Obasanjo prevented Tinubu from becoming Buhari’s running mate in 2015- Oyinlola - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

Obasanjo prevented Tinubu from becoming Buhari’s running mate in 2015- Oyinlola

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By Our Correspondent

Olagunsoye Oyinlola, a former governor of Osun state, says ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo prevented Bola Tinubu, former Lagos governor, from becoming Muhammadu Buhari’s running mate in 2015.

Buhari contested for the presidency in 2015 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The idea of a Muslim-Muslim ticket was Obasanjo’s worry, the former governor said.

Buhari and Tinubu are Muslims.

Speaking with PUNCH, Oyinlola said the “agreement” to have Tinubu as running mate on a Muslim-Muslim ticket was concealed from party leaders until Buhari clinched the party’s ticket in 2014.

The only successful Muslim-Muslim ticket scenario Nigeria has witnessed thus far was in 1993 when the late Moshood Abiola, a business man, and Babagana Kingibe, his running mate, contested for presidency.

Abiola was presumed the winner of the election which was later annulled by Ibrahim Babangida, a military ruler, at the time.

The former governor said Obasanjo cautioned that the sensibilities of Nigerians should not be taken for granted.

“The agreement was concealed from a good number of the party leaders until it surfaced after Buhari had got the ticket,” he said.

“Then the rumour came out and some us felt danger was looming with the idea of Muslim-Muslim ticket. To further add to our fears, General Buhari on one occasion said there was nothing wrong in the Muslim-Muslim presidential arrangement, saying after all he governed with Tunde Idiagbon

“That statement made us to know it (the Muslim-Muslim idea) was a fact. On two occasions, Bola (Tinubu) mentioned it in my presence that they agreed. If you recall one trending video back then, where it was said that Buhari had jettisoned what they agreed on, that is the room he was sleeping when Buhari was looking for the post.

“We then told Baba (Obasanjo). We told him that taking power from an incumbent government was a tough task and we must not give room for excuses and miss the target. We told him they (Buhari and Tinubu) were thinking of a Muslim-Muslim ticket.

“That was when Baba (Obasanjo) said people should not take the sensibilities of Nigerians for granted.

“After that (Obasanjo’s intervention), they started saying it in my presence that Obasanjo frustrated the plan to get Tinubu on the ticket for 2015 but I always acted as if I didn’t hear them. We then had a stakeholders meeting where the issue of the running mate was discussed again.”

Obasanjo endorsed Buhari’s candidature in February 2015 after he resigned his membership from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and had a falling out with former President Goodluck Jonathan.