my own after deep reflections and consultation with many people from many perspectives.”
- News 24