by Deji Abiodun
A National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, says the recent attacks on his person were because he rejected the offer by President Goodluck Jonathan to serve as the Vice President in an Interim National Government.
Tinubu said in a statement by his media office on Thursday that having refused the offer, Jonathan was looking for ways to take him out either by killing him or getting him arrested based on trumped-up charges.
The former governor of Lagos State said the Peoples Democratic Party had never been this rattled in its 16 years of power.
He said Jonathan blamed him for the successful merger of the APC and the momentum the APC presidential candidate, Maj.Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), was gaining in the current electioneering.
Tinubu said with the North-West and the South-West — the two most populous geo-political zones — in the hands of the APC, it was certain that the PDP would lose.
The statement read, “With the election less than three weeks away and the outcome possibly against them, the Goodluck Jonathan Presidency and the hardliners in the PDP have embarked on a new strategy to put a brake on the momentum Buhari seems to be gathering.
“This strategy is novel and seems to be the outcome of a desperate calculation in that the PDP has shifted its attention from the APC in order to attack on multiple fronts the former governor of Lagos State and APC national leader, Bola Tinubu.
“From what can be gathered through informed sources, the PDP and Jonathan Presidency had recently tried to fracture the APC by offering Tinubu the position of Vice President in an interim government if he would agree to part company with the popular Buhari.
“Once Tinubu rebuffed the offer to participate in the interim scheme, the presidency decided to change tactics. It would no longer try to entice Tinubu with sugar but would now move to silence, and if necessary, neutralise him. The APC National leader has caused President Jonathan’s team countless headaches this campaign season, his declining the interim government offer is just the latest.
“The Jonathan government sees Tinubu as the linchpin of the APC and its successful electoral strategy. They also consider him one of the government’s most prolific and able critics due to his long standing and often strident critiques of Jonathan government policies, from economic development to national security.
“More to the point, they blame him as the man who is most responsible for placing them in their current electoral quandary. They believe without Tinubu’s efforts, the successful merger of the political parties into the APC would not have occurred and they would not be facing possible defeat at the hands of this new party.”
The former governor said the recent televised hate documentaries were part of the desperate attempt by Jonathan to discredit him.
He added that Jonathan might even accuse him of the murder of the PDP candidate, Mr. Funsho Williams, who was killed in 2006.
The statement added, “The agenda to tackle Bola Tinubu and weaken his political influence nationwide and to undermine his leadership in South Western politics can be said to have gone into the overdrive.
“The first part of the strategy is to dredge previously discredited claims of illicit wealth in hopes of silencing Tinubu or lessening his public image. However, they fear this public relations attack may be too soft as Tinubu has been taken before the ICPC and the case against him dismissed.
“If this attack does not deter his party activities, the presidency and PDP are prepared to take more drastic action if they believe it is necessary to win the election by throwing the APC into disarray.”