A group loyal to the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has said it amounted to an insult for his political godfather and presidential candidate of their party, All Progressives Congress, for the 2023 polls, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to say he has forgiven him.
The Eagle Online recalls that Osinbajo stood against the former Lagos State Governor for the presidential ticket of the APC.
While Tinubu came top in the primaries, Osinbajo, who served as his Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice while he was Governor for eight years between 1999 and 2007, came a distant third.
Tinubu had on Monday in Kano told an audience that included clerics, that he had forgive Osinbajo for running against him, adding that it was part of what the Quran and Bible preached.
Reacting to the position of the National Leader of the APC, an Osinbajo Support Group, Osinbajo Support Movement, said the statement credited to the National Leader of the APC amounted to an insult.
The OSM said while there is room for political realignment, any talk of forgiveness between the Vice President and Asiwaju Tinubu is both an insult and a provocation that it will not take lying low.
The OSM, which spoke through its National Coordinator, Liberty Badmus, in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, said its attention has been called to a news report in Vanguard newspaper where a fellow and his co-travellers in declaring his support for Tinubu begged for the forgiveness of the candidate for “our principal as well as members of the support groups during the primaries of the party”.
The group, in its statement noted that the representation of the support group in question does not speak for the coalition of all Support Groups that rooted for Osinbajo in the buildup to the APC presidential primaries.
It said: “While the OSM welcomes the need for the APC flagbearer and other presidential aspirants to come together, the group rejects the use of the word ‘forgiveness’ and the implications attached to it.
“We note just like the flagbearer stated that both the VP and himself have met at least twice since after the primaries, any attempt to take a revisionist perspective by insinuating that an offence had been committed because a sitting VP decided to run for the Office of President is an unmitigated insult, completely unnecessary and such narratives ought to be totally discouraged.
“We recall that a meeting of APC Elders in the Southwest ahead of the primaries where the aspirants had resolved the issue concluding that all the aspirants had the right to contest. It is the spirit of that meeting that should be maintained not a derogatory effort which undercuts the solidarity required to take both the flagbearer and the aspirants including the VP forward.”
The group said the support of everyone was appreciated and their new political choice is respected, but will not accept a situation where every group or individuals in the Vice President’s camp will be forced and classified into this self serving agenda.
“Everyone who supported the Vice President has the right to support whoever they wish after the primary, and Vice President Osinbajo has made it clear that people are free to support the party’s candidate but no one should however ridicule us and our principal by going to beg for forgiveness,” the statement added.
The group also noted: “Nigeria runs a democratic democracy, and approves anyone within the legal ambit of our laws (constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the APC constitution) to seek to be elected for President and other elective offices as so desired.
“For the umpteenth time, we state that His Excellency, the Vice President has not committed any crime or offended anyone by seeking to serve his country in the capacity of President.
“We wish to call on Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to face his campaign and ignore elements who want to want to benefit from him by regularly invoking Osinbajo.
“Osinbajo has since moved on and he is vigorously facing the task of nation building for which he was elected Vice President.”