Interim Govt Option And The N200 Billion ($2Billion) Offer: What Tinubu Never Told Nigerians? By Obinna Akukwe
Bola Tinubu, the National Leader of the Nigeria’s leading opposition party APC had revealed that Jonathan offered him a Vice Presidency slot under an Interim Govt arrangement, an offer he claimed to have rejected. Femi-Fani Kayode, the Head of PDP Campaign Organization had refuted the story, saying that it is illusionary imaginations from Tinubu. However, I was personally intimated of the Interim Govt offer to Tinubu by an equally top PDP chieftain who boasted jokingly that ‘my Tinubu and Buhari’ alliance will soon crumble. This his allusion to ‘my Tinubu and Buhari’ is based on the fact that he knew that I publicly led some Bishops and that opposed the distribution of money to some of my pastor colleagues on an anti Buhari sentiments and that I was among the people who ensured that some that collected that money did not sell Jesus to PDP. I believe that the Gospel of Jesus is greater than PDP and APC and this party chieftain subscribes to this and my belief that the good, the bad and the ugly are found in both parties.
Three weeks ago, I was at a sort of meeting bordering on security in the North of Nigeria and afterwards another meeting ensued where some PDP faithful were touting how Jonathan will defeat Buhari during the March 28 polls. I mentioned to the August members present who claim direct links with President Jonathan that their principal had already offered a Vice Presidency slot to Tinubu under an Interim Govt arrangement. I was literally shouted down by those who claim (and I know that some of their claims are true) that they are personally close to Jonathan and he never mentioned it to them. The same persons, a week later, having confirmed the details I gave, contacted me again and this time around, believing that I must be close to either Buhari or Tinubu, asked me about the latest move of the opposition.
About three weeks ago I was informed by a privileged member of the ruling PDP that Tinubu has been offered a VP slot in order to get him to break away from Buhari. This highly placed PDP facilitator, stakeholder and observer intimated that he is in the thick of the discussion and that soon Tinubu will abandon Buhari for Jonathan. Those allegedly in the thick of the discussions include a retired Military President, select PDP leaders especially from the South West and South South and somebody they believe is working for Sambo, the National Security Adviser (NSA). Mentioning the names I was told is not necessary because my sources will be thoroughly embarrassed. I was later told that Tinubu rejected the Vice Presidency slot almost instantly.
According to my sources, he instead requested that the ruling party defray his campaign expenses which he put at N200 billion naira (N2billion Dollars). He also allegedly demanded that the PDP will allow him produce all the Senators from all the APC states in the South West, including Kwara and Edo States, from Niger Delta and North Central respectively. When I inquired what they will decide on the Tinubu project, I was told that that though Jonathan did not mind fulfilling Tinubu’s alternative request, the PDP leaders in the South West rejected the idea of allowing him produce eighteen Senators all by himself, viewing it as politically dangerous. This money is still chicken change to a party that had stacked nothing less that N3 trillion naira through shady oil deals in readiness for the elections, of which I am aware of some of the deals.
Tinubu, under pressure to give a green light, abandoned the discussion on the pretext of giving the entire idea a second thought. PDP leaders were still waiting for his second thought when he was seen at Chatham House with Muhammadu Buhari, the Presidential Flag bearer of the opposition APC. The Chatham House speech of Buhari did an irreparable damage to Jonathan’s image among the international community and the PDP had seen Tinubu as giving the impression that negotiations are ongoing and then he went on to sponsor a Chatham house embarrassment on them. According to my sources, it was Femi Fani-Kayode who decoded that Tinubu had abandoned the plot and warned the party that the best thing to do is to cage the Lion (Tinubu) before it was too late.
The current plot by the PDP is to stop Tinubu at all cost, since he failed to deliver the South West vote to Jonathan even when PDP was ready to give him his demand of N200 Billion naira. I learnt that Tinubu’s image is to be terribly damaged, then series of harassment, trumped up charges and outright elimination might follow. This elimination plot, though canvassed by a former presidential spokesman, has been rejected even within many PDP circles including even Jonathan himself.
A top APC Chieftain whom I met to follow up the political transactions, initially said he was ignorant of the contents of the negotiations but after some days confirmed that though an offer of N200 Billion was made it was the PDP that made the offer to defray Tinubu’s campaign expenses. I was informed that though Tinubu was averse to the Interim arrangement, Obasanjo’s caution to the former governor reinforced Tinubu’s stance.
My take on all these is that PDP approached Tinubu to help sell the Yoruba people to Jonathan and abandon Buhari the manner he sold Ribadu in 2011 for a couple of billions of naira. Tinubu rejected the Interim Govt offer, made his own offer which the PDP accepted in part (monetary aspect) and rejected the issue of being allowed to manipulate and produce the Senators and House of Reps members from APC States in the South West in an election that will hold on the same day.
Tinubu probably got another advice and decided to stick to Buhari and PDP got enraged. Those denying that there was no interim govt offer are also lying because even NSA Dasuki and Babangida has been discreetly campaigning that Northern Emirs and leaders accept an interim Govt option headed by a northerner. Even Shagari according to reports favors the idea. The news is all over Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi and creating division among their political elites with the Interim Government option getting gradual sympathy.
The loser in all these heist is the masses. Why an offer and acceptance of a probable N200 billion naira must be given when such amount can build two second Niger Bridge or four brand new Enugu-Port Harcourt and Enugu-Onitsha expressway. Tinubu, Babangida, Dasuki, Femi-Fani Kayode, Bode George, Kashamu and all the people involved in this Interim Govt cum N200 billion naira betrayal deal should stop denying the truth. Spending such billions on a political expedition is wrong and those buying, selling and making merchandise of the impoverished Nigerian people, must repent now before God Almighty allows that self-inflicted crisis that will bring in a bloody military revolution already brooding in the atmosphere. A word is enough for the thieves.