How Tinubu ‘Betrayed’ Ige, OBJ-Ojudu •Says “Tinubu Didn’t Make Me”
Senator Babafemi Ojudu has said a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, betrayed the late Chief Bola Ige by supporting the presidential ambition of Chief Olu Falae, as against that of the slain former Attorney General of the Federation, in 1999.
He also said the former governor of Lagos State, who is a 2023 presidential aspirant, worked against the stance of Yoruba leaders and Afenifere by not supporting former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the 2003 elections.
Ojudu, who represented Ekiti Central Senatorial District in the Senate between 2011 and 2015, made the disclosure in response to criticism against his decision not to support the presidential ambition of Senator Tinubu.
The aide of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, in a piece entitled “Principled Political Choices Are Not Betrayal”, said those calling him a betrayer for his stance did not see Tinubu’s actions then as acts of betrayal.
Ojudu said his decision is not an act of betrayal, adding: “I have seen a statement made by me, many years ago, to celebrate the 60th birthday anniversary of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu making the rounds.
“Yes I did make that statement. And more of such will come in my autobiography. We, together, have seen good days and bad days.
“When Tinubu decided to go against Afenifere and the Yoruba elders in 2003 by not supporting President Olusegun Obasanjo, he wasn’t betraying the Yoruba nation or a traitor to Afenifere. He made a choice and history has been his judge. Let history be my own judge too.
“When he supported Chief Olu Falae against Chief Bola Ige, our respected leader who [fought] for him to emerge candidate of Alliance for Democracy [AD] in Lagos, no one shouted betrayal.”
Ojudu further disclosed that, contrary to the general impression that he was made by Tinubu, he and some of his other associates were already made before meeting Tinubu.
“Many of us, his associates, were not made by him as you also want the world to believe. We were already made before meeting him and, in the cause [sic] of relating, we gave one another a helping hand.
“As far back as 1992 when I came to know him, I was already one of the editors of a popular news magazine with a good standing too in the civil society.
“I walked out of my job when our billionaire publisher (Chief MKO Abiola) requested I and my colleagues to apologize to General Ibrahim Babangida over a story critical of the regime. That was 1992,” he wrote.
The former federal lawmaker, however, acknowledged that Tinubu made some significant contributions to his newspaper organisation, TheNews, during the fight against military rule.
On his stance on the 2023 presidential election, he said Tinubu “knows I don’t follow the herd”, adding that he makes his choices, based on “very rigid parameters” and independent of his relationship with the former governor.
“The idea that everyone who has related with Tinubu and disagrees with him on this presidential bid is a traitor and a betrayal is puerile.
“So, on this matter of 2023, I wish him well. But I cannot in good conscience give him my support or cast my vote for him in the coming primary. It is my right.
“I am above 60 years of age for God sake. I almost died seeking this inalienable democratic rights, held up in detention and severally tortured. Your god is not my god.
“Let no one think he can browbeat or blackmail me to do what does not go with my conscience or my ideals. Enough of your phone threats and embarrassment of my family members.
“I know Tinubu. I respect and adore him. Many of his latter day supporters do not even know him. If they do, they won’t resort to emotional and physical blackmail,” Ojudu added.