ABUJA- FOLLOWING criticisms that have continued to trail the politics which played out prior to the emergence of President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, Senator Robert Boroffice said yesterday that National leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu never imposed Senator Ahmed Lawan and Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila on the party.
Speaking with Journalists yesterday in Abuja, Senator Boroffice who represents Ondo North Senatorial District explained that the former Lagos State governor had wanted Senator George Akume and Gbajabiamila as the party’s choice for the position of Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively and not Lawan as the concensus candidateof the party for the Senate leadership position.
Senator Boroffice who noted that Tinubu’s position was that both Akume and Gbajabiamila being minority leaders in the Seventh Senate and House of Representatives should automatically assume the leadership of both the red and green chambers as Senate President and Speaker respectively.
He said, “Asiwaju Tinubu had already made up his mind to, in line with the normal, global parliamentary practice, support Akume and Gbajabiamila but the story changed along the line, when there were indications that the party leadership was favourably disposed to Lawan.
“Tinubu did not before then, had any close political interactions with Lawan. It was a senator, who is very close to the presidency that actually took Lawan to Asiwaju in Lagos, in company with another prominent party leader.
“Tinubu categorically told the two gentlemen in the presence of Lawan that his choice was Akume and pledged to consult with other party leaders before he would give his final answer to their request to support Lawan.
“I was in the known of all the process that led to the emergence of Lawan and Gbajabiamila as concensus candidates. Tinubu played the role because of his loyalty to the party. I was among the four people that he sent to beg Akume since he had already promised to support him.
“The campaign of calumny against Asiwaju was a grand conspiracy to tarnish Tinubu’s image because some people were no longer comfortable with his ever growing influence and goodwill within the party, which he earned over the years as a result of his generosity and selfless service”
According to Boroffice, the initial campaign of the anti – Tinubu lawmakers in the family of the APC was that Lawan’s emergence, being too independent minded person, coupled with his alleged closeness to the former Senate President, David Mark, would be a thorn in the flesh of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, adding, “It was when their wicked campaign against Lawan because of Asiwaju’s support for him failed, that they connived with the Peoples Democratic Party to rebel against the party’s concensus candidates of Lawan and Gbajabiamila.”
It would be recalled that there have been general outcry among some federal lawmakers on the roles played by Tinubu, towards the inauguration of the Fifth National Assembly when the election into the office of the Senate President; his deputy; Speaker of the House of Representatives and his deputy, were conducted.
Prior to the election at the National Assembly, there were however a section of APC lawmakers who were loyalists of Senator Bukola Saraki, and Hon. Yakubu Dogara that believed that Lawan and Gbajabiamila were single-handedly picked by Senator Bola Tinubu for alleged personal interests.