Babachir Lawal, former secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), says no member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has the right to stop Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the party, from contesting the presidency in 2023.
Rumours of Tinubu’s presidential ambition have gained grounds despite the explanation of the former governor of Lagos that has not made up his mind.
In an interview with PUNCH, Lawal attributed the removal of Adams Oshiomhole as APC national chairman, to Tinubu’s alleged ambition.
He alleged that those who instigated Oshiomhole’s removal are interested in the party’s candidate for 2023 presidential election.
The ex-SGF advised the party to give all aspirants equal and fair chances.
“Those who wanted Adams Oshiohmole out are more desperate because of 2023 because as a national chairman of a party, from my our own observation, there’s very little he could do to favour or impose a presidential candidate on his party,” he said.
“Except we want to bring the wrath of God on our heads, because of his role in building the party, equity and a sense of justice demand that he be given a chance in a free and fair system and let his luck prevail.
“Nobody with a clear conscience in the APC will deny Tinubu the opportunity to contest the Presidency. Nobody within the party has the moral right to even put a stumbling block on his path. The party must create an environment that is free and fair for anybody who wants to contest, including Bola Tinubu. Let the delegates, who must have emerged through a similarly free and fair process, decide who they want to vote for.”
Lawal called for power shift to the south, particularly the south-west, saying there has been no significant improvement under different presidents from the north
“A just and equitable way of doing things is to agree, as gentlemen, that since the North has had its President for the second tenure, the opportunity should be given to the South to produce the next President,” he said.
“By the way, what did we get from several years of governance with the Presidency being from the North? Since the demise of General Sani Abacha, the country has been into crises of insecurity and poor economy.
“Along the line, we have also had vice-presidents who were northerners. We have had presidents who were northerners but for whatever reason, the system is not improving. Presidency from the North is like an albatross around our neck.”