A national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s approach to governance is slow but steady, unlike when he was in a hurry as a military ruler.
Tinubu spoke in Abuja yesterday during a book presentation titled ‘Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria,’ authored by a professor of International Studies, John Paden, in honour of the president.
Tinubu, while appraising the book, said the author “notes that in terms of style of leadership, Buhari, as a young military Head of State, was in a hurry. However, now that he is older and given his experience, he is slow but steady in his approach to governance.”
He went on to say that Buhari surprised many during the presidential election campaign “with his agility and the broad canvas on which he operated.”
The APC chieftain also stated: “In tracing the evolution of Buhari, the national leader, the author’s assertion that military rule is based on the power its holders can wield, while civilian rule is based on the legitimacy derived from elections is a point with which I dare not debate.
“Buhari’s career embodies this, hence his transition from being a military ruler to being a civilian leader who subjected himself to the rigours and uncertainty of elections four times. Thrice, he patiently went to court, seeking redress from electoral manipulation.
“The author, quite accurately, remarked on the Buhari’s victory equation as flowing from northern grassroots support and coalition building with the southwest as well as with other tendencies.” Tinubu also explained that the APC fielded Professor Yemi Osinbajo as President Muhammadu Buhari’s running mate in the 2015 general elections purposely to ensure a religiously balanced ticket.
“Based upon this conclusion, the name of a renowned professor, Yemi Osinbajo, a professor of law and former Lagos State Attorney-General during my tenure as governor was proposed and accepted as the running mate.
“Osinbajo was also a pastor in the largest church in the entire country, and this would answer those who had wrongfully tried to paint and present Muhammadu Buhari as intolerant, religiously. From this event, you can see a portrait of a president as a democrat more adept than many would think.”
The former governor of Lagos State further gave an insight into how the APC orchestrated the defeat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He said: “In forming the new party, we had three challenges. The first was learning the right lessons from the aborted attempt at political cooperation in 2011. Fortunately, both the ACN and the CPC regretted our inability to conclude a pact in 2011. We agreed that there would be no recrimination over what did not happen before.
“In 2011, both parties wanted cooperation, but became stuck whether that should take the form of an alliance or outright merger. This difference gave rise to another one, regarding how the vice presidential candidate, who would run with the presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, would be selected.
“In retrospect, we all were perhaps a bit too inflexible and did not realize the extent to which cooperation and flexibility were needed to establish the reform we all wanted. The result: each party went its own way in 2011. However, the talks of 2011 would foreshadow the discussions, beginning in 2013, which led to the successful merger forming the APC.
Talks mainly between the CPC, led by Buhari, and the ACN, led by myself, later joined by the ANPP and the progressive wing of APGA, would go more smoothly and would reach the desired finish-line this time.
“After the successful merger and the birth of APC, it was time to pick a flag bearer. At the Lagos convention, President Buhari emerged as the new party’s choice in a transparently-honest process.”