Former Lagos State governor and a national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, said his defunct party, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), pressured its 2011 presidential candidate, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, to hold on to his candidature against his desire to withdraw for the then Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari.
Making the revelation in an interview with The Sun newspaper, Tinubu disclosed that Ribadu’s attitude to his candidature was that of someone “holding forte”.
“It was like holding him hostage”, Tinubu recalled. “Each time he wanted to announce his stepping down, we told him you accepted to run, you cannot withdraw now”.
“Nuhu Ribadu is a plain gentleman; he was disciplined and had so much respect for Buhari. He wanted to withdraw but he did not want to disappoint our party,” said Tinubu.
But, according to him, it was the party that stood against Ribadu’s many attempts to formally withdraw for Buhari.
He said the ACN held back in its discussion with Buhari’s CPC because the latter “wanted the skirt and the blouse”, leaving the ACN with nothing.
The former Lagos State governor said despite the pressures on Ribadu by the ACN leadership, the man eventually stepped down for candidate Buhari.
He said Ribadu faced a dilemma between contesting against a man he respected and the possibility of being viewed as working against the interest of the north on one hand, and betraying the ACN, on the other.
“But information kept leaking out that he had withdrawn”, he said in the elaborate interview, explaining that the information getting out in the social media affected the prospects of the party at the April 2011 presidential poll.
Tinubu’s comments on Ribadu were in reaction to a question that he, as the national leader of the party, sold out the former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He rejected the notion that he was given money by the opposition to run a tepid presidential campaign for the CAN, saying money has never influenced his political direction, citing as example his pro-democracy stance in the 1990s despite his family’s closeness to former dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida.
Read full text of the interview here; http://www.sunnewsonline.ng/how-we-fought-jonathan-to-a-standstill-tinubu/