The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu on Thursday, slammed former President Olusegun Obasanjo for his endorsement of Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) in the February 25 presidential poll.
Tinubu spoke at a rally held at the University of Benin Sports Complex in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Tinubu, a former Lagos State governor, said Obasanjo is “jealous” of his achievements, adding that the “the blind” cannot lead “the blind”. He also said the former President’s endorsement of Obi won’t work or make any difference in the outcome of the election in the next couple of weeks.
Tinubu recalled that as Lagos governor from 1999 to 2007, whilst Obasanjo was President, he “punished” him and millions of residents of Lagos by allegedly withholding local government funds that belonged to the nation’s commercial nerve centre.
Tinubu also accused Obasanjo and his then Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, who is now the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), of corruption.
Tinubu alleged that both Obasanjo and Atiku seized the Federal Government’s allocation to Lagos and used “Nigeria’s funds” to buy cars for their girlfriends through shady privatisation scheme.
“Can that man recommend a leader for you in Nigeria? Is that not sending an agent to pick your pocket?” Tinubu asked thousands of APC supporters at the rally.
“A blind leading the blind. I am sorry I am not insulting visually impaired people. But it won’t work, they will end up in the ditch. If I talk about Obasanjo and Obi…one who doesn’t know the way cannot show the way,” the APC candidate said.
Despite the many patronising visits of presidential candidates to his Abeokuta home, 85-year-old Obasanjo on January 1, 2023 shunned 17 candidates and endorsed Obi, a former governor of Anambra State, saying he has an edge over other contestants.
Obi’s endorsement by the former Nigerian military head of state between February 1976 and October 1979 has since riled the candidates of the APC, the PDP, amongst others.
Similarly, the leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, Edwin Clark on Tuesday endorsed Obi as his preferred candidate. Obi was also previously endorsed by leader of pan Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo.
Obi, who has been put ahead of other candidates in many pre-election polls of late, is popularly amongst youths who are thirsty of genuine national change but only time will tell the winner of the February 25 election.
According to Section 34 of the Independent National Electoral Commission’s Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of elections, a presidential candidate can only be announced as the winner if he or she “has the majority of votes cast at the election; and has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja”.