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How Osinbajo Emerged as Buhari’s Running Mate

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Fresh facts have emerged about the emergence of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as running mate and later Vice President to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Gen Iliyasu Ibrahim (rtd) on Tuesday faulted a report that Osinbajo became President Muhamamdu Buhari’s running mate despite pressure against it by a national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

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He said in a statement that the former Lagos governor single-handedly chose Osinbajo and sent the name to then Presidential Candidate Buhari of the All Progressives Congress.

A portion of the biography written by Professor John Padden on President Buhari, titled: “Muhammadu Buhari: Challenges of Leadership” had it that Tinubu mounted pressure on Buhari to run as the latter’s running-mate in the 2015 presidential election, however, the then presidential candidate preferred to run with Osinbajo, over Tinubu.

But the retired general insisted, in a statement, that this claim by the book was wrong, stating that, “I became disturbed about this falsification of recent history. Why would the author say this and have it published when many of us know the truth? The truth is that Tinubu singlehandedly chose Yemi Osinbajo and sent the name to President Buhari. There was no pressure. Tinubu is Osinbajo’s political mentor. The latter was his attorney-general and commissioner for Justice in Lagos and both have a close relationship.

“My worry stretched further when I recall the recent piece by Femi Fani Kayode on Tinubu and his huge contributions to the APC and how he is now being short-changed. Though I do not agree with all the claims made by Femi Fani-Kayode, I am convinced he made some reasonable arguments and his summation about Tinubu’s role in the current political dispensation can hardly be faulted. In some areas, he went overboard and you could see him gloating, the PDP apologist that he is. Also, the mention of Governor Ajimobi as one of the governors working against Tinubu is a fallacy and here he got his facts wrong. Ajimobi has remained consistently behind Tinubu and that is easily verifiable.

“But back to the emergence of Osinbajo as Vice Presidential candidate. I was there the night before the final decision and subsequent announcement. I was there at the Lagos Lodge Annex in Asokoro, Abuja at Tinubu’s place. On the night in reference, Asiwaju insisted that three names would not be sent for the VP slot. He maintained that only one name would be sent. Eventually, the name of Osinbajo was sent to President Buhari. There was no issue of pressure.

“Osinbajo was Tinubu’s man and that was the only person Tinubu was willing to accept to cede the VP slot. Shortly after Governor Amosun came around to the Lagos lodge. He came in and we greeted. Now, it seems clear that some fifth columnists are trying to distort recent history and we should not let them. This history is too recent to be mutilated.”

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