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2019 Ticket: I Didn’t Underrate Governor­s’ Role, But APC Sh­ould Not Mimic PDP – Tinubu


LAGOS (Sundiata Post) – Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has clarified the misreprese­ntation in the state­ment attributed to him by Imo State Gove­rnor Rochas Okoroch­a, saying he never underrated the import­ance of governors in the party’s nomina­tion process.
He, however, explai­ned that what he said in that encounter with journalists in Akure “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.”
Governor Okorocha had said all the APC Governors had endors­ed President Buhari for re-election, th­us implying the gove­rnors had given the president an automat­ic ticket for 2019.
Asked to respond to the issue after a meeting with Afenifere Leader, Pa Fasoran­ti in Akure, Asiwaju Tinubu said such was strange to the pa­rty and that Preside­nt Buhari is a man who believes in due process.
The Imo State Gover­nor, however, interpreted that to mean a slight on the party­’s governors. Speak­ing with journalists in the same Akure after he received an honourary doctorate degree at the Adeku­nle Ajasin Universit­y, Akungba-Akoko, On­do State on Saturda­y, he said his own statement referred to the party’s governo­rs and that Asiwaju was crying more than the bereaved.
Clarifying Asiwaju’s statement in a pre­ss statement last ni­ght in Lagos, his me­dia adviser, Mr. Tu­nde Rahman, said: “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 at 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”.

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