By Olasunkanmi Akoni
All Progressives Congress, APC, Publicity Secretary in Lagos, Seye Oladejo, has described falsification of age, educational qualification and source of wealth allegations against the party’s National Leader and former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu as “unjustifiable.”
There have been series of allegations against Tinubu in the public space after declaration of his ambition to contest in 2023 presidential poll with the plan to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in May 29.
Oladejo, stated this on Tuesday, during a media parley on wide range of issues bordering on Lagos politics as well as APC leaders’ aspirations, held at the party’s Secretariat, Acme, Ikeja.
The APC scribe, who maintained that Tinubu has the right to contest the party’s presidential ticket for the 2023 election, charged those kicking against his presidential ambition to be democratic and provide facts rather than resorting to cheap blackmail.
According to him, “”Allegations and blackmail over Asiwaju Tinubu’s source of wealth, education qualification and age, are unjustifiable because they are accusations without substantive facts.
“it is very interesting that those in opposition suddenly have access to Asiwaju’s medical record and they have become the authority on his state of health.
“Tinubu’s movement to different parts of the country in the last few months showed that he is medically fit going by World Health Organisation WHO, which defines good health as a complete state of physical, psychology and social wellbeing.”
Oladejo, stressed that Tinubu should be commended for making his recent knee surgery public despite being a private citizen, adding that “since the APC National Leader returned back from his foreign medical trip, he has been moving across Nigeria, attesting to clearn bill of health.”
Speaking about the controversy trailing Tinubu’s age from some quarters, Oladejo said nothing has been hidden about the former Lagos State governor’s age, noting that “for over one and half decades, Aswaju has always celebrated his birthday. Come March 29, Asiwaju will be 70 years old. It is as clear as that.”
On Tinubu’s source of wealth, Oladejo stated that “Asiwaju’s wealth cannot be measured in monetary value and in terms of naira and kobo. His wealth should be measured by the goodwill and image he has built through development of men who are willing to play their parts at a time like this. These men are spread all over Nigeria.”
Oladejo said Tinubu has the required qualifications to be President of Nigeria based on constitutional provisions, that anybody running for the presidency must be 35 years old, be a card-carrying member of a political party and must be sponsored by a political party.
“Tinubu is eminently qualified to be Nigeria’s President because of the confidence people have in him having distinguished himself during his eight years as Governor of Lagos State as well as his contributions to national politics in the last three decades,” Oladejo stated.
According to him, “As at the last count, over 1,800 groups across the country are already clamouring for his candidature.”
“We are excited about Asiwaju’s aspiration. We are excited because for once we have someone who is aspiring, who is a willing aspirant to say. He is not been forced on us and he is not been thrown up by circumstances to run for the office. As we speak, we have over 1,800 different groups across the country clamouring for Asiwaju Tinubu’s candidature and calling on him to throw his hat into the ring for the presidential election.
“Asiwaju is well-grounded and over time, he has built a whole lot of goodwill and image across the country; across various ethnic nationalities. Asiwaju over time has been a man of the people. Looking at various issues such as economy, security, education, good health, among others in the country, it is high time for us to have a personality like Asiwaju to run for the presidency and we are very optimistic. The opposition will have their say but people will have their way,” he said.
Oladejo said the decision of Tinubu to contest for the presidency is already giving a lot of people sleepless nights, especially those who are interested in the presidency, but he believed that the APC’s national leader is a democrat who would never stop others from contesting.
He was optimistic of Tinubu defeating aspirants from South-West and other parts of the country during the APC presidential primaries and general elections because overwhelming acceptance and support across the country, adding that the clamour for Tinubu’s presidency is also from the North.
“Asiwaju is a democrat, the more the merrier when it comes to the number of aspirants aspiring for the presidency. I am sure with the various people supporting Asiwaju, there is no reason for us to lose sleep over anyone’s aspiration, especially someone who has not really made his aspiration clear.
”We should commend Asiwaju for the way he is approaching this race. First, he went to the incumbent president to inform him about his aspiration. He is yet to officially declare interest though,” Oladejo said.