Why I Withdrew From Vice Presidential Race – Bola Tinubu

Statement Released by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed
Tinubu regarding his withdrawal from
consideration for the APC Vice- Presidential
Position.
I am a Nigerian who loves his country and am
hopeful about what it can become. I have seen
and conducted myself as a patriot long before I
thought of myself as a politician. I shall always
walk this line and no other.
After all the political calculations are made and
the dust of competition has settled, it must be
this nation and its people who stand first and
foremost.
The question becomes whether we stand strong,
able to shape ourselves into our best future or will
we stand frail and trembling, burdened by the
abject failure to surmount the multiple problems
confronting us.
It against this backdrop that I assess any action I
take. Here I come to my name being placed in
consideration as the Vice Presidential candidate
for our party, the APC.
I have labored hard to move this party from being
merely an idea in the minds of a few into being a
political organization that might win this election
and govern the nation in way that gives the
people the hope and opportunity they seek.
Nothing is more important to me than to realize
this dream not for myself but for the people of
this land I so love.
I helped to build this party, giving no thought to
seeking an elected office because of it. My
contribution to the party was never based on the
expectation of a later political handout. Nigeria is
in trouble and we are well past the moment for
such narrow, selfish games.
There came a time during the course of the
events when our Presidential candidate, General
Muhammadu Buhari offered the Vice Presidential
slot to me. Being a normal human being, I was
deeply moved and honored that he would
consider me for the position. Being a patriot, I
had to weigh my potential candidacy in all of its
dimensions.
I have concluded that the interest of the party,
our campaign and of the nation are better served
if I retain my position as the National leader of the
APC, allowing me to be a bridge builder across all
divides. Although, I declined the position, I want
to thank General Buhari for extending the honor
to me.
Despite all the noise and opposition around my
possible selection, he stood firm and steadfast. He
showed the traits of a leader in holding to a
decision he believed was right despite the errant
plots against it.
When my name was raised, the political hatchet
men tried to chop it down with rumor and lies.
Over the years, I have developed a thick skin. The
personal attacks did not bother me. I am used to
them. While I have a thick skin, I don’t have a
thick mind. There has been one form of attack
that has troubled me. That is the attack based on
religion. The PDP and others have stoked fear of a
Muslim- Muslim ticket.
I have removed myself from consideration so
what I now say cannot be seen as self-serving. I
plead with the people of this nation to never allow
the power lust of cynical politicians to set brother
against brother, neighbor against neighbor. If you
look at those politicians who raise this issue the
most, they are the least devout and faithful to
any religion other their self-interests.
Nigeria has too many secular problems –
insecurity, economic collapse, poverty ,
corruption and misgovernance – to allow inept
people to use religion to keep us from solving
these challenges for the benefit of all.
Those who exploit religion should be wary. For
there really is a God and he does not like it when
you play with his people or use His name to do
the opposite of what He intends.
I ask the people to remove religion from the
electoral equation now that the tickets of both
parties are mixed. I ask you to select the ticket
best able to end the downward slide that Nigeria
has endured since this government took over. I
ask you to remember that too many Christians
and Muslims are poor. Most of all, I ask you to
remember that the true religion of the PDP is
poverty, APC come to bring prosperity to the
people. Please vote for that.
The Nigeria I see is a nation that shall overcome.
The Nigeria I see is a nation ready to sweep aside
the broken ways of our recent past and the
government and politicians who impose distress
upon us.
The Nigeria I see and seek is one where each
person, every man, woman and child may live
free of terrorism, free of the despair of poverty
and free of the fear that the government meant
to serve and protect them has turned its back to
them in cold and utter indifference.
I see and seek a Nigeria where progressive
democratic governance creates the political and
economic space needed for each of us to
contribute to rescuing and retooling this nation.
And, in the process of this benign endeavor, may
each and every one of us share in the sound
promise and good prosperity that shall describe
the architecture of our national revival.
However, not everyone that shouts the name of
Nigeria believes in this vision. There are many
who would have you laid low and our future
tossed asunder that they may persist in reaping
the unjust reward of their selfish ways. There are
wolves in sheep clothing and even jackals in
wolf’s clothing. I have seen them but not as
residents in some strange zoo. They populate the
halls of this diminished government and the party
from which this government was born.
We have come to the field of fateful choice. We
have been brought to test the scales of weighty
decision. Shall we lift this nation upward so that
from its higher vantage point we may clearly see
the road to our better destiny? Or shall we
continue to march the march of fools into the
dark of darkness. The current path has but one
end. It shall take us into the den of national
collapse. We have gone far enough down this
wicked avenue to be aware of what its
continuance portends.
We must awaken of our own accord, my dear
people, before the bell of doom rings upon us. If
we wait until that moment, we would have waited
too long. Our future, our fate, our destiny would
have been cast into the snare of utter misfortune.
This is not the song of greatness. It is the poetics
of ruin.
For me, political ambition will never triumph over
patriotic conviction. This delicate moment affords
no space for emotion to intrude to blind us from
what is best. The APC is the best and only vehicle
to enact the progressive and broad change this
nation cries for. I eagerly lend myself to this fine
cause without me having to be on the ticket.
This is a time for cohesion and an overriding
sense of mission. We must defeat the foe before
us and resist all temptations intended to entice us
to fight among ourselves.
I sincerely commit myself to the rescue agenda of
General Buhari and Professor Osinbajo.
I declare to you, I will work and dedicate myself
so that our ticket succeeds and wins the 2015
election — not for his good, not for my good, not
even for the party’s good but for the good of the
nation we inhabit.
Some may call what I have done a sacrifice. I call
it otherwise. It is my patriotic contribution and
duty. I do so with a happy and uplifted heart and
clear conscience because I have committed
myself to seeking the best for this nation before
seeking what is good for myself. This is the creed
of statesmanship I chose to follow. May this be
the creed of our party as General Buhari leads us
to historic victory in the 2015 elections.
May the light of a bright future always shine on
you and on our beloved nation, the Federal
Republic of Nigeria.
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu
December 17th, 2014

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