The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has revealed that Senate President Bukola Saraki and Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, stopped President Muhammadu Buhari from picking him as his running mate in the 2015 presidential election.
Tinubu’s comments were contained in a book titled ‘Against the Run of Play,’ written by the Chairman, Editorial Board of ThisDay, Olusegun Adeniyi.
He said their reason was that Christians in the North would not accept a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
Tinubu also revealed that El-Rufai wanted Pastor Tunde Bakare as Buhari’s running mate.
“What they (Saraki and others from the PDP) did behind my back was wrong. We always do things as a group. By the time they joined, we were already too far ahead in our processes but we accommodated them.
“We agreed to take their state structures and subsume them into the party and they all had their opportunity to nominate the candidates of their choices for different political offices.
“But they went behind to instigate Buhari and some other people in the party against me on the pretext of religion. That was not right. They were canvassing arguments that the Christians in the North would not vote for a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
“Nasir el-Rufai was also selling the same argument within the CPC (the defunct Congress for Progressive Change) because at that point, he still wanted to have Pastor Bakare brought in as Buhari’s running mate,” he said.
Tinubu said some Senators and Governors met with him on the eve of the primaries, to confirm if there was an agreement between him and Buhari to run together.
“I told them that it was better to resolve such issue after the primaries, but they wanted to make it a condition for supporting Buhari, which, for me, was very wrong.
“I told them I could not insist on this as a condition for my support for Buhari. I felt that was not right to hold Buhari hostage in this manner.
“I believe the support that we gave was fundamental to Buhari clinching the party nomination. Without that support, a different outcome would have been most likely,” Tinubu added.
Buhari eventually asked Tinubu to present three names for the position, but he only provided Yemi Osinbajo.
“I backed down because I did not want to be depicted as causing a problem. I backed away from the position in order to offer Buhari a name I once raised with him in 2011: that of Professor Yemi Osibanjo,” he added.