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Watch your tongue, presidency tells Tinubu

Posted by From LUCKY NWANKWERE and MOLLY KILETE, Abuja on 2006/02/16 | Views: 1524 |

Watch your tongue, presidency tells Tinubu

For calling President Olusegun Obasanjo an ingrate, the Presidency Wednesday, advised Governor Bola Tinubu to be civil in his use of language when addressing the president of the federal republic.

• You’re indolent – Tinubu

For calling President Olusegun Obasanjo an ingrate, the Presidency Wednesday, advised Governor Bola Tinubu to be civil in his use of language when addressing the president of the federal republic.

Saying that referring to President Obasanjo as an ingrate was most uncharitable and unacceptable, the Presidency averred that it was unthinkable that a state governor would employ the use of such words when talking about his president.

Tinubu had, two days ago, referred to President Obasanjo as an ingrate who is sitting comfortably at the presidential villa having rode on the backs of South-West governors who rallied the zone to return him back to power in the 2003 presidential election.

Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, who reacted to the story on Tinubu’s comments, in Abuja, expressed dismay that a governor of Tinubu’s ranking could use what he called uncharitable language on the president.

“It’s a tragedy that a state governor and somebody we all have tremendous respect for in terms of his office should chose to use words such as an ingrate for the president of the federation. It is an uncharitable language and not only is it uncharitable, it is uncalled for and it is unacceptable. We expect better type of language from a state governor when talking about the president of the federation,” he said.

He faulted the governor’s claim that the president rode on the back of South West governors, who were members of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), back to power in 2003, saying the entire people of South-West and elsewhere voted overwhelmingly for the president at the election.

“As regards the issue of support for the 2003 election, the overwhelming majority of the Nigerian people in the South-West and elsewhere regardless of party affiliation supported Mr. President and voted him back into power with an overwhelming majority. And it is to those people that Mr. President has extended his gratitude as well as to God and certainly not to Bola Tinubu. We have nothing to be grateful to him for,” he contended.

The president’s aide dismissed as imaginary the fact that the president entered into a deal with the AD governors before the election, pointing out that just as there was no deal then, there is still no deal with anyone now.

“If somebody failed and they are expecting Mr. President to cover their tracks in return for an imaginary support in the presidential election, let that person be very clear that there was no deal and there is no deal”, he stated, adding that there was nothing for which the president should be grateful to Tinubu for.
In a related development, Works Minister, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe Wednesday, took a swipe at Tinubu over his comments on Obasanjo.

The minister, who spoke in Mabushi Abuja, described the Lagos governor as a delinquent child who lacked proper upbringing by his parents and challenged the governor to present to the Nigerian public his true parents.

The minister, angered that the governor called President Obasanjo an ungrateful man, revealed that but for the intervention of the president in the 1999 elections, Tinubu probably would have rot in jail by now.
According to Ogunlewe, some members from opposing political parties, including radical lawyer, Gani Fawehinmi, had gone to court to challenge the governor’s credentials with which he won the election.
He revealed that Obasanjo did everything in his power to ensure that the governor retained his position as the elected governor of Lagos to the extent of directing the then Inspector General of Police (IGP), Musiliu Smith, to challenge the critics.

“It was the then Inspector General of police that went to court to say that the court cannot compel the police to do the investigation. It would have been easier for the court to insist that he must be investigated and that Inspector General of police was working for government,” Ogunlewe said.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State government has described Fani-Kayode and Ogunlewe as “naboobs of negativism.”

A statement by Kehinde Bamigbetan, Chief Press Secretary to Gov Tinubu, said: “Ordinarily, we would not have dignified the reckless chirping of this presidential chichidodo with a response. We would have reacted appropriately if this statement had come from seasoned politicians who were privy to the relations between the President and the Governor in those testy days. This is because Mr. Fani-Kayode was not a party to the negotiation and, is, to all intents and purposes just one of the many Personal Assistants to the President. He was not a member of the top echelon of the PDP or the President’s campaign organization which were responsible for the president’s campaign.

“Is it not true that the Lagos State Governor appealed to the voters of Lagos State to vote for President Obasanjo following the President’s spirited plea to the South West Governors and indeed the entire Yoruba race to save him from another rejection in the 2003 elections?

“Is it not true that the President openly and surreptitiously canvassed, cajoled, begged Pa Adesanya, Chief Anthony Enahoro for support towards the 2003 elections. Is it not true that the Lagos State Governor made good his promise by ensuring that Lagosians voted heavily for the president in that election. Where was Fani-Kayode in the morning of April 19, 2003? Was he anywhere near the centre of action? He was merely a spectator on the sidelines and thus he is least qualified to comment on anything that transpired before and immediately after the election.

If he wants to get the raw facts, he should consult Gbenga Obasanjo, the President’s son, who stayed permanently in the situation room of Bola Ahmed Tinubu campaign headquarters throughout the night of the Presidential and gubernatorial elections.

“It is therefore clear that Fani-Kayode ‘s vituperation against Asiwaju and the impotent intervention of a treacherous Seye Ogunlewe in this matter all amount to the nattering of naboobs of negativism.They are the cacophonous effusions of indolent, gratuitous and inactive minds.”

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