‘Bad Belle’ Letters Will Not Stop Buhari – Tinubu Says
A national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, subtly mocked former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s recently published public statement addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari urging him not to throw his hat into the ring in 2019.
Speaking at the annual Bola Tinubu Colloquium held Thursday in Victoria Island, Lagos, Mr Tinubu talked about a ‘bad belle letter’ written by “a certain individual who had had opportunity to be in office before.”
Mr Obasanjo recently released a long, strongly worded ‘special press statement’ in which he asked President Muhammadu Buhari to resist the temptation to contest again in 2019.
It is however unclear if Mr Tinubu was referring to Mr. Obasanjo because a few weeks after the latter released his statement, former military dictator, Ibrahim Babangida, also issued a controversial statement imploring Mr Buhari to give young Nigerians opportunities to rule.
Mr Babangida’s letter later ignited a series of controversies with the former military ruler reportedly issuing a disclaimer.His media aide, Kassim Afegbua, was also declared wanted by the Nigerian police.
On Thursday, Mr Tinubu said letters written by some persons were ‘political’.
He said, “I want the economic minister to please give us a data, first quarter of year 2012 and for their 16 years.
“I remember my grandmother used to send me to a letter writer in the post office of those days and near the magistrate court. So somebody is writing letters these days, a letter of politics, as if they’ve never been there before. Bad belle letters.”
But in his reaction at the time, Mr Tinubu said both Messrs Obasanjo and Babangida are retired politicians whose interventions should be ignored.
“We should let our former presidents join retirees’ club and take pensions but they can participate in our politics if they are interested,” the former Lagos State governor had said at the time.
“It is a free world but this freedom is not served a la carte . They should allow us to move our country forward.”
On Thursday, Mr Tinubu said he was “not interested in the letters”, adding that it was important for the government to focus on its developmental plans.
“We want to focus. I don’t want to address that one today. I’ve gotten the most beautiful birthday present I needed, and I am happy,” he said.