When the 2023 presidential election campaign went into effect across the country, Alhaji Buba Galadima, one of the signatories to the 2013 APC merger, said that President Muhammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu had agreed to support his presidential aspiration in 2023.
Galadima’s confirmation comes just days after Tinubu’s speech in Abeokuta, when he told Ogun State APC delegates that Buhari would not have won the president of Nigeria in 2015 if it weren’t for him.
Galadima revealed the deal in an interview with Punch that was reached ahead of the 2015 presidential election.
As a former associate of the president, Muhammadu Buhari, do you think the president will impose his candidate or leave participation in the APC presidential primary open to all aspirants?
You don’t have to be a prophet or a soothsayer to know that the President will really anoint anyone he wants as an APC candidate. But what you have to look at is whether he could do it with a certain sense of decorum, with a certain sense of decency, with a certain sense of consideration for the opinion of the majority of the members of his party. My answer is No. Therefore, anyone who anoints will cause quarrels, infighting and a lot of anti-party activity. This will annoy the APC.
As one of the founding members of the APC, was there an agreement at any time that Tinubu would succeed Buhari?
Not a perfectly agreement, but there was an understanding because Tinubu with another person and the president with another person also sat down and the information, we got was that they agreed that if Tinubu helped Buhari to win, he would become the vice president. When this was not possible, they called him to ask him to assist him for the needs of the time, which would not have allowed a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
They said that whatever he does, he should take sides and make sure that Buhari becomes president and that when he (Buhari) leaves, he would also do everything in his power to help Tinubu become president. It seems they are now returning to that understanding. And a promise is a written or unwritten promise, because if you can subvert it, God knows your heart. And God never accepts betrayal. When you work out, whether it’s sour or bitter or tasty, you have to swallow it.
Now, it seems they want to get back on that understanding with Tinubu. This is why Tinubu is embittered and I understand this bitterness, for what happened to him, which I told him years ago. I told him what would happen to him. And everything I predicted those years is now happening. My prayer for him (Tinubu) is that he will come out unscathed and healthy. This is my biggest prayer for him.
But for him it seems that it has already been subverted. The only way he can get his momentum is if the party agrees to do the primary. If the party agrees to go to the primary, I have no doubts in my mind that Tinubu could emerge victorious, but as far as the consensus they want to adopt is concerned, he’s out of the game.
Who was present when Buhari and Tinubu reached this agreement that you affirmed?
I won’t tell you, but the people involved know it. Tinubu came to meet with a former governor while Buhari came with an incumbent governor. That is why that governor is firmly behind Tinubu today and out of fear of God. But I would not like to mention the names of the two of them, because Tinubu himself has alluded to this kind of understanding.
A signatory to the 2013 merger of the All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Buba Galadima, tells ENIOLA AKINKUOTU and TOPE OMOGBOLAGUN about the agreements between Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) and former Governor Bola Tinubu of Lagos State.
As a former associate of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), do you think the President will impose his candidate or leave it open for all aspirants to contest in the Presidential primary of the APC?
You don’t need to be a prophet or soothsayer to know that the President will indeed anoint whosoever he wants to be the candidate of the APC. But what one needs to look at is whether he could do that with some sense of decorum, with some sense of decency, with some sense of consideration for the opinion of the majority of members of his party. My answer is No. Therefore, whoever he anoints will cause bickering, infighting, and a lot of anti-party activities. This will bedevil the APC.
So, are you saying that Buhari is the kind of person who doesn’t honor promises?
Well, I don’t know. You should be the judge or ask Tinubu who made the verbal promise.
So, do you foresee a situation where the party can have crises or even break down if Tinubu is planned?
Well, the truth is that Nigerian politicians are cowards. Nigerian politicians are unprincipled. If they were brave and principled, the APC would have fallen apart a long time ago. But because of the betrayals, God will never allow the APC to succeed, and even if they do, they will never have peace.
So, what do you think of Tinubu’s outburst in Abeokuta last week and the threat of the APC national president Abdullahi Adamu to punish him?
Well, who is the president of the APC? Where was he when some of us were fighting for Buhari? Where was he? He should remember what he did to us in 2003. Is it because Buhari forgot?
If Buhari remembers what the APC national president did to him, he wouldn’t even let him shake his hand, let alone make him president.
What did the APC president do in 2003?
Well, you can ask him (Adamu Abdullahi) that Buba Galadima said you did something to Buhari in 2003. And that it’s abominable to the extent that he (Buhari) shouldn’t even shake your hand or stand under the same roof with you. Let me tell you what he did in Buhari during our campaigns.
But some might argue that alliances change in politics. What would you say about Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who used to be Tinubu’s protege but is now racing against his former boss?
So, politics does not connote decency or respect at all? Is this what you are trying to tell me? I am a person of principle. I am with Rabiu Kwankwaso, for example, now, even if you give me the entire Central Bank of Nigeria, that cannot change me. And you can ask the folks at Goodluck Jonathan about me. In 2015 they tried to induce Sule Yahaya, who was our general manager; Mustapha Saliu, the man from Kwara State who was the national vice president of the CPC and myself, just to make an appearance and support Jonathan’s candidacy, but we refused to accept it.
Therefore, we are not doing things for personal gain. We do things hoping it would be the best for Nigeria. That’s why I don’t believe in feelings; primal feelings about religion, tribe or where you come from. We have tried all of these and have failed as a nation. Why don’t we try for once the ability and the capacity to welcome all Nigerians and free Nigeria from this current state instead of a difficult situation?
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