The National leader of All Progressives Congress, APC, and former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday, took a swipe at former President Olusegun Obasanjo saying he lacked the credibility to speak for Nigerians on who to vote for in the 2019 general elections, adding that he cannot stop President Muhamamdu Buhari's victory.
He also disclosed that all aspirants for various elective positions for next year's elections on the APC platform will be made to face direct primaries.
The APC leader said this at a stakeholders' and consultative meeting of APC chieftains, leaders, and members, held at the party's Secretariat, Acme, Ogba, Lagos State.
Party leaders and chieftains in attendance were: Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, and his predecessor, Adeyemi Ikuforiji; Lagos APC chairman, Chief Lanre Balogun and other members of the Governor's Advisory Council, among others.
Tinubu said: "We, APC members, have to register as members of the party and obtain our Permanent Voter's Card. To register as a member of the party, you can go online and download the form, you do not need to write letters like Obasanjo does by using the post office sending letters to Buhari.
"He has finished his own term, he should go and sit down in his farm attending to chickens and animals. He should leave Buhari alone. You can not tell us (Nigerians) who to vote for. Let us tell Obasanjo this through our votes. Buhari is ours and we will return him into power in 2019.
Tinubu also disclosed of the party's resolve to elect candidates, who will fly the flag of the party at next year's general elections, through direct primaries which will involve all members of the party and not through delegation as done in the past.
He said: "It is gratifying to report that the party has resolved to register additional members, and membership register will be opened to facilitate the process, which eventually would be used for direct primaries.
"We appeal to all our members to update the membership registration and embrace the direct primary that has just been introduced and adopted by our party. We are committed to our party; we are committed to the values of the party; we see direct primary as President Muhammadu Buhari's anti-corruption and internal democracy revolution.
"We are going to embrace that in which the party is going back to the owners of the party and that is you the people. It is not we the few; it is we the people. We have embraced democracy and you have your decisions to be made but you have to be members of our party in the first place."
Division in Lagos APC
Dismissing the insinuation that the party is divided in the state, Tinubu said: "We reiterate the fact that APC in Lagos State is intact. There is no division. I've heard some people conspiring to present a situation of division in the party in Lagos but let me assure you that it is just the coming together of adversaries and conspirators which will have no effect on the party."
We'll deliver for Buhari in 2019
In his remarks, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State commended Tinubu for kick-starting the revolution for direct primaries, saying the process would go a long way to deepen democracy in the country.
Ambode said: "People may not understand what is going on but we are giving power to the people and it is starting from APC.
"So, we want to collectively say a big thank you to Asiwaju for championing this silent revolution and it is simple; what we are saying is that if we know that Lagos State is truly controlled by APC, we would champion a revolution that has never been witnessed before in this country. That means each member of our great party will now determine who emerges the President of this country and by so doing we will make a statement that Lagos State has the votes and Lagos State has the numbers to make things happen in this country."
"By the time we count ourselves; by the time we count all the members of the APC in Lagos State, other parties will understand where APC is going and that is the assignment for all of us. Each member will get a minimum of 100 new members and by the time we do our count, we should be so sure that that is what should happen in other States. We will deliver the next general presidential election to Muhammadu Buhari by the grace of God."