A former minister of Aviation and spokesperson to the Presidential campaign of former President Jonathan in the 2015 presidential polls, Femi Fani-Kayode said on Saturday that Senate President Bukola Saraki frustrated plans by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to field a muslim/muslim presidential ticket in 2015.
Fani-Kayode, a former chieftain of the APC disclosed this via his Twitter handle on Saturday in reaction to Saraki’s rejoinder to a Thisday back page article last week by Ovation Publisher, Bashorun Dele Momodu.
Saraki in his rejoinder had stated that his “original sin” was his refusal to support a Muslim/Muslim ticket of the APC in the 2015 presidential election.
According to the Senate President, he opposed the move purely for strategic considerations, because he wanted his party, the APC to win the election.
Corroborating Saraki, Fani-Kayode tweeted: “I can confirm that @bukolasaraki opposed the Muslim/Muslim ticket plan of the APC. I left and exposed it, he stayed and frustrated it.”
It would be recalled that in the build-up to the last general election, rumors were rife that the APC, which at the time was battling to stave off an “Islamic party” toga, was contemplating fielding then General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) and former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as its presidential and vice presidential candidates, respectively.
Saraki said: “I have also been accused of helping to frustrate some people’s opportunity to emerge as President Muhammadu Buhari’s running mate. But I have no problem with anybody.
My concern was that it would not be politically smart of us to run with a Muslim-Muslim ticket. I doubt if we would have won the election if we had done this, especially after the PDP had successfully framed us a Muslim party.
I felt we were no longer in 1993. Perhaps, more than ever before, Nigerians are more sensitive to issues of religious balancing. This was my original sin.
“What they say to themselves, among other things, was that ‘if he could conspire against our ambition, then he must not realise his own ambition as well.’ For me however, I have no regrets about this.
I only stood for what I believed was in the best interest of the party and in the best interest of Nigeria.
We have got to that point in our country when we no longer believe that anyone could stand for anything based on principles and convictions alone.
Moreover, in the growing culture of media crucifixion and presumed guilt; it is rare to find a voice like yours that calls for fairness and justice”.