The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has reacted to claims of his ability to influence the outcome of elections in the country.
Tinubu said this on Friday in Lagos while responding to an advertorial in the media alleging that he met with the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, to influence the Sokoto State governorship rerun election in favour of the APC.
He said his moral authority plays a role in his ability to influence elections.
He also said other tools that helped him influence elections were his skills as a veteran politician and dedication to campaigning and mobilising his own party members.
The statement from his Media Office said: “Our attention has been drawn to a partisan advertorial in the March 21 edition of Daily Trust, entitled – ‘Inconclusive Gubernatorial Election: Sokoto People Warn Tinubu, Oshiomole, Yari, Bagudu and others’.
“The advertorial, placed by an organisation called the Sokoto State Coalition of PDP Supporters, bears the logo of PDP National Youth League and is signed by one Engr. Haruna Usman Shagari.
“The advert made baseless allegations against myself, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, Chairman of APC, Sen. Adamu Aliero and Gov. Abdul’Aziz Yari of Zamfara.
“It falsely alleges that I, along with the others, met the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu in order to influence the Sokoto State gubernatorial rerun election in favour of the APC.
“These allegations by a contrived PDP organ are desperate untruths without a basis in fact. But they are entirely in line with the delusional reactions of PDP to their loss in the presidential elections.”
Tinubu said he had always been at the forefront of the struggle for electoral reform, which culminated in the establishment of the Justice Muhammadu Uwais Commission by late President Umaru Yar’adua.
He said: “A prominent member of that panel, Prof Attahiru Jega later became the INEC Chairman and was able to implement the far-reaching reforms that have enabled us to have the free and fair elections that we witnessed in 2015 and now in 2019.
“If I were such a prominent supporter of electoral reforms, why wilI I now be among those trying to subvert democracy?
“My only tools for influencing elections are my moral authority, my skills as a veteran politician, and dedication to campaigning and mobilising my own party members.”
Tinubu urged the PDP in Sokoto State to desist from using his name to defraud the people or as a way to gain sympathy.
He said: “With respect to Sokoto, former Governor Aliyu Wamakko is a popular figure and leader who has the respect of the people of the state.
“It is also clear that the APC candidate is more qualified and more committed to the welfare of the people than his PDP opponent.
“By his panicked responses, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has shown his sheer desperation, fears that his political career is crumbling. If he loses this election, he has lost everything.
“Thus there is no untruth he will not tell and no tactic too extreme in order to hold on to his seat. However, he should not use my name to defraud the people or as a way to gain sympathy.
“Instead, Tambuwal should face the consequences of his own actions. It is Tambuwal, who has caused his own predicament. The people know that Tambuwal has sacrificed their interests to advance his own.
“He can try whatever propaganda and untruths he wants, but in the end, the people will render the verdict that his selfish and unproductive record deserves.”