Ayodele Fayose, governor of Ekiti state, has condemned “the continuous dishonourable treatment being meted out” to Bola Tinubu by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Despite saying he would “never” join APC, Fayose, a staunch member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said “the humiliation of Tinubu is as good as humiliation of the Yoruba race”.
Fayose was specifically referring to the content of the book, ‘Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria”, written by John Paden, a part of which suggested that Tinubu did not favour the emergence of Yemi Osinbajo as Buhari’s running mate ahead of the 2015 presidential election.
“Even though I am not a member of APC and I will never be, I have been elected to stand in defence of the Yoruba nation once again by saying no to the continuous dishonourable treatment being meted on Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, having paid his dues,” Fayose said in a statement issued by Lere Olayinka, his special assistant on public communications and new media.
“If Tinubu is allowed to be embarrassed and disgraced just the way our past leaders were humiliated by these same elements, the Yoruba nation would have been made to suffer for uprightness.”
Condemning Tuesday’s “sponsored protest against the APC leader at the party’s national secretariat”, Fayose said: “It is unfortunate that Tinubu is now being vilified in a party he invested heavily in and his fellow kinsmen that he brought up politically are part of this conspiracy.
“In their desperation, they have even tried to set him against the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, by insinuating that tried to prevent his (Osinbajo) emergence as President Mohammadu Buhari’s running mate, this is sad!
“When other tribes protect own, it is becoming historically common among the Yoruba to allow themselves to be used against their leaders just for momentary political gains at the expense of the collective interests of the Yoruba nation.
“It should be noted that late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was sent to jail by the conspiracy and collaboration of some Yoruba with the external aggressors.
“Tinubu is a prominent stakeholder, we should not sit back and watch while those he used his own sweat to make conspired with others to humiliate him.
“Most importantly, it is my position that irrespective of political affiliation, no leader of the Yoruba nation must be vilified unduly, especially by the same people who humiliated our past leaders like Obafemi Awolowo, Adekunle Ajasin, Bola Ige, Bisi Onabanjo, Lateef Jakande and others.
“To me, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu should not be seen just as an APC leader but acknowledged as a major stakeholder in the Yoruba nation that we must all protect beyond politics.
“It should be recalled that these were among the issues that I raised when I visited Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun state few months ago on the need to work together beyond party affiliations.
“Here in Yorubaland, it is said that if a household is at peace, it is because the bastard child of the family is yet to attain the age of maturity and those people that Asiwaju Tinubu made but are now being used against him should watch it.
“I therefore condemn this conspiracy against Asiwaju Tinubu and I admonish those that are hoping to make political benefits from it to have a rethink.”
Fayose called for greater unity among the Yoruba, saying: “We are first Yoruba before becoming members of political parties; it is my opinion that our leaders must be defended and protected, not minding the personal gains of today.”